Monday, May 22, 2006

Red Midnight

Red Midnight is the newest, EXCITING, book by Ben Mikaelsen, the author of Touching Spirit Bear. As the story begins 12-year-old Santiago and his 4-year-old sister, Angelina make a desperate escape from their Guatemalan village. Soldiers have come - families have been killed and homes are burned. Santiago and Angelina are chased through the jungle and narrowly escape with only the clothes on their backs. Their entire family - parents, brothers and sisters - have been killed!
Their journey to the United States begins. Following his dead uncle's instructions he takes his kayak. Although Santiago has only sailed a few times, he tries to navigate the boat thousands of miles to Florida. He and his sister face numerous obstacles - rough ocean waters and no food or water. Where do they end up? Will they find safety in the United States? Will the government even allow them to enter? Read this exciting survival story.

Monday, May 08, 2006

What is Ms. Sankey reading?

Hi everyone! If you've been in the Media Center recently, I'm sure you've seen me, Ms. Sankey. I'm Mrs. Helm's student teacher and I will be here until the end of the school year in the afternoons. I wanted to let you know some great things I've been reading.

Defiance by Valerie Hobbs is one of our new books. Toby, an eleven-year-old boy, is on vacation. He meets Pearl, who is an elderly woman who lives up the street in a very run down house. Pearl is going blind but is still as spunky as ever. There's something Toby's not telling her though...he has cancer. And he's not telling his parents that he feels a new lump on his side. Toby will do anything to enjoy his summer and not have to go back to the hospital.

Escaping into the Night by D. Dina Friedman is another new book. Are you interested in the Holocaust? I am and in this book, I learned even more about it. Halina is a Jewish girl who escapes from the Polish Ghetto. But this isn't your ordinary escape story. Halina goes deep into the forest to join an encampment of all Jewish people who are desperately trying to survive World War II. This is a Holocaust story you've never read before.

Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem is a gruesome but intriguing book. Have you ever heard of Pompeii? It's a city which was in Italy but is now extinct. How does a city become extinct you ask? Vesuvius was a volcano which the city was near. The people of Pompeii believed greatly in the volcano but one day it covered the city when it erupted. In this book you will see pictures upon pictures of the excavated ruins. Even if you check out this book to look at the pictures, you'll be amazed.

Now I know some of you are working on biographies, and you'll want to check out Anne Frank by Josephine Poole. This picture book is an easy way to learn about one of the most widely known Holocaust victims. Have you read the Diary of Anne Frank? Have you ever wondered about the girl before the diary? This book will tell you all about Anne as she grew up, what she was like as a girl, and who her family was. This is a sure-fire way to learn about the famous Anne Frank.

See you soon!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cinderella Stories

Most everyone is familiar with the Disney version of Cinderella. How about reading a Cinderella story from a different culture?
Last night I read Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story by Tomie de Paola and Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story retold by Robert D. San Souci. Adelita takes place in Mexico. Sootface is a traditional story of Northeast and Great Lakes Native Americans. Both have sisters or stepsisters who are not kind to Adelita and Sootface. Adelita has a cruel stepmother. Sootface doesn't have a mother. Read the stories to see the other similarities between these and the traditional fairy tale.

Monday, May 01, 2006

No Right Turn

Are you a classic car fan? If you are, you need to read Terry Trueman's newest book, No Right Turn. Jordan has been sneaking into his neighbor's garage and "borrowing" his 1976 vintage Stingray Corvette. It is only a matter of time before Jordan is caught.


What happens when you die? Author Gabrielle Zevin tries to answer this question in her book Elsewhere. Liz is almost 16 years old. She is a victim of a hit and run driver. As the story begins she finds herself on a cruise ship to the island of Elsewhere. She is greeted by the grandmother that died before Liz was even born. Liz struggles to find her place in Elsewhere. She is angry that her life ended before she turned 16. Telescopes allow a view back to earth. Liz becomes obsessed with following the lives of her family and friends. This is an extremely creative book! Read it and discover the world of Elsewhere!!!


Have you ever wanted an extreme makeover? In Scott Westerfeld's book, The Uglies, that is exactly what happens. Tally is eagerly anticipating her 16th birthday when she will be transformed from an "ugly" to a "pretty". After she meets Shay and they run away to the outside world of "Smoke" Tally isn't so sure "pretty" is what she wants. The sequel is The Pretties. Eventually it will be a trilogy.

Catch Up!

The new carpeting is in the media center. Things are finally back to normal:) I've been doing lots and lots of reading, but really neglecting the blog. Here are some GREAT new books that I've been reading.........

Death Mountain by Sherry Shanan -- If you like survival stories you'll enjoy this. Two girls, Erin, an experienced hiker and Mae, the exact opposite of Erin, are separated from the rest of their group during an electrical storm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The two girls fight to survive hunger, freezing nights, exhaustion, and injuries. Just like the characters in the story, the author survived a deadly lightning storm on the same mountain.

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix -- Just a few days before her 13th birthday Bethany's parents drive her to a different state to stay with an aunt she never knew existed. Bethany has no way to contact her mom and dad. There are many family secrets that have been hidden from her. Read the book and find out what they are!