11.13.17 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #PAX by Sara Pennypacker

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

&

the titles we are currently reading.}

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


This week’s soundtrack:

Explosions in the Sky is one of my favorite bands to listen to while working and reading. We’ll see if you agree.

From IndieBound:

Description

National Book Award Longlist * New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be–with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

I need to confess: I didn’t want to read this book.

I’ve had it recommended to me.

I like the cover–why doesn’t love Jon Klassen illustrations?

But a story… told from the point of view of a fox? It sounded too much like a childish Disney tale.

Yet, for some reason, when one of my colleagues delivered it to my desk, I put it in my bag and brought it home… and started reading anyway.

It took about five pages to grip me, and it didn’t let go. This was far more than a cute animal tale. It was deep and serious–I wasn’t ready for that.


Both the fox’s and Peter’s chapters were mesmerizing. Maybe that it was told from third person POV instead of first helped. Peter’s interactions with Vola, a woman he meets on his journey, were my favorite. She had many words of wisdom to share, but not in a preachy way. She was soft spoken and truthful.

After finishing, I did a little more research about the author and the book. It was cool to learn about the research she did to learn about the mannerisms of foxes. Even in a fiction book, it’s important to make sure it’s accurate. You can learn more by listening to the show below.

Check out this radio segment about Pax from NPR. Tap to listen:


PERIOD 1&2 READ 12 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 8 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 11 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
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If my daughter can get it back from a friend she lent it to…

 

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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11.6.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #SOLO

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

&

the titles we are currently reading.}

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


This week’s soundtrack:

 

Description from IndieBound:

 

New York Times bestseller “A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review.. “.a rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll.” Booklist, starred review..”. many readers will identify with Blade’s struggle to find his place in a family where he feels like an outsider.” — PW (Publishers Weekly)”the authentic character development and tone will strike a chord with young adults.” – School Library Journal

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, comes Solo, a YA novel written in poetic verse. 

Solo tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, who knows the life of a rock star isn’t really about the glitz and glamour. All the new cars and money in the world can’t make up for the scathing tabloid covers or the fact that his father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun–including a desperate desire to make a comeback and regain his former fame. Haunted by memories of his mother–who died when Blade was nine–and the ruin his father’s washed-up legacy and life have brought to the family, Blade is left to figure out life on his own.

But, he’s not all alone: He’s got the friendship of a jazz-musician mentor, Robert; the secret love of a girlfriend, Chapel; and his music. All may not be well in the Morrison home, but things are looking up for Blade, until he discovers a deeply protected family secret–one that further threatens his relationship with his family and has him questioning his own identity.

Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He soon sets out on a journey that will change everything he thought to be true. His quest lands him in Ghana, stuck in a village just shy of where answers to the secret can be found. There, Blade discovers a friendship he couldn’t have imagined, a people founded in family and community, and a reconciliation he never expected.

With his signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, Kwame Alexander explores what it means to finally come home.

This was a tragically beautiful story. I enjoy the speed at which a novel in verse moves–the white space and the things left unsaid playing a huge role in the telling of the story.

I went on the roller-coaster ride of Blade’s life and what a ride it was. Carried along by the musical references and the playlist that Alexander and Hess created to go along with the book, I was mesmerized by where his journey took him. I can’t wait to create that playlist on Apple music and listen to it, remembering the different parts in the story.

If you are a Kwame fan—and if you aren’t already, this will likely make you one—you need to add this book to your collection.

And to think–I have a signed copy! (Thanks, Adam!)

And now…. a few words from Master Kwame:


PERIOD 1&2 READ 16 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 24 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 19 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm

 

 

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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11.3.17 {BOOKflix Friday} Infinity Ring Series

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Interested in time travel? Are you fascinated by how things that happen in the past affect the present… and the future?

Maybe you like the show TIMELESS.

This might be the perfect series for YOU!

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This series is a book, but also a game. The trailer is showing off the game, but also gives you a feel for the books.

 

 

There is also this SUPER COOL site that goes along with the books.

10.30.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

&

the titles we are currently reading.}

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


 How about that BILLS WIN!!!

DID you get your pumpkin carving in for the contest???

This week’s soundtrack:

Still working on it… See what I’m reading below!

 


PERIOD 1&2 READ 12 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 22 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 17 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm

 

 

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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10.27.31 {BOOKflix Friday} The Graveyard Book

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


My daughters love Halloween. Do you?

The imagery, tastes, and sounds of this time of year are awesome:

 

glass-of-cider trick-or-treat-nyc jack-o-lanterns-2048x2048-h download

 

And don’t forget our First Annual AlphaTeam AlphaTheme Pumpkin Carving Contest!

There is no better day to share…

It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack–who has already killed Bod’s family.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

 

You might be familiar with one of this author’s other books and the movie made from it:

 

I found another cool book cover:

 

One of the coolest things is that Neil Gaiman made available the videos of him reading the book aloud. Here is the playlist:

10.23.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? Save Me a Seat

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

&

the titles we are currently reading.}

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


This week’s soundtrack:

Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. 

Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. 

Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. 

Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common — but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week. 

 

I like this idea of taking control. It reminds me of being proactive—one of the habits we will be working on this year.

It’s always interesting to see how books that begin with two different points of view come together by the end. It was fascinating to see what it might be like to come to school in America from a different culture. What a shock to be in such a different setting. I think you’d enjoy this book and the realistic glimpse into a week in school. On top of that—there are recipes in the back of the book for some of the dishes that are mentioned inside. Very cool.

 

 


PERIOD 1&2 READ 13 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 23 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 15 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
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Kwame Alexander is the author of a couple of our favorite novels in verse. Perhaps you’ve seen these two…

I’ve had his new book Solo on my Books on Deck list here to read all year.

I was messaging with my high school friend Adam who lives in D.C.  It turns out he’s an acquaintance of Kwame’s… and he was able to get me THIS!

How cool is THAT?! Thanks Adam!

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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I got this for my daughter for her birthday.
Remind me to tell you what I said to her about it…
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10.20.17 {BOOKflix Friday} Wonder, Warcross

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


I hope you haven’t had enough WONDER in your life yet. Here is the second trailer they’ve released:
If you haven’t been joining us for WONDERlunch in Mrs. Bennett’s room, it’s not too late.
•••
From the author of the Legend trilogy…
Comes…

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game–it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships–only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

10.16.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #FEED

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

&

the titles we are currently reading.}

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


I’m always on the lookout for great wordless music to play in the background while we work. Maybe I’ll make this a new feature on the Monday post.

This week’s soundtrack:

Maybe I was able to finish this because it’s a bye week for the Bills and there wasn’t anything interesting being discusse on the radio.

This was a freaky and weird and interesting. Is this where our future is heading?

From the author’s site:

In a future world where internet connections feed directly into the consumer’s brain, thought is supplemented by advertising banners, and language has gone into a steep decline, a little love story unfolds. Titus, an average kid on a weekend trip to the moon, meets Violet, a brainy girl who has decided to try to fight the feed. Assaulted by a hacker who interrupts their connection, they struggle to understand what has happened to them – and to everyone around them.

In his National Book Award Finalist Feed, M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world – and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

National Book Award Finalist

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner

New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year

Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards – Honor Book

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

Chicago Public Library Best Books for Children and Teens

ALA (American Library Association) Best Books for Young Adults

Junior Library Guild Selection

Volunteer State Book Award Master List (Tennessee)

Riverbank Review Children’s Books of Distinction

Book Sense 76 Top 10 Picks

Horn Book Fanfare

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books – Bulletin Blue Ribbons

Booklist Editors’ Choice

Yes, it was really weird. But it was also thought-provoking. No, we don’t have a “FEED” in our brains, but we do have these computers we carry around in our pockets. Lift your head up sometime and look around whenever there are people sitting or standing around. Have you noticed that whenever people aren’t actively doing something, many of them take out their phones and check/scroll/tap? In lines. In restaurants. In cars. Perhaps this is the current version of the feed. Do you know about geofencing? Google Glasses? Perhaps this future is closer than we think…. Would you have your device implanted if you could?

This is more of a high school read—there is some mature content. Perhaps in a couple years you’ll want to give it a read or a listen and see how close we are to this future.

This is a good chance to mention my thoughts on audio books. Some are surprised that I allow them to count as books or pages towards the total. I certainly do!

But it’s like any other kind of book: it’s important to not read only one kind of book. I make sure that I’m physically reading as well. Just like I wouldn’t read solely graphic novels or illustrated novels, I won’t read solely audio books.

It is a great escape though—one that requires important and different skills.


PERIOD 1&2 READ 14 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 22 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 14 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
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Fun read from TWO POVs—both first person. I look forward to sharing this soon.

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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10.13.17 {BOOKflix Friday} Middle School: Worst Years… and James Patterson

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Patterson has a whole site that features his books. I bet there are a few here you haven’t heard of.

You may have seen this movie… but did you know it was a book first?

Tap HERE to get a look at the inside of book 1!

How closely does the movie follow the book? You tell me:

If you want to get to know Rafe better, here are some little clips of him and his opinionated self:
Don’t forget the rest of the series AND some other series that you may be interested in:

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10.10.17 It’s Tuesday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

&

the titles we are currently reading.}

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


We popped over to Rochester yesterday to visit my uncle. While there, I made a point to drive by my college, Roberts Wesleyan, where I got my undergrad degree to pick up a shirt to wear on our college days.


 

Love Actually meets Adventures in Babysitting in this hilarious novel written by seven authors about seven classmates who are preparing for a crazy night at their middle school dance.Lynnfield Middle School is prepped and ready for a dance to remember, including an awesome performance from Heart Grenade, the all-girl band who recently won a Battle of the Bands contest. Seven classmates–Carmen, Genevieve, Tess, Ryan, Ellie, Ashlyn, and Jade–intend to make the most of the night…or at least the five of them who are able to attend do. The other two would sacrifice almost anything to be there.One thing’s for sure–this entire crewis in for one epic night Gail Nall, Dee Romito, Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, and Jen Malone have created a charming, hilarious, and relatable novel that’s perfect for anyone who can’t wait to dance the night away.

It was cool to finally read the book that matched the trailer I made.

Now that I know the book, I may have done some different things to capture characters’ personality better. At the same time, the pictures I used were the ones the authors themselves chose for me to use. So….

I think it’s amazing how this group of authors worked together over great distances to write a book from seven points of view. How did they get them all to match up while writing separately? Pretty cool.

I was totally into this story from the beginning. The characters were so unique and captivating. And of course, the situations they found themselves in—or put themselves in—were crazy. And yet, so believable. I happened to be finishing this over the weekend my daughters went to homecoming and complained how lame it was. The dance in THIS book was anything but lame.

But I can’t tell you why. Just… TRUST me.

Word of advice: Keep the bookmark handy while you’re reading so you can keep track of the characters.

 


PERIOD 1&2 READ 12 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD5&6 READ 25 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 14 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm

and….????

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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Solo CoverScreen Shot 2017-03-06 at 3.13.51 PM