Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Odette's Secrets

Odette's SecretsOdette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book - the style of writing, the historical details, the characters, the message. I love the way Maryann Macdonald brings young Odette to life for readers. The combination of first-person narrative and free verse poetry makes this work of historical fiction approachable and fast-paced, yet the meaning and beauty of the story are not lost. I hope that kids and grown ups will give this book a shot. I also enjoyed reading the Author's Note and I think young readers will appreciate that information as well.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Truth of Me

The Truth of MeThe Truth of Me by Patricia MacLachlan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another wonderful book for younger readers, and I am so glad that I read it! The Truth of Me reminded me a bit of The Year of Billy Miller in that I think both have a certain quietness about them and will make wonderful read alouds, especially for second grade. This book has a bit of action and some intense scenes, but everything is written in such a gentle, believable way. My favorite part of the story is the characters - not perfect but very realistic. I've already begun suggesting this one to readers at my school. Fantastic book!

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Let the Nerdlution Begin!

My Nerdlution goals are the following:

1. Meditation/prayer time everyday
2. Read a picture book I've never read before to my son everyday
3. Walk or run or move somehow 3 times a week
All this from December 2 to January 20 - can I do it???

Do you want to know more about Nerdlution?
Jump on the bandwagon here!


FalloutFallout by Todd Strasser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow - what an intense book Fallout is! This "what if" story will pull readers into the early 60's and what must have been a very frightening time in the United States. I love the way Strasser alternates chapters in a before and after sequence. I thought this added much more depth to the relationships of the characters and it gives readers a breather from the intensity of life in the bomb shelter. Due to mature themes, I cannot recommend it to any of my students, but I think older students will enjoy this one. The book may also serve to make readers more curious of that part of American history.

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The Boy on the Porch

The Boy On The PorchThe Boy On The Porch by Sharon Creech
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book to be very strange, but I did enjoy it. The writing is great and I was intrigued by the plot as well. At times, however, I felt like I was reading a book for adults so I do wonder what audience this book will find among children. The characters are so charming and engaging that I'm hoping that - along with the ease of reading - will lure young readers to The Boy on the Porch.

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The Center of Everything

The Center of EverythingThe Center of Everything by Linda Urban
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading The Center of Everything! Both the characters and setting are just the right amount of quirky - without going too far. Protagonist Ruby deals with issues regarding her family and her friends in a way that is realistic and sensitive. I'm looking forward to recommending this one, and I think this story will definitely find an audience among my students.

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A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True StoryA Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although the subject matter is heart-wrenching, there are so many things I love about A Long Walk to Water. Linda Sue Park does an excellent job of switching between two narratives to tell the complete story of the Sudan and the lost boys. I think students will be moved by this tragic and inspiring story. I especially love reading the notes at the end about Park's relationship with Salva and how this book came to be. I'm so glad it has gained popularity again in recent months since I had not heard of it until this summer.

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