Monthly Archives: October 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (16)


Waiting on Wednesday in a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that lets us gush over books we just can’t WAIT to get our hands on!

I can’t wait for…

Reached (Matched, #3)

Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the “New York Times” bestselling Matched Trilogy.
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising–and each other–Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.
In this gripping conclusion to the #1 “New York Times” bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.(Goodreads summary)

I cannot wait to see how this series is wrapped up. What happens with The Rising? What is Xander’s role? Who will Cassia chose? So many questions for Ally Condie to answer!

Release date: November 13, 2012


Top 10 Tuesday (12)


This is a weekly meme hosted by the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is…

October 30: Top Ten Favorite Kick-Butt Heroines

So here’s the thing…I kinda already did this post in June, so I’m reusing what I already wrote! Not all of my heroines are kick-butt in the sense that they’re fighting and literally kicking some tail; instead, they’re strong heroines who face adversity and tragedy, yet rise above. Below is my original post (with the addition of book covers).

Top Ten Heroines Who I Admire Because They’re Bad2TheBone!
(In no particular order) 

                   The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)  Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters  Divergent (Divergent, #1)  Heist Society (Heist Society, #1) Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

1. Katniss from The Hunger Games (series) — Um, duh? Of course Katniss is a badass. She keeps her family together when her dad dies. She volunteers her own life to save her sister. She goes through the game kicking butt and taking names. She’s fierce and loving and isn’t afraid to speak her mind or act on her convictions.

2. Kelsey from Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters — I love Kelsey because she was so real through the whole book. She kept looking like an absolute fool, but she would just keep on keepin’ on. She didn’t care that her (embarassing) picture wound up in the school newspaper (repeatedly). Had that been me, I would have been mortified to even show my face. (You can read my review here.)

3. Tris from Divergent (series) — Tris is brave enough to leave her family behind and join the faction where her heart lies. She selflessly stands up for her friends and puts herself in danger to save others.

4. Katarina Bishop from Heist Society (series) — Even though she is trying to break away from her thieving family and be her own bear, Kat is drawn back to help clear her father’s name. She’s a thief with a conscience. She can plan heist jobs and pull them off without a (life-ending) hitch. And somehow she manages to not lose herself around Hale, which has to be a hard task in itself!

5. Katsa from Graceling (series) — Katsa is graced with being able to demolish any and everyone she must. When she gets tired of her thug uncle using her as his personal assassin, she calls him out. She sets up an underground council to help those in need. She learns that she is not cold or cold-hearted and allows herself to grow.

6. Cat from Shine — I can’t imagine the despair Cat must have felt when she heard her best friend, Patrick, had been beaten and left for dead. Cat feels partially responsible for what happened to Patrick, and she is the only person in the town committed to finding out the truth behind what happened to him. While some critics thought Shine was a prime example of the darkness invading YA books, I feel that this book “shine”s the light on loyalty and hope.

7. Anne Frank from The Diary of a Young Girl — Anne has to leave everything she has ever known and go into hiding from Nazis. She must live the life of basically have no life. Being in this type of situation is unimaginable to me, and I would hope that I could handle it with the grace and dignity that so many people displayed during the Holocaust.

8. Frankie Landau-Banks from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks — Frankie secretly infiltrates an all-boy secret society. She masterminds the best pranks the school has ever seen and pulls them off without the boys knowing that it is her. Girl power!

9. Melinda Sordino from Speak — You’re a freshman and everyone at school hates you before school even starts? That’s how Melinda starts her year. You experience a tramatic event? That’s what Melinda experienced at end of summer. You tuck everything inside and face the people who hate you? That’s what Melinda does. I would do everything in my power to leave town, change schools, fake sick…anything! But Melinda faces everyone around her and carries on as best she can, with no one knowing how broken she is inside.

10. Mia from If I Stay (series) — After her family dies in a terrible accident that leaves Mia stuck somewhere between life and death, she has to decide which path she’s going to take: join her family or regain her life. I can’t imagine being faced with that decision and having to strength to choose either of the paths. Both are scary and hold the unknown. Neither will give her all that she wants. Yet she does make the decision, and she has to live (or die) with the consequences.

                          Shine  The Diary of a Young Girl  The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks  Speak  If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

*** *** ***

I noticed that a lot of these characters are from a series of books. I think that’s the testament of a strong, lovable (or hatable…is that a word?) character…that we want to know more about them and follow their journey even longer.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (16)


  Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you can recap what you’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Wow, you guys! This school year started, and I feel like I’ve barely had time to come up for air! I’m envious of you bloggers that make balancing work/family/blogging  look so easy. I’ve neglected my blog so that I could focus “free” time on family, but I wanted to pop and and share some of what I’ve been reading.

Clicking the covers will take you to the Goodreads page for that book, where you can add it to your “To Read” list!

Recently I’ve read

My reading quota isn’t nearly what it should be. There are lots of excuses for this, but none matter because I should always make time to read!

Picture Books

White Dynamite & Curly Kidd

Since this story is told solely through dialogue, I read this with my students to model how dialogue can move a story along. We also talk about surprise endings and preconceived notions can make us think certain things while reading. When reading aloud, I really differentiate the voice of the child and father so that students can hear the difference, and they love how understated the father is. Also, since there are no dialogue tags, we practice punctuating dialogue and adding tags other than “said.”

Graphic Novel


When Drama was released, I went searching for it at B&N, but I couldn’t find any copies. However, there was a whole display of Smile, so I picked that up. This has made the rounds from student to student (especially the ones with braces!), and they all love it. This was the first graphic novel for one of my girls. When she finished, she came to me and asked, “Do you have any more books like this?” She has since read the first two Baby-Sitters Club GNs (“Miss, is this the same person as the Smile book?”), a couple Babymouse GNs, and is on book two of Amulet.


Defiance (Defiance, #1)  Marty McGuire  True Believer (Make Lemonade, #2)  The Selection (The Selection, #1)

I was REALLY looking forward to Defiance, but it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations. You all know I love alternating POV, but it just didn’t seem to add anything special to this book. I think that C.J. Redwine set up an interesting world and premise, so I’ll continue reading, but I hope the next book is…more.

Marty McGuire is too awesome. My daughter loved her!

There’s nothing better than creating a special book bond with a student. Last year one of my girls and I read Make Lemonade together, and it really brought us closer together. This year I read True Believer and left it in the library with a note for her. She came by room the next day to thank me for leaving it and let me know she was already half-way through. She said that she hadn’t found anything good to read with her new teachers because they didn’t care what the students read and didn’t make time in class. It examples like that this that prove how important it is to make time for reading in class..

It seems like people either really like or really don’t like The Selection. I think the mark of a great story, especially a great series, is that you have lots of questions about what is going to happen and how the characters will end up interacting & affecting the outcome. I had tons of questions and speculations after reading The Selection, and I can’t wait for book 2 in April!

This week I’ll start/continue reading:


                                                               The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)  Found (The Missing, #1)

I loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns (which I reviewed here), and I can’t wait to see what happens with Elisa and her kingdom next.

My oldest son, who is in 4th grade, came home with Sent, the second book in The Missing series. When I asked him why he checked out book 2 rather than book 1, he said it was already checked out. So what do I do? Bring home the copies from my classroom and school library! He finished book two (“Mom, I’m already halfway through!”), and we’re both reading Found, the first book of the series, now. We even bought all 5 books from his teacher’s Scholastic Book Order.

What about you? What are YOU reading this week?

I promise I’ll be back next week 😉