Wow! What a great story of kids picking on the classmate that's weird, different, and misunderstood. Unfortunately, on account of t...moreNO for our library.
Wow! What a great story of kids picking on the classmate that's weird, different, and misunderstood. Unfortunately, on account of the language and some maturity issues, it's clear that this story is more appropriate for middle school students and not for an elementary school library.
Still, definitely worth reading. Very good stuff!(less)
To be fair, I only made it to 10 of the Curse of Addy McMahon.
To be fair, I had promised previously to at...moreNO for black-eyed susan. NO for our library.
To be fair, I only made it to 10 of the Curse of Addy McMahon.
To be fair, I had promised previously to at least read 100 minus my current age (27) pages of each book in order to give each book a fair shot.
To be fair, there's probably a slew of tween-age girls that will pick up this book, read past page 10, and love it.
But knowing that I'm considering titles for students in grades 4-6. Knowing that we will weed titles down until we have a list of 10 of our strongest titles. Knowing that we need to fight with all our might to include and excite boys with reading by giving them great literature they can get hooked on and not feel silly or embarrassed reading.
...then admitting to ourselves that the first 10 pages of this book are about our main character wallowing in the embarrassment of being seen at the mall shopping with mom in a lingerie store for a training bra...
I just can't see boys getting into this at all. So, sorry Katie Davis. Sorry adoring fans of Addy McMahon. This one just can't make the cut in my book. Every book deserves a chance, but I'm willing to bet you'd be hard-pressed to find a 4th-6th grade boy who would read past page 10.(less)
Let's be upfront. I read to page 77 of 384 of Toby Alone. And I only made it that far because I thought it best to give it the bene...moreNO for our library.
Let's be upfront. I read to page 77 of 384 of Toby Alone. And I only made it that far because I thought it best to give it the benefit of the doubt. I have a very hard time believing the kids will believe this story. Fantasy is a well-loved genre, but only when readers can believe in the world they're reading. Our story characters are only over a millimeter tall, living in the bark of a tree but blissfully unaware that they live on a living organism. They speak of rumored "Grassies", people who live in the wild grasses below the tree. They raise grub worms for food (really?! this would be like humans raising sperm whales for food). Despite living ON A TREE and having NEVER had contact with human beings, they somehow have metal and glass and an entire culture and way of like identical to ours... including habits, hobbies, instruments, tools, etc. found in our world. Can we just admit that this is a plea for us to recognize how we're hurting our own Mother Earth and get over it already?!(less)
This story is told through diamond-shaped poems (diamante?) in connection to the way a diamond willow, when polished is decorated...moreYES for our library.
This story is told through diamond-shaped poems (diamante?) in connection to the way a diamond willow, when polished is decorated with red "diamonds", each with a dark core as evidence of where the branch broke from the main willow branch.
Though I'm not typically a fan of stories told in verse, I've got to say that this one worked well and had a moving story. A twelve-year-old girl living in a small town in Alaska travels on dog sled to visit her grandparents. On the way home her sled hits a downed tree and she as well as the lead dog are injured. Her leg, though only scratched, is a reminder of the danger of dog sledding alone. Unfortunately, the lead dog received a wicked scratch to the eye and is blinded.
When Willow, our lead character, returns home, her parents talk putting the dog to sleep. Willow, not wanting to allow this to happen, sneaks the dog out of the house and travels back to her grandparents, whom she hopes will keep the injured dog. However, she loses the trail in a terrible blizzard and must wait until morning to make it out.
Along the way we discover revealing facts about Willow's birth, Willow's deep love and connection with the sled dogs, and a parents' love that transcends anger.
The diamond-shaped poems also contain words in bold, offering insight into Willow's perspective along the way and reflecting the unique characteristics of the diamond willow.
The story was surprisingly moving and I was pleased with the turn of events, method of storytelling, and conclusion of the story. I also enjoyed the story when shared through the eyes of the passed relatives (now with us as animals along the trail).
Though perhaps not the best read of the year, I'd say Diamond Willow is definitely worth reading!(less)
I loved the concept of telling a story through letters, but this one just didn't do the trick. They were to...moreNO for black-eyed susan. NO for our library.
I loved the concept of telling a story through letters, but this one just didn't do the trick. They were too many things I just couldn't buy into...
...a handful of students corresponding regularly to their substitute via letters ...a teacher who couldn't catch on the "BEEs" are a state assessment the school is preparing for ...a couple of middle schoolers so caught up in their feelings for one another that they would write to a teacher they don't know for advice ...a substitute teacher who could get away with doing *nothing* with her class for weeks on end, all approved by the county's department of education
My goodness... is Jodi Picoult the most cliche author writing currently?!
She delivers yet another overly dramatic novel, dragging on and on... begging...moreMy goodness... is Jodi Picoult the most cliche author writing currently?!
She delivers yet another overly dramatic novel, dragging on and on... begging for resolution.
Picoult is best known for exactly this over-the-top, plot twist-packed writing. Unfortunately, if you've read a couple of her books it becomes easier and much more predictable to anticipate Picoult's "surprise" endings.
The Tenth Circle is no exception. Fans of Picoult will eat it up. Readers who apprehensively approach reading yet *another* Picoult story can expect more of the same here.(less)
Great Nazi-era historical fiction in which a young girl of Czechoslovakia is separated from her friends and family during a Nazi raid of their town. T...moreGreat Nazi-era historical fiction in which a young girl of Czechoslovakia is separated from her friends and family during a Nazi raid of their town. The story is a little slow to pick up, but deals with great historical content that should keep kids hooked. Our main character, Milada, is separated from her family as they are hauled off to work camps and she is chosen as a member of the Aryan race. We follow Milada through her struggles to understand what the Nazis are doing and what she is being groomed to be.(less)