Sunday, June 8, 2008

Learning Games to Change the World

Summer break has nearly arrived. It's time to play!
What a perfect time for me to happen upon this blog post from J T Cobb listing 26 learning games to change the world. Free Rice, which has been a Highland favorite this year, made the list along with a bunch of other games that might offer hours of entertainment and make you think! Check out the list and explore some of the games this summer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer Reading Lists

The last full day of school has just wrapped up. It was a hot one here with temperatures in the high 80s!

I posted a couple weeks ago about the personalized summer reading lists. Almost 100 students took me up on this offer. It was fun to create the lists. As I was doing this, I created a list of recommended reads and annotations that served as a base for the summer reading lists. I thought I'd share that list here as well. It is separated by genres and categories of books. Enjoy!

The Wizard Heir by Cinda Chima
Seph must find a way to control his wizard powers before they destroy him or put him under the power of the evil headmaster.

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinx
Child prodigy Cadel Piggot, an antisocial computer hacker, discovers his true identity when he enrolls as a first-year student at an advanced crime academy.

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landry
When twelve-year-old Stephanie inherits her weird uncle's estate, she must join forces with Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton mage, to save the world from the Faceless Ones.

Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan– first of a series
Will doesn’t get chosen for battle school and he becomes the apprentice of mysterious Ranger Halt.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – first of a series
Percy learns his father is the Greek god Poseidon, and is sent to Camp Half Blood. He fights side by side with the Olympians.

The MEQ by Steve Cash
Zianno Zezen learns that he is a member of a race know as the Meq and possess amazing powers which he endeavors to use against a sinister villain, the Flower of Evil.

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
Joey finds he’s one of an army or near-Joeys who can walk between universes.

Beauty by Robin McKinley
A blend of real life and fantasy in this retelling of the tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
“A macabre, eerie story set in a vividly portrayed cityscape, full of action, with foul enemies and ghoulish creatures…’’ need I say more?

Everlost by Neal Shusterman
When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up limbo for lost souls, where, although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing--even skinjacking--to break free.

Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, becomes caught in a web of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion

Goose Girl by Sharon Hale
Princess Anidori, on her way to marry a prince she has never met, is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive.

Book of a Thousand Days by Sharon Hale
Dashti and the Lady Saren are locked in a tower, escape, and they both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.

Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale
The adventures of Bobby Pendragon, a Traveler--someone who can ride "flumes" through time and space.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper
Hannah never gets the letter forbidding her to visit plague infested London in 1665. Too bad, as once she is in she cannot leave the city as she is surrounded by disease and death.

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
A Jewish girl and her family struggle to survive in Poland's Lodz ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

Fleshmarket by Nicola Morgan
Robbie decides to take revenge on Dr. Robert Knox, and makes a gruesome discovery about the lengths the medical profession will go to advance its knowledge of anatomy.

The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman
In 1949, Francine becomes best friends with a girl who questions authority and is punished by the nuns, causing Francine to question her own values.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
A murder mystery, a coming of age story, and historical fiction all in one!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Arnold is torn between life on the rez and a future that includes college. He’s a great narrator that doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. You’ll cheer for him to succeed.

Diary Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
It’s not an easy summer for DJ. She is pretty much running the family farm, training the spoiled (and handsome) Brian for football, and trying to make up for the F she received in sophomore English. A similar feel to a Sarah Dessen book.

Comeback Season by Jennifer Smith
Ryan Walsh, a Chicago Cubs fan, meets Nick when they both skip school on opening day, and their blossoming relationship becomes difficult for Ryan when she discovers that Nick is seriously ill and she again feels the pain of losing her father five years earlier.

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
Kate finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that her college plans may not work out, and an unexpected death.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Do I dare disturb the Universe? Find out !

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
When a boy finds himself with a lot of money, he has to decide what to do with it.

Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
He’s been cursed with a strange name. Martyn also has a rough home life. When his dad “accidentally” dies, Martyn tries to keep his life together.

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler
Summer love told in alternate viewpoints

Misfits by James Howe
A group of students who don’t fit in try to change their school for the better.

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman – first in a series
Vince just wants a normal life and nothing to do with the family business (his dad is the head of the mob). He falls for Kendra, her Dad happens to be an FBI agent. Funny stuff!

Bluford High series by Paul Langan
These quick, short reads all take place at Bluford High School and follow the lives of students there.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Aside from having a great title, this book has its funny parts but it also has some tough family issues that Virginia has to deal with.

(Angus, Thongs lovers)
Girl 15, Charming but Insane by Sue Limb
Jess, living with her mum, separated from her father in Cornwall, and with a best friend who seems to do everything perfectly, finds her own assets through humor.

shug by Jenny Han
Shug is trying to figure out the problems she is having with friends and boys as she starts Junior High. Plus, things aren’t going so well at home either. I really liked this book!

Click Here by Denise Vega
Erin keeps her thoughts on a private web page, that is until it accidentally gets published on the school’s web site.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Naomi loses her memory of the last four years of her life. She doesn’t remember her boyfriend, the activities she likes, nothing. She gets the chance to totally reinvent herself.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Reminded me of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants without the pants but with peaches!

How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
Seventeen-year-old Sugar Magnolia Dempsey is tired of leaving friends behind every time her hippie parents decide to move, but her plan to be unpopular at her new Austin, Texas, school backfires when other students join her on the path to "supreme dorkdom."

Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
After Kate has sworn off love, she finds herself in Italy for the summer studying Shakespeare where romance abounds.

True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks
Jess’ best friend falls madly in love with a senior. Their relationship is strained and damaged after Jess accidentally gets a rumor started.

Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson
Ellie, a normal, ordinary girl, starts ninth grade with high hopes of keeping her best friends, staying on a diet, becoming more glamorous, and getting a boyfriend.

The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor
After a breakup with her boyfriend, Jen receives a book from her grandmother that provides advice as she sets out to recover from the loss of the romance.

The Market by J.M. Steele
After Kate discovers the underground market ranking popularity at her high school, she becomes obsessed with raising her rank.

Indie Girl by Kavita Daswani
Indie has always dreamed of a career as a fashion reporter, so when she gets a job as a nanny for one of the industry's hottest editors, she hopes it will be her big break.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
I liked this book so much I had to read the whole series! The earth is at war with creatures called the buggers and Ender is taken to Battle School.

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
A dictator’s clone is the main character in this interesting action and sci fi book.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
After Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live."

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science by John Fleischman
The true story of Phineas Gage, whose brain had been pierced by an iron rod in 1848, and who survived and became a case study in how the brain functions.

Cherub series by Robert Muchamore
CHERUB, a group of teens whose mission is to spy on terrorists and international drug dealers, hack into computers, and download crucial information for the government.

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart
Four gifted children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened.

Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeves – first of a series
Tom has many dangerous adventures after being pushed off London by Thaddeus Valentine, a historian who is trying to resurrect an ancient atomic weapon.

Larklight by Phillip Reeve
“Creatures, swashbuckling pirates, and more in this Victorian space adventure.”

The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Susannah, a liaison between the living and the dead, hopes to be able to live as a normal teenager. Unfortunately, the ghosts who want her help have other plans!

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
As a sophomore at a secret spy school, Cammie is sheltered from "normal teenage life" until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.

Spy High Series by AJ Butcher
All about students at a special high school that trains them to be secret agents.

Spy Goddess Series by Michael Spraolin
Rachel Buchanan winds up at mysterious Blackthorn Academy in Pennsylvania, where she uncovers secrets about the school and a case of international espionage.

Nobody’s Princess by Esther Friesner
Set in Ancienct Greece, headstrong Helen learns to fight, hunt, and ride horses while disguised as a boy.

Peak by Roland Smith
A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Zach’s Lie by Roland Smith
This book hooked me in and kept me turning the pages. After a break-in at Zach’s house, his family has to enter the witness protection program. The sequel is Jack’s Run.

The Beasties by William Sleator
When Doug and his sister Colette move to a forested wilderness area, they encounter some weird creatures and a lot of people with missing body parts.

Cut by Patricia McCormick
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
Troy has a hard time fitting in. He’s obese and on the verge of suicide when he meets Curt, a homeless guitar player. Soon Troy finds himself as a drummer in a band, and he realizes that maybe he doesn’t have it so bad after all.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
A high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's dramatic cry for help.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay gets a package containing cassette tapes from Hannah containing insight into why she killed herself.

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor
In order to make money for their family, a brother and sister come up with a scheme to steal the dog and collect the reward money.

Listen! By Stephanie Tolan
Training a stray dog helps Charley deal with her accident and the death of her mother.

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
After an earthquake has destroyed much of the planet, an epileptic teenager nicknamed Spaz begins the fight to bring human intelligence back to the Earth of a distant future.

Declaration by Gemma Malley
In 2140 England, where drugs enable people to live forever and children are illegal, Anna has her world view challenged when she meets Peter.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Whoa! A meteor hits the moon and disaster strikes all over the world. Miranda describes what is happening in her journal.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
Scott is writing a high school survival guide. He finds himself involved in all sorts of activities to try to get close to his crush, it just never quite works out the way he plans.

Boy2Girl by Terrence Blacker
A guy starts at a new school disguised as a girl on a dare from a group of new friends.

Rat Life by Tedd Arnold
After developing an unusual friendship with a young Vietnam War veteran in 1972, fourteen-year-old Todd discovers his writing talent and solves a murder mystery.

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh
Jack Perdu, a prodigy of classical mythology, suffers a near-fatal accident after which he meets Euri, a young ghost who introduces him to New York's ghostly underworld.

Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer
Half Moon Fletcher is surprised when he ends up the mystery he is trying to solve!

KiKi Strike by Kristen Miller
Ananka discovers an underground room in the park across from her apartment and meets a mysterious girl who claims that she, too, wants to explore the subterranean world.

Gilda Joyce Books by Jennifer Allison
A really sassy detective with a great sense of humor!

Chasing Yesterday Series by Robin Wasserman
After an accident that should have killed her, a teenager tries to discover the truth about her supposed past and her future.

The Case of the Missing Marques by Nancy Springer
Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother.

Keeper by Mal Peet
World Cup hero, El Gato, describes his youth in the Brazil and the events, experiences, and people that helped make him a great goalkeeper and renowned soccer star.

Kickoff by Donna King
Tyra moves to England from Florida. She loves soccer and tries to be part of the soccer team while dealing a mean queen bee, boys, and other issues.

Soccer Chick Rules by Dawn Fitzgerald
While trying to focus on her soccer season, Tess becomes involved in politics when she learns all sports programs at her school will be stopped unless a tax levy is passed.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, wants to play soccer despite his near blindness and begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Alden Carter
Memory Boy by Will Weaver
Wild Man Island by Will Hobbs
Overboard by Elizabeth Fama
Shackelton’s Stowaway by Victorian McKiernan

Nonfiction Survival
Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer
Into the Wild by Jon Kraukauer
Alive by Piers Read

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden
A nonfiction book about a US military helicopter that crashed in Somalia.

Left for Dead by Pete Nelson
A nonfiction recounting of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the investigation about who was at fault for the tragedy.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
The story of a boy who lied about his age to become a British soldier during World War I

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
A story of a group of soldiers during their time fighting the Vietnam War.

WAITING for the next installment of TWILIGHT
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Love among the werewolves? Vivian is torn between her human boyfriend and the new werewolf life she is expected to lead. The movie was kind of lame, the book was much better!

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libby Bray
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, Gemma returns to England to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world. Of course there’s some romance too.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Will Pi survive a shipwreck when he is stuck with a collection of animals from his family’s zoo? How much of what he remembers is real?

Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
A rich gentlemean, Montomorency, and his servant, Scarper, are really the same person living a double life in England. Can he be a thief and a gentleman, without getting caught?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Highland Students' Favorite Books of 2007-2008

Highland students shared their favorite books that they read during this school year to a best books list. If you are looking for some summer reading suggestions, something off this list might be a good choice. Happy Reading!

Title of Book and Author
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
Absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pulman
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson
Blood Fever by Charles Higson
Bobsey Twins (series)
Bone series by Jeff Smith
Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen
Callahan Cousins Series by Elizabeth Doyle Carey
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The CHERUB Series by Robert Muchamore
Cirque De Freak series by Darren Shan
Clique Series by Lisi Harrison
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
Dune by Frank Herbert
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Ghost by the Sea by Eileen Dunlop
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter 6 & 7 by J.K. Rowling
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Heat by Mike Lupica
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Kidnapped Series by Gordon Korman
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
Magyk by Angie Sage
The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood
Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
The Meq by Steve Cash
Molly Moon's Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng
MVP by Douglas Evans
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
On the Run Series by Gordon Korman
Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
Peak by Roland Smith
Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
Petey by Ben Mikaelsen
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Rangers Apprentice Series by John Flanagan
Revenge of the Shadow King by Derrick Benz
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman
Shabanu-Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Staples
Shug by Jenny Han
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series by Ann Brashares
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony Ditelizzi
Swindle by Gordon Korman
Teachers Funeral by Richard Peck
Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This is What I Did by Anne Dee Ellis
Travel Team by Mike Lupica
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Yankee Girl by Mary Ann Rodman
Year of Secret Assignments, The by Jaclyn Moriarty