Summer Whatever Wednesday= Summer Reading Postcards #9 & 10

Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. Though often a cool quote or poster, it might simply be a picture.

Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.

If you’ve been following along, you know that students have started mailing back their Summer Vacation is for READING postcards that I passed out to them at the end of the year. Now that summer is almost at an end, I’m hoping for an influx of cards. 

I recently received my 9th and 10th postcards. Thank you, Andrew T. and Mr. Peterson.

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Photo on 8-27-13 at 11.52 PM


From IndieBound:


In the tradition of Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury, million-copy bestselling Halo author and game developer Eric Nylund brings action-packed science fiction to a young audience with this riveting children’s debut. Twelve-year-old Ethan Blackwood has always known exactly what he wanted—to win the state soccer championship, get into the best high school, and become an astronaut. Then he meets Madison and Felix, who tell him something . . . insane. They claim that 50 years ago, aliens took over the earth, and everyone past puberty is under their mind control. Ethan doesn’t believe it. But then he sees for himself the aliens’ monster bug robots and the incredible way that Madison and Felix have learned to fight them. So Ethan Blackwood has a choice: he can go back to his normal, suburban, protected lie of a life—or he can become a Resister. This is science fiction on the lines of Scott Westerfield and Cory Doctorow for middle graders.



From Indiebound:


Daniel Corrigan is as regular as can be, especially when compared to the Supers: kids in his new hometown with actual powers like flight and super strength. But Daniel’s not powerless. Only he was able to stop the Shroud, a supervillian bent on stealing his newfound friends’ powers. And thanks to him, his friends got to keep those powers.

Now Daniel himself is starting to display powers, while at the same time, his friends are losing theirs. His friend Eric thinks Daniel is just becoming a Super himself, a late-blooming one. But Daniel worries there may be something more sinister at work, since his power-stealing ability is uncomfortably like the Shroud’s. Of course, the Shroud is gone now . . . or is he? And could Daniel himself be his new vessel?


{I also happen to know that Andrew is reading Zadoff’s Boy Nobody. I can’t wait to hear about it…

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And my dear ELA colleague, Mr. Peterson… What did he read? (Notice the note below line 3.)

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From IndieBound:

Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall ’12 Kids List
“Mr. Jelliby, a member of Parliament, was too nice a young man to make a good politician. One day, he overheard the powerful Mr. Lickerish order the death of the tenth changeling — a ‘peculiar,’ so named because they have the blood of both men and faery. Mr. Lickerish is planning to open a door to the faery world that would destroy London, and only Mr. Jelliby and Bartholomew, a changeling himself, can hope to stop him. Bachman has succeeded in creating a murder mystery, a faery fantasy, and an action adventure that middle-graders and older readers will devour.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI


Don’t get yourself noticed and you won’t get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings—Peculiars—and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley—Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he’s noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann’s riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.


From IndieBound:


In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.


From IndieBound:


From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .


Isn’t this FUN? Keep those postcards coming. And don’t forget to send me your summer picture of you reading a book. Mail to:

Summer Whatever Wednesday = Librarian “Sabotage”

Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. A cool quote or poster, a picture, student work, a video—you know, Whatever.

Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.

Saw this posted on Twitter the other day and had to share it on my own Facebook page.

And now I have to share it with you.

I just did the math… and almost choked on my eggs when I realized that this song is NINETEEN years old. Really?

In order to appreciate the parody, you need to watch some of the original (though I do confess it made my daughters run from the room). Check this:

Pretty awesome, right? Now watch this sweet parody:

<p><a href=”″>M&D 2013 Sabotage</a> from <a href=”″>Mike and Duane Show</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

My favorite moment (and @LibraryFanatic’s/Sherry Gick’s) is at 2:30 when the Librarian whips a book Frisbee-style at the thief. Awesome stuff.

Let me know what you think. After you watch it a few more times…


Heading into this summer I gave out a SUMMER VACATION IS FOR READING postcard to each student.  You know why? It gets ME excited, and is cool for the students who decide to respond. I tried not to count–or take personally–the postcards that were dropped on the floor or in the classroom or hallway accidentally left behind.

You can see my previous POSTCARD posts here, here, and here.

I’ve recently received the 6th postcard from Jack A.

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There is an awesome website for the Boone series. Cool games, downloads, and videos… like this one:


This book has received tons of praise and rewards. From Fitzmaurice’s site:

Reviews for A Diamond in the Desert

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is a Bank Street Best Book for 2013

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT has been chosen as a 2013 Judy Lopez Memorial Awards Honor Book

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is a VOYA 2012 Top Shelf Fiction choice for Middle School readers

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is a nominated title on the 2013 ALSC Notable Children’s Book List

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is an Indiebound Kid’s Next List pick for Spring 2012

From School Library Journal: (starred review)

A Diamond in the Desert. By Kathryn Fitzmaurice. (Viking 978-0-670-01292-3). Gr 5-7‚ Based on actual events and narrated by 12-year-old Tetsu, this story paints an effective picture of the harsh reality of what life was like for thousands of Japanese Americans who were moved to relocation centers after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The chapters are delineated by place and time, grounding readers in Tetsu’s journey and are broken down into short sections, some only a paragraph or two in length, affording a manageable way in which to digest the information. From the opening pages, in which readers learn that Tetsu’s eight-year-old sister, Kimi, refuses to use the open-stall bathrooms at the relocation center unless a pillowcase is over her head, blocking out sights and sounds, to Tetsu’s adjustment as man of the house after his father’s arrest, readers are immersed in the dusty, barren world of The Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, AZ. Hope appears with new neighbors Kyo, Ben, and their father, all of whom share Tetsu’s passion for baseball, and they are soon engaged in a project to build a diamond in the desert. A team is assembled, and the author interweaves the spirit and familiarity the game brings with the grim reality of the life of the interned, culminating in Kimi’s disappearance and recovery and the Gila River baseball team’s win of the Arizona State Championship. Moving the story forward with fluid language and vivid imagery, Fitzmaurice hits home with this important piece of historical fiction.


Playing for Pizza

Yes, Mr. Grisham has a Facebook page. Interested? Click his picture below:

John Grisham

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Sooooooo…Whose postcard will be next?


Heading into this summer I gave out a SUMMER VACATION IS FOR READING postcard to each student.  You know why? It gets ME excited, and is cool for the students who decide to respond. I tried not to count–or take personally–the postcards that were dropped on the floor or in the classroom or hallway accidentally left behind.

I’ve recently received the 4th and 5th postcards.

Photo Skitch Document1

{Did you see the BRIGHT YELLOW note on the postcards above???}

Ladies before gentlemen (and Dylan is chivalrous anyways), so I bring to you… Julia’s 3 books:

Photo Skitch Document3


For Windy, nothing ever changes. The mean girls at school are still mean, and Windy’s best friend, Elena, is still more interested in making up words than talking about boys. Then a new girl, Nina—impossibly cool, confident, and not afraid of anyone—starts hanging out with Windy! But her friendship comes at a dangerous price. Windy wants to change everything about her life…but is she really willing to give up everything in the process?

{Blurb taken from the author’s site.}

Scholastic has this discussion guide available on its website. The topic can be a bit scary–it scares ME. I’m glad there are resources to help kids work through the issue.


You can hear Ms Cooner read the first chapter of her book HERE… and also hear her talk about her personal insights into the book HERE.


Fun book site–click the picture below:

Dork Diaries


{I LOVE that Julia snuck in an extra. That’s what I’M talkin’ about.}

In Cia’s dystopian society it’s an honor to be chosen for The Testing.  But it’s not enough to pass the Test. Cia will have to survive it.

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Up next…Dylan’s books:

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1 & 2 

How great is this series? I’m thrilled that Dylan read it…and if hes like me, he’s eagerly anticipating book three. First, the trailers (which honestly, I don’t love):

Did you know that Lu makes a playlist for her books? Click on this  from her site:

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And I introduce to you, BOOK 3: Champion

Champion (Legend, #3)



The #Chompsticks Week Wrap-up

On August 1st, we started the 2nd annual #Chompsticks week adventure. I wrote about the kickoff here, as did Sherry and Maria.


Now that it’s over, I feel a little… empty. I looked forward to the daily collection of pictures that arrived in my Twitter feed. The collages speak for themselves. Please scroll through the pics below to follow the week that was. And since that will most likely just tickle your appetite, you can also review @libraryfanatic‘s and @mselke01‘s rundown of the week.

Put August 1st 2014 on your iCalendar for next year—and join us!

August 1:



August 2:



August 3:



August 4:



{Yes, that is the esteemed Joanne Levy playing along. Authors rock!}

August 5:



August 6:



August 7:



{Thanks, Lenore “Alvin Ho” Look, for joining us on day 7.}

And, for redundant fun, a collage of collages:


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You have a year to find chopsticks and prepare for #chompsticks week 2014. C’mon reading Nerds: You can DO IT!!!