This is definitely a must-read by teachers, administrators, and librarians. I bought it on Thursday and finished most of it that day. Her message of f...moreThis is definitely a must-read by teachers, administrators, and librarians. I bought it on Thursday and finished most of it that day. Her message of free independent reading spoke to my heart as a reading teacher who embraced silent reading time with my classes and as a librarian who encourages students and teachers to come to the library any day any time. I've never met Donalyn Miller, but feel we are kindred spirits. Her conversational style of writing is easy to read and her obvious passion makes you want to transform your classroom and your students. Highly recommended. (less)
This was an impulse buy at my son's middle school book fair that turned out to be a fabulous read. Besides being a huge fan of time travel stories, th...moreThis was an impulse buy at my son's middle school book fair that turned out to be a fabulous read. Besides being a huge fan of time travel stories, this novel by Kerstin Gier hooked me from the beginning. The story flowed with enough information coupled with continued mystery to keep my undivided interest. Although it is similar to The Time Traveler's Wife with the idea of a person being genetically inclined to time-travel without a machine, I really enjoyed the twist to this story. The secret society complete with ancient mysteries always makes for a fun read, and I'm anxious to find out the origions of the chronograph used by the time-travellers. It has both ancient and modern elements, so where did it come from and who created it? I hope these questions will be answered in the next two books of the series. I would recommend this for 5th/6th grade and up. Although there is some fascination with kissing, the romantic elements within the book are treated with a level of innocence often not found in older YA literature.(less)
I'm not usually a big fan of end of the world and survivor stories, but this book had me hooked from the beginning with its very simple opening. I wan...moreI'm not usually a big fan of end of the world and survivor stories, but this book had me hooked from the beginning with its very simple opening. I wanted to know more about this boy Fisher and what was going to happen to him. He is the lone survivor of the Ark project designed to save the human species after the end of the world as we know it. Unfortunately something tries to destroy the Ark. Fisher is woken by a robot named Click and set on the path to rebuild human civilization. Having no clue how to do this and trying to escape the beings who want him dead, Fisher sets out on an adventure that ultimately leads him to search for other possible survivors. In the process he discovers more than he bargained for. Great read!(less)
What a fun read this was! I really enjoyed how the author incorporated different fairytales (12 dancing princesses and Beauty and the Beast) as well a...moreWhat a fun read this was! I really enjoyed how the author incorporated different fairytales (12 dancing princesses and Beauty and the Beast) as well as a little mythology to create this story. Reveka is a firey character who also shows compassion where it is least expected. She uses her knowledge of herbs and healing to try and break the curse of the 12 princesses. With many mishaps she finally uses the resources offered to her to follow the princesses on their nightly adventure. Along the way she picks up help from several unlikely sources and discovers that she may be the answer to more than just one problem affecting the land. Set in Eastern Europe, this story is lively and full of twists and turns. I can't wait for the sequel!(less)
This was an interesting story to read, but I didn't find myself totally drawn in as I usually do when I read. The story did hook me in the beginning,...moreThis was an interesting story to read, but I didn't find myself totally drawn in as I usually do when I read. The story did hook me in the beginning, but thefirst person style threw me off a bit. I found it difficult to identify with Breeze because her emotions seemed surface level only. I couldn't see any real depth to he feelings other than those of being an outcast and half-breed. I did like the underlying message of the book that it doesn't matter where you come from, you can accomplish amazing things if you put your mind to it. I also liked how the author addressed prejudice, but I agree with another reviewer who stated that things go too easy for Breeze throughout the book. When she is in trouble it is resolved very quickly and without much effort. This is very unrealistic and I believe made it more difficult for me to really relate to her as a person. Overall I enjoyed the storyline, but one read was enough. This won't be on my read again shelf.(less)
What an enjoyable read this was! I loved how the author added depth to the characters throughout the book. Just when you were sure you had one pegged,...moreWhat an enjoyable read this was! I loved how the author added depth to the characters throughout the book. Just when you were sure you had one pegged, there would be more revealed that offered further insight into the behaviors and attitudes of the character. I can see a David Eddings-like quality to this book (and future series) with a band of unlikely companions that go on seemingly random adventures with a single purpose tying them all together. I also like how Cantanese made each character vulnerable in some way. Although this vulnerability is not apparent at first, even the strong-willed sure-and-able characters have a flaw that hinders them. This makes each one seem more realistic. I can't wait to find out what happens next!(less)
Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to share your thoughts and ideas with others but just couldn't communicate them? Melody has lived h...moreHave you ever been in a situation where you wanted to share your thoughts and ideas with others but just couldn't communicate them? Melody has lived her entire life without ever being able to speak a single word. She also can't walk or feed herself because she has cerebral-palsy. The world simply assumes that she is retarded because she cannot communicate, but inside Melody is just bursting with words if she could only say them. Out of My Mind is a story of how the world often underestimates individuals with disabilities. The author does a fantastic job of drawing the reader into Melody's world where she struggles to reconcile her intelligence with the way others treat her. Rather than being a sad tale, this story speaks of struggle and overcoming challenges through determination as Melody works to make herself understood and accepted as an intelligent individual.
This book made me laugh, cry, and immediately share it with others! I highly recommend it to every classroom teacher, aide, and anyone else who works with special needs students, ELL students, or others who have difficulty expressing their true self to the world around them. (less)
The last book of the Beka Cooper trilogy did not disappoint! It was suspenseful with just the right amount of humor and a little extra romance. Defini...moreThe last book of the Beka Cooper trilogy did not disappoint! It was suspenseful with just the right amount of humor and a little extra romance. Definitely read the first two books before starting this one. Tamora Pierce does an excellent job of pulling you into the story and making the characters people you want to get to know better. I was disappointed that this was the last Beka Cooper story as I could happily keep reading about her adventures. Here's hoping that Pierce will start a new series in Tortall for us to enjoy!(less)
Sadie is a happy-go-lucky high school senior who has been experiencing weird emotional swings and can't understand what is happening to her. She meets...moreSadie is a happy-go-lucky high school senior who has been experiencing weird emotional swings and can't understand what is happening to her. She meets a boy and instantly falls for him after he saves her from an accident in the ocean. The rest of the book unveils the mystery behind Sadie's mood changes and weird experiences, and begins the romance between Rayne and Sadie. It was a fun read and I was instantly ready for the next book in the series when I finished. My only hesitation in giving five stars is that the dialogue was very simple and somewhat self-absorbed for most of the book. However, since the main character is a teenager, this is partly understandable. I did get a little tired of reading about the primping, shopping, and boy talk at parts, but the overall plot line as well as the romance between the two main characters kept me hooked. The ending definitely leaves you hanging, wanting to know more about what will happen to Sadie, how Rayne will juggle his oath with his feelings for Sadie, and the backstory about Sadie's father.(less)
This was a fun story about a girl who travels through time to save her friend Mitch. She meets an android from the future who helps her overcome the b...moreThis was a fun story about a girl who travels through time to save her friend Mitch. She meets an android from the future who helps her overcome the bad guys and ultimately save both Mitch and the future of the android. The book was a quick read and used classic time-paradox elements. I would definitely recommend it for grades three through six. (less)
This was an interesting book although it took me longer to read because of the narrative style. I usually love Robin McKinley's books and find them to...moreThis was an interesting book although it took me longer to read because of the narrative style. I usually love Robin McKinley's books and find them to be an entertaining read. In Dragonhaven McKinley completely captures the voice of a teenage boy. The problem is that the text and thought processes are disjointed and difficult to follow. Very little information is released in each chapter, but through lots and lots of words. It definitely reads like the blog of a teenager who is trying to work through memories, thoughts, and emotions. From an authenticity standpoint, the writing is amazing. From an ease-of-reading standpoint it is very difficult. I felt like my English teacher hat was on half of the time I was reading, and I found myself wanting desperately to correct the fluidity of the child's writing. Also, the epilogue was almost as long as the initial story. I was ready to finish the book, but it just kept going. Although I enjoyed this story, this isn't one that I will pick up and read over and over for pure enjoyment. However, I can definitely see picking out passages to use as examples of voice when teaching.(less)
As usual Mercedes Lackey has taken a beloved fairytale and given it an interesting twist. In the Five Kingdoms "Tradition" is an active force in the l...moreAs usual Mercedes Lackey has taken a beloved fairytale and given it an interesting twist. In the Five Kingdoms "Tradition" is an active force in the lives of the people, and only the godmothers, wizards, witches, sorcerers, and sorceresses can see this force and manipulate it for good or evil. This particular story merges Red Riding Hood with Beauty and the Beast. The Beast is actually a werewolf. He is a nobleman and is definitely cursed, but not because of his beastly behavior. Other forces are at work behind the Duke's werewolf problem, but no one knows what they could be. Belle is the daughter of a rich merchant and also has a stepmother and two stepdaughters. Her story could turn out to be another Cinderella, but she's not about to let that happen. On her way to "Grandmother's" house Belle meets up with the wolf with surprising results. A small bite forces her into hiding at the Duke's house while they wait to see if she will become a werewolf herself. During her exile, Belle learns that she might just be more than what any of them expected.
This was a fun story and I just loved how Mercedes Lackey kept twisting the story throughout the book until the very end. I never knew what to expect and just loved reading more to find out what would happen next!(less)
This is the first book in a new series by Nora Roberts. Once again she tells a story about the Montgomery family. These Montgomeries are carpenters an...moreThis is the first book in a new series by Nora Roberts. Once again she tells a story about the Montgomery family. These Montgomeries are carpenters and contractors - of course there are three brothers, which works so well for yet another trilogy series. But who can complain? Nora Roberts never disappoints no matter how many of the same conventions she uses over and over. Once again she shows an incredible amount of knowledge about the industry engaged in by the family. Whether it is cooking, gardening, interior decorating, or construction, Nora certainly does her research. Lots of descriptions about an old inn that is being restored fills much of the book and there are only really two steamy scenes between the two main characters. It was a fun read for me, even though I'm not a huge fan of the steamy scenes. There was enough sweet and awkward interaction between the hero and heroine with just a touch of paranormal to make me happy. There was also a side story/element that added a little bit of suspense to the main romance. Overall it was a good read, even if a bit predictable.(less)
This is the eighth book in the Young Wizards series. It continues the story of Nita, Kit, Ponch, and the other young wizards they've met on other worl...moreThis is the eighth book in the Young Wizards series. It continues the story of Nita, Kit, Ponch, and the other young wizards they've met on other worlds. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend you start with the first book and work your way to this one. Diane continues her story without any kind of prologue. There are brief references to events in the earlier books without any kind of recap of the sequence of events. In this story Nita, Kit, and the crew (including Kit's older sister Carmela) head out to discover what is happening with the dark matter in the universe. It seems to be growing and the elder wizards can't stop it. In fact, if the younger wizards can't stop it either, it may just be the end of the universe. As the dark matter grows and the universe expands like a balloon, wizardry no longer works as it should and the elder wizards forget that magic even exists. The younger wizards are completely on their own. Once again Nita, Kit and their friends must save the world from the Lone One's work. This story actually has two events. Just when you think the work is done and the universe is saved, you find out that there is yet another threat that must be handled before Earth is saved...for the moment. Just like the maid (or a mother), a wizard's work is never done.(less)