10.29.18 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.}


 

From Indiebound:

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

 

Thoughts:

Magic balloons… who’d have thought that a writer could make it so interesting? But add some history (the Berlin Wall in East Berlin shortly before it fell) and a little romance and you’ve got a recipe for a captivating ride.

This book highlights a fascinating time in history. Did you know… (borrowed from the History Channel):

In all, at least 171 people were killed trying to get over, under or around the Berlin Wall. Escape from East Germany was not impossible, however: From 1961 until the wall came down in 1989, more than 5,000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the barbed wire, flying in hot air balloons, crawling through the sewers and driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds.

 

What did it look like?

If this time period seems interesting, I’d highly recommend Jennifer Nielsen’s A Night Divided. 

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.


But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

 

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WHAT ABOUT YOU?

LET’S RING THE BELL!

Period 2&3 read 4 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 22 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 12 books this past week.


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audio-books

AUDIO BOOK


My buddy Eric sent me a SIGNED COPY!!!
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10.26.18 {BOOKflix Friday} Michael Vey series

Today is

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


I know my students like a good series. Let’s see if this fantasy-action sci-fi gets your attention…

#1

The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey Series #1)

 

 

The start of an action-packed teen series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans.

To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.

#2

Rise of the Elgen (Michael Vey Series #2)

#3

Battle of the Ampere (Michael Vey Series #3)

#4

#5

#6

 

#7

Are you interested now?

10.22.18 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Student Post: Gavin R. with AMULET

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

&

the titles we are currently reading.}


STUDENT POST! Thanks, Gavin:

Blurb:

Emily and her brother have just moved from the city to the woods by a little town and Emily isn’t so happy about it. The house that they move to was their grandfather’s—he mysteriously disappeared and no one has seen him. Emily finds a mysterious pink stone that sucks her and her brother into a new realm…

Read the book to find out more on their mysterious journey.

Thoughts:

The book is a very intriguing book. It always ends by keeping you with an unsatisfying ending so you just can’t stop reading this book, but not in an annoying way—in a fashion that will keep you interested. I’d always recommend this book to readers who are dedicated to series when they read. Also if you’re a reader who loves a book with exciting, crazy, action-packed magical moments, then this is the series for you.

This book is a graphic novel but the story itself is told like a normal book because I always find graphic novels like a movie where you know what the character looks like and sounds like. But never with Amulet. You almost always imagine the character and the attitude which they say things. Like Harry Potter I imagined completely different until I saw him in a movie. This is the only book that gives me this feeling. I rate this series 10 out of 10.

Here are a couple cool links I found:

The trailer on Vimeo.

An article about how Amulet grabs a hold of you.

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WHAT ABOUT YOU?

LET’S RING THE BELL!

Period 2&3 read 9 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 10 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 13 books this past week.


• • •
audio-books

AUDIO BOOK


My buddy Eric sent me a SIGNED COPY!!!
Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 3.13.51 PM

 

10.19.18 {BOOKflix Friday} Coraline and the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman…. and a contest :)

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 Second Annual AlphaTeam AlphaTheme Pumpkin Carving Contest!

 

Many of you have seen Coraline–surprisingly creepy, right?

If you haven’t read the book yet, you should!

 

 

There is no better day to share the Newbery-award winning book by the same author…

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?

 

Neil Gaiman has been recorded reading the whole book. Perhaps you’d like to watch it on YouTube:

10.15.18 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Student Post: Trevor & GHOSTS

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

&

the titles we are currently reading.}


STUDENT POST! Thanks, Trevor:

Blurb from IndieBound:

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

Thoughts:

I think that the story plot is deep and teaches you about the Day of the Dead that maybe you’re familiar with— maybe you’re not. It shows you about something that people are maybe living like: either you have CF or someone you know has it. And I, Trevor S., give this a 10/10.

 

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WHAT ABOUT YOU?

LET’S RING THE BELL!

Period 2&3 read ? books this past week.

Period 5&6 read ? books this past week.

Period 8&9 read ? books this past week.


ALMOST FINISHED!

Historical Fiction PLUS fantasy time travel and some magic. WOOT!

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audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

Just go this back–ready to finish!

 


My buddy Eric sent me a SIGNED COPY!!!
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10.12.18 {BOOKflix Friday} BONE graphic novels

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, so get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Thanks to a colleague’s generosity, I just inherited a nearly full set of the graphic novel series Bone.

That’s just the first three. There are six more!

What is it about?

 

Some people love Bone so much that they make their own cartoons out of the characters:


And now a word from the author and illustrator himself:

10.9.18 It’s TUESDAY! What Are You Reading? GHOSTS

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

&

the titles we are currently reading.}


I’m not going to say too much about this book since I’m sure someone else wants to review it this year.

I’ll just say that even though I’m not particularly fond of ghosts or ghost stories, this was pretty fun. It was a little more far-fetched than I though it was going to be, but I appreciated issues that came up in the book. One was the importance of family and remembering those that came before us (our ancestors).  Another was Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This is a terrible, incurable disease that claimed the life of one of my childhood friends when I was in college. Caryn was a beautiful and spunky young lady, but I still remember her coughing and hacking and needing to go into the hospital for occasional “tune-ups” as she’d call them. The doctors would clear out her lungs and help her to gain weight back using high-calorie drinks.

I hope things work out better for Catrina and her little sister Maya.

•••

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

LET’S RING THE BELL!

Period 2&3 read 9 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 22 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 12 books this past week.


I went to the digital library site and found this book waiting for me. It’s part of the BIG LIBRARY READ initiative:

Historical Fiction PLUS fantasy time travel and some magic. WOOT!

• • •
audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

 


My buddy Eric sent me a SIGNED COPY!!!
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10.5.18 {BOOKflix Friday} No Place Like Home; BFF Bucketlist; and Best. Night. Ever! by Dee Romito

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, so get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Last year I got to hang out with author Dee Romito at Monkey See, Monkey Do book store.

Mrs. Romito was there to sign copies of her books. Her latest release is

However, I was particularly interested in seeing a book that she wrote with 6 other authors:

Why did this book interest me so much?

Because when Mrs. Romito needed a book trailer for her book, she sent me a message and asked if I would be interested.

YEAH!

And after much collaboration, here it is:

Mrs. Romito and I worked together once before when a couple students joined me to make the trailer for a book of hers:

10.1.18 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Everybody Sees the Ants by @AS_King

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

&

the titles we are currently reading.}


The Blurb  (from IndieBound)

Lucky Linderman didn’t ask for his life. He didn’t ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn’t ask for a father who never got over it. He didn’t ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn’t ask to be the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret–one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos–the prison his grandfather couldn’t escape–where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It’s dangerous and wild, and it’s a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King’s smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it.

Thoughts

Lucky is anything but lucky. Man, it was hard to watch him going through the humiliations at the hands of Nader and his cronies. I suppose if it was easy, there wouldn’t be enough reader reaction to keep going. But the grinding-on-the-pavement scene where Lucky has a nearly out-of-body experience? Brutal.

All along I’m cheering for him to “man up” and take a stand. But I’ve come to not like that term “man up”. What does it even mean?

Is it manly to fight? Is it less manly to paint landscapes?

Is it manly to play football? Is it less manly to dance?

Is it manly to enjoy violent movies? Is it less manly to enjoy reading or writing poetry?

Sometimes books force us to ask these questions of ourselves and the world. The ideas hiding in books give us the chance to wrestle with new ideas.

Just like Lucky has to wrestle with who his parents really are. And who his cool uncle really is. And he has to wrestle with how he’s going to wrestle (figuratively… and literally?) with Nader.

Of course, he also has to wrestle with what his dreams mean—the ones where he is transported back to Laos to hang out with his MIA POW grandfather… and wakes up with tangible evidence that he was actually there. Weird.

This isn’t a 6th grade book, but I hope you will keep it in the back of your mind, and when you’re older and up for a challenge pick this up. I’m so glad I finally read Lucky’s story.

And yes, there are ants. They’re funny.

•••

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

LET’S RING THE BELL!

Period 2&3 read 9 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 21 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 14 books this past week.

Looking for more NEW books to add to your TBR pile? Look at this newsletter filled with new arrivals.


Thank you Lily and Trevor!

• • •
audio-books

AUDIO BOOK

 


My buddy Eric sent me a SIGNED COPY!!!
Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 3.13.51 PM

9.28.18 Alan Gratz books

Today is {BOOKflix Friday}!

Get the popcorn ready.


Alan Gratz is a prolific author who is becoming better known every year. His books even have a distinct look to them—I can spot one from across the room. You would probably want to visit his site to check them all out.
His last four books are historical fiction. Lots of action. Lots of drama. Very gritty.
Let’s have a look:

 

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BRAND NEW!

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He has a couple other books as well. Keep your eyes open for these and more: