Friday, December 18, 2009

Blind Panic

I had to stop reading sad stories, so I picked up this new book by Graham Masterton. The cover of the book says that Masterton is a "horror veteran". It sounded like just what I needed!!

The story begins on the lawn of the White House in Washington D.C. As the President is getting on a helicopter, he is suddenly struck blind. No reason - just suddenly blind. The same thing is happening all over the United States. Airplanes are crashing, cars have piled up on the freeway. Imagine the devastation. No one knows the reason for the sudden blindness.

Enter Misquamacus - a reincarnated, evil version of an Algonquin medicine man. This story blends Native American legends with the present day. Misquamacus wants revenge on Americans for the treatment of his ancestors years ago. Will he gets his revenge? Read the book and see!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If I Stay

Do you ever wonder what goes on in the head of someone in a coma? In this heart-breaking new book by Gayle Forman, Mia must decide whether she will live or die? Yikes! Why would someone have to make that kind of decision? Mia's entire family -- mom, dad and brother were killed in a tragic car accident. Mia survived, but is in a coma.
You will have to read the book to see what happens to Mia. I guarantee it won't be without a few tears!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


This book has been described as a modern day Go Ask Alice. If you've read Alice you know what kind of book Beautiful is -- hard-hitting -- full of emotional problems, drug and alcohol abuse, family problems....the list goes on.

Reading how Cassie's life was a downward spiral made me sad, yet I couldn't stop reading. I can't understand how her parents or teachers didn't see what was happening or care enough to try and make it stop.

Read the book. See if it affects you the way it did me.......

Monday, December 07, 2009

Love You, Hate You, Miss You

One of my new favorite authors, Elizabeth Scott, writes this brand-new book. Amy is just out of rehab for alcohol. She is trying to adjust to life again, life without her bff Julia. Julia has died in a car accident.

Amy's therapist suggests keeping a journal as a way of dealing with all the emotions that surround the accident. Why does Amy feel responsible? You will have to read this page-turner to figure it out!


After by Amy Efaw was the first new book that I read! Devon is a star athlete and student, but she had a secret. Didn't she know she was pregnant? Was she in denial? Read this shocking story and see what happened to Devon. I couldn't put it down!

New Books

It is my favorite time of the year. Yes, it is the holiday season...but it is also new book time. We've had boxes and boxes of new books arrive. Stop in and see what is here!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

Okay......I don't shop as much as I used to, but I still could NOT go one year without shopping. Judith Levine wrote this nonfiction book about her attempts to go "shopping-free" for one entire year! Can you imagine?

Judith and her friend were concerned about all the commercialism, materialism and waste in our world. After racing around during the holiday season, maxing out credit cards and searching for the perfect gifts....they decided to simplify.

Their shopping-free lives start on January 1. When the designer soap is gone, good, old Ivory is the replacement. They vow to buy only essentials. No processed or prepared food -- no fast food. No first-run movies at the theater. They now wait for the rentals -- free at the library! They consider their high-speed Internet access a luxury! Read the book -- see how their lives change!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Have you ever wished and wanted to go on spring break sans parents? (Without parents!) I always wanted to....and didn't until I was in college. In this novel by Laura Kasischke three friends - Terri, Anne and Michelle - are headed to Cancun. They are high school seniors from Illinois. All three are ready to have fun -- sand, sun, boys... you get the idea! BUT..........

Since you've been able to understand haven't your parents warned you about "stranger danger"? Haven't they always warned you about taking rides from strangers? Read the story and see what happens when Anne and Michelle decide to experience the Mayan ruins on their own.

Monday, November 23, 2009


This novel by A. M. Jenkins is a Printz winner. Stop in the library and see the display of winners. The award is given specifically to a young adult novel of merit. Repossessed was recommended to me by a student, and it didn't disappoint!

Kiriel is a "fallen angel". What does that mean? He is sentenced to spend eternity in hell. His job is to torment the occupants of said place. But......he is bored with the job. He decides to take over the body of 17 year-old Shaun. Shaun has just stepped in front of a speeding truck and is on his way to heaven -- in no need of his physical body.

You have to read this book to see how Kiriel adapts to a body -- in hell he was only a presence. He wants to experience all the things that 17 year old guys experience. In one of the first scenes of the book Shaun's younger brother (who Shaun has never been nice to) catches Shaun in his bedroom "french-kissing" a shirt. Why a shirt? It's a sensation that Shaun has never experienced. Shaun, AKA Kiriel, has an ultimate plan to have the same experience with Lane Henneberger.

Eventually Kiriel is found out. His demon supervisors venture to earth to find him. Read the book to see what happens to Shaun.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Shift is a first novel by English teacher Jennifer Bradbury. A good author will always do thorough research for a novel. Jennifer really did.....she and her husband took a 2 month bicycle trip! They traveled from Charleston, South Carolina to Los Angeles, California.

In the book, Chris and Win, best friends since 3rd grade, have just graduated from high school. It was Chris' big dream to take a cross-country bike trip. He and Win finally convince their parents they are old enough and responsible enough to do it. The morning after graduation they leave their homes in West Virginia. Their ultimate destination? The Pacific coastline of Seattle, Washington.

As they bike through the upper Midwest -- they spend the night in a jail cell in Hudson, WI -- you get to know both Chris and Win. They experience the desolate highways of North Dakota and then the beauty of Glacier National Park. It's a long 2 months. Chris and Win have their own up's and down's....along with numerous flat tires. After almost being attacked by a wild coyote, Chris has another flat. Win continues on --- not waiting for his friend. That is the last Chris ever sees of Win!

Chris makes it to Seattle -- alone. He takes a bus back home and starts college. One of the first days on campus the FBI shows up to talk to Chris. Read this mystery to find out what happens to both Chris and Win!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Nancy Garden writes this very realistic book about what it is like to deal with extreme bullying.

The story starts with a flashback. Gray is staring out the window of a juvenile detention center. The glass in the tiny window has 6 sides. Gray imagines the 6 sides of his personality: son, brother, friend, archer and drummer (he excels at archery and is a great drummer). What is the sixth side of the hexagon that describes him? Murderer!

In 8th grade Gray was suspended twice for carrying a weapon. Now his family has moved so he can make a fresh start in high school. Once again, the bullies seem to find Gray. Teachers seem to dismiss the bullying and teasing at school with the explanation that "Boys will be boys." The bullying escalates to physical violence....especially the scene in the locker room. Gray's dad is not sympathetic. Gray feels his life is out of control. Read the book and see what he does! You won't forget it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Hot Zone

Ebola virus -- just the name of the disease is enough to cause panic. This book really is not for the "faint of heart".

Ebola's effects on the human and animal body are gruesome --- flesh turning to liquid, get the idea.

Read this book by Richard Preston about a real outbreak in Reston, Virginia.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Book of Michael by Lesley Choyce

How's this for a first line: "Some people still think I killed her. Despite the evidence. Despite everything." ( is more of a first paragraph.)

Michael was 16 years old when he was convicted of killing his girlfriend Lisa, a girl he very much loved. He spent 6 months in prison. One day the guard told him he could "go home". The person who really killed Lisa had confessed.

How do you go home? How do you go back to your life? Back to school? Back to your family?

You'll have to read the book and see how Michael manages to put his life back together.

Hole in my Life

Many of you probably read a Jack Gantos book in elementary or middle school. Is Joey Pigza a character you know? He is one of Gantos' creations. This book though, tells a real story. It is not one of those cheerful "this is how I became an author" stories.

Jack Gantos spent time in prison. Twenty-year-old Jack tells the story of how he found himself in New York City, fresh off a boat from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, about to be arrested for smuggling 2000 lbs of hash. As a young man Jack made some poor decisions....the poorest one being that he crewed a boat loaded with drugs.

Jack served 15 months in the federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky. He is honest about his prison experience and certainly doesn't gloss over things. Prison is also the place where he first became a writer and realized his desire was to continue his education.

Try an autobiography, you might like it!

Hey Horowitz Fans!!!

The 4th book in the Gatekeepers is here. Stop in and check it out!!

Th1rteen R3asons Why

I have wanted to read this book by Jay Asher ever since it was published in 2007. Reading it this weekend, I was left with an uneasy feeling.

Hannah has committed suicide. She has mailed cassette tapes with the 13 reasons she has ended her life to 13 people. The story is told from the viewpoint of Clay, a boy who really did like Hannah, but was afraid to let her know his feelings. He is one of the 13.

Clay spends a retched night listening to Hannah's voice, visiting the locations on the tape, and trying to understand.

Why did this book make me uneasy? It really makes you think about the consequences of your actions. Think about your daily interactions with friends and family. Words, or lack of words, do indeed hurt. Clay is hurting in this book.....Hannah was hurting, yet no one saw.......

Friday, October 02, 2009

Urban Legends

Do you know what an urban legend is? Even if you don't, I bet you've heard one before.

Urban legends are modern-day folktales. Have you ever heard someone tell a story that they know happened to a "friend's boyfriend" or "my "brother's girlfriend" saw this happen to her aunt when they were on vacation. is those kind of stories. I think everyone has heard the legend about alligators in the New York sewer system. Kids supposedly bought baby alligators as pets. As they grew too large to keep as pets they were flushed down the toilet. They continued to grow in the sewers until now -- they are monstrous. Is it true? No.

The library has several books containing urban legends. They are lol funny!! Read the story about the carpet layer. As it begins he has just finished laying a new carpet. When he goes outside to have a smoke he realizes that he lost his pack of cigarettes. Regretfully, he looks at the new carpet and there is a lump in the middle of the floor. It has to be the cigarettes. With no other options seemingly available, he takes a mallet and starts pounding to flatten the bump. Not more than a few minutes later the owner of the house says, "I found your cigarettes on the front porch. Now....could you help me find my baby hamster? He seems to have escaped from his cage!" Hmmm.........

Check out the urban legend books - some stories are funny, others are creepy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Grief Girl; My True Story

Scanning the shelves I found this book. The inside cover intrigued me:
I am just like you.
I get bored in school.
I goof off with my friends.
I fight with my family.
I love my family.
I have big dreams.
I am just like anyone else.
And then, in a split second, I'm not.
This is my story.

What could happen in a split second to change 14-year-old Erin's world? Her parents were in a horrific car accident. Read the book -- go home and tell your parents that you love them -- it is Erin's true story.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gadget Nation - A Journey Through the Eccentric World of Invention

I saw this nonfiction book on the shelf and it caught my eye. I like quirky "stuff". If you do, you will lol at this book.

Don't you wish you would have thought of "bird diapers"? How about pet "fat"? Octodogs or lighted slippers? This book is full of odd inventions and the stories behind the inventions. How much money was spent on "mopflops? Did the inventor make any money? You'll have to browse the book and see!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Imagine you were able to "spy" on the dreams of other people -- classmates, your parents, teachers........ that is exactly what happens to Janie.

Since she had her first experience when she was 9 years old, Janie is able to fall into the dreams of others. Imagine you are working at a table in the library. At the table next to you someone falls asleep (now....if it were here at West I'd probably nudge you awake!) suddenly you enter their dream. That is exactly what happens to Janie. Unfortunately she also "blacks out" in the process. It looks like she is having a seizure.

In the past 8 years Janie has been drawn into some very bizarre dreams. But now, she is drawn into some pretty gruesome nightmares. Why is she dreaming about Cabel? Why is he dreaming about her? Read this book by Lisa McMann and the follow-up, Fade.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Deadly Little Secret

When I first started reading this book I thought, "Oh's starting to sound like Twilight." Remember the scene in Twilight where Edward saves Bella by blocking an out-of-control car in the student parking lot? Something similar happens in this book. Camelia, the main character, could have died 3 months ago in the school parking lot. Gloria went into diabetic shock while driving and her car headed straight for Camelia. Out of the blue, Ben, a very mysterious new student shows up. He pushed Camelia out of the way, saving her life. But....then he disappears. Camelia really wants to thank him, but can't find him. Meanwhile rumors start about Ben -- about how he killed his ex-girlfriend. Camelia starts receiving threatening letters and packages. Everyone puts two and two together -- Ben is the suspect. Did he or didn't he?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Anna: A Daughter's Life

One of the things I'm enjoying about high school is I get to read more "adult" books. Last night I finished this memoir that William Loizeaux wrote about his first-born daughter, Anna. It was heartbreaking, but I was compelled to read it. Both William and his wife, Beth, were older parents....something I can relate to.

Anna was born with a variety of birth defects known as Vater Syndrome. In Anna's short 5 1/2 month life she endured many surgeries to fix her myriad of problems. William is trying to make sense of the death of his child. The book is written in a diary format to span the months of Anna's life. Touching, tender and sad. Read it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Compound

Eli's dad has always been a "freak" about nuclear war. Dad was convinced that war would come -- and he wanted his family to be prepared. When the inevitable happens and the steel door to the compound closes behind Eli, life as his family knew it, will never be the same. The door is programed to stay closed for 15 years -- the amount of time it should take our world to recover from a nuclear event.
Eli is 15 years old. He has been living in the underground compound for 6 years. Some things are not adding up. Dad gives him a CD to listen to. Eli peels the label off and finds the name of the band and the copyright date -- but the date is last year. How can that be when he and his family have been locked up for 6 years? Certain things don't seem right. As Eli starts to question his father, dad shows increasingly erratic behavior. Read the book and find out what happens to Eli and his family.
S. A. Bodeen (Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen) is a Wisconsin author. She grew up in Humbird, Wisconsin. You'll have to Google the location to see where it is -- I know I never heard of it:)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Before I Die

What a sad title:( Tessa has terminal cancer. The cancer is so advanced that she has decided to forgo chemotherapy treatments. She is just a teenager. In the months that she has left she wants to pack her life with all the experiences that she will miss as an adult.

Some sound simple -- others like, find love, are not. Read the book by Jenny Downham and see what happens to Tessa.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Finally ... September 1 --the sequel is published!

I've been waiting for this sequel. Many of you read Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Here is the next one....... We don't have it yet, but soon will!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Living Dead Girl

The cover quote about this book is "Stark. Gripping. Totally unforgettable." There is no better way to describe this book by Elizabeth Scott. I couldn't put the book down and read it completely in a few hours.

"Alice" was kidnapped by Ray when she was 10 years old. She is now 15. The abuses she has suffered at Ray's hands are too horrible to imagine. Yet....she has survived. Ray now has a plan to find a new little girl. Will Alice help kidnap her? When will Alice's nightmare be over? Read the book and find out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lily Dale: Awakening

Believe it or not, this isn't a vampire book! (It seems like my summer reading was themed!) This book by Wendy Corsi Staub is about physic ability.

Calla's mom has just accidentally died. Calla and dad are devastated. To make matters worse Calla has to fly from her home in Florida to her grandmother's home -- a tiny town named Lily Dale in upstate New York. Her father had committed to a semester teaching in California.

Calla hasn't had a relationship with Odelia. Mom never encouraged visits. Now that she is sleeping in her mom's childhood bed, Calla knows why.

The community of Lily Dale is a spiritualist community. Look down the streets and you will see signs advertising all kinds of "services". Mediums are more than willing to look into your future, read your palm, or try to connect you with dead relatives. To make matters worse, Odelia is a medium. Calla doesn't know what she got herself into......but is curious enough to keep the information from her dad.

Things grow stranger and stranger until Calla wonders if she has inherited the family "gifts". You will have to read the book to see what circumstances lead Calla to this revelation. This is the first in a series...I have to get the next one!

Blue Bloods

Do you like vampire books as much as I do? If so, you'll probably love Blue Bloods the first in a series by Melissa De la Cruz.

Schuyler Van Alen is one of the main characters. She attends a very private, very exclusive school in New York City. She is an outcast at the "academy" in part because she doesn't worry about fashion or how she looks, like Bliss and Mimi --- the "popular" girls.

As Schuyler turns fifteen things start to change. Her skin starts to turn translucent. The blue of her veins shows through in a paisley pattern. Schuyler is invited or rather summoned, to join the Committee. She learns that she is part of the long and noble tradition of the Four Hundred. The changes she is experiencing are all completely normal and part of the Cycle Of Expression.

Have I peaked your curiosity yet? If that isn't enough, Aggie, a classmate is mysteriously murdered. You will have to read the book and the sequels that follow. I couldn't put it down!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dark Dude

Oscar Hijuelos is a Pulitzer Prize winning author. This is his first book for young adults. Did you read The Outsiders in middle school? If you did, I bet you will like this book.

The main character is a light-skinned Cuban-American boy named Rico. His light skin is important because he is often mistaken for being Rico's neighborhood that isn't a good thing. He lives in 1960's Harlem. It is a time filled with violence -- a shooting at school, a friend overdosing on drugs, and constant harassement. Rico is a smart boy and knows enough to know that he has to get out if he ever wants to make something of himself.

Somehow he convinces Jimmy (his overdosing friend) that they need to leave the streets of Harlem and move to Wisconsin. Yes....Wisconsin. Rico has a friend, Gilberto, who lives on a farm and attends Milton College. (Milton College is located near Madison. It operated as a college until 1982 when it had to close due to financial difficulties.)

Hitchhiking to Wisconsin makes for some funny plot lines. Life in Wisconsin of the 1960's has a much slower pace and near Madison the hippie life prevails. Gilberto puts them to work painting the farm and cleaning out the outhouse. Rico's parents don't know where he is...he didn't say goodbye or leave a forwarding address. So.........

Can you leave your problems behind and start over? Read the book see what happens to Rico.


This book by Neal Shusterman is riveting and chilling -- all at the same time. I couldn't put it down.
At the very beginning the "Bill of Life" is introduced.... The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively 'abort' a child... ...on condition that the child's life doesn't 'technically' end. The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called 'unwinding.' Essentially, if you are unwound your body parts become available for transplantation.
Reading that in the prologue was enough to convince me to read this book. Connor is one of the main characters. He's been in some trouble and his parents are tired of dealing with him. They make arrangements for him to be unwound. He learns of their decision and decides to runaway and make it on his own. He meets Risa and Levi - both are scheduled to be unwound. The orphanage can no longer keep Risa - she has not proved to be valuable to society. Levi is being sacrificed by his religious parents.
Imagine this type of world.....Read the book and see what happens to the three main characters. If you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins you will definitely like this one!

Moving West

I only shared this with a few students -- but here it goes.......I am now an Oshkosh West Wildcat!!!!
Unfortunately, cuts in education have become more and more commonplace in Oshkosh and around the state. With all my years of experience in the district I am able to keep a job - but to stay in one building instead of 3, I decided to move up to the high school.
Those of you who knew me and Tipler and Traeger....I'll see you in the high school. I am excited to reconnect with former students. I'll miss all my 6th and 7th graders --- but, hey --- you'll be at West in a few years anyway. Keep in touch:
And as always....come to me if you need a good book to read. More posts to follow on my summer reading:)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Everything is Fine

Oh......this book made me really, really sad. Yet, at the same time it is a true portrayal of what a family goes through when someone dies. Mazzy's mom just can't get out of bed. She is severely depressed. I don't want to give away details of what happened to Olivia, Mazzy's sister, but obviously she has died. The family does not know how to go on.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

bog child

This book is tragic .... as is, or was the life of the author, Siobhan Dowd. She died of cancer in 2007. At the time of her death she had two unpublished books, this is one.

Ireland has had troubles for centuries. There is always conflict between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This book is set in the Ireland of the early 1980's. There are several parallel stories and it is interesting to see how the author brings them together.

Fergus' brother is in prison. He ends up going on a hunger strike with other jailed members of the IRA (Irish Republican Army). No one has lived much beyond 50 days. It is tearing the family apart - especially Mam.

But.....I'm sure you're asking...."What about the bog child?" As the story begins, Fergus and Uncle Tally are up in the mountains cutting peat. What is peat? It is decayed matter that you would find in a bog or marshy area. In Ireland it is cut and burned -- similar to firewood. The chemicals in peat also have amazing properties of preservation. As Fergus is cutting the peat he finds a human hand. Curled up in the bog they find the body of a human child. Archeologists are called in. It is determined that the body is of a young girl who lived in the year 80.

Mel, as the bog child is named, has her story told as well. She has been murdered. Why? Read the book! Find out how Fergus is blackmailed and how Cora fits into the story. As I said earlier, Dowd has written a touching story -- but keep all the plot lines together.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Groosham Grange

Anthony Horowitz has done it again! This fast-reading horror story reads almost like a short story. David Eliot is being sent to Groosham Grange. It is another boarding school, in a string of boarding schools that he has attended.

Gregor, the driver waits at the train station to take David to the school. "He was horribly deformed. If he had been involved in a dreadful car crash and then fallen into an industrial mangle, it could only have improved him." Needless to say, David is apprehensive as approaches the building. Upon arrival he meets Mr. Kilgraw. His first clue that something isn't quite right is when the headmaster makes him sign his name in blood in the school register. He says that it is a "tradition". Hmmmmm.....

Things only get more strange. David tries repeatable, without success, to escape Groosham Grange. Read the book and see what happens on his 13th birthday!

The Missing Girl

Creepy........A man is watching the five Herbert sisters. He watches them as they walk to school, he watches them in the park....all the while he is trying to decide which sister he likes best. Read the book by Norma Fox Mazer. See what happens to the family when he finally makes his move and kidnaps Autumn.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Aren't "grannies" supposed to be kind, bake your favorite cookies and buy you special treats? Joe's granny. She is the ANTI-GRANNY!! In fact, she admits she hates Joe!!

Anthony Horowitz has concocted an unusual, eccentric story. Joe lives the life of wealth. Too bad his parents don't pay much attention to him. After his parents go on vacation ....again, granny makes sure she has Joe to herself. Her plan is to kidnap him and take him to the Golden Granny Awards. Once there, the evil grannies want to remove the enzymes from his body. Hopefully they will then be able to inject themselves with a magic formula that has been developed. Think fountain of youth! The device (extractor) they have built to do this sounds like a torture device from the middle ages. The plan almost succeeds.

Once you read this book I know you will appreciate your granny:)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Last Invisible Boy

Did you read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? If you did, you will probably like this book by Evan Kuhlman. The illustrations remind me of those that Jeff Kinney has in his books.

The main character is a 12 year-old boy named Finn Garrett. Finn feels he is becoming invisible....his once dark black hair is slowly turning white. Really! His skin is also a pasty white color. All these changes began in June on "The Terrible Day that Changed Everything". What could possibly happen that would be so traumatic and cause these changes? At first Finn says, "I lost my dad forever." I wasn't sure if his parents had divorced or dad had died. Sadly, his father has died, but he doesn't reveal what happened.

Read the book. See how Finn gradually turns whiter and whiter -- and becomes more and more invisible. Will he ever be normal again?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

This book by Mary E. Pearson is brand new. (I love new books!)

Jenna's parents adored her.....thus they would do anything to save her. Wouldn't your parents?

This book is a little futuristic. Jenna is 17 and is told she has been in a terrible car accident. The accident explains some of the amnesia, but not everything. Why is she so clumsy? Why is she shorter than she was before the accident? She knows things that she never knew before, but has no recollection of friends and her life in Boston. It doesn't make sense.

Jenna's dad is a scientist. What he has done with Jenna is illegial. Read this "medical thriller" and find out what it is!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Torn to Pieces

Wow.....I could not stop reading this new mystery book by Margot McDonnell. More to come later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Did you know that author Alex Flinn is a woman? I guess using the more masculine "Alex" I thought it was a male author. Alex loves to read fairy tales to her daughters. She made them sit through numerous readings of Beauty and the Beast while she was writing Beastly.

In this modern retelling of the original Beauty, Kyle Kingsbury is the main character. He is "beautiful and handsome" on the outside, yet inside, where it really counts, he is mean, nasty and arrogant. He asks Kendra to an important school dance, only to stand her up. The last laugh is Kyle's though, when Kendra places a spell on him. She turns him into a beast -- hairy, sharp claws, the whole package. Now he is as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside.

Kendra does give him a chance to redeem himself and possibly turn into a normal human again. Read the book and find out how.


I can't believe I haven't blogged about this book by Nancy Springer. It's always out and always popular during booktalks.

Puberty does crazy things to your body:) Dusssie wakes up one morning and finds she has snakes for hair!! If you're "up" on your Greek mythology you know that Medusa shares the same characteristic. Dusssie finds out that her mother - who always dresses in long, flowing caftans and turbans - is a Gorgon AND Medusa's younger sister!

Inadvertently Dusssie transforms a boy in her class to stone, a boy she secretly has a crush on! Obviously, she is just getting used to her new-found powers. Read the book and find out what Dusssie tries to do to remedy the situation.

Greek gods living in the 21st century is a popular genre!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Neptune's Children

The prologue of this book by Bonnie Dobkin pulled me in right away.......

Terrorists have created a virus and planted it in locations around the world. A timing device is set. But...when the virus is released the unthinkable mutates! All adults die!

The story is set at the Isles of Wonder Theme Park. Families had been enjoying a warm summer day at the park when the tragedy struck. The survivors band together under the leadership of Josh and Milo. Did you ever watch the TV show, Survivor? Like the television show, alliances are made and broken. Disagreements break out and violence often threatens.

This is a good survival story. Read it and see which side you would choose to be on!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Jon Scieszka is an author many are familiar with -- The Stinky Cheeseman and the Time Warp Trio books are popular even in middle school. His newest book, Knucklehead, is Jon's autobiography. I loved this silly book!!

Jon grew up in Flint, Michigan in the 1960's. He was the second of six brothers. Mom was a nurse -- a good thing in a house of rambunctious boys, and his dad was a school principal. I laughed and laughed at the goofy things he did during childhood. Because his mom was a nurse she demanded that the boys use the "proper" name for things. He devotes a chapter to "urinating", not the slang word that most kids use. The chapter on a family vacation was hilarious. Their family cat (a boy also) accompanied them. When it threw up after eating a candy bar that one of the boys dropped, it set off a chain reaction. You can only imagine how the car smelled.

Read the book....the stories are timeless:)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pictures from the tea!

Tea with author Laura Schaefer. Yes.....we really served tea!
Laura shared a Powerpoint with students that explained the process she went through to have her book published.
You can visit her online at Check out the blog for more pictures from our tea!

The Teashop Girls

Laura Schaefer, author of The Teashop Girls, was at Tipler for our "teashop". It was a great opportunity for students to meet a "real" author. Pictures from the event will be posted later......

The book itself revolves around the friendship between three girls -- Annie, Genna, and Zoe. Annie's grandma run the Steeping Leaf, a teashop in Madison, WI. Economic times are tough and the Steeping Leaf is facing stiff competition from local coffeshops. The prospect of closing the tea shop brings the friends together with a purpose. Can they save the shop? What role will the "horrid" Zach Anderson play?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Midnight Twins

I always knew author Jacquelyn Mitchard as an adult author. This book, The Midnight Twins, is her first young adult book.

Can you imagine being a twin, but not sharing the same birthday....or even the same birth year? That is exactly what happens to the Brynn sisters -- Meredith and Mallory. One is born on December 31 and the other 2 minutes after midnight on January 1. It makes for an interesting story. Their personalities are very opposite, but they share many things -- including a "secret" twin language.

On another New Years Eve - the eve of their 13th birthday there is a terrible fire. One of the sisters is left with a scar on her hand. For the first time, the twins are not identical. The fire does more than just physical damage. The girls no longer share dreams. Mallory starts to dream about future traumatic events and Meredith past events. They will need to put their dreams together to solve a mystery.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Bonechiller is the newest book (and a very creepy one) by Graham McNamee, the author of Acceleration....another book that I really liked.

The story is set in Harvest Cove, Canada. It is a tiny, tiny isolated town in the province of Ontario. Danny is returning home late one night. He feels eyes following him. Panic ensues as he runs faster. He sees the large shape continuing to follow him. Danny stumbles over the snow piles and falls into a ditch. The creature is on him in an instant and stings him. After that, it disappears. At first Danny wonders if it was just a weird dream. But as other classmates disappear and he grows colder and colder, Danny knows it was more than just a dream.

What stung Danny? What creature stalks other teenagers in the town? Read the book and find out!