In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and http://www.unleashingreaders.com for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I thought I’d quickly share just the books I’ve read through most of the week instead of everything read. I had a load of fun at a HUGE Hong Kong Book Fair and picked up a copy of a book I was excited to read, shall open it soon, One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson. I also went to a bookstore that I’ve learned has the ability to get newly released books quicker than any other Hong Kong bookstore and found Neil Gaiman’s book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Cannot wait to read this as well! Here’s to many new reading adventures ahead. We’re heading to China and looking forward to some adventures. See my Hong Kong posts for details on those!
Fiction Books Enjoyed:
Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman – Science Fiction/Realistic Fiction, 5th grade and up – This is a book my year 6 students read this past year. Came with high recommendations from a lovely student reader in addition to my former library assistant who hasn’t steered me wrong yet! I simply enjoyed reading a book where people stick to what is true to them and are not swayed by the public. Such a heart wrenching situation. You are left at the end wondering a little bit but it was such a perfect, opportune moment to conclude the book. I do recommend this book for others. You really can see many sides to the perspective and the special video dialogue that is shared reflecting on the situations in the book are just beautiful. Goodreads Summary: “You’re thirteen. All you want is a normal life. But most normal kids don’t need heart transplants. So there’s this doctor. He says there’s a chance for you. But he also says it’s experimental, controversial and risky. And it’s never been done before.”
Rotters by Daniel Kraus – Realistic Fiction, High School and Up. NOT ANY LOWER. I got this book as part of the free audiobook giveaway going on presently through http://www.audiobooksync.com. When I found out how highly it ranked on the Odyssey Book Awards list, I put it to the top of my “to be listened to” book list. Once I listened to this book completely, I agree, well worth recognition. Brilliant book. Suspenseful. Exciting. Disgusting. Terrible. Upsetting. I learned more about cadavers, graves, body decomposition, and how one goes through the grieving process than I ever expected to know in my lifetime. I do recommend this book but only if you don’t plan to eat during the book and also give yourself time to focus in on this book. I couldn’t stop listening to it. There were certain points where I wished I could stop listening but really just could not. Highly recommended. Goodreads Summary: “Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It’s true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey’s life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school. Everything changes when Joey’s mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating. Daniel Kraus’s masterful plotting and unforgettable characters makeRotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.”
Double Vision by F.T. Bradley – Adventure, 4th grade and up – Combine Alex Rider with Joey Pigza and you get Linc. Whether he is getting chickens pooping on his head or starting a tomato food fight, Linc always means to do the right thing but his impulses get the best of him. Unfortunately, his most recent actions have terrible consequences and he ends up having to make a deal with a secret government service to go under cover as an agent double for a young agent who looks exactly like him. I really enjoyed this quick paced, humorous, interesting, code-packed, adventure novel. I think my favorite parts of the book are the beginning lines of the chapters: “It all started with a field trip.” and “If this were a movie, now would be the part where they play some pumped-up tune, showing me running, sweating, and learning all about Benjamin Green while guzzling energy drinks…” and “One time in Kindergarten, I punched a girl in the shoulder…” What a fun, quick book. It was nice to read something like this for a summer selection. I highly recommend it! Goodreads Summary: “Fans of 39 Clues and Artemis Fowl will enjoy the fun, fresh thrill ride through this humorous, action-packed adventure from debut author F. T. Bradley. In the trilogy opener, twelve-year-old Lincoln Baker finds himself in a world of trouble! First, Linc’s seemingly harmless prank on a school field trip ends in expulsion and a lawsuit. Then two mysterious figures from a secret government agency called Pandora show up at Linc’s house with a proposition for him. Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of Pandora’s top kid agents, Benjamin Green, who vanished while on a critical spy mission in Paris. If Linc agrees to take his place, they’ll get him back in school and make that costly lawsuit disappear. But the mission is a lot more complicated than it seems. A highly valuable copy of the Mona Lisa has gone missing and now Linc must make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Too bad Linc isn’t a black belt math genius who can run a four-minute mile like his double, Ben, because he’ll need those skills to make it out alive. . . .”
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy – Realistic Fiction, 5th grade and up – I wasn’t expecting to tear up over another book, thought this one would be light fun, silly me. Touching book about a girl who shuts down and goes “dark” after her parents get a divorce. In two years she is kicked out of five schools and when her mom sends her away to her dad’s home, she goes through the rejection and anger phases in a brilliant, upsetting way. I especially loved the celebration of time settling into Ireland, beautiful imagery and made me wish I could visit there… Just loved how the book developed and I’m quite pleased I took home another Cathy Cassidy for the summer, this one by accident- had to repair it and was placed in the “take home” pile instead of the “repaired” pile of books. Goodreads Summary: “Scarlett’s in trouble at school. Again. With black fingernails and dyed ketchup-red hair, she’s not your average twelve-year-old Londoner. So her mum—sick of trying to get her into another school—ships Scarlett to her father’s cottage in Ireland. Having to learn Gaelic in a one-room schoolhouse and enduring a new stepmum and younger stepsister is just too much. Scarlett wants to leave—until she meets Kian. He seems too good to be true with his dark, rugged looks, kind nature, and horse named Midnight. As Kian helps Scarlett let go of her anger, she begins to accept her family, her friendships, and most of all, her dreams. A captivating new novel from a writer reviewers have called “a British import with a refreshingly light touch.””
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford – – High School, Realistic Fiction/Humor – Have you ever been on a quiet train in the middle of a quiet crowd and burst out laughing? Have you laughed where somber people are walking/waiting for a food order/waiting for a street crosswalk light to change? I just couldn’t stop laughing aloud through this book. It was fantastic! I am not certain if I loved this book because it was an audiobook. The last time I enjoyed a narrator so much was listening to Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I loved this character – Carter – he was so clueless I was embarrassed for him quite often. Who doesn’t learn from the first terrible shaving experience and goes on to two other terrible shaving mistakes? Who has a fart so horrible that he makes his date puke from the smell? Who is so clueless that he tells one girl he loves her and then a few minutes later asks another girl to the prom? Clueless. Well worth the listen, so nice to have a lighthearted yet heart wrenching book to enjoy after a few serious books in a row! Goodreads Summary: “Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it’s a lazy nickname, but he didn’t have much say in the matter.)
Here are five things you should know about him:
1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.
2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day unless he gets distracted.
3. He’s a virgin, mostly because he’s no good at talking to girls (see number 1).
4. He’s about to start high school.
5. He’s totally not ready.
Join Carter for his freshman year, where he’ll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he’ll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.”
*Been a while since I enjoyed a person playing the ukelele promoting a book!:
Monkey – The Five Ancestors by Jeff Stone – Adventure/Multicultural, 4th grade and up – My son is working through these books. I couldn’t get him this book on audio, so we enjoyed reading it together instead. He really finds Jeff Stone’s style of repeating a story partially through the book through another character’s perspective. I enjoyed it the first time I read this series as well. Goodreads Summary: “The temple has been burned. Grandmaster is dead. The only five survivors have scattered like the wind.
Alone. For the first time. No brothers, no mentors, no teachers-just eleven-year-old Malao, the “monkey,” all by himself in the woods. Malao loves to make jokes and fool around, but now the only home he has ever known is burning and his four surviving temple brothers have disappeared. Suddenly nothing seems as funny as it used to. Grandmaster told Malao to discover the secrets of his past, but for a monkey nothing is ever simple. He hasn’t traveled far when he stumbles into a battle between a group of bandits and an army of monkeys. One of the bandits looks strangely familiar, and the monkeys are led by a large, white, one-eyed male, who seems to know Malao. In this second volume of the Five Ancestors series, Jeff Stone continues the exciting story of five youngsters destined for greatness-if they can only survive.”
Early Chapter Book:
Geronimo Stilton: The Giant Diamond Robbery by Geronimo Stilton/Elisabetta Dami – Mystery, 2nd grade and up – Partner read this book with the kiddo. I’m not a huge fan of the series but enjoyed the read with my son. Where else would I read about a mouse who has a grandfather who gets away with driving through the front of his grandson’s house? This is quite the case study for an unhealthy relationship where someone is manipulated, stuck, and doesn’t come up with a solution to resolve or communicate problems. What a crazy, extreme book! Goodreads Summary: “In each Geronimo Stilton book, another funny, cheesy adventure is always right around the corner. Each book is fast-paced, with lively full-color art and a unique format kids 7-10 will love. I, Geronimo Stilton, am no sportsmouse. But that didn’t stop Grandfather William from dragging me to a golf tournament so I could be his caddie! Once I arrived, who should I bump into but my friend Kornelius Von Kickpaw, a.k.a. Special Agent 00K. Someone was plotting to steal the Super Mouse Cup, and it was up to me and Kornelius to crack the case!”
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.