Monday, May 30, 2011

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceBetween a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an intense story. I admit that I skimmed some of the passages where he described breaking his own arm and then amputating his hand. I'm just too squeamish. I was captivated by Aron's descriptions of his adventures in the mountains and his ordeal being trapped in the slot canyon.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)Where She Went by Gayle Forman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I Stay was incredible. This sequel was equally incredible. I actually listed to the audio of this book, which made it even more compelling because it was read by Dan Bittner. It's been three years since the events of If I Stay and we now get to hear things from Adam's point of view.

Gayle Forman weaves an incredible story.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

ScarsScars by Cheryl Rainfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a difficult book to read, yet I finished it basically in one day. Cheryl tackles some pretty tough topics in a sensitive, well written way. The characters felt very real and Kendra's voice seemed very true. This is not a book that I would have sitting on my classroom library shelf, but it is a book that I would feel comfortable recommending to the right student. It is also a book that people who work with teens should read.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer's CrossCryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading this book reminded me of my X-Files days. It also made me realize that my interests/tastes have shifted over the past few years. I still enjoyed the story and the characters, but it didn't hit me like it might have several years ago.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Middleworld (Jaguar Stones book 1) by J & K Voelkel

Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)Middleworld by Jon Voelkel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was the latest read aloud with my 7th graders. I picked it on the recommendation of several 8th graders who read it and enjoyed the action and adventure. There certainly is a lot of action and adventure, as well as demon possession, attempted human sacrifice, and explanation of Ancient Mayan culture. My students enjoyed it, especially as the story neared it's climax. I even over heard several of them speculating on what was going to happen during their after-school math help.

The main characters are likable and believable, although, I did find the changing attitude of Max's Uncle Ted a little unbelievable. The first story wraps up neatly enough for those who like a tidy conclusion, but it open enough to leave room for the next book. I was glad that I already had the second book, because after finishing reading Middleworld to the class, one of my students was asking for the second one before I could reach the book shelf.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is actually a book my husband recommended to me. Usually I'm the one that recommends YA books to him! He had read about the book as had I and we both had heard good things about it. He read it rather quickly (an indication of a good story) and passed it one to me. I, too, enjoyed this story. The dystopian world is rather believable considering the news in these days of record storms and rising gas prices. The characters are also artfully created. Their development is believable and well paced.

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Marty McGuire by Kate Messner

Marty McGuire (Marty McGuire #1)Marty McGuire by Kate Messner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I bought it for our third grade teacher & her class, but had to read it first because Kate is one of my favorite middle grade authors. The third graders are going to love this story. Marty is a live wire! There is so much in the story for every student to relate to, from disappointment over changing friendships to trying to concentrate on math sheets the day of the play... Kate has once again done a beautiful job capturing the voice and emotions of young people.

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