Disclaimer: I am a Star Trek fan although I'm not of the obsessed type.
As a teacher, I felt the need this summer to read for my own enjoyment. I bough...moreDisclaimer: I am a Star Trek fan although I'm not of the obsessed type.
As a teacher, I felt the need this summer to read for my own enjoyment. I bought this book ($.99 + S&H) on eBay and added it to my To-Be-Read pile. I finally made my way down to this book last week.
When I opened the book, I noticed a blue (Sharpie?) scrawl on the title page. I figured it was part of the "good condition" (some writing in book) on the auction description.
In chapter 2, I found a Borders bookmark and a folded sheet of paper. A lot of used books come with paper detritus and normally I just throw them into recycling. Before I did, I opened the sheet of paper which happened to contain the "rules" for getting a signed book from Leonard Nimoy at the book signing.
OMG!!!! I HAD A SIGNED BOOK!!!!!
I had to make a decision: Put the book safely away or read it. After much soul-searching, I continued reading.
An earlier reviewer felt the book was biased. Well, duh! It's about Leonard Nimoy and written by Leonard Nimoy.
Another reviewer thought Leonard Nimoy must have been a pain to work with. I agree. I admire his willingness to stick his neck out to keep Spock to true to his character.
On the other hand, I really wanted to learn more about Leonard Nimoy's personal life. His parents were briefly mentioned. His wife made her appearances without any information about their courtship or wedding. His children (I'm still not sure how many) appeared sporadically with no mention of their number, gender, or births.
While I deeply appreciate learning so much about Nimoy's relationship with Spock, I'd have liked to have learned more about him.
I used to have the trilogy but I can't find the set so I'm hunting down the books, one-by-one. I haven't found the last one yet.
I liked this story. I...moreI used to have the trilogy but I can't find the set so I'm hunting down the books, one-by-one. I haven't found the last one yet.
I liked this story. I like Claire and Dean's romance. I especially like Austin and his cattitude. I like that the powers of darkness are so easily corrupted by the power of good manners and loving sternness. It brought back memories of high school, and not the romanticized version either. It reminds me to be grateful that I'm no longer a teenager.
I need to hunt up the third book now. I wish there were more.(less)
I found this book while I was supervising my students in the library. I love to find a good "real" ghost story (not what is shown at the movies for dr...moreI found this book while I was supervising my students in the library. I love to find a good "real" ghost story (not what is shown at the movies for drama) and this one gave some pretty good ones.
There were stories I'd never heard before. There are even a couple of ghostly photographs (I really hate when the authors claim there is a photograph but can't produce it). Phone numbers and websites are posted. The ghost stories do come from all over the world although the US is the most represented.
There were a couple of places which were mentioned which don't really seem to be ghostly or even paranormal (the catacombs of Paris) but lean more towards the freaky. Those disappointed me.
All in all a fine read with value for next year's expository/paranormal unit.(less)
Our PTA recently donated a whole bunch of books. Sharon M. Draper is one of my "gateway" authors, an author I can co...moreThis book was a hard book to read.
Our PTA recently donated a whole bunch of books. Sharon M. Draper is one of my "gateway" authors, an author I can count on to interest my students in reading. This book was on my list of books to read and to buy for my class but I'd never read it. When I saw it on the stack of donated books, I snatched it up.
It is a book about slavery during Colonial times. It doesn't deal much with abolition or any of the other traditional slave themes. Instead, it begins with a young free woman with a fiance and a fine future. The introduction is brutal. Before even beginning the first chapter, we find this woman in chains being sold at auction. The contrast hit me hard.
Sharon M. Draper is not graphic but she doesn't hold back either. The brutality and the casual violence are interwoven deep into slave life. At the same time, there is kindness and hope and dreams. One sailor teaches English during his time with the slave women; two otehr sailors take turns raping the slave women.
There are some huge coincidences in the lives of the slaves which eventually allow them to escape to Spanish Colonial America where freedom is granted to slaves who learn Spanish and become Catholic. These coincidences can be used to demonstrate that even though white women weren't formally enslaved, their lives were just as curtailed by white men.
I think that would probably be my only complaint. The slave women were fully developed characters, even as minor characters. With one exception, all white men were portrayed as mean and cruel. I can't think of a single slave man who was mean or cruel. The white women seemed to be quite maternal. Perhaps it's a bit too much of "the noble savage" stereotype for my liking but I know my students will love it.
I would not recommend this book for immature students or students whose parents are protective. I would probably recommend this book for mother-daughter reading groups.
I've recommended this book to several students for three reasons: the title is intriguing, the reading level is 7th grade, and the book is obviously A...moreI've recommended this book to several students for three reasons: the title is intriguing, the reading level is 7th grade, and the book is obviously African-American lit. I finally decided to read it myself. It's not quite what I expected.
The students really seem to like it but I found it rather bland. There's no real reason for the time travel to occur. Once in the past, Boy really doesn't learn much other than to gain some sympathy for slaves who didn't run away. I didn't see much growth in character so I was disappointed.
I'll continue to recommend the book and I'll be able to hold a decent conversation about it. On the whole, though, I wasn't impressed.(less)
I got this book from a buy-one get-one book sale at school. It was Christmas time and I wanted something uplifting to read over the two-week break. I...moreI got this book from a buy-one get-one book sale at school. It was Christmas time and I wanted something uplifting to read over the two-week break. I ended up forgetting it at school so it was waiting for me in January. I began reading it but... well, I'm not sure what happened but I didn't enjoy it so I put it aside for a while.
It sat on my desk for months. Then one day, I picked it up and began to re-read. And it inspired me. I don't know what I was missing in my first attempt at reading but, whatever it was, I got it now.
I'd love to introduce it to my middle school pre-AP class but some of the essays are too provocative for them. They won't understand some of the essays until they are older. I'm sure, though, I can pull a few out which they will grok.
I'm also considering using this series as my first books to send out into the world. I've already lent my copy to a friend who was intrigued by the barbecue essay and the letters NPR on the cover.
Read this book in dribs and drabs. Each essay is worth thinking about and chewing over.
For literary discussion groups, a discussion guide is included.(less)
Today was standardized testing day so I wanted something easy to read for my breaks. This one seemed to fit the bill: short with pictures and lots of...moreToday was standardized testing day so I wanted something easy to read for my breaks. This one seemed to fit the bill: short with pictures and lots of white space.
I read it easily in about half an hour. It made me laugh in a couple of places. It's really cute!
It has a 4th grade interest level. I would recommend this to a kid who likes baseball or UFO/alien stories.(less)
It was kind of nice to have a book written from a girl's point of view in the trilogy. I was afraid this book would be graphic but it wasn't. It was r...moreIt was kind of nice to have a book written from a girl's point of view in the trilogy. I was afraid this book would be graphic but it wasn't. It was respectfully written about a very scary time experienced by entirely too many women.(less)
This really isn't my kind of book. The target audience is teen and tween young men who are interested in gritty, realistic stories. And, thinking abou...moreThis really isn't my kind of book. The target audience is teen and tween young men who are interested in gritty, realistic stories. And, thinking about my male students, they probably will enjoy this book.
It's got fights. It's got sex. It's got drugs. It's got cussing. Basically, it has all the ingredients to intrigue a young man. I'm not a basketball fan so I had a hard time with some of the descriptions of the games.
I read Hoops because I know that Walter Dean Myers writes specifically for struggling readers. This book is right on target for them.(less)
OMG! For the first time, I finished a graphic novel!
Normally I find them boring and lacking. This one had me enthralled from the beginning. I loved th...moreOMG! For the first time, I finished a graphic novel!
Normally I find them boring and lacking. This one had me enthralled from the beginning. I loved the tale of the Monkey King in particular. I loved the way the three tales came together in the final pages. The art was beautiful and expressive.
When I have reluctant readers, this is the book I point them to. When I need to get a class interested in reading, I read the first chapter aloud to t...moreWhen I have reluctant readers, this is the book I point them to. When I need to get a class interested in reading, I read the first chapter aloud to them. It almost always works. Yet I had never read beyond chapter 2 - until now.
I can see where it would interest my students. It deals with so many of the issues they wrestle with: drugs, family, abuse. It's written in a language they understand with rich, vivid descriptions.
I read the first chapter yesterday to my students in 7th period when I had some time to kill. Today we went to the library. Three students checked out the entire trilogy. 'Nuff said.(less)
My students have told me for the last couple of years that this was a book I needed to read. It's not really my type of book but.... well, even my rel...moreMy students have told me for the last couple of years that this was a book I needed to read. It's not really my type of book but.... well, even my reluctant readers like this one. It would behoove me to read it.
I'm not sure what it is about this book but it touched me. sharon draper is a popular author with my students but this is the first time I've read one of her nonfiction books. I think that the book just lays the facts straight out without any embellishment. Kids die for no good reason. People's lives run awry for no good reason. Life's not all hunky-dory. There are times of doubt and times of struggle and times of success and times of failure. It's all there.
I have found a book to add to my collection of inspiration-to-stay-a-teacher-media; I found it just in time.
Even though the book was originally publis...moreI have found a book to add to my collection of inspiration-to-stay-a-teacher-media; I found it just in time.
Even though the book was originally published five years before I was born, teaching really hasn't changed that much. No surprise. Students haven't changed either.
I recognize entirely too much of the jargon. I recognize entirely too many of the statistics. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I also recognize the lesson she learned that I have to relearn: the students know when the teacher cares. The students are starving for love and affection. For too many of the students, they have no source available. They need to know someone cares.
As a teacher, it's safer and easier not to care. The students are only going to break our hearts and disappoint us, we tell ourselves. Isn't that the risk we decided to take when we entered the profession?
I'm glad I bought the book. I'm glad I got the book with library binding. I have the feeling I'll be reading this teaching classic often.(less)
I'd heard about Feed for a while. I think Donalyn Miller was the first to mention it at a librarian conference I attended in Dallas.
Feed deserves a mu...moreI'd heard about Feed for a while. I think Donalyn Miller was the first to mention it at a librarian conference I attended in Dallas.
Feed deserves a much higher rating than I gave it. The writing is good and disturbing, not quite what I was looking for in a light read for over the Christmas break. Coincidentally, I'd just listened to Taylor Mali's "Like, You Know" on youtube.com and as I read the first few chapters, I "heard" Taylor Mali" reading the book to me. MT Anderson captured teenage dialogue perfectly.
I would not use Feed in middle school at all. There's too much cursing in it and I know I'd have parents griping. Despite that, I wish I could give it to my students to read. "Feed" brings up several of the issues I fear for my students: mass consumerism, the low quality of daily vocabulary, the disconnect caused by being constantly connected.
I had a hard time placing the book. I wanted to place it as post-apocalyptic but it's not; it's apocalyptic. The world is in the process of dying... as are the humans who don't realize it yet. I guess it could be dystopian because it's a future I don't ever want to experience although it is set in the near future, my great-grandchildren's time. It's definitely science fiction, not fantasy.
I'd give Feed to older teenagers. It would be an excellent book for a literature circle. I've even thought about using a chapter or two for a Socratic Seminar. There's lots of food for thought in Feed, just not at Christmas time when I want light, happy books. :)(less)
Ugh! I had a great review going then I misclicked and lost it!
I was bored and chose a random book off my shelf. The challenge of reading Dog Wizard ca...moreUgh! I had a great review going then I misclicked and lost it!
I was bored and chose a random book off my shelf. The challenge of reading Dog Wizard came because it was third in a trilogy and it's been a long time since I read it. I think I need to re-read my Barbara Hamblys.
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy her books. They're thought-provoking. In this case, I found myself thinking a lot about the nature of geeks, nerds, and fears. How fears can keep us locked in a battle of non-acceptance and about how overcoming our fears can lead us to bigger and greater things (not necessarily better--sometimes the flop of failure is bigger and better, too). How stereotypes only show us the skin-deep person and prevent us from seeing a whole, three-dimensional person. Those are some pretty deep thoughts for a $4.99 book.
Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. Several years ago I discovered her Elemental Masters series at the library and spent the summer reading...moreMercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. Several years ago I discovered her Elemental Masters series at the library and spent the summer reading them. This book is one of her weakest.
Normally Mercedes Lackey is excellent at characterization, especially of her plucky orphans. Ninette is a classic plucky Lackey orphan. I like her grit and determination. I can even appreciate the despair which led her to so easily accept Thomas the magical, talking cat. And Thomas is a solid character. I enjoyed him. However, I was unable to determine the functions of the other male characters. Other than being Masters of different Elements, they're virtually interchangeable.
Other than growing more solid in her profession, there's no character growth through the book. Ninette, Nigel, etc. all stay the same. No one really learns any lessons. It's a very simple tale of good vs. evil and, frankly, evil really didn't have much of a reason to be evil. Evil was simply inherently evil.
I like the cat jokes but I find the other Elemental books more interesting than this one.(less)
**spoiler alert** I'm trying to get in the mood for a presentation I'm doing in January on African-American literature. I saw this on my class bookshe...more**spoiler alert** I'm trying to get in the mood for a presentation I'm doing in January on African-American literature. I saw this on my class bookshelves and realized that I'd not read it.
I like the honesty in the portrayal of the main character... but sometimes it was too honest for my eyes
I seriously had to consider whether I wanted to keep the book on my shelves when I realized what was going on about the "tiddies". I'd already had concerns when the main character kept going on and on about pee.
In a way, I have concerns about the voice of the character. I know that is how people think/talk; I hear it in my classroom daily. Does reading that type of language encourage students to continue using a dialect which will prevent them from achieving the success they want? Will they make the connection between the poverty and dialect?
At this point, the book has been on my shelves for 5 years. I doubt one student has even read it so the point is moot.
I have no idea who I'd recommend this book to.(less)