Thursday, December 3, 2009
If you'd like to help set up the book fair, see Ms. Wyatt. We'll be setting things up on Friday (12/4) afternoon.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I'm looking forward to discuss this book for eighth grade book club later this week. Yellow Star was a quick, but engrossing historical fiction read. Written in verse, it recounts the experiences of Syvia and her family during World War II. Based on the experiences of her aunt during the war, Jennifer Roy chose to share her aunt's story through a first person narrative. Syvia was four and a half when her family and all the other Jews in Lodz, Poland were moved to the ghetto. By the time liberation came the quarter million Jewish population of the city numbered at 800, with only 12 surviving children. A powerful story of war and suffering told through a child's eyes.
Yellow Star Cover. LibraryThing. Web. 15 Nov. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/1194939
Here's what I've read:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Unwind by Neal Schusterman
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Foundling by D.M. Cornish
River Secrets by Sharon Hale
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchet
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Fruits Basket v. 1 by Natsuki Tayaka
I really enjoyed the science fiction reads! And I made it through all the fantasy (enjoying some more than others), including my first manga.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This book grabbed me and kept me hooked. There were a number of twists and turns that caught me off guard. The premise is original and twisted. Set in future America after the Heartland War (the second Civil War), a peace treaty was signed after both sides agree to the idea of unwinding - taking 13 to 18 year olds and harvesting all their body parts. Connor finding out he is about to be unwound goes on the the run. Along the way he meets Risa, a ward of the state, and Lev, a child born to be tithed. The three of them try to stay alive. There is lots to think about in this book and plentiful action.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I just finished "reading" The Arrival by Shaun Tan. I put reading in quotes because the entire story is told with artwork and no words. However, it clearly and powerfully expressed the story of a family leaving their homeland and moving to a new place. The father in the family goes first and has to struggle to try to figure out the language, culture, food, and a way to survive in this new and foreign place. As he comes in contact with people who help him understand the ways of this new place, their stories of why they have come to this brighter, more hopeful place are briefly told.
Wow! While I was hesitant to pick up this book, I am so glad to have experienced this story.
Arrival Cover. LibraryThing. Web. 28 Sept. 2008 http://www.librarything.com/work/1779085/
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I read The Contender by Robert Lipsyte. I've been playing with Animoto. It's a tool that lets users create a short video. It's a great tool for creating book trailers.
Here's my animoto:
Here's what I've read so far for the class:
- 6th Grade Lunch Bunch will meet on Friday, 9/25, to talk about Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret. The book is a page turner about a brother and sister who have to figure out how to survive in the aftermath of an earthquake. I couldn't believe all that these two kids had to go through during the course of the book!
- 7th Grade Lunch Bunch will meet on Thursday, 9/24, to talk about Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Wowsa! If you haven't read this book yet, you have to check it out. Katniss and Peeta are chosen to represent their district in the annual Hunger Games. The games are a televised competition where the last survivor wins. There's something for everyone: action, adventure, and even a little romance.
- 8th Grade Lunch Bunch will meet on Friday, 9/25, to talk about Acceleration by Graham McNamee. This book was a thriller. Duncan has a horrible summer job, staffing the lost and found at the Toronto Subway. Bored out of his mind, he starts reading a diary that someone has lost. What he finds is disturbing. It seems that the writer of the journal is planning to kill someone. Will Duncan get involved and find this killer before it is too late?
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I just spent a week with my family in Disney World. I decided to bring along Kingdom Keepers, a book about a group of Orlando middle school students who have been chosen as DHIs, interactive hologram hosts. Finn turns out to be the leader of this group when many strange, unexplainable events start to take place. When they all start having strange dreams and start visiting Disney at night in their holographic forms, they realize there is something very strange going on. The kids meet Wayne, an original Imagineer, who tells them about a fable that may help them stop the evil forces scheming something awful. This book will appeal to Disney fans. While it didn't knock my socks off, it was fun to read about this adventures taking place in all the rides and attractions I just visited.
"Kingdom Keepers Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 20 June 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/543826
Monday, June 8, 2009
Here's the list in no particular order:
IQ by Roland Smith
Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith
Peak by Roland Smith
Elephant Run by Roland Smith
Shakespeare’s Secret by Roland Smith
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz
Redwall Series by Brian Jacques
Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent
Sammy Keyes Series by Wendelin VanDraanen
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series by Michelle Paver
Shooter by Walter Dean Myers
Children of the Lamp by P.B. Kerr
Zenda Series by Amodeo
The Naked Mole-Rat Letters by Mary Amato
You Be the Jury by Marvin Miller
Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch
Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
Swindle by Gordon Korman
Leven Thumps Series by Obert Skye
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zuszak
Inkheart Series by Cornelia Funke
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Fable Haven Series by Brandon Mull
Amazing Agent Luna by Nunzio DeFilippis
Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale
White Giraffe by Lauren St. John
Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Evernight by Claudia Gray
The Weight of the Sky by Lisa Ann Sandell
The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney
Feathered by Laura Kasischke
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham
Friday, June 5, 2009
Even though there is some major construction going on at the public library, don't forget about the summer reading program at Cook Memorial Library! Using their web site is a great way to request materials and find out about programs.
Places to find book recommendations:
- Right here on the Highland Blog - keep up with student reviews and see what Ms. Wyatt has been reading.
- WyattWinner tag in the Cook Memorial Library Catalog - in the catalog you can search using WyattWinner and you'll find all the books I've tagged. Anyone with a library card can develop a tag and tag books, so get started!
- 2010 Caudill List - get a head start on next year’s Caudill nominated books.
- Center for Teaching and Learning Recommended Reads - a huge list of recommended books sorted by grade level and gender.
- Reading Rants – a blog with a big set of book lists about different topics.
- The Horn Book Summer Reading List - Check out the middle school section!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Review by JF
"The Trials of Kate Hope Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 4 June 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5204455
Because we got a grant for the project, all the published authors and the members of the editorial board received a copy of the publication. We self-published online, so copies can be ordered
A special thanks goes out to the amazing students who volunteered their time to be part of the editorial board and the teachers who worked to help facilitate this student-led publication, Carey Fox, Brianne Hodges, Linda O'Connell, Alison Ortega, Kristen Palic, and Logan Shoemaker.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Jack, Ally, and Bree are three totally different teenagers. Jack is a pudgy, kind of lazy boy that would rather sit in the back of the classroom drawing aliens than learn or hang out with friends. Also, he is not very smart, and usually fails a few classes. But, under special circumstances everybody gets along. Right?
Ally is a smart girl that loves astronomy. She lives in a place called the Moon Shadow, where they have the best view of the moon and stars. She has never been to a place with more than fifty people, and she always thought she would grow up here in the Moon Shadow and take it over one day with her brother Kenny.
Bree is a beautiful, outgoing teen that loves to shop, hang out with friends and party. She really wants to be a model someday. To her life seems perfect, and she just knows she will be taken for the modelling class. Until she hears the news from the science geeks that called her parents.
Then, everything changes. Jack’s science teacher calls (which is a class he happened to fail) and invites Jack to come see the eclipse at the Moon Shadow with him, while leading a tour and working on a project. Jack doesn’t really want to go until he hears that would get him out of summer school. No summer school? Oh, sure I’ll come Mr. Silver! Jack says. Anything to get out of school while your supposed to be home having fun. So he goes on the trip. Ally suddenly figures out that she will have to move to a crowded area around Chicago. Leave the Moon Shadow? Go where the stars are pretty much covered with pollution? NO WAY! But, her parents have decided, and the Moon Shadow is already getting new owners. Bree is terrified! A place without malls? Without civilization? Are they kidding me? These are the first thoughts that go through Bree’s head when she finds out she is moving to a lonely place called the Moon Shadow. What is she supposed to do with stars? She needs clothes!
But, with everything happening so fast, the three teenagers become friends and start planning how to go back to where they belong. Lots of events happen, and in the end.... read for yourself! This is a great book, which you won't want to put down.
Review by Jessi479
"Every Soul a Star Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 4 June 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5376233
The sixth grade lunch bunch read Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning for our last book of the year. We were very fortunate to be able to have an author chat with Danette Haworth. Ms. Haworth showed us some pictures of wildlife and the landscape in Florida that help shaped the places in the book. We also got a chance to look at a bunch of examples of cover art.
It was a text chat with images in a presentation. It was great watching the students involved. As our time with Danette went on, they crept closer and closer to the screen where we could see the images and the text chat. By the end of the session they were waving and saying good-bye to the screen.
We really appreciate Danette Haworth taking the time to talk with us about her book and answer our many questions. I'm excited about the possibility of connecting with other authors virtually in the future.
"Violet Raines Cover." Online Image. Summer Friend Blog. 28 May 2009 http://summerfriend.blogspot.com/
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Kek describes his experience arriving in America after leaving a relocation camp in Sudan. His dad and brother were killed in the violence and his mom is missing. Kek tries to understand this new country after arriving in Minnesota during the middle of winter. Written in verse, the language is poetic and beautiful. Fifth-grader Kek remains optimistic and has a way of connecting with people and carving out a new life for himself in spite of heartbreaking and nightmarish experiences endured in his young life.
This book is touching and poignant. I would highly recommend this book.
"Home of the Brave Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 8 May 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/2610887
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Emma, who’s 4 years old, is simply ecstatic that she gets to spend the summer here and is almost happy except for one thing, besides her mom Ali is her best and only friend. Then Sissy comes. Sissy is cruel, bratty and Emma’s new best friend. Ali is furious when Emma starts acting exactly like Sissy. Ali is sure that Sissy is just using Emma ,but whenever she brings the topic up Emma becomes furious and Ali gets in trouble with Dulcie. When Sissy starts telling them the rumors about a girl being drowned right in Sycamore Lake, Ali begins to wonder who she can trust and what is and isn’t real.
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn is a thrilling, quick read that will keep you reading until the very end. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 because at times the plot was quite predictable, other than that Hahn does a wonderful job of making the characters jump off the page and has really created a wonderfully chilling ghost story.
Review by SilentLikeALamb17
"Deep and Dark and Dangerous Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 7 May 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/2338116.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Graceling was better than I anticipated, seeing as it was the author’s debut novel. I didn’t completely like the writing style in the beginning, but I did get used to it after the first few chapters. The plot and character development, especially the change in Katsa’s personality, became more absorbing as I read on. The twist at the end especially surprised me. Those who enjoy fiction or fantasy would most likely enjoy this book because of its array of colorful characters.
Review by Bear Xiong
"Graceling Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 17 April 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5246849
Another cool thing in the book are the fears. Zara names all kinds of funky fears and phobias that no one has ever heard of. There are so many you can't even remember them all. This suspenseful book is packed with action and love. I think it is great for guys and girls even though the main character is a girl.
Review by JG
"Need Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 16 April 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/6025844/
Monday, April 6, 2009
Review by cecx2
"The Last Invisibile Boy Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 6 April 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5175838
Then, on Earth Day, April 22, the book swap will be open for action. All of the books that were collected during the swap will be on display. Students who brought in a book are welcome to come to the library and choose a new-to-them book from what other students' have added to the swap. It'll be a great way to reuse books and get some new things for students' personal libraries!
The book fair will be held in the Learning Center from Tuesday, 4/14 - Friday, 4/17. Students will have the opportunity to browse and shop when they visit the library with their literature classes. The book fair will also be open during Open House from 7:00-8:30 on Thursday, 4/16.
If you have questions. please contact Ms. Wyatt.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
“‘Why do you think I was so ready to help you?’
‘Because of my stunning good looks,’ I suggested.
‘Dummy,’ said Mina.”
Unfortunately, sometimes the book moves a little too quickly and the foreshadows can ruin the suspense of sections of the book. However all in all the book was an amusing and novel that compelled you to keep reading.
Review by Septimus Demosthenes
"The Door of No Return Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 26 March 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5233082
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I rate this book 5 stars because of the action and the power of friendship woven throughout this novel.
Review by Diana
"The Magic Thief Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 13 March 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/43032502
This science fiction novel takes place in a futuristic society where people are either extremely poor or wasteful and rich. A genetically modified “GemX” child, Maxo Strang lives the life of a snotty brat, until one day, when he sees a girl on a TropScreen who he instantly falls in love with. As he finds out who she is and learns her story, both of their lives are changed. This story is somewhat innovate and creative, but is somewhat too unrealistic at times. The author’s naming of ProperNouns is also somewhat distracting. If you like romance novels and reading about dystopian societies, then this is the book for you.
Review by I. Kanreed
"GemX Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 13 March 2009
When James’ dad sees this he is very impressed. So impressed that he shows it to the museum. There James and Marvin realize that the picture looks like a Durer drawing. Then the assistant says that many of Durer’s drawings have been stolen. And she gets the idea that if James (Marvin) could draw a fake drawing of Fortitude then she might be able to catch the thieves. When the plan goes wrong what will Marvin do to get the real picture back?
I rate this book a 5 out of 5 because it was a book I could never put down.
Review by AH
"Masterpiece Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 16 March 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/43028148
This book is about Antonia Lucia Bella, an Italian American teenager with big dreams and hopes of finding love. Since she was a child, Antonia has dreamed of becoming a saint. She has sent the Pope tons of letters suggesting all kinds of saints — from patron saint of the fig tree to saint of quick thinking. She has always recommended herself for the job. But now she needs a certain saint more than anything else- the patron saint of kissing. Antonia is desperate for her first kiss. Only, she may be looking for a relationship with the wrong guy, when her perfect match is right before her.
Through a few miracles, humorous events, and sweet moments, Antonia learns about herself and love. Most of all, she sees that she is wonderful the way she is.
This novel is laced with the humor and struggles of dealing with family, boys, and discovering yourself. It is a fun read that I would recommend to girls looking for an entertaining coming-of-age book.
Review by KM
"The Possibilites of Sainthood Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 17 March 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5126377
We are currently collecting submissions of writing from students and staff members at Highland. The writing can be poetry, prose, or non-fiction. Writing pieces should be submitted to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on a flash drive. The deadline to submit work is April 17, 2009.
We are also looking for a name for the journal, cover art, and students and staff members willing to serve on the editorial board to help determine the what will be included in the inaugural Highland literary journal. I've included a copy of the application for the editorial board within this blog post.
Please see me in the Learning Center if you have any questions and stay tuned for some more updates on how the project is progressing.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Next week we'll have the Battle of the Books. There are some battles scheduled within and between classes. Any students are welcome to come to the Battle of the Books on Friday, March 13 afterschool.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Review by FredrickO'Charles
"A Crooked Kind of Perfect cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 4 March 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/42485152
On her journey Jenna will have to face obstacles bigger than odd next door neighbors, cute egocentric boys, and kind disabled girls. She’ll have to face herself and what she did that her parents are trying to make her forget. But if she forgets her past, how will she discover her future?
Overall I enjoyed the book. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars because there were certain parts that I thought were boring and unnecessary and the ending was pathetic for a published writer. Other than that I thought that theme was great and it was an original story that is worth reading.
Review by SilentLikeALamb17
"The Adoration of Jenna Fox Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 4 March 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/4448913/
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It was lights out this afternoon at Highland. The power suddenly went out and stayed out until there were just five minutes left of the school day.
Thank goodness the library has some windows and emergency lights. We were still able to host classes for reading, although the two classes signed up to use the computer lab were out of luck.
After working for a while on non-computerized things, I decided to take advantage of the time and read along with the students in the library. I picked up a book from next year's Caudill list, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. It was such a cute, touching story. I really liked it, and it was a super quick read. Emma-Jean is a quirky protagonist who finds it a great complement to be called strange after she looks up the definition in the dictionary. She is the kind of kid who stands apart and likes to observe. However, she decides to try to help a couple people out with problems which leads her into problems of her own. Her brand of help, although clever, usually involves some level of forgery. I really liked Emma-Jean. I think this will prove a popular Caudill book, particularly with the sixth graders.
"Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 25 Feb, 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/1826591
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I was quick to judge when reading The Wild Girls: within the first two chapters I had already dismissed it as a trivial, juvenile book that wasn’t likely to be remotely unique. I began to find the story interesting and enjoy it a bit more when the girls join a writing program, and when Joan’s conflict with her family was brought more into focus. Altogether, readers of realistic fiction might be inclined to follow the colorful characters of Joan and Fox, but others might find the story somewhat bland. I would rate this story a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Review by Bear Xiong
"The Wild Girls Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 29 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/41099428
At Evernight there are two very distinct social groups: the perfect, snobby popular ones and the losers who didn't belong. Bianca, upon arrival realizes she's in the second group. In the main hall where all the students are assembled Lucas is nowhere to be found. Even after the headmistress has dismissed everyone Bianca can't find Lucas and she is disappointed, she thought Lucas and her had really connected, but apparently it was nothing special. In the next few days Bianca is walking to class with Patrice and she sees Lucas. She immediately runs over to talk to him and he acts as though he's never met her before. Bianca is crushed and feels completely alone once again. She tries to forget about Lucas but it seems impossible. What will happen next? Will Bianca and Lucas ever end up together? To find out these answers and more read Evernight by Claudia Gray.
Overall I thought that Evernight had an outstanding cast of characters that keep you reading until the very end. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars because the plot was full of twists and turns and it was one of those books that really makes you laugh, cry, and wish for more. I would highly suggest reading Evernight to all fans of Twilight.
Review by SilentLikeALamb17
"Evernight cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 29 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/4511060/book/41099007
Friday, January 23, 2009
I really enjoyed the book Boost by Kathy Mackel. This book is about sports and how some people turn them into more than just fun. Savvy is a star basketball player and her older sister Callie is a flyer on a cheerleading team. Although their sports are very different, they are both looking to boost their game. When illigal steroids are found in Savvy's gym bag, she says they are not hers but no one seems to belive her. Meanwhile, her sister, Callie, is stuggling to keep her position as the star flyer on the team even after she is told she is getting too heavy and needs to drop some weight. How far will both girls go to stay on top? You'll have to read Boost to find out!
Review by FredrickO'Charles
"Boost Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 23 Jan 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/40842502
Review by I. Kanreed
"The Compound Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 23 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/40842054
Review by Demosthenes Pleasant
"The Devil's Breath Cover." Online image. LibraryThing 23 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/40841701
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Quest is a historical fiction book about the time when the crew of the Discovery try to discover a passage to the east. Different parts of the book are told by one of four people; John Hudson, the son of Henry Hudson Henry who is the captain of the Discovery, Richard Hudson, who was the brother of John, Seth Syms, a boy who was trying to escape from someone and replaced his cousin Nicholas on the Discovery, and Isabella Digges, who has fallen in love with John. I like how this book is told from four different points of view, and it’s not the kind of book that uses sailor terms.
I would give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.
Review by cecx2
"Quest Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 13 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/5046595/40437245
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I think everyone should read this novel! It's a book that you will never be able to put it down!
"The Sisters Grimm Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 8 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/40236526
Knucklehead is an autobiography of Jon Scieszka, the editor of Guys Write for Guys Read and the hilarious co-author of books such as The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! and The Stinky Cheese Man. His autobiography focuses mainly on his incredible boyhood and growing up in a family with six mischievous boys. Scieszka and his brothers were deemed “knuckleheads” by their father, which, after each amazing act of stupidity and their never-ending monkey business, is proven to be true. I really enjoyed reading this book and often times found myself laughing out loud. From breaking his brother’s collarbone four times, tying his little brother to a bed with his father’s ties, tying a babysitter up in a closet for two hours, and some crazy road trip adventures, this book is full of laughs! There were also tons of great pictures and drawings included along the text. This book was very funny and was a pleasure to read. As an autobiography, I give Knucklehead high praise, and would rate it three stars compared to all books.
"Knucklehead Cover." Online Image. LibraryThing. 08 Jan. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/40236172
"Into the Volcano Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 8 Oct. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/book/40235533
Katniss is chosen as the District 12 girl competitor for the annual Hunger Games. The games consist of 24 teens, two from each district. Life is hard in District 12, and Katniss and her best friend, Gale, have to scrounge and hunt illegally in order to help their families survive. When she travels to the capital Katniss and Peeta, the boy competitor from District 12, have to compete in the games and try to outwit and outlast the other contestants in a game of life and death that is manipulated for the interest of the viewing audience. With a little bit of everything, this book will appeal to a wide audience. There was action, adventure, fights to the death, and even some romance. This book kept me turning the pages and the end left me hanging and hungering for the sequel.
"The Hunger Games Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 8 Oct. 2009 http://www.librarything.com/work/7251909/book/40233646