Friday, December 6, 2013

Ice days

What a great time to share with you my list of books that have to do with snow and ice, right? Unfortunately, it's at school on my desk and i'm at home in bed... Such is life. Let's see what my brain can remember anyway! 
If I Stay
Merrilee Marvelous
Confessions of an Ice Princess
Shackleton's Stowaway
Cry of the Icemark
The Arctic Incident
After the Snow
How to Save a Life
Wicked Lovely
Before I Fall
Blizzards wake
Diamond Willow
Far From You
Cold Spell
So, let's go see what's cheap on Amazon and curl up with a good book!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Catching fire read alikes

I got to see an early preview of Catching Fire last night-woo woo! And i just did booktalks for a bunch of dystopias a lot like it. So, if you're looking for something that will get your blood going like The Hunger Games, here's a list of similar titles you can check out:
Girl in the Arena
Blood Red Road
Under the Never Sky
City of Ember
Fever Crumb
The Sky Inside
The Selection
The Maze Runner
Among the Hidden
The Giver
Diary of Pelly D

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's just all too much!!!!

Just started Allegiant! Need to get Unsoulled! Champion is just around the corner! And the movie of Catching Fire! And you know, our book fair is the week after next. I've been promised these new releases as well as Hard Luck, House of Hades, and a ton of other things on my to be read list! Hooboy there's a lot of reading to be done!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Banned Wagon

I read the report in TLJ this weekend and was LOLing!!! My highlights below:

#1 Conal ISD, Garden Ridge ES

Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle for sexual content or deleted

First of all- Eric Carle????????? Sexual?? (ok, I haven’t read it, but really?) Then the action: content changed or deleted. Hey, I didn’t know we could do that!!!!!

#2 The Ehrhart School

Ransom My Heart, Princess of Genovia BY Princess Mia Thermopolis

Uhhhhhh, did no one catch that the real author is Meg Cabot? Mia Thermopolis is a CHARACTER.

#3 Flour Bluff ISD, Flour Bluff intermediate

Remembering September 11th- a video

We can challenge videos now?

#4 Kemp ISD, Kemp High School

Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck

No reason cited, but in the note it says parent felt the plot was depressing. I see why they didn’t want to voice that as their reason; it’s pretty lame. Read more Steinbeck- it totally gets better.

#5 Lake Dallas ES

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger

Cited for having a page with “#?!!**” standing for a cuss word. I guess they didn’t have any books with actual cuss words in them to ban. Good for them (don’t come to my library though!).

#6 Wieland ES in Pfugerville ISD

Captain Underpants- 10 books retained all challenged for “no reason” but included in the note: spelling errors, grammar errors, objectionable story lines/scenes, undesirable/unsafe behavior. Why do you think the kids like it????

#7 Texas College Preparatory Academies/Premier High School

U.S. History teaching materials, Responsive Education Solutions

Challenged for references to religion. Apparently we need to try teaching US history without mentioning religion.

#8 UME Preparatory Academy

Challenged CSCOPE. HAHAHAHAHAHA! At this point, I was about to cry.

Will the insanity never cease? I hope your library offended someone today.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Just finished previewing The Raven Boys 2nd book, due out next week. So awesome. I am so jealous of Blue's acceptance into the small group of interesting and unique schoolboys. I think they remind me of the lads in Dead Poets' Society. Personally, I'm developing unnatural crushes on more than one character in the book. Steifvater is just such a wonder at bringing her characters to life she makes me think of Dr. Frankenstein. The story of this second novel was just magical. Even more than the first- as if she were riding a writing tornado that's just growing stronger. I loved that the focus shifted slightly this time to Ronan with Gansey riding shotgun. I have two minor criticisms: the cliffhanger ending (again!) and Prokopenko's (sp) reappearance, because I could not for the life of me remember or figure out who he was. I just need more! She could have written 1000 pages and I'd still think that. A book that just makes me sigh with happiness when I think of it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hi blog readers! Having a good summer? Read a lot? I have!!! I find I'm averaging 5 books at a time. I usually have 2 audiobooks going, or book or two that I'm reading with my children, a physical book and an ebook. I just jump from one story to the next!! Check out my Shelfari if you want to keep up with all the titles- here I only highlight a few.

I recently finished two books about death:

Butter- An overweight boy decides he's had it and begins to plan a suicide by eating. This is some pretty mature content- not all middle school readers could handle this. Truthfully, it's not eating that he thinks will kill him, so he includes some things guaranteed to put him under: od on insulin, foods he's allergic to, and alcohol. He's lucky that some friends called an ambulance instead of letting him do it. But the story isn't really about that, it's about how 2 boys at school made him a virtual celebrity by promoting this last meal. Hard to stomach, if you'll forgive the pun.

See You At Harry's- Be warned- you will need tissues if you are a crier. The main character is a teenage girl who's dealing with a lot as she starts school. Her older brother is being picked on because he is gay. Her father has just come up with a ridiculous idea to promote the family's ice cream restaurant that involves all of them in a commercial that she finds humiliating. And her younger brother is always bothering her. It doesn't help that her mom and older sister always make her watch him. During one such session, he runs out into the parking lot, and the inevitable happens. How can a person move on with their life after such a tragic accident? Personally, I don't know. But the characters all try to grapple with their new reality. Luckily they finally come together as a family, instead of falling apart. Anyone who has ever lost a family member tragically would have a difficult time reading this, but then again, it might also be therapeutic.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Here's some tidbits about what I've been reading this summer. Enjoy!

A Measure of Guilt- a departure from my ususal reading, this is an adult mystery thriller written by one of my awesome friends. A newsworthy abduction has taken place and the viewpoints alternate between that of the two captive girls, one's older sister, and a helpful college student with a penchant for sleuthing, among other characters. Kate, the main character, won't give up the search for her sister and best friend, even though it's been two years. But maybe she's the one who's in the most danger.

False Prince-  one of this year's Lone Stars, this fantasy is told from a teenage orphan boy's perspective. He and some other boys are taken by a mysterious nobleman from the orphanages and trained to take the place of the missing prince now that the royal family was poisoned. Can one of them  impersonate the prince well enough to assume the throne and prevent civil war from breaking out?

Under the Never Sky- check out this dystopian novel about a world terrorized by lightning storms. To escape the danger, most people live in a dome and escape through virtual reality, but Aria was banished. Outside, she meets savages Perry and Roar, who help her survive, but have their own agendas.You'll have to read the sequel if you want to see if their star-crossed romance can survive a tumultuous world.

Templeton Twins Make a Scene- a sequel for fans of the first, the author (narrator) makes sure you are well aware of the need to read the first if you haven't when you pick up the second. His addressed to the reader and even chapter questions are part of what make this such a charming book. The abundant illustrations are also fun. The twins and their father are now at another college and guess who's back- Dean D. Dean!! Yes, he's trying to take credit for another invention! What a villian!  If you loved The Series of Unfortunate Events, do not miss what may become another series of fun and thrills.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What's new...

Just finished Ripper, the Lone Star title about the infamous serial killer's fictitous son. It's a bit of a lengthy read. I did find it a little slow in the beginning. Well, maybe not slow so much as hard to get into. Towards the end, the pacing picked up and it began to seem much more like a murder mystery than the spy novel it started out to be. The author threw in a little steampunk, which was cool. And i'll admit the ending caught me by surprise, so i won't give that away. Not bad, but truth be told, i enjoyed Patricia Cornwall's non-fiction book on the possibilities of the killer's true identity more. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

What I'm looking forward to...

Summer of course! No, really, what I mean is all the sequels and series and movies coming out! Here's what I have on my to read list:
Feedback, the sequel to Variant (already out, just haven't read it yet)
Scarlet, the Lunar Chronicles (already out as well)
Seige and Storm, the sequel to Shadow and Bone 6/4
The Dream Thieves, book 2 of The Raven Boys 9/17
UnSouled, Unwind Dystology 10/15
Allegiant 10/22
Champion, a Legend novel 11/5
Next Dustlands book, I think, I hope...

And on film:
Beautiful Creatures
City of Bones (August)
Delirium (2014)
Divergent (2014)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Where have i been?

I don't even know. But i read a lot while i was there. Maybe we should call it lala land. Most recently i finished The One and Only Ivan, this year's winner of the Newbery Medal and a nominee on the Bluebonnet list. Usually animal stories are pretty juvenile. I think in this one, the author imbued the story with enough witty humor and deep themes that it became a sort of ageless story. I was thrilled to learn it was based on a true story. But i must admit surprise to it winning the Newbery; I was so sure Wonder would get it. Hmmmmm.

Monday, February 11, 2013

New books galore

It's so exhilarating when everywhere you look there are books you see that you want to read! Example 1- I go to the movies and see 2 previews based on ya books that I haven't read. Man, I've got to take care of that.
Example 2- after several awards lists come out, I identify about 5 books that I want to read from them.
Example 3- I go to pick up some review books from my boss and come back with about 20 books.
Example 4- a student says to me, "Did you get the sequel to that book?" I answer, "He wrote a sequel?!?"
Example 5-About 10 boxes of new books finally arrive. I took home at least 4 books to get read.
Example 6- I get on the Barnes and Noble website and find out it's only 3 weeks until the final Delirium book and 8 months for the final Divergent book! Whoopee!

Speaking of sequels, I've been trying to get everyone I know to read Legend cause I love it. Right now, both the READ and faculty book clubs are working on it. I planned this to coincide with the second book coming out. So I bought it for my Nook and just finished it a couple nights ago. Seems like everything i read nowadays is science fiction with a little romance thrown in. This is skewing my view of the future. Now, I have heard it said that Legend is predictable. Maybe that is true, but I think that with Prodigy, surprises are around every corner. Of course, I don't want to give too much away. But I will be anxiously awaiting the third book after that ending! Argh! Weigh in and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's so Raven!

Anything Maggie Stiefvater writes is immediately picked up in my library. So when her newest, The Raven Boys, arrived, my clerk and I snatched it up to take home, as is our inalienable right being purveyors of reading material. I read excitedly, turning page after page wondering if the next chapter would be a good stopping point. I met Blue, a strangely named girl with a stranger all-female psychic family. I liked that she was determined never to fall in love because of the prediction that she'd kill her true love with a kiss, or somesuch nonsense. The setting was beautiful. I've been to Virginia and agree that it is a breathtaking place. (Although I always feel that Stiefvater has set her book somewhere in Europe until I discover otherwise.) I loved the sections from the boys' perspectives. Each boy was a gift to the story, a character to be unwrapped just a little at a time. Earnest Gansey. Careful Adam. Angry Ronan, with his baby raven Chainsaw. Quiet Noah. And Blue became one of them, ignoring her mother's demand to stay away from those boys like a good little teenage protagonist. She became one of the boys in their wild search for a dead king. It was all building up to a pretty exciting climax. And it kept building. And then it ended. Pretty abruptly, like that. And the loose ends - the unanswered questions, the visions that had not yet come to pass- what of them? Lord and Maggie only know. Leaving the poor reader hanging, for untold months, until the second book comes out. It's criminal.