Friday, February 11, 2011

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1)

by Pittacus Lore

Genre: YA Paranormal, Sci-fi

Pages: Hardcover, 440
Publisher: HarperTeen

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.


I have to be honest and say that I received this ARC many moons ago and it sat on the shelf. I was completely unsure of it and didn’t really know if I would like it. With that being said… I really liked it and wish I had picked it up earlier. I know that some of my teacher and blogger friends have said that they don’t want to read it because of how it was created (specifically by whom), but I really hope they give it a shot.

The plot is fascinating and completely captivating from the start. Sci-fi has never been my thing but this one (and some of the other great ones coming out this year) have me really intrigued. I guess I just think Star Trek… sorry Dad! John’s character was well written and I just loved Henri. The book keeps you on the run with the characters and lets you experience it from John’s perspective. I love books from the male POV because there are so few GOOD ones out there. I love Bernie the dog throughout this too… he is such a great dog. John is trying to keep hidden from the Mogadore throughout the novel because if they find him, of course, he will be killed. Henri was sent with John to protect him from these evil alien also. The Mogadore have been sucking the life and power from all available sources and John realizes what their main motivation and plan is just in time for there to be a great action scene that plays out throughout the last part of the novel. This scene was very well written as well. The Mogadore have more power than the remaining six, but we quickly find out that John has a plan and leaves us ready for the second part of the six part series.

I am excited to see this played out on the big screen and can’t wait to see how they take the plot (esp. the action) and bring it to life. Here is the trailer for the movie!! Enjoy…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

From the desk of... (1)

I have an amazingly talented group of writers this year and I know that some of my fellow teacher-bloggers do as well. In my opinion, they should be highlighted! I am going to start my own MME just for this purpose. I want to highlight these students and their work, their thoughts and their accomplishments. I started my blog in order to give them things to read and now I want you to read what they have written just as we all read what the authors we know and love read.

For these posts I will have their writing along with the prompt for the writing (if applicable) and my thoughts. I hope that these will give you all a great insight into the minds of my eighth graders and see what great talent I have uncovered this year.

For today's post I went back through my Writer's Notebook and looked for things that my students have written and I have posted into my notebook. Today's is one of the very first things I ever put in.

"Reading takes me places I have wanted to go. It has teased me with fabulous worlds of fortune and fame. Reading has been there for me when I needed a friend or when I had nothing else to do. Reading is a privilege and I plan to abuse that privilege!"
~ Justin N. (8th grade)

When I asked my students to write that day, I just asked them to share their thoughts on reading. I asked them to share as I always do and when I did I was amazed at Justin's words. They humbled me. As teachers, we often forget that little things give peace in our students' crazy worlds. Like reading. I love that not only did he write this, but he shared it... in front of all of his peers. He let them know that he liked to read and what enjoyment he got from it. I have told my students time after time that not only do they read as a reader, but they need to read as a writer. Look at the techniques the author is using and try it in your writing. I can tell that they are doing this. I am thinking of the things that Justin has worked on this year, whether they be simple things he has in his Writer's Notebook or big pieces that he has turned in, and I know that he has taken this love of reading and worked those things into his writing.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than reading through the things they let me read in their notebooks and the pieces they turn in and see the growth they have made. Justin is just one example and I can't wait to share more with you!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Storm Runners by Roland Smith

Storm Runners

by Roland Smith

Genre: YA Fiction

Pages: Hardcover, 160
Publisher: Scholastic

Chase Masters and his father are "storm runners," racing across the country in pursuit of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Anywhere bad weather strikes, they are not far behind. Chase is learning more on the road than he ever would just sitting in a classroom. But when the hurricane of the century hits, he will be tested in ways he never could have imagined.

This is a great, super quick read that I can see many of the sixth graders reading and even a teacher who is teaching weather using. I know… always the teacher in me thinking! Chase is a great lead character and is very well written. I love that I was able to learn about storms through his dialogue with his father and the other characters. Chase is dealing with the loss of his mother and sister and the fact that his father, who was struck by lightning, has decided to trek it across the United States looking for storms.

He winds up in Florida because there is a major hurricane coming and his dad says that is where they need to be. Chase is used to moving around but begins to feel like he may like this place when he runs into trouble the size of a category 5 hurricane. I love that we were able to go on his adventure of making his way back home with his fellow classmates… and dare I say crush?! This book ends with a big cliff hanger and I am ready to see what happens next!!

Great read :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
by Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Pages: Hardcover, 374

Publisher: Scholastic

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My students started after me about this series last year. Of course, I had it in my ever-growing pile but when I got my hands on the audiobook it became even harder for me to resist… not that I purposely was! I spend over an hour in the car a day traveling to and from work and I have found that audiobooks are a God-send!

These books truly are “the next Harry Potter” for a multitude of reasons. I loved Katniss as a narrator and the complete view we get of her. Collins has written her so well and I felt like I was right with her throughout her journey. Stress, fatigue, emotional outbursts, loss and just plain ole confusion were felt through Katniss as she was learning to be the citizen representing her district. Many times female authors are thought to only be able to write romance (or “the mushy stuff” as my boys say), but Collins has proved them all wrong. Yes, there is a “love story” woven throughout but it is in no way mushy.

As I was listening to Katniss’ survival in the Hunger Games I was brought back to my eleventh grade English class when we read The Lord of the Flies. That book amazed me because of the raw nature of the boys and what they did to survive and Katniss reminds me of that. She did what she had to do to survive and surprised herself most of all throughout her trials and tribulations. I am glad that I don’t have to wait for Catching Fire or even Mockingjay because I have them both on my shelf and on audiobook.

For those of you wondering… I am TEAM PEETA all the way!

Mark your calendars...
The Hunger Games
will hit theaters

March 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Free Kindle Reads....

I promised I was going to keep you up to date with some great free (or super cheap) ereads, so here they go :)


Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
(read my review here)

Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

Vanished by Kristi Holl

Lonely and a long way from her Iowa home, twelve-year-old Jeri McKane reacts to boarding school the way most middle schoolers would. Even with close friends, she wonders whether her scholarship to prestigious Landmark School was worth it. She's tempted to give up when her Mom can't make parents' weekend, and the school bus carrying her roommate, Rosa, disappears. But this reporter for the sixth-grade newspaper has an eye like Nancy Drew and more faith and courage than she realizes. Jeri solves the mystery---and makes landmark decisions to trust God and his Word through circumstances and feelings that don't make sense.

On Sale

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain ($2.39)

A Prodigal Son

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Fallen by Lauren Kate ($5)

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Hope you enjoy!!

2nd Annual Literary Lovers Mash-Up at Novel Novice

Novel Novice is hosting their second annual Literary Lovers Mash-Up and I am super excited about it! Here is some information out it:
This is your chance to imagine if two unlikely literary met and had an explosive romance. For example...
What if Mr. Darcy and Bella met from Twilight?
What if Katniss from The Hunger Games met Jace from The Mortal Instruments?
What if Edward Cullen met Jayne Eyre?
Can you imagine the possibilities?!
The Contest
In 500 words or less, write and explosive love scene (or an explosive romantic meeting) between two characters from DIFFERENT books. These can be contemporary, classic, YA, romance, etc. Anything, as long as they are books.
- Novel Novice bookmarks
- Publication on Novel Novice's website
and maybe even some novels thrown in there too
Make sure to check it out here and find out more about the contest and the details on submitting your work.
What are some of your ideas for literary mash-ups? Make sure to let me know in the comments!
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