Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

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.

Works Cited
Arrival Cover. LibraryThing. Web. 28 Sept. 2008

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recent Reading

I'm excited to be teaching a Materials for Young Adults course this fall! The class has required me to do a lot of reading. We are covering 5 or 6 books a week. Some of the books are more for older teens, but a lot of the books on our reading list are books we have in the Highland library.

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:

Book Clubs

The Highland Lunch Bunch book clubs will be kicking off for this year soon. Any Highland students are invited to join the fun! We meet during the lunch and recess period to eat together and talk about the book. Please contact Ms. Wyatt if you have any questions. Check out the book club page to find out what is happening with the lunch bunch groups this year.
  • 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

Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen

Nikki Donovan’s life is perfect. She’s popular, just turned sixteen and Chris Sanders, the hottest guy at school, has just asked her out. Then Michael shows up, he seems to be stalking Nikki, trying to convince her that her long-lost father is really DemonKing in another dimension. She ignores him but takes the note that is “from her father” and convinces herself that it’s just one of Chris’s friends messing with her. If that’s the case then why does Michael know her father’s name: something she’s never told anyone and why is there a large man with a knife trying to kill her while calling her “Princess”? On top of all that why does she feel strangely drawn to Michael and now unsure about Chris?
It turns our Michael is telling the truth. Nikki’s father is a
demon, but not the stereotypical one. He’s loving and compassionate just like any good father. He’s dying and Nikki is his only heir. Now Nikki must choose between becoming the Demon Queen or drinking a potion and turning back into a regular human. Pretty easy choice right? Well if she chooses the human route then she’ll forget everything and everyone related to the Demon world including her dragon-tear bracelet, her father and Michael. What will Nikki do? To find out the answer to these questions and more read Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowan.
This book was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I’d give it a perfect 5 out of 5. The characters were interesting and easy to relate to and the plot was unpredictable and kept me reading until the last page. Rowan has created a unique read that has something in it for everyone: monsters, mystery and even a little romance. It’s a sensational novel.