5.22.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #IMWAYR

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!


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Overview from BN

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Reading this was like watching some of my favorite shows or movies where people are on the run and trying fight back against a stronger, evil power.

Except this time, the evil power is the government.

Yes, this is fictional. The title is a play on 1984 by George Orwell. In that classic book, the government is known as Big Brother and is always on the lookout, always watching. Here, Little Brother refers to the main character and others like him who have their eye on the government.

The book got technical in some points, explaining codes and breaking them, and the history of the different types of technology. Honestly, that made it all seem more realistic and possible.

There are some mature elements in this that make it more appropriate for high schoolers. But I hope in the future you will read–or listen to–this book.

There is a sequel that I might read over the summer:

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

Let’s take a look to see if any parents commented on last week’s IM! WAYR? post.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…

PERIOD 2&3 READ 22 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 18 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

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Tap to read

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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5.15.17 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #StillLifeWithTornado

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!


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FIRST!

Remember the “What don’t kill you makes you stronger” song I played you? It’s by a band called NEED TO BREATHE.

We went to see them on Saturday night and recorded part of that song for you.

CHECK IT OUT!

tap to view video

•••

A heartbreaking and mindbending story of a talented teenage artist’s awakening to the brokenness of her family from critically acclaimed award-winner A.S. King.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah can’t draw. This is a problem, because as long as she can remember, she has “done the art.” She thinks she’s having an existential crisis. And she might be right; she does keep running into past and future versions of herself as she wanders the urban ruins of Philadelphia. Or maybe she’s finally waking up to the tornado that is her family, the tornado that six years ago sent her once-beloved older brother flying across the country for a reason she can’t quite recall. After decades of staying together “for the kids” and building a family on a foundation of lies and domestic violence, Sarah’s parents have reached the end. Now Sarah must come to grips with years spent sleepwalking in the ruins of their toxic marriage. As Sarah herself often observes, nothing about her pain is remotely original–and yet it still hurts.

Insightful, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful, this is a vivid portrait of abuse, survival, resurgence that will linger with readers long after the last page.
It’s hard to know what to say about his one, except…Wow. I really like A.S. King’s writing.

Sometimes I start a book and I feel a little lost. I’m not quite sure what’s going on. Usually I press on, knowing that the author is doing this on purpose. The point is to continue reading and unravel the mystery. In this case, having just read a different A.S. King book, I knew I trusted the author enough to press on. Honestly, pressing on while listening was easier than while reading. The fact that it was so highly recommended helped, too.

A New York Times 2016 Notable Children’s Book
A News & Observer Best Book of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016
A Booklist Best Book of 2016
Booklist Top of the List 2016
A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2016
A BookPage Best Teen Book of 2016
A Bustle Top 30 YA Book of 2016
A Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year

I’m so glad I did. This was another captivating book. It took a turn towards fantasy in a surprising way (not spoilers here!), but all while dealing with very real issues: the brain’s ability to block out painful memories, marriage issues, and domestic violence. This got serious quickly.

I thought it was interesting that small chapters were written from the point of view of Sara’s mom, and ER nurse. It was quite clever—for a younger reader to hear the thoughts, struggles, and issues of a parent will be eye-opening. Kids think we adults have it all together… that’s not always the case. Sometimes adults are confused or dealing with serious things as well. This book captures some of that.

In an interview King recently did with the blog Inside a Dog, King responded to this question:

Inky:  You mentioned in an interview how you chose Knopf because other publishers wanted you to take the adults out of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. What are your thoughts on the absent parents trope and why is it important to you to write complex parent characters in your YA books?

AK: I could go on for ages with this answer. Look. Adults in YA books aren’t new. My favourite book from my youth was Confessions of a Teenage Baboon (1977) by Paul Zindel and it’s littered with fully formed (and flawed) adult characters. That’s what made it so relatable to me as a reader. Why? Because teenagers’ lives are controlled by adults. Mine was, anyway.

I’m a rebel by nature and the minute someone told me that YA books weren’t ‘allowed’ to have adult characters or points of view, I decided that was a dumb rule and I was going to break it. The actual thing said to me was: ‘Teens only want to read about teens’. Isn’t that crazy? That was a publishing professional in NYC. And I beg to differ. As for tropes, I believe anything can work if done well, so I don’t really comment on those. But the absent parents in YA books? I just always wonder where the adults went, I guess. (I also wonder this in middle grade books, but that’s for another day.)

I’m quickly becoming an A.S. King fan. I’m looking forward to two more of her books:

&

Oh, and this fun little nugget:

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

Let’s take a look to see if any parents commented on last week’s IM! WAYR? post.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…

PERIOD 2&3 READ 10 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 20 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

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Tap to read

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

And like magic, just as I finished Tornado…, this became available so I could finish it up.

…I ran out of time on this one and put my name back on the list.

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5.12.17 {BOOKflix Friday} The Unwanteds

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, and each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you. Many will be new and recent books. Some trailers will preview a not-yet-released book. And others will look back a little further.

Lights…Camera…Action!


This is book one of a series.

Description from IndieBound

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths

Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret–behind the mirage of the “death farm” there is instead a place called Artime.

In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.

But it’s a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

Then you’ll want to read:

 #2

 

#3

 

#4

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#5

#6

#7

NEW SERIES:

The series website is HERE!

5.8.17 IMWAYR? #FlyingLessons @mattdelapena

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!


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REMEMBER, if you’re getting your own library card, it’s due by Thursday’s class. That’s when I’ll give another Overdrive tutorial.

Let’s shoot for 100% library card ownership.

Why?

Take a look at this.

 

ABOUT FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES

Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
 
In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.
 
From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.

I definitely had a few favorites in this collection. One that stood out to me was “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court into a Place of Higher Learning and You at the Podium” by Newbery-winning author Matt de la Peña. It was pretty cool how the whole thing was written in second person, putting me in the shoes of the kid who spent his summer at the gym across town balling with the best players in the area. I enjoyed watching as the main character took his lumps and worked out his problems. The nugget of a relationship with his father inspired this little exchange with Mr. Peña:

Grace Lin’s “The Difficult Path” was a fun historical adventure of a young Chinese servant who is looking to escape her arranged marriage. “Sol Painting, Inc.” by Meg Medina took a powerful look at the sacrifices a father makes for his kids—so  they hopefully won’t have to make the same sacrifices in the future.

“Seventy-Six Dollars and Forty-Nine Cents” by Kwame Alexander came along at just the right time as we finished The Crossover. The kids loved it, even though they were unsure of the ending. It encouraged this fun exchange with Mr. Alexander:

Pretty amazing, right? #FanForLife

This book is made possible by We Need Diverse Books, an organization whose website states:
Is there enough diversity in the books that are available to students? Is there opportunity for all students to see themselves reflected in the books that are available for them to read? Now more than ever the answer is yes. But it’s still not enough. This organization aims to encourage and promote more diversity in books.

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

Let’s take a look to see if any parents commented on last week’s IM! WAYR? post.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…

PERIOD 2&3 READ 14 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 30!!! BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

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Tap to read

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

JUST started this one, since…

…I ran out of time on this one and put my name back on the list.

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5.5.17 {BOOKflix Friday} #BattleOfTheBooks

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


First

I’m so proud of my sister and brother-in-law. Yesterday we celebrated “Gotcha Day” for my niece and nephew. These kids won the lottery being adopted into their family. I’m so happy for all of them, and thankful that I can finally show their faces!

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NOW…onto BOOKflix:

Which team will be this year’s BATTLE OF THE BOOK champion?

Here are three of the books you will need to read:



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4.24.17 #IMWAYR #AskThePassengers

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!


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I finished another audiobook:

Again, this is a more mature book, but the characters and writing style were so compelling. I like how King used the main character’s study of Greek philosophers to dig at some of the deeper questions. I like fantasy and dystopian books, but I can get “into” a realistic fiction book so quickly. The characters are so real.

One of the main things that Astrid does when she feels alone is to go out to her backyard and lay on the picnic table. She looks at the planes flying overhead and sends them her love. Strange right? But it fits the story so perfectly. When I finished listening to the book while walking my dog, I paused to send A. S. King a message. And she responded:

•••

Some picture books, too…

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

Let’s take a look to see if any parents commented on last week’s IM! WAYR? post.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…

PERIOD 2&3 READ 11 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 15 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

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Tap to read

audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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4.18.17 #IMWAYR #TowersFalling #CourageHasNoColor #SimonVsHomosapiens

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!


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Juba!AUDIO BOOK

In New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers’s final novel, he delivers a gripping story based on the life of a real dancer known as “Master Juba,” who lived in the nineteenth century.

This engaging historical novel follows the meteoric rise of an immensely talented young black dancer, William Henry Lane, who influenced today’s tap, jazz dance, and step. With meticulous and intensive research, Walter Dean Myers has brought to life Juba’s story.

The novel includes photographs, maps, and other images from Juba’s time, as well as an afterword from Walter Dean Myers’s wife, Constance Myers, about the writing process of Juba!

This book was decent. Not great. It was interesting to hear the descriptions of the dancing and try to visualize what was happening. The end seemed rather abrupt, but realistic—which it was, since this is based on a real person and events.

AUDIO BOOK

What do you do when you’re blackmailed and someone threatens to reveal something about your that NO ONE else knows? Simon plays along, but as you can imagine, things spin out of control. How will it work out? Mature content.

 A 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist

“An exceptionally well-researched, lovingly crafted, and important tribute to unsung American heroes.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Tanya Lee Stone examines the little-known history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought in an attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of First Sergeant Walter Morris, “proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability.”
Front matter includes a foreword by Ashley Bryan. Back matter includes an author’s note, an appendix, a time line, source notes, a bibliography, and an index.

I’ve had this book for some time. It’s been on my nightstand. Finally I picked it up and finished it. It was interesting to learn about the racism that permeated the military. How could men who wanted to fight for their country be treated so poorly? It’s sad.

Overall I didn’t love the book, but I’m glad I read it. The most interesting part? Learning about Japanese Balloon Bombs.. Yep—it’s a real part of history. Look it up.

 

From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.

As a teacher I often struggle with how much to tell my students about 9/11. Are they too innocent to hear? To see? To know all the details? The kids in this book are one year younger than my students, but it still hit home.

If you want thoughtful-but-not-gratuitous approach to the events of 9/11, this is the perfect book.

 

From Barnes and Noble

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

Let’s take a look to see if any parents commented on last week’s IM! WAYR? post.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…

PERIOD 2&3 READ 35 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 24 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

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???
“The best laid plans….”
audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

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4.3 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #IMWAYR #NeverMissingNeverFound

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!


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From Barnes and Noble

A clever thriller about a girl who returns after being kidnapped and the terrible choices she must make when another girl disappears. For fans of We Were Liars and The Darkest Corners.

Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.
 
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.
 
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set in motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late? 

This book took me a long time to read–partially because I was reading too late at night and kept falling asleep after a couple pages.

It took a while for me to get really into the book, but once I did I MADE time to read. Honestly, that was about halfway through. The narrative bounced back and forth between the now Scarlett and her life trying to get along with her family and work at the theme park over the summer and the then Scarlett who was living in the basement as a captive worker of some strange lady’s house. The captive part of the story was particularly interesting.

And yes, there is a crazywicked twist towards the end. Don’t worry–I won’t spoil it.

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

Let’s take a look to see if any parents commented on last week’s IM! WAYR? post.


Did you catch my
this past week?
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-35-58-pm
 How many books did students in each class read?

This is for three weeks of reading…

PERIOD 2&3 READ 28 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

PERIOD 8&9 READ 32 BOOKS THIS PAST WEEK.

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(I think)
audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

Juba!

(45 minutes left…)
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