Friday, September 14, 2012

Camo Girl by kekla magoon

Camo Girl  is set in a suburb of Las Vegas, Ella and Zachary, called Z, have been friends forever, but Z has always been “the weird kid” in their class. He collects stubby pencils, plays chess, and maintains an elaborate –and public– fantasy life, starring himself as a brave knight. Z’s games were okay back in 3rd or 4th grade, but by now their other friends have ditched them both. Z doesn’t care, but Ella longs to be part of a group of friends, even though most of the class makes fun of her. Ella’s mother is black and her father (now deceased) was white, and she’s the only black girl in their sixth grade class. When a new boy, Bailey, moves to town, he befriends Ella, because they are now the only two black kids in class. But Bailey is popular – popular enough to make Ella cool and give her a wider circle of friends – but only if she stops hanging out with Z. Ella’s faced with a difficult decision – remain loyal to the boy who has been her best and only friend for years, or pass up the opportunity to be one of the popular kids that she has always longed to be.
Bailey has a secret. What is his secret? If others found out his secret would he still be popular? Or one of the 'cool ' kids?

all the broken pieces by ann e. burg

all the broken pieces is a novel in verse.  Mitt Pin would like to forget war torn Vietnam, bombs that fell and the terrible secret he left behind. He is now living with a caring adoptive family in the United States, he finds himself forced to confront his past. And that means choosing between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom.  This copy comes from the back cover of the book but doesn't tell the story. Matt faces prejudice because of his nationality, he faces problems because he wants to play baaseball but faces the unfairness of teamates. With the help of his parents Matt learns to face all that prejudice and more.

Bulu:African Wonder Dog by Dick Houston

Bulu is not a book I would normally read. This is about Bulu a dog who lived in the African bush. His owners, Steve and Anna, were warned that dogs usually don't survive long in the bush because they become 'food' for the wild animals.  Bulu has adventures in the bush, some riskier then others more terrifying for Steve and Anna the Bulu. He is a courageous and determined dog.

It is a Virginia Readers Choice book, a pleasure to read.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flygirl by Sherri L Smith

Flygirl,  I really enjoyed reading this book. It is another Virginia Reader's Choice.  I loved Ida Mae. Her persistence wanting to be a pilot.With America entering WWII the Army needed pilots to move planes from one place to the next. Ida had the chance to become a pilot.  She uses her light skin to 'pass' as a white girl, to learn to be a pilot. Ida Mae wants to fly become a pilot but soon Ida Mae learns denying one's identity and family a burden.  But will this stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a pilot?
I loved Ida Mae a strong female wanting to achieve her dreams, her persistence at a time when her skin color might have stopped her. Way to go Ida Mae!

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period this book wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be about kids attending a private and the cattiness between students. Boy was i wrong. Kristen finds herself outside the clique her best friend was a part of. Only to have her mother keep telling her you need to be apart of that group,  When Kristen finally decides to take a leap to sit a another table for lunch is when the ---- hits the fan. Especially at home. Kirsten so called keeps running home to her mom about things going on at school, only to have Kirsten's mom questioning Kirsten. We all know friends are a must but its tough to deal with when you are constantly being picked on. Now enters Walk. Kirsten over hears her parents, talking or was it a another fight?  How does Walk fit into being a friend of Kirsten's ?

You need to read the book to find the answers?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jacob's Rescue by Malka Drucker & Michael Halperin

Jacob's Rescue is not another typical WWII hiding of Jews from Nazis. This is Jacob's story how he was saved by a Polish family until the Russians came into Poland. Alex and his family took Jacob in and through out the years eventually took in Jacob's brothers. Alex's family kept them safe until then end of the war. Jacob and David finally reunited with their Dad in Palestine.
This book was published in 1993 but I recently found it as I was taking inventory at school. Its a good read for a student looking to read less then 150 pages and the story line moves quickly probably because the Germans/Nazis were always looking to hunt down Jews during this time period.  its sad that this is part of our world history.

This is very simialr in history to Between Shades of Gray

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen

Notes From the Dog by Gary Paulsen is a great book to read. At first I thought the book was about a dog that is true to a point but the meat of the story. School is out for the summer. Finn is home deciding how many people he will talk to over the summer break. He already went to the library for a selection of books to read over the summer. Matthew a friend is staying with Finn. They get a neighbor her name is Johanna. Johanna gets Finn creating a garden in his back yard.  Finn and Matthew get coaxed into helping Johanna raise money for a charity. Throughout the story Johanna weaves friends together to create family.

This is my second book I read written by Gary Paulsen. As with Lawn Boy I really enjoyed this story.  This would be a good book for students who like to read less then 150 pages. Also Lawn Boy has less than 90 pages for those students who don't like to read 100 pages both books are a good read.  But read this story because the dog, Dylan, does bring notes to Finn but who is writing the notes? READ Notes From the Dog.

Middle School the Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson

Middle School the Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson is actually only about being a 6th grader and one year of middle school. Rafe makes the the first year of middle school seem like the pits. He decides he needs to break every rule in the middle school rule book giving himself points the more difficult the rule is to break the higher the points award. Rafe gets detention and In school suspension when caught or when he can't talk the teacher out of the situation.  Its a bizarre story. I am certain I never met a middle school student like Rafe in my 30 years of teaching in middle school.
I guess it is written in good humor for middle schoolers but I now question if I should purchase the second book, sequel to this book.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.

When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.

They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .

It's anyone's guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival". .