2.12 {BOOKflix Friday} Wing & Claw: Forest of Wonders by @LindaSuePark

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


Our very own Linda Sue Park, author of the loved A Long Walk to Water — that book which has garnered so much praise and inspired so much action—is at it again. This time, the first book in a fantasy trilogy:

From Newbery Medal winning author Linda Sue Park comes a captivating fantasy-adventure about a boy, a bat, and an amazing transformation.


Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf could unleash a kind of magic. When an injured bat crashes into his life, Raffa invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds deep in the Forest. His remedy saves the animal but also transforms it into something much more than an ordinary bat, with far-reaching consequences. Raffa’s experiments lead him away from home to the forbidding city of Gilden, where troubling discoveries make him question whether exciting botanical inventions including his own might actually threaten the very creatures of the Forest he wants to protect.


The first book in an enchanting trilogy, Forest of Wonders richly explores the links between magic and botany, family and duty, environment and home.

Glad to say that I have an ARC of this and am looking forward to digging in soon. I’m confident Mrs. Park won’t disappoint!

2.5 {BOOKflix Friday} Salt to the Sea & Between Shades of Gray

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


 I’ll be writing more about this book for next week’s blog post. Salt to the Sea will be born on  Tuesday, February 9th.
‘Salt to the Sea’ book trailer shows the journey of refugees

ABOUT SALT TO THE SEA from hypable.com

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.


Let’s also watch the first 3:00 of this video:

If that looks good, I’d also highly recommend Mrs. Sepetys’ first novel, which can be seen as a companion to Salt to the Sea.

Between Shades of Gray Book

From http://www.betweenshadesofgray.com/:

Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

1.29 {BOOKflix Friday} The Pull of Gravity & Fish in a Tree

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


The Pull of Gravity
Mrs. Polisner is an ultra-cool and in-touch author. She is quick to reply on Facebook and Twitter, which has been cool. We’ve gone back and forth a number of times.

Overview from BN:

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.


Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make Gae Polisner’s The Pull of Gravity a truly original coming-of-age story.


As I told you, both of my daughters recently read and loved this book. I did too 🙂 Give it a shot. Oh, you might also see this cover floating around. I think I like it better:

You can also keep your eyes open for her second book that’s on my shelves:

cover The Summer of Letting Go

Find a review here.


Fish in a Tree

The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

Also by Mrs. Hunt:One for the Murphys

1.22 {BOOKflix Friday} NonFiction spotlight—4 great books

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


Here is a trailer for a movie about Temple Grandin. It gives you a pretty good idea.


When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism.
While Temple’s doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead.
Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make.
This compelling biography complete with Temple’s personal photos takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.

From Goodreads:

The critically acclaimed Scientist in the Field book about how one boy’s interest in backyard science inspired a career in scientific discovery.

When Tyrone Hayes was growing up in South Carolina, he didn’t worry about pesticides. He just liked to collect frogs. Tyrone’s interest in science led him to Harvard University, and though he struggled at first, he found his calling in the research lab of an amphibian scientist.

Meanwhile, scientists discovered that all around the globe, frogs were dying. The decline has many causes, including habitat loss and disease. Tyrone discovered that the most commonly used pesticide in the United States, atrazine, may also play a role. Tyrone tested atrazine on frogs in his lab at Berkeley. He found that the chemical caused some of the male frogs to develop into bizarre half-male, half-female frogs. What was going on? That’s what Tyrone wants to find out

A discussion with featured Frog Scientist, Tyrone Hayes:


[click to listen}

Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship: The True Story Of A Remarkable Friendship

Tap the image below to watch the video:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 8.54.46 PM


On the Owen&Mzee site, there are all kinds of cool videos from news shows and even the documentary about them.

[These won’t work on an iPad, unfortunately.]

There is even a follow-up book available:

Speaking of animal friends…

jacket image for Unlikely Friendships

 Check out the Tumblr for this book where people have sent in pictures of their Unlikely Pet Friendships.Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.04.01 PM

1.15 {BOOKflix Friday} The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and New book news!!

Today is BOOKflix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


Before we get to our trailer, I have some new book news and updates you might be interested in.
First, I know some of you love the Amulet series. Did you know there’s a Seventh Book coming out?

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and came across Raina Telgemeier’s  (Smile, Sisters, Drama) post. (She also has a site!) Guess what? NEW BOOK COMING IN SEPTEMBER!!

I’ve seen a bunch of you reading the I Funny series.

I FunnyI Even FunnierI Totally Funniest
I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and this literally jumped off the shelf at me.

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pederson and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys’ exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phillip Hoose’s inspiring story of these young war heroes.

1.8.16 {BOOKflix Friday} Pulse Series by Patrick Carman

Today is BookFlix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


Tap the cover above to read a chapter.

From New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman comes PULSE, a breakthrough teen novel and the first in a trilogy.

About PULSE:
The year is 2051, and the world has changed, but is still recognizable. With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters so powerful they will flatten their enemies by uprooting street lights, moving boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with her unusual talent, the mind-and the heart-can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.

Patrick Carman’s Pulse is a stunning triumph about the power of the mind—and the power of love.

Book 2


Book 3


11.13 {BookFlix Friday} Lost Boys

Today is BookFlix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


We are working our way to the end of A Long Walk to Water. I enjoy being able to share with my students videos that bring the text to life. We are just at the part where Salva makes it to Rochester, NY (an hour down the thruway) and is overwhelmed by what he sees.

Today, instead of a book trailer, I want to feature a segment about the Lost Boys from 60 Minutes.

But first, how about another look of the movie trailer for God Grew Tired of Us:

And the 60 Minutes segment:

11.6 {BookFlix Friday} Adam’s Student Guest Post: The UNwind series by Neal Shusterman

Today is BookFlix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


{Eat the Book: Adam started this series and couldn’t stop. When our library didn’t have the books he needed, his mom help him get the books from other places. That’s what readers do. Now— I hope your stomach is ready for this…}

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 7.52.10 AM

Adam: This book is shocking. An outstanding book. This book plays on a gritty aspect. I say this because if you read the back, it only tells you a little bit of what’s happening in this new dystopian society. In the beginning, there is one part with a brutal bus crash. This will set the mood of the book. I was expecting a dark horror aspect throughout the book, but what I got was a gritty, twisting turning masterpiece. And there are three other books! I cannot wait to read the others. {ETB: He is almost finished now!} My favorite character is Lev—always back talking guards or an abductee in one case.
If you didn’t know, here’s the rundown. A civil war breaks out over medical rights. Because of this, when wounded soldiers come back to the Unwinding camps, they will Unwind a tithe so that soldier can keep moving and fighting. They actually had to change the name of the camps from unwinding centers to harvest camps. You can only be unwound from the age 13­—18. Your parents decided if they unwind you. What if your parents could Unwind YOU?
{I will need to skip a little bit of this at 3:04—3:30 and from 4:47—5:00. My stomach can’t take it.}
To be clear, you DO NOT want to be Unwound. Let’s say you’re being unwound. You are now a disrespected Tithe. You wake up In a gray room with surgeons telling you everything will be alright.  You’re dazed, searching for an exit because you’ve heard the stories. The stories of people being  picked apart, still squirming on the operating table, screaming like a dying pig. While they’re awake. This makes your skin crawl. Then you hear it, but don’t feel it. You look down to see your stomach in flaps folding over your sides. You see your heart beating steady. But once you see this it starts pumping faster, it just keeps going. Then, you see the teasers hit a nerve. You can’t blink. Yours eyes sting and water, but there is nothing worse than seeing your organs being piled onto the table
next to you.
Now tell me, would you like to be unwound, or see an unwinding? Well too bad!!
{ETB: Adam, I can’t help but point out that the section is written in 2nd Person Point of View. You put the reader in the place of the main character. Notice all they YOUs? YOU=2. Cool.}
Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 7.52.17 AMScreen Shot 2015-11-06 at 7.52.24 AM

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

– See more at: http://www.storyman.com/books/unwind/#sthash.xg1ZfLdA.dpuf


10.30 {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.


It IS Halloween eve.

The jack-o-lantern is carved…

IMG_1756 IMG_1755

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?

I found some more cool book covers and pictures to go along with this:


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 {BookFlix Friday} Student Guest Post: The Pegasus Series by Kate O’Hearn

Today is BookFlix Friday!

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

Get the popcorn ready.


The Flame of Olympus
This series is recommended by my student Julianna M. She suggested that I feature it on {BookFlix Friday}—and I suggested that SHE write the blog. So she did. Here is Julianna’s BOOKselfie with her favorite series followed by her recommendation and the blurbs she found online for each book.

From Julianna:

   Kate O’Hearn, an international bestselling author, brings you a series about a normal girl with a new friend Pegasus. She makes many new friends along the way to Olympus as they fight for Olympus’s very existence. Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, said, “A winning mix of modern adventure  and classic fantasy.”

   In a fantasy story about Greek Mythology connecting with the real world  it will leave you wanting more! There are four books already published in the series. The fifth book Pegasus: Rise Of The Titans, will be out December 1st, 2015. Each book will make you love the series even more. It is such a heartwarming story that touched my emotions. It’s little intense in some parts so I don’t really recommended for younger kids. But, it’s such an amazing story!

You can visit the author’s site by clicking here.

What? You want another trailer? Here is a fan trailer:

Each book title below links back to the publisher page.
The Flame of OlympusPegasus: the Flame of Olympus

When Pegasus, the majestic winged-stallion of myth is struck by lightning and crashes on to her roof in the middle of a ferocious storm that blacks-out New York City, 13-year-old Emily’s life becomes that of legend.

Needing help to treat the seriously wounded stallion, Emily befriends the local school bully, Joel. Working together, they quickly discover that Pegasus has more than lightning burns. He has multiple wounds from a terrible fight as part of a spear is still sticking out of his rear flank!

Together with Pegasus, Emily and Joel face epic battles with gruesome four-armed monsters, desperate chases from a corrupt governmental agency, and captivating flights astride the beautiful winged-stallion in a heroic quest to save Olympus before the ‘Flame of Olympus’ is extinguished forever…

Olympus at War

Pegasus: Olympus at War

Emily and her winged horse face a war of Olympic proportions in this second book of the Pegasus series.

Emily, newly recognized as the Flame, is living in Jupiter’s palace on Mt. Olympus. Her friends, Joel, Paelen, and—of course—Pegasus, are there as well. The only person missing is Emily’s father, who is still being held prisoner by the CRU back in the human world. Emily wants to go find him, but Jupiter won’t allow her to leave. However, Emily does have access to a winged horse…

Determined to rescue her father, Emily and her friends make plans to sneak away from Olympus and back to New York. Then Cupid, Emily’s sort-of crush, decides to come along as well. It will be hard enough to hide a winged horse from the prying eyes of the CRU, but a winged boy as well? And when the gruesome Nirads begin a new invasion, old grudges are unearthed, new enemies are discovered, and Emily and her friends become entangled in a conflict more dangerous than they ever anticipated.

The New Olympians

Pegasus: The New Olympians

Emily and her companions, including the winged horse, Pegasus, must confront a legion of Olympic enemies in this third book of an action-packed series.

When Emily’s father and the goddess Diana return from a visit to Earth, they bring with them disturbing news. There’s a horse called Tornado Warning that’s winning all the races, with times faster than anyone’s ever seen. What could this mean? Emily, Joel, Paelen, Pegasus, and the sphinx Alexis return to Earth to investigate—and discover a CRU plot to clone Olympians and Nirads using DNA retrieved from their previous time in the human realm.

The CRU has already created dozens of Nirad warriors, Dianas, Paelens, Cupids, and Pegasuses. Now they want to create their own Emily clone—even if the original is killed in the process. Can Emily and her friends put a stop to the CRU’s plans before Jupiter finds out and carries through on his own threat to destroy the Earth?

Origins of Olympus

Pegasus: Origins of Olympus
Emily and her winged horse, Pegasus, face an ancient challenge of Olympic proportions in this fourth book of an exciting series.

A deadly plague has struck Olympus. While the Olympians fade one by one, Emily’s heart breaks as she watches, particularly when Pegasus begins to slip away. Determined to save him, she embarks on an investigation that takes her back in time to the origins of Olympus and to the deadly battle between the Olympians and the Titans.

In the present, she must face the full force of the CRU. In the past, she must confront Cronus, the father of the gods and leader of the Titans, who is intent on destroying his offspring. When Emily encounters the full power of the flame and a discovery that could change the face of history, will she make the right decisions? And in the race against time to save Pegasus, will Olympus find its true hero?

(On sale December 1, 2015)

In order to save Olympus, Emily and her winged horse, Pegasus, venture to Hawaii—and a Hawaiian volcano—in this fifth book of an exciting series that puts a modern thrill into ancient mythology.

The ancient rivalry between the Olympians and the Titans has been rekindled. However, this time the Titans have a secret weapon—a weapon that rivals the Flame of Olympus. The balance of power is tipped in Saturn’s favor now that he has found his own Flame of Titus. Olympus is almost in his grasp! And just when the Olympians need Emily most, she finds her own grip on the flame weakening.

If Emily is going to save Olympus, she will have to save herself first. To do so, she and Pegasus must head to the Diamond Head volcano in Hawaii to track down the one thing that can rescue Olympus…but can they get there before the Titans or the CRU beat them to it?