I’m here and busy!!!

David E.:

Please check out what I’m doing in Uganda….

Originally posted on Etkin Goes to Uganda with UWP #19:

Hello all!

I’m in the taxi van on the way back to home base, typing this on my iPhone Notes app. We are on our way back from our first extended trip to the countryside to both follow up on newly-installed tanks and do pre-site inspections for future tanks. The past three days had held so much—so many experiences—that I can’t capture them all. Here are some snippets.

IMG_6609.JPG

Generally, when a school knows we coming to visit and check on the new tank, they put on a welcoming ceremony. This starts with a welcoming speech, usually followed by student singing and cultural dancing, more speeches, and finally gifts for us. Gifts have consisted of bowls of fruit and vegetables—”finger” bananas (super sweet), mangoes, and the largest avacados you’ve ever seen. And chickens.

Yes, you read that correctly. Chickens. They were put in bags under the van seats. I’m sure they’ll…

View original 719 more words

6.13 {BookFlix Friday} #The5thWave

Today is

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can. Each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you—some new or recent, some teasers of upcoming books, and a few “classics”. Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!



This book has come up a couple times this week:

  1. I finished it on Sunday and shared it on Monday’s post.
  2. We analyzed a review of the book from Entertainment Weekly to see how magazine writing is different from school essay writing. Here is the markup showing what we found and annotated.
  3. A couple students from last year told me the they’ve read this and loved it.

Soooo…Straight from the author’s site, The Trailers:

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 6.50.44 AM

 

Book 2 is coming in September, followed by books 3 & 4.

6.9 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #The5thWave

A new week, a new batch of books—both finished and being read. Today is…

Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

20120117-111701.jpg 20120819-185816.jpg

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week & the titles we are currently reading.}

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AM

With summer and nice weather coming on, I’m starting an “Outside book” (“real” book) and an “Inside book” (digital book). Outside books are good for sun (no glare), pool, and bonfire (before it gets too dark). Inside books are good for low-light reading, reading in bed, reading in the middle of the night—and it’s also where I get to read my ARCs.
480 pages later I can come up for breath.
It’s the end of the world. The attack has come in waves—four, to be exact. And the Others want to finish the job and claim the planet for their own.
Fascinating back and forth between the two main characters, Ben and Cassie. It was awesome watching their struggle for survival and how they wrestled with the twists and confusions and chess match of knowing who to trust.
As always, there is a suspension of reality, not just due to invading aliens, but also the far-fetched odyssey on which the main characters embark. But that is what we read for.
Perhaps I’ll show the trailers on Friday.
Book 2 comes out in September.
Summary from IndieBound:
“Remarkable, not-to-be-missed-under-any-circumstances.”—Entertainment Weekly (Grade A)The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

What were PARENTS reading last week? Let’s check it out… 
(Thank you, commenters, for contributing to our book awareness. Reading is not a “school thing”.)

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

§
[Check back throughout the day for updates of my students' reading.]
These past week, my 1&2 Class read
15
My 6&7 Class read
16
My 9&10 Class read
12
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.08 AM
INSIDE BOOK:
TBA
OUTSIDE BOOK:
Monster
I’ve listened to a bunch of this on audio, but now I’m going to be having weekly discussions on the chapters with others on Facebook. Should be interesting.
Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 9.39.48 PM
Boys of Blur finally showed up on the library’s site. Guess who’s first in line?
Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 9.27.14 PM
 
Excited about this one after the trailer, reading reviews and hearing recommendations.
Just texted with Mrs. Dorobiala this weekend and decided that we’ll read this “together” in July. NICE!
 

Thanks,
David Etkin

6.6 {BookFlix Friday} #Elusion by @claudiagabel & @Cherylklam

Today is

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can. Each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you—some new or recent, some teasers of upcoming books, and a few “classics”. Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Description

Published on Mar 3, 2014

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, a visor, and a wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life. Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality. Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous—Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty . . . a decision that will affect the lives of millions. Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions. Buy now: http://www.epicreads.com/books/elusio…

5.29 #TBT The BOY PROJECT—a book for both genders

In honor of today’s Skype with author Kami Kinard, I wanted to do a blog version of #TBT (ThrowBack Thursday)—a THROWBACK blog post.

Since the post below, Kami has released the boy problem2Did you get to see the sweet video it inspired my students to create?

Kami even included it in her blog—and those are cupcakes that SHE sent to my students.

I’m looking forward to discussing writing and reading and books and ideas with my students and Mrs. Kinard.

Now… the #TBT post…


 

 

from 2.27.13

You want a chuckle? Click the following picture and watch the SpinCam. Pay special attention to the first 5 readers and their books (moving clockwise). No–really–go do it. I’ll be here when you finish….

Thumbnail_large

You’re back. Good. Did you see what I saw?

A bunch of boys holding a very feminine-looking purpley-pink book.

http://www.kamikinard.com/home

“Weird,” you say? No, not really. Here’s the quick story….

But first, the trailer:

Over the summer my student Maddie (now a seventh grader… I miss her) returned her Summer Vacation is for Reading postcard. One of the books she listed was The Boy Project by Kami Kinard. I wrote the post (linked above) and found Ms Kinard on Twitter (@kamikinard) to tell her about it. She contacted me and sent me some cool book swag—bracelets, bookmarks, magnets, and temp tattoos. NICE! So I bought a couple copies of the book for the new school year, put on a book swag sticker I made, and put them on my HotReads shelf.

20130228-104012.jpg

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 3.55.35 PM

A couple girls in my B class saw it and were interested right away. The sweet bracelet that the got after reading it didn’t hurt, either. Then it got passed around to a bunch more of their friends. Next I heard, they got in trouble in cheerleading practice for talking about a book! (If you missed the sweet irony, read that last sentence again. Though I don’t condone getting in trouble anywhere… that’s pretty awesome.)

When it came time for the teachers to choose the 10 books for our annual Battle of the Books, a few of these students lobbied for The Boy Project to be included.

And it was.

Which takes us to my post on Monday where I shared that I read the book over February vaca (though I was not bold enough to read it in public at the indoor water park–I have my limits). Yeah, I LOLd a bunch and liked the book plenty (you can see my comments on the post). And perhaps that, along with a few classmates who were giving it a go, was enough to get a few other boys interested.

There are no girl books.

There are books.

There are books written about girls.

There are book written by “girls”.

But there are no girl books.

Read on!

5.27 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TheTesting #TheAbsolutelyTrueDiary

A new week, a new batch of books—both finished and being read. Today is…

Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

20120117-111701.jpg 20120819-185816.jpg

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week & the titles we are currently reading.}

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AM

With summer and nice weather coming on, I’m starting an “Outside book” (“real” book) and an “Inside book” (digital book). Outside books are good for sun (no glare), pool, and bonfire (before it gets too dark). Inside books are good for low-light reading, reading in bed, reading in the middle of the night—and it’s also where I get to read my ARCs.
This week’s OUTSIDE BOOK:
You want intense? Here it is. This is Survivor—but in this dystopian future, losing doesn’t mean you get to go home. Losing could mean death.
And yes, friends: People die in this book.
Don’t get too attached. Prepare to lose any character. Prepare for twists. Prepare to trust no one.
Though this does have echoes of Hunger Games and Matched and Maze Runner and Divergent, it is interesting enough to hold one’s attention and not come off as a copycat.
Now—to get my hands on the next two books in the trilogy.
Here is the trailer in case you missed it:
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? 

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one. 

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
INSIDE BOOK:
I didn’t have a book ready to go on my iPad so I searched what was available on the public library site. I don’t read any old thing, but look for a book that is on my VERY long TBR list.
Here it is.
I didn’t know much about it, except that it is highly recommended… and also one of the frequently-banned books. That’s a combination to get my attention.
This book was fascinating… and sad and funny and tragic and glorious and triumphant.
Got that? All those emotions live in this book.
Junior is an awesome, sincere narrator and story-teller. I’d recommend reading this when you make it to high school.
Description

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie’s YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

 
What were PARENTS reading last week? Let’s check it out… 
(Thank you, commenters, for contributing to our book awareness. Reading is not a “school thing”.)

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

§
[Check back throughout the day for updates of my students' reading.]
These past week, my 1&2 Class read
13
My 6&7 Class read
11
My 9&10 Class read
14
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.08 AM
INSIDE BOOK:
OUTSIDE BOOK:
TBA
I’ve listened to a bunch of this on audio, but now I’m going to be having weekly discussions on the chapters with others on Facebook. Should be interesting.
Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 9.39.48 PM
Boys of Blur finally showed up on the library’s site. Guess who’s first in line?
Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 9.27.14 PM
 
Excited about this one after the trailer, reading reviews and hearing recommendations.
 

Thanks,
David Etkin

5.19 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TheJulianChapter

A new week, a new batch of books—both finished and being read. Today is…

Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

20120117-111701.jpg 20120819-185816.jpg

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week & the titles we are currently reading.}

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AM

This was a fascinating look at the backstory of Wonder. Who is this boy Julian who gave Auggie such a hard time? Why did he act the way he did? Is there hope for a kid so uncaring? Follow Julian on a difficult path of self-discovery. 
This companion to Wonder is a must-read… Palacio deftly takes what we know and twists it this way and that to give us a fuller understanding of what makes people tick. Which is why I’m reading it aloud to my students.
What were PARENTS reading last week? Let’s check it out… 
(Thank you, commenters, for contributing to our book awareness. Reading is not a “school thing”.)

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

§
[Check back throughout the day for updates of my students' reading.]
These past week, my 1&2 Class read
10
My 6&7 Class read
9
My 9&10 Class read
17
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.08 AM
I’ve had my eyes on this one for a while. Lots of overlaps with other Dystopian trilogies. Charbonneau was generous enough to provide me with ARCs of The Testing and some cool bracelets last year. It’s time I read this. The third book comes out June 17.
Still picking this up when I need some comic relief. It reminds me a lot of Calvin and Hobbes.
I’ve listened to a bunch of this on audio, but now I’m going to be having weekly discussions on the chapters with others on Facebook. Should be interesting.
Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 9.39.48 PM
Boys of Blur finally showed up on the library’s site. Guess who’s first in line?
Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 9.27.14 PM
 
Excited about this one after the trailer, reading reviews and hearing recommendations.
 

Thanks,
David Etkin

5.14 {Whatever Wednesday} The new WONDER companion: The Julian Chapter + CCA Kids

Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’: a cool quote or poster, a video, or simply a picture.

Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.
__________________________________________

Yesterday, that long-awaited companion to Wonder came out.

That’s right. We finally get to hear from the silent Julian. I snatched it up in the morning on Kindle and started reading it aloud to my students. Of course, I had to show the trailer for Wonder first…

Why did author R.J. Palacio write this?

Check out this interview with Ms. Palacio on Slate.com. (Beware… there are spoilers…)

After reading the first handful of pages of this new book—and seeing how Julian reacts to seeing Auggie for the first time (“Dude! Dude! Dude! Dude!”),  I wanted to share with my students a little of what I know about Auggie’s craniofacial differences. Most of what I know I learned from Dede Dankelson (@ddankelson) and CCA. CCA is the Children’s Craniofacial Association. It has been in existence for 25 years to assist and support children and the families of children dealing with syndromes like Auggie. It is no surprise that Wonder has been embraced and supported by the CCA community.

How busy is CCA? Check out their newsletters which can be viewed as PDFs.

It is pretty clear from their site how important Wonder is to them (http://www.ccakids.com/wonder-4-schools.html) and there are some cool resources here, too. (Whoa—I just realized my name is on this page!) Please have a look. Buy books and bracelets. Support Wonder and “Real Life Auggies” at CCA. If you search around, you can even meet Dede’s son, Peter.

After doing some research, It seems like Auggie has something closely resembling Treacher Collins syndrome. Palacio intentionally made her description and the naming of the syndrome unclear, but this gives us a peek at what Auggie has to deal with—and what others see when they look at him. These can be shocking images. ChooseKIND.

Mr. Tushman had it right when he was talking to Julian, Jack, and Charlotte in this book. He said, “There’s no rule book that tells you how to act in every given situation in life, you know? So what I always say is that it’s always better to err on the side of kindness. That’s the secret. If you don’t know what to do, just be kind. You can’t go wrong.”

5.12 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #EveryDay #LifeBeforeLegend

A new week, a new batch of books—both finished and being read. Today is…

Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

20120117-111701.jpg 20120819-185816.jpg

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week & the titles we are currently reading.}

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AM

The premise of this book is fantastically mind-bending novel. Imagine waking up each day in a new body—a hijacked body.
Unpredictable, right?
And scary.
And joyous?
It can be, when you meet someone you fall in love with. But what happens when you wake up in a different body the next day. How do you keep that relationship going? Again…and again….
Fascinating read. I was totally captivated to the end.
[For mature readers.]
Here is the summary:
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall ’12 Kids List
“Caught in the inexplicable fate of awakening each day in a different person’s body, ‘A’ has accepted his destiny. He is able to access the details of the life of the inhabited individual and can lead his or her life, but ‘A’ has never wished to return to any of them. This changes when he meets Rhiannon. Suddenly, there is a reason to question and alter his circumstances. With this intriguing premise, Levithan explores what it means to be human, and where compassion and understanding are rooted. Captivating and romantic.”
– Mary Alice Garber, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC

Description

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a “wise, wildly unique” love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

 It was cool to read part of the story before the story of the trilogy I enjoyed so much. June and Day were unique, spirited, and determined even three years before the official Legend began. This was a lot of fun. Since it was available as part of Erie County Public Library’s e-content, anyone with a library card can get it for free.
BONUS!
What were PARENTS reading last week? Let’s check it out… 
(Thank you, commenters, for contributing to our book awareness. Reading is not a “school thing”.)

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

§
[Check back throughout the day for updates of my students' reading.]
These past week, my 1&2 Class read
20
My 6&7 Class read
9
My 9&10 Class read
14
Look at all these smiling faces… and books. Is this really FACEBOOK?
Click each circle to see the whole picture.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.08 AM
Look what comes out on Tuesday…
That’s right—for those who enjoyed Wonder (I’M one of them), here is the untold story of Julian. Julian the bully. Julian the jerk.
What was his side of the story?
This should be interesting. It’s available as an e-book for $1.99.
I’ll be getting it.
Still picking this up when I need some comic relief. It reminds me a lot of Calvin and Hobbes.
I’ve listened to a bunch of this on audio, but now I’m going to be having weekly discussions on the chapters with others on Facebook. Should be interesting.
Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 9.39.48 PM
Excited about this one after the trailer, reading reviews and hearing recommendations.
 

Thanks,
David Etkin

5.9 {BookFlix Friday} #Alienated

Today is

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can. Each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you—some new or recent, some teasers of upcoming books, and a few “classics”. Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!



Description

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life-not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.