Wednesday, February 29, 2012


A SECRET AFFAIR BY Barbara Taylor Bradford
208 pages

Barbara Taylor Bradford always writes a good story.



Multiple murder victims, stolen computers, a secret network of false identities and true evil.



Quiver by Peter Leonard
339 pages

Note by Michael Connelly :

"With its clever plotting and blood-and-guts characters, Quiver will certainly put Peter Leonard on the map."

Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer

337 pages

A re-read for me.  I really enjoy this book.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
228 pages
Winner of the William C. Morris Dubut Award from ALA

Cullen, living in Lily, a small Arkansas town, is seeing zombies. Not just any zombies. The zombie of his brother that turned up missing.  At first the town frantically looks for the fifteen-year-old, but the searches die down, and Cullen's family is left to wonder. Did he run away, is he dead, was he kidnapped. But Cullen knows his brother would never leave him, he knows he is out there somwhere.
The town's new obsession is the Lazarus woodpecker, thought to be extinct in the 1940's.  The bird has supposedly been spotted in Lily. And this might just be what the town needs to be resurrected. But if everyone is crazed about the bird, who is left to wonder and be grieved by the missing Gabriel.

Such a well written novel, full of hope and sadness intertwined. The stories twist and turn around each other, falling neatly in place for an ending so surprising that even after finishing it, you still don't want to put it down.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Enemy by Charlie Higson
440 pages

Everyone over the age of sixteen has developed a horrible disease. A child eating, boil erupting disease. No one knows why. After all, the adults always told them about things, and now they are zombies. Not that it really matters. Knowing why it happened doesn't change the fact that now the goal is to survive. Kids seemed to gravitate towards the grocery stores where their parents bought food, looking for something to eat. Kids have formed their own gangs, banding together to survive. The enemy, the Grown Ups are picking them off one at a time, until they decide their is no other choice but to join with the other gangs. But will that be for the better, or are they jumping into yet another mess.

Overall I truly enjoyed this books, but I did think their were a few loose threads that were never pulled tight.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Certain Justice by P.D. James

364 pages

P.D. James is an amazing writer!  Mysteries are not usually a genre I enjoy but James turns this one into a literary event.  Not a word is wasted and she makes you feel like you're been drinking tea and eating scones in the middle of London when you emerge from the book.  Spectacular.  I can't wait to read another one.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

256 pages

What happens when you die and things really didn't go as planned?

“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison," Is the first line of a string of satire from one 13 year old, with the soul of an 80 year old know it all. So when you are sentenced to burn for all of eternity what's a girl to do? RULE.

This book is (at least in my mind) what would happen if you blended the breakfastclub with dante's inferno.

Palahniuk's first teen fiction. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and suprisingly he seems alot more censored....not completely decent, but more than I would expect of him.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
340 pages
Newberry Award winner 2012

Jackie is grounded for the entire summer by his feuding parents. That is the only way that writing and typing out obituaries for Mrs Volker could ever be something he eagerly awaited. But of the original people left over from the time Eleanor Roosevelt started up their community, the little old ladies are dropping left and right. Is there something more going on than 'natural causes?'
This book is funny I didn't even mind all the history (which is not my cup of tea.)

Secret School by Avi

Secret School by Avi
153 pages


The only thing Ida has ever wanted was to become a teacher. And she is so close, until her school is closed down. If she is not able to  fnish her year, she will not be able to take her exit exams, and without passing her final test, she will not be able to attend the high school, and she may never be able to realize her dreams. So, sneaking into the windows each day, she teaches the eight students in order to finish the year. Set in 1925, this book is an amazing read. Enjoyed witnessing Ida battle the thoughts that kids didn't need school, they needed to be helping on the farm, and that girls shouldn't ever be in high school anyway.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Letting Go of Bobby James, or How I Found Myself of Steam by Valerie Hobbs

Letting Go Of Bobby James, or How I Found Myself of Steam by Valerie Hobbs
136 pages

Jody sets out at 16 with her husband Bobby James. They don't really have a plan, just kind of drifting. And then he hauls off and smacks her hard across her face. While she is in a gas station bathroom, he abandons her. This is the story how Jody makes a life without him, and finds herself in the process.

Not a gruesome book, considering the subject matter. But the book didn't dig at all. You never really feel like you get to now Jody or her new set of friends.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

566 pages

"Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life on his family's farm in remote northern Wisconsin where they raise and train an extraordinary breed of dog. But when tragedy strikes, Edgar is forced to flee into the vast neighboring wilderness, accompanied by only three yearling pups. Struggling for survival, Edgar comes of age in the wild, and must face the choice of leaving forever or revealing the terrible truth behind what has happened."

It's written absolutely beautifully. I don't really know what else to say.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Unfinished Revolution, by Kathleen Gerson

The Unfinished Revolution, by Kathleen Gerson

320 pages

"Gerson (No Man's Land), a sociology professor at New York University, refers to those adults born after the women's movement of the 1970s as the children of the gender revolution. They are more likely than their predecessors to have experienced parents divorcing, a mother working outside the home, being raised by a single parent or living with a stepparent. How do such changes affect their expectations for intimate relationships?"

Really interesting to hear all the different anecdotes from all the different types of families.

The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett

375 pages

Really entertaining and fun to read. I loved Tiffany, and the little Nac Mac Feegles. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

Natural Causes by Michael Palmer

389 pages

Michael Palmer, M. D. is a practicing physician involved in the treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse after spending 20 years as an emergency and internal medicine practitioner.

His medical thrillers are full of suspense and excitement, good to the last page.

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer

373 pages

Another great Palmer read.

Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger


Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger
212 pages

Fascinating read. Harlan is having premonitions of his own death, and he tries to avoid whatever may lead to that outcome, while slowing losing his grip on reality. Manny is having nightmares that shake his world even when he is awake. Can't say too much more on the book without giving away the twist ending. But this is definitely a worthwhile read.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

pages 400

I loved this book...boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy, girl gains a kingdom of iron, boy is a fairy so he will die if he's near her so she banishes him...let the games begin.
Ash is my favorite character and this is the first book written from his perspective, despite the overall story line his tale isn't angst at all, he sees a problem and he fixes it. Win.
It was my favorite of her series.

Fell Vol. 1: Feral City by Warren Ellis

128 pages

Detective Richard Fell just transfered and got more than he ever bargained for. Within the first day he is stabbed, robbed, beated and branded by Snowtown and that's only the beginning. This book is about what happens to human nature when no one is there to keep it in check.
I really liked this novel, I thought it was cruel and horrid and beautifully depicted and captured what human nature sometimes is.
First Day on Earth by Cecil Castelucci
150 pages

Interesting read. Mal is a high school boy, with a lot of emotions and anger built up inside him. His father took off quietly one morning, and his mother hasn't been the same since...drinking herself into a stupor and crying herself to sleep balled up on the floor. Mal dreams of the day he can get out of there. But he doesn't dream of graduating and going off to college. He dreams that the aliens that abducted him when he was younger will finally come back for him.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse Volume 1 by Ben Templesmith

160 pages

Interesting book, it was actually loaned to me. The plot is not terrific, but the art style is.

Dead Over Heels by MaryJanice Davidson

pages 227

I collection of short stories from Ms. Davidson, it was funny, not much substance, but an easy read.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kitchen Princess 1 by Natsumi Ando

208 pages
This is super cute, about a girl whose goal in life is to find the one boy who was kind to her when she was young, her only clue, a spoon...but not just any spoon a spoon awarded to students of the most pretigious cooking school around and now she must find a way to get inside and maybe find a talent for herself.
Super adorable and fun recipes inside!

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
458 pages
Gateway Nominee 2012/13

This is quite honestly the best zombie book I have ever read. I wish that I had read even one more zombie book so that that would mean more...but if I had read 100 books, I am sure this would still be my favorite.
Benny Imura's first memory was his brother, Tom, carrying him away at 18 months old. His father was already a zom, and Tom did not stay to save their mother. Now, society has gone back to normal. Normal considering they live in Mountainside, completely surrounded by a fence that separates them from the Ruin, where the undead roam, searching for the flesh they crave of the living. The town practically worships Tom as a hero, for being the big bad zom hunter. But how can he be so tough if he did nothing to save their mom. At fifteen Benny must find a job, or risk his rations being cut. He ends up as Tom's apprentice, in the family business of zombie killing. But there is more to it than what he ever thought, and Benny is beginning to wonder if the monsters are the zoms, or the people he call neighbor.
This was such a well written book. In the midst of decaying flesh, bounty hunters, and crazies living on their own in the Ruin, Benny and Tom tells their story, pulling in characters so well developed you know the good, the bad, and the ugly alike. Will definitely be looking more into the zombie writing.

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

506 pages

This is the newest installment of Kresley Cole's paranormal collection. This is about a vampire who meets a girl, whom he thinks maybe he decides why not distroy her soul and hand her body over to the Goddess of Death. And about a girl who is as rednecked as the sky is blue, who hates this vampire with every fiber of her being because he just so happened to get her locked up and on deathrow. Match made in heaven...This is funny, just saying, its like twilight, only the vampire is actually scary and Bella actually has a backbone.

Not to mention it's filled with video playing valkeries and karaoke witches.

"First of all, I'm not narcissistic." When she opened her lips to argue, he said, "I know Narkissos of Thespiae -- while we might share traits, I came first, so he's Lothairistic, not the other way around."

A Practical Guide to Racism by C. H. Dalton

224 pages

This book is outstanding in an overly racist manner, you must ask yourself, are you racist enough to even call yourself a racist? This book will make you question if you could ever achieve that feat...this book is hilarious. Honestly I don't know how someone who is racist can even take themselves seriously after reading this book. It makes all those older sexiest men seem cute and those race haters seem like a child throwing a tantrum.
This book shows the best way to stop a racist...making them hear what they are saying.

The Homework Myth, by Alfie Kohn

The Homework Myth, by Alfie Kohn

256 pages

Is it really truly that massive amounts of homework help 'build character'? Probably not. Does it actually help teach anything when students are just doing worksheets? Probably not. And do parents really benefit from having to fight with their kids night after night over whether or not they've done all their homework? Nope. So why do we assign tons and tons of homework at a younger and younger age?

It was a good read, although he tended to get slightly repetitive as the book went on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

384 p.

I recently read The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. It was a GREAT book that teenagers can relate to and confirmed that Sarah Dessen is my favorite author!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally by Kiersten White
336 pages
sequel to Paranormalcy

Good story line, loved Jack, the new character. But kinda done with the cutesy fantasy. Girly, Girly.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Death Comes To Pemberly by P.D. James

291 pages

I have not previously read any of P.D. James' books.  I greatly enjoyed her talented venture into the world of Jane Austen.  I will most certainly explore her other titles, understanding that they will be quite different, but anticipating the pleasure of reading a well-written book.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2012

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2012, by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa

864 pages

My copy is covered in sticky tabs. Complete with resort, restaurant and ride descriptions, and touring plans.

Let's Elope, by Scott Shaw and Lynn Beahan

Let's Elope, by Scott Shaw and Lynn Beahan

224 pages

Answered a lot of the questions I had, and even had some famous couples who eloped. I'm joining the ranks of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Search for Happiness by Oscar Lukefahr

160 pages

A quote from this book:

"Happiness is a choice to be made, not a feeling to be awaited"!!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

325 pages

A fun read.

Theodore Boone, The Abduction by John Grisham

Theodore Boone, The Abduction by John Grisham
217 pages

Seriously, I like Theo Boone. I like his parents. I like his friends. I like the fact that, at times, he doesn't really know what he is doing. Exciting, suspenseful mystery for the middle kiddos. Love it, and I really hope there is more to come.

Our placing in the 2011 Reading Challenge

Well, we finished 7th (out of 9 teams).  This is a lower finish than I had hoped but all of you who competed in 2011 are amazing.  And now we have a goal for 2012 -- to finish better than 7th place!

It will be fun!

The Second Opinion by Michael Palmer

376 pages

From inside front flap:
How much do you trust those who hold your life in their hands?
How much do you know about the people who make life and death decisions for you?

Michael Palmer has crafted a thriller that will make you question everything.



College football star has to give up his pro career after a severe knee injury, he turns to medicine, then because of the pain becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol and loses his medical license and his marriage ends. When his father gets ill and he takes him to the emergency room one of his former partners asks him to help with a case in the ER. After saving a life he gets temporary privileges to practice. He soon learns that things are not as they seem at the Boston Heart Institute.

THE FITH VIAL BY Michael Palmer

384 pages

Awesome twist in this thriller, why does the lab draw 5 vials of blood instead of the usual four. Read and learn.

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie
367 pages

I had been told this wasn't near as good as the first book, Matched, so I was prepared to not think much about it. I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved it. Looking forward to the third in the trilogy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Skin That We Speak, by Lisa Delpit

The Skin That We Speak, by Lisa Delpit

229 pages

Focuses on how language and power can influence students and the classroom. Composed of essays. The first half of the book was much better than the 2nd half, I think.

The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton

The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton
318 pages

This was very hard for me to read. It was assigned to us for a Reader's Advisory class at winter institute. It could not have been more of the opposite of what I usually read if it was actually a penguin. was well written for this type of genre. Very descriptive. Umm...yeah.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The White Devil, by Justin Evans

The White Devil, by Justin Evans

384 pages


The Harrow School is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress and traditions as for their arrogance and schoolboy cruelty. Seventeen-year-old American Andrew Taylor is enrolled in the esteemed British institution by his father, who hopes that the school's discipline will put some distance between his son and his troubled past in the States.

But trouble—and danger—seem to follow Andrew. When one of his schoolmates and friends dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and is soon an outcast, spurned by nearly all his peers. And there is the pale, strange boy who begins to visit him at night. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true."

I couldn't put this one down, it was really good. But it was also a very strange read!

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

158 pages

Very funny, but there was no storyline and the book had a weak ending.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Unofficial Guide Beyond Disney, by Bob Sehlinger

The Unofficial Guide Beyond Disney, by Bob Sehlinger and Robert Jenkins

339 pages

Not at all dry and boring like a lot of travel books. Has all the fun places to go and see, and where to eat, and all the vitals like cost and distance, but the descriptions are also really funny.

Passporter's Disney Weddings and Honeymoons, by Carrie Hayward

Passporter's Disney Weddings and Honeymoons, by Carrie Hayward

280 pages

Packed with all the recent available options for deals when you go to Disney and get married.

Top 10 Orlando, by Richard Grula

Top 10 Orlando, by Richard Grula

149 pages

I love reading lists, and making lists, and all the work that goes into researching lists. So this was a really fun book to read for our trip.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Adolescents and Online Fan Fiction, by Rebecca W. Black

Adolescents and Online Fan Fiction, by Rebecca W. Black

172 pages

A really great look at using popular culture and fan fiction as another form of literacy in and out of the classroom, especially for ELL students.


404 pages

Oh my goodness, the minute that one catastrophe seems to be solved, another crops up,

FATAL by Michael Palmer

387 pages

Are the bizarre diseases that Emergency Doctor, Matt Rutledge, is finding somehow connected to the mine that is the main employer in this West Virginia area.