IMWAYR 3.14.16

monday

What I’ve read recently:

everything everything

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

YA Contemporary Fiction, 2015, 320 pages

My Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book is very intriguing and unique. A teenage girl lives with her mother and has a very rare disease. Madeline is basically allergic to the outside world and has not left the house in many years. Her daytime nurse, Carla, who checks her vitals regularly, is her best (and only) friend. Her days all run together until a new family moves in next door and Madeline meets Olly, a lanky teenager who after a series of events and Carla’s blessing, comes inside for a face to face meeting. I look forward to reading more books by Nicola Yoon in the future.

Currently in my TBR pile:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.28.15 #IMWAYR

IMWAYR

I’m baaaaaack! It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted here, but today my students will be posting their first IMWAYR posts, so I have no excuses! While I am 22 books behind my Goodreads reading goal right now, I have had read some pretty good books lately, and here are a few of them!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Be sure to click on the covers for an in depth synopsis and others’ reviews

2 a night divided

A Night DIvided by Jennifer Nielsen

MG Historical Fiction, August, 2015
384 Pages

My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars

Everything Jennifer Nielsen writes is awesome. The False Prince trilogy is probably my favorite middle grade series. She writes characters so well and A Night Divided is another example of a book with characters that jump off the page. I haven’t read a lot of books about the Cold War and Berlin Wall so I was intrigued by the interesting subject matter. This story is told from twelve year old Gerta’s perspective and centers around the Wall being put up one night when her father and brother are away, and now half of her family is on the East side and 2 others on the West. The conditions on the East side are terrible and Gerta and her brother Fritz long to be reunited with their father and escape to the West. Time is running out and they are forced to make some big decisions. Highly recommend this book!!

crossing stones

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

Historical Fiction Novel Written in Verse, 2009
184 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
My seventh graders will soon be undertaking a very big study of novels in verse (Surprise, 3rd and 6th period!) and I am still looking for good titles. I love Helen Frost’s structured verse and am in awe as I read her books. She is very talented! This novel takes place in a rural setting around two families that live near each other. Their lives are intertwined and World War I and the Women’s Suffrage Movement force the family to face an ever changing world. The whole story takes place around nine months of their lives. I wasn’t sure the subject matter and time period would be interesting, but I fell in love with these characters and Helen Frost’s beautiful words. Timeless themes of family, war, and growing up are relevant to all readers.

hello googdbye

Hello, Goodbye and Everything by Jennifer E. Smith

YA Contemporary Fiction, September, 2015
246 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars

Jennifer E Smith is another favorite author of mine. I highly recommend The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Geography of You and MeHello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is another great book about teen relationships and this one centers around one night, which I was a little hesitant about at first. 250 pages about one night? It definitely works. Clare and Aiden, the golden couple, are headed off to college the next morning. Two different colleges on opposite sides of the country. While Clare has prepared a walk down memory lane for the couple, both have bigger things to figure out. Should they make a clean break or should they continue their relationship, long distance? This book had me laughing out loud at times and is pretty adorable!

I’m hoping to pick up A Night Divided  and Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between at our school’s upcoming book fair in November. Not sure I can wait that long to get them for our classroom, but we’ll see.

Here’s what I’m reading next:

countdownrevolution2

Have a great week! ♥

(All pictures are from goodreads.com)

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 3/23/15 #IMWAYR

IMWAYR

Not much happening reading wise right now, but I have two titles to share with you. Spring break is right around the corner so very, very soon I will be in reading heaven for a whole week and have a lot of books to share!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Be sure to click on the covers for an in depth synopsis and others’ reviews

pieces of georgia

Pieces of Georgia by Jen Bryant

MG Realistic Fiction novel in verse, 2006
166 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
My colleague and I wrote a grant this month for novels written in verse and this is one of them. It is a sweet story about Georgia McCoy and her father dealing with the death of Georgia’s mother. Both are deeply hurt and have trouble communicating. Georgia’s counselor asks her to keep a diary and she ends up writing to her mom. She is a talented artist and is encouraged to create a portfolio for a local program for young artists. Through her writing and art she starts to find her way.

nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Historical Fiction, 2015
448 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I am a huge Kristin Hannah fan. I have read all of her books and was so excited when I got approved on Net Galley to read The Nightingale. Holy cow is this book AMAZING. It starts in France during 1939, and is told from two sisters’ points of view – Vianne and and Isabelle, who are some of the most remarkable characters I have ever come across. Vianne is a mother, who’s husband is sent to the front lines, and is left with a house to run and dangerous choices to make. Isabelle who has been kicked out of countless boarding schools is a rebel with a chip on her shoulder. No one thinks France is going to be invaded, but as we all know, it is, and what these characters go through is gut wrenching and you seriously will not be able to even think about putting it down. I don’t want to spoil any of the book for you, and really hope you’ll read this one. It has one of the highest ratings on Goodreads I have ever seen, I really hope you will take my advice and read it!

That’s all for this week. Happy reading everyone!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 3/2/15 #IMWAYR

IMWAYR

Lately, I’ve been reading some great books on Net Galley and borrowing books from my students. It’s been a good reading week!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Be sure to click on the covers for an in depth synopsis and others’ reviews

under a painted sky

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

YA Historical Fiction, Release Date: 3/17/15
384 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I haven’t read many YA novels that take place in 1849 and on the Oregon Trail. Ok, I don’t think I’ve read any, but I’m glad I found this one! This gorgeous hooked me from the start. Samantha and her father are Chinese immigrants in unfriendly and unfamiliar territory. After a suspicious fire, Samantha is left alone with nowhere to go. Her father’s landlord offers her a place to stay, but after a very scary situation, she is forced to leave town with Annamae, a slave who is desperate to head out West,  with little more than what they can carry. They decide to disguise themselves as “Sam” and “Andy” and when they meet a group of cowboys, things get really interesting. This is one of the best books with the theme of “friendship” I’ve read in awhile. I loved it! I was surprised there were almost 400 pages, because I flew through it, needing to know what was going to happen next. The group gets themselves in some pretty interesting situations, and the ending is pretty intense! I really, really would have been fine with 300 more pages. Excellent book and I highly recommend!

my best everything

My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

YA Contemporary Fiction, Release Date: March 3, 2015
400 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
Isn’t this cover really cool too? It’s one of my favorites that I’ve ever seen. Lulu has just finished high school and is headed as far away as possible from the small Virginia town she grew up in. Unfortunately, after some financial issues, money for college isn’t there anymore and her dream is crushed. Desperate, Lulu convinces her two best friends and brand new crush to sell moonshine around town to make her dream of escaping a reality. I was caught a little off guard by the moonshine plot twist, but it’s really well done and perfect for the setting and characters. I loved Lulu and her friends. The whole book is a letter to Lulu’s crush, Mason, and as the reader you’re not sure if it’s a love letter or a goodbye letter. I was a little frustrated with the somewhat open ending, but that’s just me, needing loose ends tied up. Would like more by this author. Good book. Definitely recommend!

Unlocked

Unlocked by Ryan G. Van Cleave

YA Contemporary, written in verse, 2011
176 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 2/5 Stars
Andy is at the bottom of the high school food chain. His dad is the school’s janitor, he has no friends, and is frequently picked on. There’s a rumor going on around school that Blake, a fellow student, has a gun in his locker. To impress a girl, Andy steals his dad’s keys and decides to find out if the rumor is true. After a series of events, Andy and Blake become friends and everything goes downhill. This book focuses on bullying and school violence and is pretty intense.

cant look away

Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Contemporary YA Fiction, 2014
272 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
One of my students bought this title at the book fair we recently had and I asked if I could borrow it when she was finished. I highly recommend doing this no matter what the book is. It instantly shows the student you value their reading choices and it opens up a great opportunity for dialogue. Can’t Look Away’s protagonist is Torrey Grey, a You Tube star, famous for her beauty and fashion videos. She has a cult following, and when tragedy strikes her family, Torrey’s world is turned upside down – online and in real life. She and her parents move, and she is thrown into a new high school, with new rules and new mean girls to contend with. While the least of her worries is not being recognized, Torrey has a lot to deal with and a long way to go to realize what is really important. This book has great teen reader appeal. While it wasn’t my favorite book I’ve ever read, I’m glad I read it because it led to several conversations with a student reader in class, in the hallway and now we have a bond over a book and that won’t ever go away.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 2/23/15 #IMWAYR

IMWAYR

Thanks to Mother Nature’s tight grip on Ohio this past week, I have been on an almost week long hiatus from school. Extra time = reading time! It’s been awesome and I feel like I’ve finally got my reading groove back. Hope it’s here for awhile!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Be sure to click on the covers for an in depth synopsis and others’ reviews

odette's secrets

Odette’s Secrets by Maryann MacDonald

Historical Fiction Novel, written in verse, 2013
240 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
Odette and her parents are non practicing Jews that live in Paris. Their lives are turned upside down after her father enlists in the army, is captured and sent to a camp. Odette is sent to live and hide in the country and has to adapt to a completely new way of life. I enjoyed this novel in verse and think it would give middle school students a good perspective of a child’s struggles during WWII in a place other than Germany.

hidden

Hidden by Helen Frost

Realistic Fiction Novel, written in verse , 2011
160 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
Wren Abbot is in the wrong place at the wrong time. She stays in her mother’s van while her mother goes inside a gas station, and the van is stolen. The van is stolen by Darra Monson’s father, and he doesn’t know anyone else is in the vehicle. When Darra’s dad hides the van in his family’s garage, Wren finds herself trapped. Wren manages to escape and the two girls lives are instantly intertwined and never the same again, especially after they meet years later at summer camp. I really liked this book and found the alternating viewpoints fascinating.

this one summer

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

YA Graphic Novel, 2014
320 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
This One Summer won both a Caldecott Honor and a Printz Honor, which is pretty interesting. This coming of age story centers around Rose and her family’s yearly trip to the beach.  Most of the book is really sad and full of family secrets and Rose trying to figure out life and growing up. While I found some spots a little slow, the artwork in this book is beautifully done.

and we stay

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Contemporary YA Fiction, written in verse  2015
240 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
And We Stay is another 2015 Printz Honor book and I loved it. Emily is shipped off to a prestigious boarding school after her ex boyfriend threatens her in the school library one day and takes his own life. Her new school is Amherst College, where famed and tortured poet Emily Dickinson lived. Emily is forced to come to terms with what happened and move on with her life. Easier said than done. This book is very well written. The combination of flashbacks, present time and poems from Emily Dickinson intertwined into the storyline were beautiful. This is a really sad book but I think it was an excellent choice for a Printz honor. Highly recommend!

fish in a tree

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Middle Grade Fiction, 2015
288 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
This book has had so many fans from the start that I knew I had to read it. Talk about a heartwarming book for teachers and students! Ally is a super smart young lady, but she can’t read. She is too embarrassed to ask for help, her teacher and principal think she is a trouble maker and she is constantly picked on by the mean girls. Her dad is deployed, her mom works all the time and her brother has his own frustrations. It isn’t until Mr. Daniels, a long term substitute, comes to Ally’s class that things begin to change for her. I got choked up so many times while reading this book. It is so, so special. I loved the friendship between Ally, Albert and Keisha, and think this is right up there with Wonder, Counting By 7’s and Mockingbird, which are all books that hold a special place in my heart. Highly recommend!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 6/2/14

IMWAYR

Bam! Two weeks of #IMWAYR in a row! Summer is so close and I am back to blogging on a much regular basis. I read a lot of great books this week, so check them out!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Here’s what I’ve read lately:

(Click on the book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

Please excuse the formatting issues in this post! WordPress and I are apparently not getting along, and I will figure it out before next week. Thanks!

 

one came home

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
2013
MG Historical Fiction Mystery
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I picked up this book at the spring book fair solely on the fact that it takes place in my home state, Wisconsin. I was pleasantly surprised that this book is AWESOME! It takes in the late 1800’s, and there are tons of pigeons nesting in the town of Placid (love that name). Weird, right? The main character Georgie is a sure shot with a rifle and speaks her mind, almost to a fault. Love this main character, the mystery surrounding her sister’s whereabouts and the journey she takes to find her sister. I plan to read this aloud to my students next year for sure!!
alice in zombieland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter
2012
YA Fantasy / Horror
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Two things you should know about me – 1. I don’t like anything zombie related. 2. I have never been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. This is another example of a book I wasn’t expecting to enjoy, but I picked it up because it looked like it had major student appeal. I ended up not being able to put it down and read it in two days!  It reminds me a little bit of the Shiver series, but with zombies. While there were a couple lines of cringe worthy dialogue from a teacher’s perspective, this is a great story and will be a hit in my library. I have already requested book #2 from my local library and plan to purchase it before school starts up again.

just one night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just One Night (Just One Day 2.5) by Gayle Forman
2014
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I’ve had mixed feelings about this series. I loved Just One Day  and thought Just One Year was just ok, but was very happy that Just One Night wrapped up this series very nicely. It was pretty much the perfect ending that a reader hopes for in a series like this. Good stuff! Well worth the 99 cents.

 

city of heavenly fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
2014
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating 5/5 Stars
It is with a heavy heart that I include this book in this week’s post, because it means that the series is over. I can’t believe it! I have said before that I never ever thought I would like this series and had the first book in my TBR pile for months. Once I dove in, I could not get enough of Clary, Jace, Simon and the rest of the memorable characters and storyline that Cassandra Clare has masterfully constructed. City of Heavenly Fire is 725 pages long and is 725 pages of awesomeness. Seriously. I plan to write a post on my love for this series very soon.

Here’s What I Plan to Read Next:

clockwork angel

prisoner b-3087

through the zombie glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that I’m finished with the TMI series, I plan to read the prequel series – The Internal Devices. There are 3 books in the series. I also have a few books in my summer TBR pile already, and Prisoner B-3087 is one of them. I also hope to pick up Through the Zombie Glass early this week, too.

Happy Reading, everyone!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 5/26/14

IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Yikes! It has been a loooooong time since I’ve shared what I’ve been reading. This post will be a little longer than usual, but now that school is almost over I will be reading and blogging a lot more frequently!

Here’s what I’ve read lately:

(Click on the book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

 

city of lost souls

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Claire
2011
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
Another amazing book in this series! I cannot get enough of these books. Looking forward to purchasing the last book, City of Heavenly Fire, on Tuesday when it comes out and starting the Infernal Devices series on summer break.

 

cress

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
2014
YA Science Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5
The Lunar Chronicles  is one of my favorite series that I have ever read, and I think Cress  is my favorite of the three books. If you haven’t read Cinder yet, you probably should add it to your summer reading list immediately.

key to kashdune

Key to Kashdune (sequel to Aesop’s Secret) by Claudia White
2014
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Key to Kashdune is a great follow up to Aesop’s Secret and I really enjoyed it. Great characters and interesting, magical story lines!

 

good luck of right now

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
2014
Adult Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 4/5 Stars
I love Matthew Quick’s books and think he is a master at writing characters. This book is no exception. Quirky characters x infinity and unique settings make for another great book by this fantastic author!

 

catch a falling star

 

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
2014
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 4/5 Stars
This book reminds me very much of This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Small town girl meets mega movie star hottie. Fans of books by Smith and Elizabeth Eulberg will like this one a lot!

days of blood and starlight

Days of Blood and Starlight (sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor
2012
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating 5/5 Stars
This series is above and beyond anything I’ve ever read in the YA fantasy genre. I listened to the first half or so of this audiobook before finishing the ebook version and I highly recommend reading the series with your ears. Amazing narrator! I am putting off reading the last book, Of Gods and Monsters, because I love these characters and their fantasy world so much.

slated

 

Slated  (Slated #1) by Teri Terry
2012
YA Science Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 4/5 Stars
A weird book about teenagers getting their minds erased that caught me by surprise. I almost abandoned this one, but stuck with it and really liked it. I think fans of The Adoration of Jenna Fox would really like this one.

the one

The One (Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
2014
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating 2/5 Stars
I love The Selection series and was so looking forward to seeing how the trilogy ended. I had high hopes for this book, but thought that the last 40 or so pages were a bit sloppy, jumbled and thrown together. I am glad to see that so many others loved it and it is very popular in my classroom. Looking forward to more from this author!

I heart you you haunt me

I Heart You, You Haunt Me  by Lisa Schroeder
2008
YA Fantasy, written in verse
My Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
Cool book that I really enjoyed. The story sucks you in and you won’t want to put it down. I really need to invest some time searching for more books written in verse and adding them to my library.

Popular_comp9.indd

Popular: Vintage Wisdom For a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
2014
YA Memoir
My Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
Cute story about a teenager that uses a book from the 1950’s to try to achieve popularity. While as a teacher I cringed while reading about the writer’s school and fellow students, I thought it was a cool concept and can’t wait to see who plays Maya in the movie version that is already in the works. 

viola in reel life

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
2009
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads rating 4/5 Stars
I have read a lot of Trigiani’s books and always enjoyed them. This is the first YA book I have read from her and it was pretty good. I liked the characters and setting and think that I’ll have a lot of female students that enjoy this one.

ruined 1

Ruined (Ruined #1) by Paula Morris
2009
YA Mystery
My Goodreads rating 4/5 Stars
I wasn’t sure if I could get into this one, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I loved the setting of New Orleans and getting wrapped up in all the history of the families, houses and neighborhoods and folklore. Awesome book that I definitely recommend! 

Here’s what I plan to read next: (Click on the cover for more info from Goodreads)

alice in zombielandone came home

city of heavenly fire

Happy Reading!