This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I adore the cover and I knew once I started reading it I would have a connection with it. Boy was I right. Amy McNamara does an amazing job developing characters that you can empathize with, get angry with and then even feel sorry for...it's almost like she is walking you through the stages of grief. Really this book is an encouragement about dealing with the monster of grief and how different people handle it. It is a beautiful and dark story. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!!
At the recommendation of one of our 7th graders, I finally read Eight Grade Bites by Heather Brewer. This is NOT your typical vampire book. Vladimir Tod lives with his aunt and since his aunt is a nurse he feeds from nearly expired "blood bags." She will make him a cup of tea - when really it's a cup of warmed up blood. GROSS! Other than the few bloody descriptions I really enjoyed the character of Vladimir Tod because he is melancholy...much like myself. His best friend helps him out and surprisingly his best friend is a human and not a vampire! This book starts a series that takes Vlad all the way through 12th grade. I am really glad that my student recommended this and brought me HER book from home so I could read it!
This week it has been chilly here in Houston, but not nearly as bad as the east coast! They are drowning in snow and even though I like the idea of snow I am glad that we are not digging ourselves out every morning.
Here are some things I am thankful for this week:
1. A fun symphony trip with 8th graders
2. A teacher who told me she's not giving up on library!
3. An 8th grader who learned to love books and I keep scavenging through my collection at home to bring her new ones :)
4. Great friends and co-workers who support and help me <3
5. Ice on my windshield twice this week!
6. Starting a new book that a sweet 7th grader brought for me from her house.
7. Being able to watch our Character Without Question student receive her award!
8. Earning my Starbucks reward so I got FREE coffee this morning!
9. Our life skills class who showers me with hugs EVERY TIME I see them.
10. Fellow librarians who send encouraging Tweets :)
11. Ms. Ayala who helps run the library and brings a smile!
12. My sweet dog Millie - who keeps me on my toes!
I first heard about this book from Valerie Koehler at Blue Willow Bookshop. All she said was that it's an amazing book and we all had to read it. She couldn't tell us anything or it would give it away. I was intrigued. Then I saw all the comments and tweets about it - people were not giving away the ending. They were just flabbergasted by the book. So since reading some of those comments I was a little wary to read it. I'm over halfway through it now and I feel like I am just waiting for something to happen. The suspense is building and it's like watching a train wreck about to happen. I brought the book to school today hoping to sneak in some time to read! I can't wait to find out what happens! Definitely a recommended read.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Alison Cherry's book, For Real, on her Twitter page recently. I've been reading a lot of fantasy books that were pretty intense and I wanted to read a fun girly book ~ this fit the bill perfectly! Two sisters, Miranda and Claire, venture off to join a reality tv show much like The Amazing Race. They go together as Team Revenge to get back at Miranda's nasty ex-boyfriend Sarim. Everything seems great until there is a major twist in the competition! It all of a sudden turns into Around the World in 80 Dates! AAAHH!!! This is an amazing book with fun scenes, great characters and a beautiful relationship between sisters. I highly recommend it! One of our eighth graders has already started it this morning!
This weekend I finished an amazing book by Leslye Walton - The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I will confess that when I first started it I was not sure I wanted to read it because I felt it was too "creepy." Now be sure I like odd and magical books, but this seemed to be hitting some nerves in me, but I pressed through and I am SO glad I did. The book was beautiful and tragic, but Ava took something horrible and she allowed it to become something beautiful, thus creating the strange and beautiful sorrows. I give this book five out of five stars and I cannot wait to meet Leslye Walton at Teen Book Con!
Teen Book Con is coming up this spring! It will be at Alief Taylor High School on April 11, 2015! Check out the website by clicking HERE. The first book I read in preparation for this great visit was In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. This is a great graphic novel of a young girl who makes a connection between the real world and the gaming world. It brought ideas and things to my mind that I would not have considered before reading. I definitely recommend this book!
Blue Willow Bookshop is a local favorite! You can find out more about their shop at their website: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/. They bring in great authors for the community and schools. We have the opportunity to see author Matt de la Pena on January 22, 2015 with some of our SBMS book lovers! We are very excited and thankful to have this amazing bookshop in our community. Also Blue Willow has a middle school girls book club: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/node/76505. Please visit their website, their store and thank them for pouring into the SBISD schools. They will also be a HUGE sponsor for Teen Book Con which will be help April 11, 2015.
Over the Christmas break, I started this book by Meg Medina. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass won the Pura Belpre award for 2014. This award honors the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Piddy is a young student who moves to a new school in New York and on her first day there she finds out that a girl named Yaqui Delgado wants to beat her up because of the way she walks in the hall. Being a middle school teacher for 14 years, I have seen many conflicts and sometimes fights that start with something as small as this. I can think of many students who would enjoy this book because they can relate to it from personal experience or have a friend who has gone through something similar. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
The other YA book I read over the break was Towering by Alex Flinn. This is a spin on Rapunzel - there's a bit of mystery, magic and adventure. I was surprised at the characters and plot, but I enjoyed it. My favorite Alex Flinn book is still Beastly!
The next book I have started is The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier. I have heard amazing things and have really enjoyed the first few chapters. I'll keep you posted on how this one goes!