It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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


the titles we are currently reading.}

I JUST told my wife that I read/finished five books over break. WOW.
She looked over to me from the other side of the couch where she was reading and responded, “Yeah, I fell out of love with reading for a while. I realize I just needed to find a good book — one I really liked, not one I was settling for.”
Yeah, that’s it, isn’t it? It’s all about finding the RIGHT book out there.
If you’ve found one: AWESOME!
If You aren’t enjoying reading (and perhaps feel like you never have): THERE IS A BOOK OUT THERE THAT’S PERFECT FOR YOU… LET’S FIND IT!
(All book blurbs are borrowed from IndieBound.)
Sequel to


“Reichs knows exactly how to mix action, suspense, and characters into a breathless read.” —Marie Lu, New York Timesbestselling author of Warcross

The blistering sequel to the instant New York Times bestselling Nemesis by Brendan Reichs.

Noah Livingston knows he is destined to survive.

The 64 members of Fire Lake’s sophomore class are trapped in a place where morals have no meaning and zero rules apply. But Noah’s deaths have trained him-hardened him-to lead the strongest into the future … whatever that may be. And at any cost.

Min Wilder knows that survival alone isn’t enough.

In a violent world where brute force passes for leadership, it’s tempting to lay back and let everyone else battle it out. But Min’s instincts rebel against allowing others to decide who lives and who dies. She’s ready to fight for what she believes in. And against whomever might stand in her way.
My thoughts….
Crazy craziness and insanity. Some parts of this remind me of the Gone series in a way: All adults are gone, survival, teams, choosing up sides and allegiances… I listened to this every chance I got. I still have lots of questions. Will they be answered in the third book? (Is there just one more left?)
Listened to
Sequel to


In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful novel Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco–an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’ hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform.
Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumb drive containing a WikiLeaks-style cable dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff–and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him–but he can’t admit to being the leaker because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.Fast moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother–a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.
My thoughts….
Though certainly entertaining, this was NOT as good as the first book. It could have been, but the climax failed to build to the point of danger and relief. Doctorow’s attention to detail and the amount of strange tech he knows is fascinating. The Dark Net. 3D printing with sand. Even cold brew coffee (one of my favorite parts).


Meet Caleb and Bobby Gene, two brothers embarking on a madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure, for fans of As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds, Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, Front Desk by Kelly Yang, and One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Friendships are forged, loyalties are tested . . . and miracles just might happen.

Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town.

Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade–exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets–secrets so big they could ruin everything

Five best of the year lists!
NPR, HornBook, Kirkus Reviews, SLJ, Shelf Awareness
My thoughts….
Remember—I started this one and thought I lost it? I found it.
On my bedside table.
That tells you what my bedside table looks like, right?
I couldn’t help but be reminded of Bud, Not Buddy at the beginning of the book. Caleb had an interesting outlook on life just like Bud did. But that comparison didn’t hold true for the rest of the book. Also, this is a modern story, not historical fiction.
Styx is a fascinating character, but so is how Caleb and BG interact with him and with each other. There are LOTS of themes the author is developing in here. 
Ms. Magoon and Mr. Reichs (Nemesis), both have degrees from Vermont College of Fine Arts. My buddy Eric, who also has his degree from VCFA, has met them both. Crazy, right?
Sequel to


From the New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes Rebound, a dynamic novel in verse and companion to his Newbery Award-winner, The Crossover, illustrated with striking graphic novel panels.

Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. In this prequel to Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Chuck Bell takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to.   

A novel in verse with all the impact and rhythm readers have come to expect from Kwame Alexander, Rebound will go back in time to visit the childhood of Chuck “Da Man” Bell during one pivotal summer when young Charlie is sent to stay with his grandparents where he discovers basketball and learns more about his family’s past.  
My thoughts….
This felt slow at first, and almost too similar to the Crossover. But I pressed on, and things quickly changed for the better. Sometimes I had a tough time remembering who I was reading about–it felt like Josh/Filthy from the first book. The cool thing about prequels is realizing why things are the way they are in the actual first book. That’s why it’s best to NOT read the prequel before the first book (in my opinion).
Will there be another book in this series?
 A cute book about beginning a new school year and feeling/looking/sounding/eating different from those around you. I might use this as a beginning-of-the-year book to share with my classes.  Great illustrations as well.




Period 2&3 read 11 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 20 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 30 books this past week.













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