Tag Archives: Shannon Hale

And the winner is…

1 Feb

The first ever Stoller Middle School Mock Newbery Club concluded Tuesday. Students voted, feasted and got to choose some books to take home with them. Here is what they chose.

The Mock Newbery Winner: Forget me Not by Ellie Terry

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They chose two Mock Newbery Honor books

Real Friends  by Shannon Hale and Refugee by Alan Gratz

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They are excited to see what the official Newbery Award committee selects on February 12th. You can watch the announcements live here. I’ll be in the audience, sitting with my Sibert colleagues.

 

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This week’s book talks January 8 – 12

12 Jan

I still feel energetic after my first five-day week since Winter Break ended. Go me!

As a result, I got in a full five books!

Monday: A Night Divided  by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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Tuesday: Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

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Wednesday: All the Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr

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Thursday: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda  by Tom Angleberger

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Friday: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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The Course of True Friendship

21 Jul

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I was excited when my hold on Real Friends came in. I was ecstatic when I saw there was a character named Adrienne, then, disappointed to find out she was the antagonist. Sigh. But that is probably the worst thing I can say about Shannon Hale’s graphic novel, excellently illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

Publisher’s Summary: 

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Drawing on events from her own youth, Hale tells a tale most kids can relate to. In her afterward, she admits that she is telling only her side of the story. She also tells readers to be patient if they haven’t found their “group” yet.

In addition to tackling friendship issues, Real Friends gives readers a glimpse into life in a Mormon family, something we don’t often see in kidlit.

This is a book that is getting some Newbery buzz, and I highly recommend it.

 

Ursula Le Guin and The Princess in Black

21 Nov

Did you see or hear Ursula Le Guin’s acceptance speech for the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014?

Like many people she was one of the first science fiction/fantasy writers I ever read.I was probably in my teens.  There certainly wasn’t much of anything science fiction or fantasy-like  for me before I was a teen.

Nowadays, there is so much more for kids. A nice little entry level book is The Princess in Black written  by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, and illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

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I have a girl in my class who is really into superheroes. This is a little young for her, but wouldn’t it have been great if this had been around when she was  in kindergarten or first grade!

Goodreads Summary:Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

If you know a young person who loves superheroes, this is a wonderful read for them. I also think it would be great to shake things up a little and see what ahoys would think about this book. It would pair nicely with Robert Munsch’s The Paperbag Princess. 

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I still smile thinking about the time I read it to a class of first graders. When we got to the end a sweet little girl named Mina had a look of horror on her face. That wasn’t the ending she was expecting. Success!

Home from Holidays part 1

7 Aug

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I’m home from my trip to Canada. My book tally was low: one book finished one purchased and one started.

On the way to Canada, I read Dangerous by Shannon Hale.

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Well written and faced paced,  Dangerous has a smart female heroine. I took this one on the plane to Canada and finished it before we landed in Toronto. I sort of tough my sister, who loves Shannon Hale’s previous books, might want to read it.  Once I was into the book, I knew my sister wouldn’t like it. The book has Hale’s good writing, but it is the setting that would turn her off. If this book didn’t have Hale’s name on the from, I probably wouldn’t have read it either.

While in Ottawa, the world marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1. We toured the Canadian War Museum, which is amazing. I cried more than once. I’ll write more on this later. The only book I bought was  The War that Ended Peace  by Margaret MacMillan.

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I read her previous book, Paris 1919, which death with the Paris Peace conference that followed World War 1, which was eminently readable. I am really looking forward to this one.

On the plane ride home, I started  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. This was a Christmas gift from my sister and I am finally getting to it. I am about a quarter in and it is not what I expected from the cover, but I am hooked.

I got home late last night, so I haven;t picked up the girls yet. I am very excited to see them. I hope they forgive me.

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