The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Two Days Down!

Oh my! Must get back in the habit!! Will do these tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day Back

I had a plan for the day and that kind of went almost out the window! But I got a lot of other things done as well as some of what I planned, so all is well! Had to put in tech rings after I had to figure out all of the computers that needed generic logins had to be reinterred for that. I had to log into each one and find their new computer number, which with our new Windows 10 upgrade took a bit of mucking around. Then I couldn't access my printer by my office and had to run up to the copier upstairs until they did a remote fix on that (it had also been renamed!) Loaded paper in the copier! Ha! Picked up more books from the office that needed to come down. Checked them all in. Some had been done, but never hurts to make sure. Packed up six books to be sent to LMSS for processing. Had a stack of teacher room stuff and checked in all that too. Some were still checked out to people, so good thing! One student claimed he had turned in a math book, so I found it. Checked it in and took paperwork up so they would get a refund, then noticed he had another book that was due for a refund, so I checked on that with the bookkeeper and she said he had never paid for it, so we couldn't refund it. So I called LMSS and talked with KD, and she was going to take care of it with a note so if the matter ever came up. Did our new sign up sheets for the year. Seems like we hardly have any time off! Bummer! Checked on getting some Spanish books for our students, not much luck there. Then went into the back to shift LIT book shelves and condense them. Had to remember the cart in the back and take those books, change their call numbers to LIT and put them in too. So, a very productive day all in all. Picked up the book A Monster Calls since I had seen a movie trailer on it & we had the book! Also picked up The Breadwinner to read at home tonight. Too many good books! Glad to be back!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sixth Grade Camp

This was actually on Tuesday the 23rd! I went in to help out with our new 6th graders! We had a lot of fun! Introductions, fun stuff! I had a group of kids to help out. A get to know you bingo game. Locker relay, Jeopardy, a scavenger hunt, so much fun! I got to be in the library for the scavenger hunt and the kids had to ask me how my summer was and where I went! So much fun to tell them I went to Spain! Glad I was able to help out!

Monday, August 22, 2016

2015 - 2016 Reading

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - we follow a group of people through the end of the Reich to escape the Soviets. Based on the true story of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff where 9,000 lost their lives from a torpedo attack.
  • The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearson - Another fabulous historical fiction! Arthur pays off his probation by working for the Junk Man he hit with a brick and broke his arm. He learns that the 7 most important things are happening in his life as he helps. Loosely based on the true story of James Hampton and his "Third Throne of Heaven" on display at the Smithsonian as American Folk Art! Loved this!
  • The Tin Snail by Cameron McAllister - a lovely historical fiction on France building a car for Everyman rather than the rich before WWII. They ended up burying it to keep it from the Germans! True story! Fun!
  • Gray Mountain by John Grisham - It's been awhile since I've read a Grisham and absolutely loved this one! Stuffy lawyer worker bee in New York gets laid off with a semi-promise of reemployment if she volunteers for a year. Off Samantha goes to the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic to help people with claims from coal companies to homelessness. I won't ruin the ending, but loved it all! And, they drove into Big Stone Gap! From our bookclub reads! An added bonus!
  • Religion: a Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer - loved this tasteful and docucomic about the five major religions - examining Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Nicely done!
  • Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery - what an amazing woman! Temple has autism but has managed to find her passion and communicate that to others. A leader in the industry for a less stress death for animals killed for our food, she is incredible! Loved the 'crush' she built for people to ease anxiety!
  • The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericksburg - I finally had to make the decision to take the cover off this book. It was the only reason anyone picked it up. A teacher, a student both were very bothered by it, the boys ogled it. So, I took it off and decided to read it. Not bad. Two friends head for high school and one gets a crush on the popular boy, who already has his popular girlfriend, but still meets his crush on Thursday nights. It worked, not too bad, and more about friendships, the things that can happen at school. It was all right and so beyond that cover, glad I ditched it.
  • Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Campbell Bartoletti - I learned a lot about this infamous woman and how she was treated by the medical society and others. There were other 'carriers' who never were treated the way she was and that was a shame. An interesting look at a disease that is nearly gone from our shores.
  • The Siren by Kiera Cass - Kahlen is given a choice by the Ocean, to drown with her family, or to become a Siren for 100 years. She chooses to be a siren and with her three sisters they call ships to feed the Ocean. When she finds Akinli, a boy who sees her past the haunting beauty and chooses to hear her soul beyond her muteness, changes begin. Loved this!
  • Skinny by Donna Cooner - Who is that voice that whispers in your ear, inside your head telling you everything you suppose everyone is saying. This tale of an obese teenager struck home with me because most of us have that voice and need to deal with that. Great book!
  • The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork - After a failed suicide attempt, Vicky finds the help and friendship she needs outside of family. She finds that the great sadness of her mother's death evolved into a spiral of depression. Her context of how that sounds, and looks is fabulous. Another one I will recommend!
  • Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice - texting by her younger sister causes Roo to just this once, text while driving and she ends up locked inside her body. Everyone thinks she's a vegetable except her sister Tilly who discovers that Roo is in there, and knows what's going on by a flick of her eye. An amazing tale of sisters, the barriers that can come between and how those barriers can make them closer. Recommended for my students!
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker - loved this tale of a boy and his fox. Peter is sent off to live with his grandfather while his dad goes to war and they take Peter's fox and leave it in the woods. What Peter and Pax go through to find each other is a wondrous crafting of growing, finding your place and letting go. I cried. Chapters are boy/fox and so well crafted - definitely a recommended book!
  • Dog is my Copilot by Patrick Regan - loved these stories of dogs that needed a home, but far from where they are and the pilots who take them there. Special people, special dogs and special pilots! Very heartwarming! Glad I heard about this group and all the good they do!
  • The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler (for bookclub) - Esme moves to New York and becomes pregnant. Realizing she needs money, she goes to a little independent bookstore to ask about a job and is hired. Between the father and the family she finds in the bookstore, it is quite the read!
  • East by Edith Pattou - what a lovely book! Rose was born to replace a lost sister who was born to the east of the compass, but instead, she was born to the north. A wanderer, an explorer and when times get tough, a bear comes to the door and tells her all will be well if she comes with him. So she does. Just exquisitely done! Loved it!
  • Girls, Drums and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick - loved this quirky tale of a big brother who struggles with the fact his little brother has cancer, but never loses sight of how much he loves him. Friends, fundraisers and family made this a great book. I will recommend it to my students!
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Young Reader's Edition) - a lot to chew! Loved the YRE and glad I waited to read this. I've made quite a few changes in my life and eating choices and this book was very encouraging. 
  • The Red Pencil by Andrea Pinkney - lovely novel in verse about a family in Africa that had to move to a refugee center and the girl who wanted something better. Really excellent conveying of what life must be like in those circumstances. Sad, but still, there is hope of something better.
  • Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott - brilliant book in verse about a group of girls who not only survive Auschwitz, but together make a birthday card for Fania which she kept and is now in a Holocaust Museum. How they did it, and she kept it is amazing. 
  • You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison - clever book! Maggie and Nash are long time friends. She's overweight, he's gay and when the new guy comes to their school Nash claims dibs. Even though this is high school, still very much a middle school read. Nicely done, and now I want to bake cookies!
  • Stray by Elissa Sussman - Another fabulous fantasy! I've looked at this one for awhile and finally read it! Princess Aislynn can not control her magic and instead of her happily ever after, she is demoted to being a fairy godmother. This is a dark tale and has a sequel! I'll have to get that one on my order list!
  • Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge - What a great fantasy! I loved it all! Rachelle, Erec, Armand - when the Bloodbound and the forest born are on either side of the Devourer, who will win? Which will you take? The path of needles or the path of pins, fabulous!
  • The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch - for my book club! The trials and tribulations as well as the lives and community that get knit together because of the book store. I liked the second half better than the first and have read 7 of her fave picks! We must have something in common! The humming of books most likely!
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - Very nicely done of a girl living under the shadow of her brother's bad choices and how she finds herself in another family that helps her family find her. Loved her pizza whispering!
  • George by Alex Gino - how likely is it to read the same coming out story with a slightly different take? George also knows she's a girl, and wants to be Charlotte in the class play. For my take, Gracefully Grayson was done much better.
  • Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky - nicely done tale of a boy who knows she is a girl and auditions for Persephone in the class play. Very nicely done.
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper - how technology helps a young girl with severe disabilities show others she can think with the best of them. A must recommend for my students!
  • No and Me by Delphine de Vigan - loved this tender story of a girl who tries to help a homeless girl on the streets of Paris. A lovely read.
  • Unslut by Emily Lindin - thought this would be an excellent book for our students. Emily was in middle school when she was labeled a 'slut' and this is her diary with sidebars on her perceptions of what happened, what she allowed, consent issues, self harm, and really a hard look at how that worked on her. I read it to be sure it was ok to go out! I also got approval by my supervising librarian. He's going to order it as well. An interesting read - though the teenage angst was a bit over the top a lot!
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George - I love the Literary Apothecary book barge! Loved it getting cast off, then following Jean and Max down the rivers. I love a book where I get to pull out a map and follow along! I looked up Cuisery, the Camargue (and looked at pictures of the horses! Now I want to go there!) and then Sanary-sur-Mer. I still need to look up Bonnieux! 
  • Spelled by Betsy Schow - Nice! Fairy tales and fantasy strung together and mashed up with magic and a prince chimera, and oh spell, it was good!
  • The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin - a nice spin off from the very adult Game of Thrones, this is a rather sweet tale of a girl born in the midst of winter who becomes friends with an ice dragon. Took me just an evening to read, the illustrations were fabulous! A really nice story told well. 
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark - Nice story, and fun for our OBOB students! River, Freak and Fiona find a sofa on the sidewalk one morning and discover it is much more than a piece of household furniture! With a zucchini crayon, Guernica the computer and Alf, they save the world! Loved all the Tolkien references!
  • The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint - ah, I love his works and worlds. It was a surprise to find this book in our library. I nearly cried at the end, because it ended so perfectly. Imogene was still blue though! Glad I found it and read it.
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - Really liked this little story of a bookseller and how he touched the lives of the people around him. Took some chances, and loved his books! This was for my book club and I have lots of notes! Didn't like that he died of cancer, but we all have to go sometime.
  • Positive - by Paige Rawl - I think every middle school library must have this book available! Paige went through bullying beyond belief when she told her best friend she was HIV positive. And soon the entire school knew. In spite of, or because of, Paige has turned out to be an amazing advocate willing to speak and tell her story. A must have, I'll send out the recommend tomorrow!!
  • Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell - loved this take on Cinderella and her knack with mechanical and magical items. Jules was magnificent! And a bit of a twist at the end!
  • The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell - loved this tale of a boy with early ALS and the friends he makes online, then in real life as he needs to make decisions about how his life will end. They form a deep bond and each realizes they can be who they want to be. Loved this!
  • True Heroes - various, pictures by Jonathan Diaz - Diaz has his heart in great space - he loves giving kids with cancer their dreams in a photograph, then he got authors to also write stories about these amazing kids. From firefighters and warrior princesses to fashionistas and dragon riders - it may be one of the best books I've read this school year! 
  • The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni - nice dystopian in a way story of a boy who finds himself a part of the Eighth Day - a day when no normals are around, but he, and others like him have another life. He meets a girl who only lives on that one eighth day and finds himself locked in an old legend of Arthurian proportions. Well done, not what I was expecting!
  • The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier - Two orphans have nowhere to go and end up at the Windsor mansion, though it is haunted and there is something about that great tree that is growing inside the house and that the people who live there grow more and more pale and sick. A nice mystery fantasy I enjoyed!
  • Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein - Quite the comic tale of 12 children selected to spend the night in the town's new library built by the crazy game maker Mr. Lemoncello! It was a fun read and to catch all the names of books he throws out along the way!
  • The Caged Graves by Dianne Salerni - Enjoyed this tale of post civil war and the plucky Verity who is off to marry a lad near her father's place. Her mother had died and was buried in a 'caged grave' to keep people from digging her up and Verity digs up secret after secret trying to find out why. Very nice!
  • Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata - enjoyed this tale of Cracker on the one hand, and his people on the other and how Cracker ended up in Vietnam as a patrol dog. Very nicely done!
  • Facing the Lion by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton - Loved this tale of Joseph and how he lived in two worlds. Getting educated and then living as a herder in his tribe. Wonderful life and balance! A very special man!
  • The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks - what a crazy ride! The real life of vampires, Guinea pigs, werewolves and how they live in modern society. I did this as a CD and it took awhile (I only live 10 minutes away from work!) But I really did enjoy it!
  • Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb - the tale of an 11 year old with severe anorexia and how she kept trying to convince herself she was not thin enough. I will definitely recommend this to our students!
  • Mary Lincoln's Dressmaker by Becky Rutberg - loved this tale of Elizabeth Keckley and her amazing dressmaking abilities and how that brought her into contact with Mary Lincoln. Very impressive!
  • Over Winter Break ^
  • Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead - Not sure about some of this book. Two intertwined stories that focus on three girls in middle school and an older sister. Bridge was in horrible accident and goes around wearing cat ears after her year of rehab. She and her friends make a 'set' of three and promise never to fight. They go through a lot together and it all turns out all right in the end. A good book for middle school.
  • The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke - an always read for Christmas time. Love this book!
  • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - whoa! what a ride! Her POV is perfect for each character and what a wild emotional free fall of words! Loved every moment, it was so intense in a word candy way as well as the story. I really see that it is not really a middle school book and sent it to Sprague. If someone requests it, I might order it in, but for only a few of my kids that could possibly handle it. Loved it.
  • Born Free by Joy Adamson - what a delight to find this book in our library! So good to see the pictures and hear the story of Elsa the Lioness again. Made me happy!
  • Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff - this took a bit for me to get into but it really grew on me. Trent is a boy haunted by hitting another boy while playing hockey as the puck hit the other boy in the chest and he ended up dying. Trent has no idea how to cope with this, his emotions. What he thinks of himself. How it might have been different. Fallon has her own past and a huge scar on her face and together they become friends and find out friends are what get you through the tough times when nothing else will. I will recommend this one!
  • Legend by Marie Lu - kind of liked this dystopian drama of two highly capable people and how they got thrown together. Nice.
  • Fumbling by Kerry Egan - :A Pilgrimage of Love, Grief, and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago - loved this! Think Anne Lamott walking through the north of Spain, with all the twistings of life and faith brought together, one of those I was sad to end because I didn't want it to!
  • My Friend The Enemy by J. B. Cheaney - what a great tale of the Pacific Northwest during WWII and how it affected the Japanese here. And I never knew that Japan had worked out air currents and actually put weather balloons up with bombs attached that did come all the way over here. Wow. Never knew that.
  • The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove - Pretty chunky, but really enjoyed this first book. There was a disruption in the world and ages rifted. Some went back, others forward. Sophie's uncle is a cartologer and he entrusts to her a glass map, then he is kidnapped and taken away and she is left to follow him. Very interesting book!
  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis - loved this twist on a fairy tale. Sunday is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter. She is blithe and bonny and good and gay with her 6 sisters. Her written words have power and she escapes to the forest to write and finds one day a frog that she falls in love with. A blend of fairy tales and intrigue as the frog becomes the prince her family hates but all live happily ever after after all.
  • Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata - what a sweet family tale of a Japanese family battling to make a better life for themselves and their children. Very touching, families are all the same, we care so deeply for those we love and try to remember them as best as we can.
  • Code of Honor by Alan Gratz - I was only going to read the first few chapters but totally got sucked into this fast paced thriller and had to read it all. Kamran and his brother Darius have always lived by a code of honor. Their mother is from the Middle East and they look like her side of the family. When Darius joins the Rangers and is seen working with terrorists, his brother can't believe it, or can her? Then he notices that his brother is using their old 'code' to send him messages. Very very good!
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Bod's family is murdered and he toddles up to the graveyard at the top of the hill and the graveyard denizens adopt him and decide to raise this 'Nobody' to keep him safe from whoever it was that failed to murder him. Interesting tale!
  • Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead - An OBOB book - quirky tale of two boys who pretend. One lies, the other spies and none of it is real. Very nice and true to our lives when things won't work the way we want them to but we still want someone along who will believe in us.
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm - Loved this tale of Sunny who wanted to go to the beach again this summer with her best friend, but ends up in Florida with her grandfather and his '55 and over' community. Nice sweet graphic novel of why she ended up there for the summer. 
  • I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest - what a great ride! May and Libby become friends and create Princess X. Then Libby dies in a car accident. May moves away and comes back to Seattle to spend time with her dad and sees a Princess X sticker. She finds more and more, then finds a Princess X story that she knows is Libby. A fabulous read!
  • Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede - what a cute little fantasy! Cimorene is not your average princess and as such, is not interested in dancing, embroidery or princes. She'd rather learn sword fighting, latin and cooking. When she is to be engaged to a prince, she heads off to the mountains and becomes the princess to a dragon. These dragons don't devour their princess, they cook, clean, attend the dragons and Cimorene has found her profession! Loved it!
  • Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins - one of our OBOB books. Chiko is forced into the Burmese army and ends up wounded and near death when a young Karenni comes across him. He must make the decision to save his enemy, or help him. An interesting book about people and perspectives, but based very much on what the Karenni people were still going through in 2010.
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - I can see why students love this book. Who wouldn't like to be like Stargirl? Someone who stands out, doesn't care what others think, celebrates everything she finds in her own way? Downloaded this as an eBook checkout through our Axis360 program. Worked fabulous!
  • The Cat at the Wall by Deborah Ellis - Clare has died in Bethlehem, PA to wind up as a cat in Bethlehem, Israel. She blames her teacher for her death as she helps a young boy and two soldiers in the riot ravaged city. Chapters alternate between her clash with her 8th grade teacher and her involvement with the boy and the soldiers as her cat self. So very good!! Highly recommended!
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi - really enjoyed this dystopian world! Nailer lives in the shadow of giant ships that once traveled oceans. The oceans rose, fuel ran out and now scrappers make a living by stripping them of parts. Nailer escapes an oil choked hold and is called "Lucky" then finds a clipper ship wrecked on the 'Teeth' and finds not only enough wealth to set him for life, but Lucky Girl, who may hold more for him than any pay. Well done!
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon - Loved this take on an old fairy tale! Azalea and her sisters have lost their mother and the King has put everyone into mourning for a year. The sisters want to remember their mom, and her favorite thing was to dance. They are all accomplished dancers and one day Az finds a mark on the fireplace that leads them to a magical realm where they can dance all night. The Keeper has other plans for them and Azalea must find a way to rescue them all.
  • The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson - a great read! Enjoyed this 'prequel' to the Tom Sawyer stories about how Becky meets this river boat pilot named Sam Clemens who is waiting for parts. Very fun!
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - Had to do a quick read on this because it hinted at romance (!), so thought I'd check it before I let the students at it. It was a really good read! Tamsin comes from a family of witches who all get their 'Talent' by the time they are 8. Except her. Her grandmother said she would be the best of them all, but it hasn't happened until a gentleman wanders into the family book store hoping that someone might 'find' something for him. A really nice urban fantasy tale!
  • Swindle by Gordon Korman - a rollicking tale of a baseball card that the kids repossess to make things right! I really did enjoy this! 
  • Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai - Mai wants to spend the summer at the beach in Laguna Beach, but she is appointed guardian of her grandmother to head to Vietnam to find out what happened to her grandfather during the war. I learned a lot in this story about Vietnam and the culture! Loved it!
  • Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly - loved this quirky tale of a pieced together girl, a wizard she fights against and finds her family. This was good!
  • Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans - love the subtitle: loving, leaving and finding the church. Says it all. Loved her way of looking at all the many facets through the sacraments, her own journey from PK to blogger of religious wrestlings. Highly recommended.
  • All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg - nice book in verse about a Vietnamese boy saved during the airlift and his life here. Piano and baseball are his loves, but not one of the members of his baseball team. Nicely done.
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - what a great holocaust story about the round up of the Jews in Paris in 1942. Sarah locks her brother in the secret cabinet thinking she will be back soon and let him out. Very poignant mix between the past in 1942 and how a journalist discovers Sarah and her story. Very nice.
  • Stiching Snow by R.C. Lewis - what a great twist on Snow White and the 7 drones! Loved this high tech princess, her exile, back to the castle and helping out her kingdom! Great read, highly recommended!
  • Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman - good cyber-bully story. Lara is madly in love with Christian until he tells her the world would be better off without her. She attempts suicide, but is rescued in time. How could Christian do this to her? Make her feel so horrible that she wanted to die? Then he disappears. Police, retribution, families that stay together in spite of choices. A good read.
  • Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson - what a delightful little novel! Really enjoyed this tale of a real Hollywood star dropping into a Little town to shoot a movie. A definite recommend to students!
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - this read was for me. A very unusual holocaust story, a hard read because so much of it was probably true to someone, and the brutality was heart wrenching.
  • Return of the Padawan (Star Wars Jedi Academy) by Jeffrey Brown - I didn't read the original, but love this one! Life in middle school at the Jedi Academy is no walk in a star field. This made me chuckle!
  • Cardboard by Doug TenNapel - Though I've often talked graphic novel, I've rarely read them and this was a hoot! It's Cam's birthday and his father has managed to buy him the only thing he can afford. A cardboard box. With rules. They bend the rules and suddenly, there are no more rules and cardboard takes over the neighborhood.
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander - great novel in verse (and a Newbery Winner!) of two brothers who love basketball. Great word play on the pages, a story of family. Loved it.
  • Eona by Alison Goodman - I had to jump right into the sequel! Had a great twist, and a great ending! Loved this one too!
  • Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman - Loved this!!! Eon is picked to be an apprentice to a Dragoneye, the men who use the 12 Chinese zodiacal animals in dragon form to help the kingdom of Chine. As politics twist and secrets can no longer be kept, Eon is forced to make decisions on who he is and if he will take his place on the council. Loved this!!!
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - another part biography fiction tale of a boy growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation and making the decision to go to the white school in the town. Took a chapter, but very nicely done!
  • Deck Z by Chris Pauls & Matt Solomon - a really great read actually! What if a german scientist carrying 'The Toxic' was aboard the Titanic and 'The Toxic' was set loose and started turning passengers and crew into zombies? A great read! I'm not much of a zombie fan, but this was great fun!
  • The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde - what a fun little book! Jennifer Strange is the manager of the Kazam Mystical Arts, booking magical folk so they can earn a buck. It's hard to convince people you're capable at 16 to run a business. Until she finds her true calling and turns the predictions into truth.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Louis Zamperini was a troublemaker. From his earliest days he picked fights and ditched school. Then he discovered running. With his brother coaching him, he went to the 1936 Olympics and then entered WW II. Shot down, finally rescued by the Japanese, he endured terrible tortures and finally made it back home. An amazing story!
  • Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix - move over Haddix books, the Uprising is the tale of three women the months before the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Really well done, and a great perspective on the events that lead to the fire and all those deaths that changed factories forever.
  • The Contract by Derek Jeter - Derek sets out what worked for him, a contract between him and his parents that helped him reach his goals. Fiction yes, but probably a good part of Derek's story.
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - nice teenage angst tale! Eleanor gets on the bus and the only one to be kind is Park. They start their relationship there, sharing comics, music and come to appreciate each other. Eleanor's step dad is a mean drunkard and the family lives in constant fear and Park's home is typical americana and Eleanor spends more and more time there. Until one night. Nice POV work!
  • The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson - a great read of one of Schindler's children - well worth while!
  • Between the Lines by Samantha Van Leer and Jodi Picoult - What if a character in a book moved from their place? What if you noticed? What if you could communicate to each other? That would be reading between the lines. A good tale and some nice artwork!
  • The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone - 7th grader Louise has a secret admirer! She thinks it might be the pizza delivery boy that comes to her grandparents place since her mom died. A really great book!
  • Empty by Suzanne Weyn - What if the world ran out of gas? How would that effect life initially? When you could still get it sometimes? When the power would still work sometimes? Gas at 70 to 90 dollars a gallon if you could get it? Then they find the whippersnapper, and possibilities abound.
  • Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan - really enjoyed this story of Willow (12), a child genius who is adopted and then whose parents die in a car crash. She is thrown into a world created for her since she had learned to speak Vietnamese for her friend Mai, and moves in with Mai's family to an apartment of her school counselor's (who ends up rooming with another fellow in the apartments there). A crazy, possible true story of people coming together that is wonderfully beautiful. Read this times 7!
  • Life in Motion by Misty Copeland - Lovely tale of Misty's life and how she ended up as a principal dancer and soloist at the American Ballet Theatre - will definitely booktalk this in school in the fall!
  • Finding Moosewood, Finding God by Jack Perkins - At 52 Jack is at the height of a great newscasting career, but is ready for change so he and his wife leave L.A. and buy a place on a small island in Maine. Very nice.
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown - Fabulous! The crew team of the University of Washington makes it to the German Olympics of 1936. Not only a great story of overcoming, but literary candy as well! I've already recommended this book to a ton of people!
  • Summer 2015 Reads ^ :