Sunday, October 16, 2016


Horror is not my genre of choice, but since it's October, that's the genre of the month! I've read quite a few over the years, so here are my favorites.

Top ten
1. Ghosts of Kerfol- Collection of stories centered around a haunted estate where a man was torn apart by ghost dogs after mistreating his wife.

2. Cryer's cross- Kendall goes to search for her missing best friend Nico in their small Montana town and is almost another victim of the supernaturally haunted town.
3. Monstrumologist-Will Henry divulges the secret obsession Dr. Warthorpe- studying monsters- and the time they found an underground infestation of flesh-eating humanoids.
4. Sisters Red- In this Red Riding Hood mixup, Scarlett and Rosie have become werewolf hunters with woodcutter Silas and are trying to prevent a new victim from being turned into a werewolf.
5. Peeps- Vampires are parasite positives (p.p.) who have spread the disease like a plague in New York. Cal is one of the hunters who is immune but wants to find the girl who infected him.
6. Screaming Staircase- Only children can see ghosts and so are given the job of releasing those spirits through psychic investigation agencies with specialized weapons.
7. Twilight- Human Bella falls in love with vampire Edward who wants to be a non-human feeder, but is especially attracted to her blood.
8. Beware the Wild- A haunted swamp took her brother and sent out a sister to take his place, but Sterling isn't having that. She wants to get to the bottom of the mystery in her Louisiana home town.

9. Vampire Knight- This manga series is addictive with its love triangle between Yuki, Zero and Kaname who are in charge at Cross Academy, a school for humans in the day and vampires at night.

10. Graveyard Book- Nobody had a human family once, but was adopted by the ghosts of the graveyard the night they were murdered. Now the assassin is back to finish the job.

Honorable mentions:
Night Gardener 
Hatter M
Courtney Crumrin
So, if you think you're tough and can't be scared, I dare you to try reading one of these before you go to bed at night. Yeah, you'll leave the light on.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

SciFi Faves

Welcome to my list of favorite science fiction books!! For the top ten, I’m including a summary of the story. For the rest I left that off in the interest of not having too long of an entry here.

The Top Ten

1. Unwind- In future where teens can be destroyed through a process known as unwinding, three kids form different walks of life fight to survive and change the world they live in.

2. Delirium- Love is illegal in Lena’s world and not a problem once you get the vaccine, but she meets Alex and falls in love before she gets the shot.

3. Blood Red Road – Twins Saba and Lugh are separated when he is kidnapped and she must make a terrible journey through the Dustlands to find and rescue him from being a sacrifice by the bloody ruler.

4. Hunger Games- I think everyone knows Katniss sacrifices herself for her younger sister in the Hunger Games where she becomes embroiled in an uprising and a love triangle.

5. Matched – Soon to be a movie, this story is about arranged marriages and Cassia who falls for someone else but does love her match because he is her best friend.

6. Legend – A future America torn apart is represented by Day and June on opposite sides who fall in love and discover a horrifying truth behind the disease that plagues their society.

7. Partials- The robots known as partials that humans created evolved and rebelled and now a small band of survivors, led by Kira, try to find the cure to whatever kills all the newborns.

8. Life As We Knew It- A family that survives the disasters resulting from the moon being knocked out of orbit by a meteor chronicles their struggles to survive.

9. Girl in the Arena- In a world that worships arena fights like we do with football, Lyn, a teenage girl, enters to avoid a marriage to the man who killed her stepfather by trying to beat him.

10. Uglies- Tally can’t wait for her surgery to become pretty until she befriends a girl who is opposed to it and runs away to a group of rebels the government is trying to track down.

Others I really love:
Ender's Game
Fire and Flood
Never Let Me Go
How I Live Now
Adoration of Jenna Fox
For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Compound
Academy 7
Fog Diver

Check back in October for my favorite horror stories!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What is experience worth?

This year is my 20th in education. Twenty years of dealing with students, professional development, and working with a variety of colleagues does teach a person a thing or two. One thing I've observed is how I recently went from being a mid-career educator to a seasoned one due to an influx of co-workers who lack experience. I always am willing to share my knowledge but I am definitely still learning things. It worries me that the people I looked up to for many years are retiring right and left. Especially since it sometimes seems as if it is because their experience was no longer valued. Education welcomes new ideas so readily sometimes that it seems we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Shouldn't we instead strive for balance? In my opinion, a well- balanced faculty would consist equally of new educators, mid-career educators, and seasoned ones. Administrative positions should be likewise balanced. 
Another area I sense needs more balance is with the use of technology. Part of this observation is being made from my experience as a parent with a student in the grades I teach. Boy, can technology become a crutch! More and more I see homework that can be completed by simply Googling answers as opposed to learning the information or creative use of it. Funny how this can relate to the first problem! I wonder what sort of educational crisis we will have to encounter before we realize this? From my vantage point, we are in a crisis already. Why else do school districts embrace fad after fad and spend so much money on data? 
I anticipate 15 more years of doing this. What will I see? Maybe the dystopia books I read are affecting me too much. But they are way more fun to read than stuff like this. Hopefully I'll be able to still read great YA books to share with teens for 15 years. Writers- keep writing. Readers- keep reading. I will keep on connecting you.