Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Hi Tipler Middle School readers! I am Miss Weaver, the student teacher in the Media Center. I have just finished the book Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. It starts out by telling us that kira-kira is Katie's first word, which means glittering. This is the story of Katie Takeshima, her family, and her life growing up in Georgia as a Japanese American. It is interesting because they moved from a predominanty Japanese town in Idaho to the South. Her mom and dad work all hours of the day and night at the chicken farms and they struggle just to get by. They eat rice and sardines every day, and Katie is bored of it. She has a big sister named Lynn and a little brother named Sammy. Her sister is always trying to get her to do her homework and get better grades in school. The mood changes when Lynn gets sick, and it is hard for her to operate on a daily basis. They keep saying that she has anemia, but anemia is not that serious of an illness. The thing that the family needs to remember is that there can still be things that are kira-kira in their lives.

The siblings decide that it would be fun to go on a picnic one day, and they go through the woods to find a good spot. Sammy went off on his own while Lynn and Katie were talking. The sisters heard a loud scream which is not typical for Sammy, because he is a very calm child. As the girls ran to see if he was alright, they could tell right away that it was bad. Sammy got his leg caught in a bear trap. After some thought and pulling, they released the trap, but Sammy was in bad shape. Lynn and Katie decided that it would be best to try to carry him in a blanket. The problem is that Lynn was too weak and sick to carry him, and Katie was too small to carry him herself. Lynn told her to run to find help and she would stay with Sammy. It was starting to get cold, and Katie is worried, because she is not good with directions. What will happen to Lynn, Sammy, and Katie? Read Kira-Kira to find out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Taken, by Edward Bloor, is one of our new books. The story is set in the near (?) future.....2036, after the World Credit Crash. I compared this to the Stock Market Crash of 1929. People either are rich or poor, there does not appear to be anything in-between.

Charity is the main character and she has been kidnapped! In the future kidnapping is quite common. Wealthy families live in gated, protected communities to try and keep their children safe. Armed guards are hired help. Going to school means sitting in front of a "vidscreen" so your class can be brought in by satellite.

The first two lines in the book are, "Once you've been taken, you usually have twenty-four hours left to live. By my reckoning, that meant I had about twelve hours remaining." That was all I needed to start reading!

Charity wakes up and realizes that she has been kidnapped....previously it was something that always happened to "someone else". Her father must now empty his supply of money from their home safe to pay the ransom for Charity. Something goes terribly wrong....read the book and find out!