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A very satisfying end

25 Sep

Almost a year ago to the day, I wrote a post about the fourth Lockwood & Co. book. At the end I refer to an unnamed fifth book.

Well, this weekend, I finished the fifth book,  and with it, the series has truly come to an end. Fortunately, it was a very satisfying end.

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Author’s website: After their recent escapades, Lockwood & Co. deserve a well-earned rest  . . . so naturally they decide to break into the country’s most heavily-guarded tomb.

What they discover there changes everything.

So begins a desperate battle to uncover the truth behind the epidemic of ghosts. It’s a battle that will force the team to journey to the Other Side, bring them face to face with hideous phantoms – and pit them against the most terrifying enemy they have ever known.

Will everyone make it out alive?

As much as I like the US cover, I must show you this UK cover. I

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Although Lucy is the narrator and Lockwood the leader, I think George and the Skull might be my favorites in this book. Their characters are more fleshed out in book 5 than in any of the previous four books, and  Skull’s humor provides a nice counterpoint to the scary ghost stuff.

I am sad to see this series end. Stroud leaves things open enough that more books could come, but I imagine he already has something new series in mind.

 

 

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This week’s booktalks 9/18-9/22

22 Sep

Monday, I actually encouraged students to listen to The Inquisitor’s Tale  because the audiobook is rather excellent.

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Tired Tuesday, feeling groggy after BTSN, I chose a book I could get super excited about sharing.

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Wednesday, I went for inspirational.

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Thursday, because we were talking about maps as inspiration for writing personal narratives, I chose The Map Trap, with its obvious connection.

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And, finally, Friday, I recommended All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook,  just because I like it. It is the perfect book to curl up with this week.

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2017 National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature

13 Sep

The 2017 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature was announced yesterday.  I’ve read four already. I have a few on hold, one ARC, and there are a few that my library doesn’t have yet. And the first three weren’t even on my radar.

MY TBR pile just got longer.

Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of

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Robin Benway, Far from the Tree

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Samantha Mabry, All the Wind in the World

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Mitali Perkins, You Bring the Distant Near

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Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down

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Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

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Laurel Snyder, Orphan Island

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Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

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Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

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Ibi Zoboi, American Street

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Thank you!

10 Sep

Thanks to everyone who has donated to my project to get books for a Mock Newbery Club. The Donors Choose fundraiser finished and most of the books arrived this week.

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I couldn’t order everything I wanted through their program which utilizes Amazon Business. I have a second fundraiser going through a local  school district-based organization, the Beaverton Education Foundation.  I will use that fundraiser to order the rest of the books through Powells Books, who have been great supporters of Beaverton schools.

I am only $250 away from fulfilling that fundraiser. Your tax-deductible donation to the Stoller Middle School Mock Newbery Club,  no matter how small, can help me provide students with the books that will make our Club a wonderful experience. Just click on the link above. Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 9.31.37 AM

This week’s booktalks 9/5-9/8

8 Sep

After the summer break, I am back to book talks.

Last year, I ran into a little problem. As the end of the year approached, I couldn’t remember which books I had already book-talked. At the beginning of the year, I wrote them in my planner, but somewhere along the way, less than a month into school, I stopped. This year, I plan on writing the date of the booktalk in the back of the book.  It violates many of my personal rules, but it will be helpful – if I can keep it up.

Wednesday, I introduced our first read aloud: Posted by John David Anderson. This is a great read aloud…I had their attention. Even the kid who was reading his book under the table closed his book to listen!

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Wednesday, I booktalked Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. By their reactions, it is clear that some of my students also consider The One and Only Ivan a heart book.

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Today’s book will be Refugee by Alan Gratz. I haven’t written about this one yet, but will soon.

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Kings, Queens and Thieves

3 Sep

As soon as I cracked open the newly designed paperback cover of The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, I was hooked (haha)  and tore through the next two books.

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Somehow, I missed the arrival of A Conspiracy of Kings. I don’t know why.

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But after hearing MWT talk at ALA this summer, I read the fifth book, Thick as Thieves.

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Thick as thieves has the newest cover design, not the luxurious style of the first four books.  They now have covers in the new style.

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Having read Thick as Thieves, I went back and read A Conspiracy of Kings. This is the sort of series in which you can do that. The first three books should be read in order. The two most recent books are about minor characters who appear in the first three. Although they are in chronological order, reading them out of order did not impede my understanding or enjoyment.

 

Madly reading through the last weeks of summer

14 Aug

I’ve had this pile of books sitting around. Maybe I have more than one pile.

Here are two truths about my book piles:

  1. They are not stagnant. Books come and books go.
  2. They are shrinking.

I’ve been blitzing through my piles, trying to get as many books read before I have to go back to school.

While at ALA, I got arcs of two graphic novels, aimed at two different demographics, but both are the first in a series.

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The Sand Warrior is geared to a middle school audience and my arc will end up in my classroom library,

Publisher’s Summary: The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

• The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.

• A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.

• Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?

When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!

 

As with most of his books, Scott Westerfeld’s The Spill Zone is geared to an older audience. There is some language and activity in the book that will keep me from putting it in my 6th grade classroom library, but I can imagine teens connecting with the main characters.

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Publisher’s Summary: Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.

The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone’s twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death—or worse.

When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits—and it seems to be calling Addison’s name.

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