Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II - The Domino Effect

The guys from EepyBird are back, with 251 bottles of Diet Coke and over 1,500 Mentos mints. In Experiment #137, they did a mint-powered version of the Bellagio fountains. This time, it's one giant Coke & Mentos chain reaction that has to be seen to be believed.

This is CRAZY! An somewhere I'm sure there's a book about it...
--Mrs. F-B

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What's the best book you read in 2006 and why?

Wow, this is going to be a HARD choice for me. I think I read about 75 books this year. It's hard to even remember all of them! For sure some of my top choices are Princess Academy, Peter and the Starcatchers, Twilight, My Sister's Keeper, David Hewson's books, Sarah Dessen's new book Just Listen, and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie. But to have to pick just one? Wow!

I think I'll have to go with Twilight, Stephenie Meyers' first novel, a vampire story set in Forks, Washington. This book had incredible writing - I was stunned that it was her first novel - great setting, engaging, non-stop plot, and great character development. These are sort of the four main elements in a novel, and it's not that often that a novelist excels in all of them, but I really think this one hit the mark. If you like vampire novels, it's the best I've read. See my previous blog entry on New Moon to read more about the sequel.

Let us know what you read and loved and why.

New Harry Potter publication date???

So I keep hearing that the 7th (and final!) Harry Potter is going to be published on 7-7-07, but I'm not sure who made that up. Has anyone seen the actual date officially published somewhere? Please tell me!!! If it comes out in July I'll have to buy it in Costa Rica, and I really hope they'll have it in English, because although my Spanish is decent, I have tried reading Harry Potter in Spanish, and it takes me forever!

Also, do you really believe that what happened at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was true? Don't tell what happened in case someone else who's reading this hasn't read the book yet, but just tell me if you think it's true or not.

How to Be Popular - Meg Cabot

Well, when one of my favorite authors is about to publish something, I usually know it ahead of time, but this time I was caught by surprise to see a new Meg Cabot title. Apparently, so were other people, because I got it right away from Multnomah County Library. Since it's a Cabot novel, I was prepared to love it, but when I started reading, I wondered if she hadn't headed down the wrong path this time. The story is all about a girl who thinks she wants to be popular and if she is, then everything will just be great. She finds a very old book among one of her best friend's grandmother's things called _How to be Popular_ and she decides this is her chance. And since school is about to start, she'll be a junior this year, she decides this is the time to implement her plan. Of course she can't tell anyone about it, especially her two best friends, so she has to go about everything clandestinely - not always a great idea.

As I thought about this premise, I was really frustrated, because I know there are kids out there who don't feel like they're part of the popular crowd and that they're missing out by not being part of that crowd. Meanwhile, what they're really missing out on is all the fun they could be having with the friends they do have who are really great people. Why is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Why do we so often want what we don't have instead of being happy with what we do? Another teacher was just telling me that they read recently about someone who said every month we should have less and be happier. It's a great philosophy, but why is it so difficult to put into practice?

So that's the philosophical rant for today, now back to the book. The good news is, the book Steph found to help her with her plan isn't some book about getting popular by being a mean girl or doing things that take others down (an EIGHT year old little friend of mine recently said that being popular meant you had to be mean, so she wasn't popular!) but really about how if you're a good, kind, and nice person who exhibits leadership characteristics, you'll become popular naturally. And that's what she sets out to do. Mind you, her plan does not go off flawlessly, and she learns several things along the way that make her question her motives, her peers, and herself.

This is a charming, fun and funny book that I would definitely recommend. (And if your mother is expecting a baby, here's another book for you in addition to Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie). I knew Meg Cabot wouldn't let me down!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Gospel According to Larry

I've kind of been in the mood for funny books lately, and this one caught my attention. It's actually been out for five years, and I can't remember where I heard about it, but I just saw something lately and so I decided to check it out from good old Multnomah County Library. I LOVE that place. I'm sure they love me and my 25 items currently checked out, too. I just got the new Artemis Fowl on CD. I'm hoping to start listening to it this afternoon.

But I digress. Back to Larry. Like Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, which once again I cannot recommend heartily enough, this book is a make you laugh out loud kind of read. It also made me cry. Of course, if you know me at all, you know this is not that hard to do, but anyway... I liked this novel, and I really loved Larry's message which he anonymously posted quite regularly on his website, and I was WAY jealous that he got to meet Bono who is one of the really cool, cool people on the planet I think, but in the end I was disappointed by his choice of how to live his life. As I raked leaves yesterday having just finished it, I was wondering, though, if it I was really upset about Larry's choice, or if I was also sad and upset by how adults sometimes don't give kids the support they need to get through life, especially through the rough parts. And how can we do that better in the system we live and work in? It's a difficult question, and one that probably doesn't have the real answers I'm hoping for. This is a good, thought provoking read that I'd recommend for 8th grade and up. Mature 7th graders might enjoy it also.

P.S. Anyone else secretly hoping that the windstorm that's supposed to come tonight knocks out power to WOMS and we get to sleep in tomorrow? Just wondering.

Uglies book club coming soon!

Don't miss our first Lit Over Lunch book club meeting on Tuesday, November 28th. You will need to have a copy of Uglies, but you don't have to start reading until the 28th. Of course, you can if you want - I have, but I don't want to post about it yet because I want to wait until we start discussing. Suffice it to say, it's freaky weird but really good. We'll be meeting at every grade's lunchtime in the library on the 28th and the first two Tuesdays in December. Don't miss the fun! C U There!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

This is one of the funnier books I have read in a long time. I was literally laughing out loud over and over. Scott, the protagonist, is, predictably, a freshman, and he go through pretty much every trial that a freshman could go through...quite often involving girls. You see Scott is madly in love with a girl who is so NOT madly in love with him, and he makes many attempts at becoming involved in activities she's going to be involved with just so he can be near her, until she's not...and then he's not. And to top off his troubles, Scott's parents have announced they're having another baby! Which brings us to the premise of this novel - Scott is writing a journal (NOT a diary!) of advice to his sibling so that he or she won't have to make all the same mistakes he is. I absolutely loved the humor in this book, but another thing I loved was the writing. David Lubar injects some fresh ideas into his writing style, based, hypothetically, on things Scott is learning in his English class. Hooray for English teachers! Eighth graders will especially love this novel as you think about heading toward high school.