Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time flies. . .

How is it November already? I just got a box of books in the mail today--okay, well they're really books for John, but I want to dig in as soon as he's finished. We got the first set of Guardians of Ga'hoole by Kathryn Lasky which looks really fun. I have always loved owls, and these books have gotten good reviews. We also got the sequel to Saavy called Scumble. I wasn't bowled over by Saavy, but many of the students in the classroom were, so I'm going to give Ingrid Law another chance. Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead are two of the best books that I have read in the last few months, so I bought copies for John's class. Hope you are finding great books to curl up with on these longer, darker nights.

Friday, October 8, 2010

If you started now. . .

The first of The Deathly Hallows movies is releasing in November. Wouldn't it be a great time to re-read all the HP books? I wish I had the time. My friend Evalyn and her family like to read them aloud like reader's theater. They also have several versions; she likes the British one.
I finished Frankenstein and thoroughly enjoyed it--what a great monster Viktor created. Too bad the monster was rejected so painfully by society, he would have been a fabulous English teacher. He definitely needs a name though. I agree with one of my students, "Who would work on a creation for two years and not name it?"

Monday, September 27, 2010

A chill is in the air. . .

The temperature finally dropped after many miserably hot September days. Doesn't it just make you want to curl up with a good book? I ran across two intriquing books today while I was looking for books about California for a student who is going to visit. One is about John Muir and the other is about Rachel Carson and both are by Thomas Locker. Unfortunately, the library doesn't have either one, so I may have to go out searching the bookstores.  This student is going to drive across country checking out the ways of the west, so I also recommended the Francis Tucket books. These are the wonderful adventures of a daring young boy who becomes separated from his wagon train on the Oregon trail. The series is by the talented writer Gary Paulsen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spooky stories

This month I will be teaching Frankenstein by Mary Shelley to my World Lit class. I am considering having everyone make a short report on a monster or scary character from literature. What is your favorite scary story? I usually stay away from them, but the season is almost here. . .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This just in. . .

The latest book in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins got a good review in the NY Times today. I guess I may have to read one. They sound a little too violent for me, but I am curious now to see what all the excitement is about. I know Ben has enjoyed them. Has anyone else read them?
Do you have assigned reading lists in school?

Friday, August 27, 2010

What are you reading?

The books that I know about folks reading right now are mostly from the people I see each day.
Lucy is reading a cool book about a girl named Olive who finds some eyeglasses in the house her family has just bought that help her to see things. She can see things in pictures that other people can't, and I think can actually go in to them, sort of like in the Prince Caspian book where the kids go into the boat picture. I can't remember the name of it. But I want to read it when she's finished. Ben is reading the third in a trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins. They sound a little scary for me. John is reading the second of Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy. Erik is reading the first. We listened to the audio version of that book (The Amulet of Samarkand) years ago and loved it. Owen is reading Trouble by Gary Schmidt, one of my favorite authors (see spotlight). I have mostly been reading for the classes I am teaching. So, I've been reading short stories and a Chinese novel called The Story of the Stone written in the 18th century. In my spare time, I am reading a great book I got from my friend Esther for my birthday. It is called The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World One Correction at a Time. The story is about this guy and his friend who go on a road trip across the country armed with "correction elixir" and sharpies and chalk. They set out to correct all those awful typos that you see on signs. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter describing how he began this quest:
I stared at that "No Tresspassing" sign, and I wondered: Could I be the one? What if I were to step forward and do something. The glare from the extra "s" seemed to mock me. Sure, others before me had recognized that there was such a problem in modern English. Plenty of people had made much hay of ridiculing spelling and grammatical errors on late-night shows and in humor books and on websites weighted with snark. But: Who among them had ever bothered with actual corrective action? So far as I knew, not a soul. A lambent vision descended upon me, like the living wheels revealed unto Ezekiel. In it, I saw myself armed with Wite-Out and black marker, waging a campaign of holy destruction on spelling and grammatical mistakes.