Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen

My favorite, favorite YA author has finally had another book published. I don't know why it's taken her so long - how much time can having a baby take up? ;)

I love Sarah Dessen so much because she's such a great character writer, and if you know what I like to read, you know that character is my number one focal point. If it has strong characters, I'm probably going to love it. If it doesn't, it's not likely to be high on my list. This book, like her others, has really strong main characters and some fairly strong more minor characters as well, namely Jamie and her friend at school whose name is escaping me - Olivia maybe? This book, like Dessen's others, ask characters, and readers, to re-think what they think they know - a good practice for most people probably. She also focuses on the importance of telling the truth, and how it can really mess things up if you don't. Even if telling the truth doesn't seem like a great option, not telling it is usually worse. Dessen really shows how vital these things can be through the relationship of Ruby and Nate. And of course there might be a little romance involved, for which, chick-flick addict that I am, I am always a sucker.

I didn't feel Ruby's sister Cora was quite as believable as I wanted. I'm not sure why this was, maybe since she held back a lot as a character I felt more disconnected, and maybe that's how it was supposed to be, but she just didn't feel quite right to me. Also, the fairy tale element of it was a little too much. People in reviews were saying one good thing about this novel was that this time the Dessen character was poor, and at the very beginning of the story, she surely was. I know I've never had to live in a house where the power has been turned off. That must be a really stressful situation to be in! But Ruby goes from nothing to everything in this novel, and seems to adjust pretty easily. There were things that couldn't have happened if she hadn't, but again, it just didn't feel right to me.

Now this book is no Truth About Forever, mind you, my favorite Ssrah Dessen of all time, but lightning rarely strikes twice so who'd expect it to be? If you like Sarah Dessen or you've never read her work but you like books with strong characters and possibly a little romance, you might want to check out this newest novel by Sarah, Lock and Key.

Two copies available at the WOMS library.

Eat, Love, Pray

I read this grown-up book over the weekend for my book club. It was pretty good, although I felt that the main character tended to be a little whiny. I did like that she put her whole self out there, though, not trying to make herself seem perfect. I think she sure missed a lot of the beauty of Italy by not going to any museums. Might have walked off some of those 23 pounds if she had...I liked the India and Bali sections better because she seemed less self absorbed. There were some very interesting philosophical points to think about with this book. I'll probably read the sequel which is due out next year, but then again I might just have someone tell me about it.

LOVED the cover of this book! Very cool photos.

Peak - Roland Smith

I just listened to this newest Roland Smith novel on CD, and I really enjoyed it. It's the story of Peak Marcello (yes, his crazy mountain climbing parents really did name him Peak!) who gets into a little trouble with the law over some skyscraper climbing in New York City. Apparently some people don't think imitating Spiderman is such a great idea...

So Peak can either go to a juvenile detention facility or go to Thailand with his dad - who he hasn't heard from, incidentally, in about 7 years. Well, it's not really a choice, is it? So off he goes to "Thailand." Or, actually, to Mt. Everest. Turns out his dad's mountain climbing guiding business is in a little financial trouble, and he intends to have Peak climb Mt. Everest to give things a little jump-start. Peak, you see, would be the youngest person to ever climb Mt. Everest if he makes it. A VERY big if. But a VERY big deal if he actually does make it.

At first I was thinking this was insane. Well, actually I still think it was insane, but I was thinking that it would be impossible for such a young person to climb Mt. Everest and survive. Many grown-ups don't make it. How could a kid do it? Turns out, a very few kids HAVE done it, so I was wrong. Knowing that, I was better able to accept the story, and I thought it was really interesting.

There were many suspenseful moments in this novel for sure, and I think kids are really going to like it. It's been chosen as an Oregon Battle of the Books book for next year, and I'm very excited to announce that we will be hosting Roland Smith as a guest author at our school next February as well. We have several copies of this book, so come on down and check it out!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key out tomorrow

Well, I don't know about you, but I'll definitely be going to Powell's tomorrow to pick up Sarah's new novel, Lock and Key. In the meantime, you can ready an interview with here from when she "chatted" with the Readergirlz.

You can click the title of this post or you can paste this link into your browser!


Also, today's the last day to enter Sarah's contest, so don't miss out. See my post from a few days ago on that!

As Sarah always says, Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Teen Reads Contest

5 Lucky winners will win a totebag filled with five free books from TEENREADS.COM! One of them is signed by Meg Cabot!! This contest is running through April 23rd. Age 13 years and older only.

Click on the title of this entry to go to the site, or copy and paste this URL


Lionboy Trivia FINAL Question

Posting date: 4/18
Due Date:4/21/08

Question: What special gift from his mother, to be used only in an emergency, does Charlie share with the lions?

Thanks for playing Lionboy trivia! We hope you enjoyed the book and our game!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lionboy Trivia Question #16

Posting date: 4/17
Due Date:4/19

Question: The Chief Executive claims he wants to find the cure for asthma. Why doesn’t Magdalen believe him?

Stephenie Meyer coming to PORTLAND!!

Tuesday, May 20
Powell's Books presents …guest speaker STEPHENIE MEYER author of the bestselling TWILIGHT series, currently being filmed in Portland!
Doors at 6 p.m.; $26 advance tickets;
price includes a copy of her new novel The Host (not part of the Twilight series)

Tickets available at Ticketmaster, Bagdad & Crystal box offices.
All ages welcome!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lionboy Trivia Question #15

Posting date: 4/16/08
Due Date: 4/18/08

Question: When the huge snake finally sheds its skin, what’s underneath?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Readergirlz Teen Book Drop April 17th!!!


So somehow I missed this little tidbit, but there's a cool thing going on in jsut a few days from now called Operation Teen Book Drop. Here are the details:

YALSA and readergirlz are partners in Operation Teen Book Drop (TBD). To celebrate April 17, 2008, Support Teen Literature Day, we've organized a massive, coordinated release of 10,000 publisher-donated YA books into the top pediatric hospitals across the country!

We invite you to celebrate Support Teen Lit Day with us. How? Donate one of your own books to your community and join our amazing online book bash: The TBD Post-Op Party.

What To Do Now?

- Download and print the appropriate readergirlz/YALSA/TBD bookplate. Paste it into the book you plan to donate. (http://www.readergirlz.com/tbd.html)

- Leave one copy of your novel, with a TBD bookplate pasted inside, in a teen gathering spot in your community. Place it where the book will be found, taken, and read. (i.e. a coffee shop, the park, your school, a bus stop.) Imagine the fun someone will have when they find your donation! This is the same day all 10,000 publisher-donated books will be dropped in pediatric hospitals across the country, and it is the same day authors and readergirlz worldwide will release their own books into their communities just as you have.

If you're allowed to go on MySpace, here's anotehr opportunity for you. We invite all readergirlz and authors to join our online two-hour book party hosted at the readergirlz MySpace group forum (http://groups.myspace.com/readergirlz), on April 17th (Support Teen Literature Day), from 6-8pm Pacific/9-11pm Eastern. The chat will be in a thread titled "TBD Post Op Party." The readergirlz divas will be giving away books and prizes, and chatting with teens and authors from around the world. We've invited so many authors and girlz you just never know who you might end up chatting with!

Operation TBD has special meaning to the readergirlz divas. After researching pediatric oncology wards for her novel GIRL OVERBOARD, Justina Chen Headley spent a year purchasing autographed YA novels to donate to her local Children's Hospital, specifically because most hospitals do not have comfort objects for teens. Lorie Ann Grover (ON POINTE) and Dia Calhoun (AVIELLE OF RHIA) personally know the healing power of stories during hospital stays, since they both live with chronic illness. Mitali Perkins (WHITE HOUSE RULES) has recently joined the team and is eager to support a readergirlz/YALSA special project.

We all know that books give hope. Together, let's show our love of teen lit and ROCK THE DROP.

Read, reflect, and reach out!

Sarah Dessen contest

HURRY! Click the title of this entry to get the details on Sarah Dessen's first ever contest. It ends April 21st, so no time to waste!

More details on her blog


Lionboy Trivia Question #14

Posting date: 4/15/08
Due Date:4/17/08

Question: Find a simile on page 156 or 163.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lionboy Trivia Question #13

Posting date: 4/10/08
Due Date:4/12/08

Question: Answer all three parts (a)How far is it from Le Havre to Paris? (b)How many locks must be passed through? (c)How long will the boat journey take?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thrill Ride - Rachel Hawthorne

I don't even know where I heard about this book, maybe from Mrs. Yingling's website out in Ohio, but anyway, I picked it up at the public library and I zipped right through it. It was an easy read, good for spring break which is when I read it. The main character in this book, Megan, is spending her summer working at a theme park far away from home. She's left her boyfriend behind, and he's not too happy about it. Neither is she, but she feels like going away to work is the only way she'll escape her mother and sister's fighting over her sister's upcoming wedding. THAT is driving her mad, so she takes the job.

But what happens when she goes to the theme park? She immediately meets a dreamy older boy who she thinks at first is dating her roomie. Turns out he's her brother, actually, but that almost makes it worse. He was sort of safe when he was off limits, but now that he's available, but she's not, Megan is a little nervous. She doesn't WANT to like him, she wants to be faithful to her boyfriend back home, but this long distance romance business is tricky...

A fun little teen romance that I'd recommend to fans of teen romance like Meg Cabot fans.

StoryTubes 2008 National Contest

6th graders - you have a great opportunity here! Check out this cool contest for kids in grades 1-6. Awesome prizes!!!

StoryTubes is here! From New York to California, kids in Grades 1-6 are talking up their favorite books. You can too!

Along with your parent or guardian, follow these simple steps:

1. Make a 2-minute video about your favorite book [please note: only one child and one book per video];
2. Upload the video to YouTube; and
3. Come to this StoryTubes website and send in the link to your uploaded YouTube video using the online Contest Entry Form.

Beginning April 1, your video becomes part of a national contest!

Voting mania will then begin and happen each week in May! At the end of each week, one lucky contestant will win $500 in books. Their sponsoring organization (school, library or designated organization for home-schooled youth) will receive $1,000 in books.

Four Video Categories:

Hair-Raising Tales
From or For the Heart
Of Heroes and Heroines
Facts, Fads and Phenoms

Tell the story about your favorite book today.

Click the title of this entry to find out more or copy and paste this link into your browser:

Lionboy Trivia Question #12

Posting date:4/9/08
Due Date:4/11/08

Question: Although Rafi hears the young lion’s roar as something terrifying, what does Charlie know about it??

Monday, April 07, 2008

Lionboy Trivia Quesiton #11

Posting date:4/7/08
Due Date:4/9/08

Question: What is Maccomo’s lion tamer whip made of?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Saving Fish From Drowning - Amy Tan

This was our book club book last time, and I enjoyed it, but I didn't like it as much as I've liked some of this author's previous works. It was an interesting premise - it was narrated by a dead woman who was supposed to be on the trip the other people in the book are on visiting Burma and China. Her perspectives on the action and people are pretty interesting. I didn't love the ending, but overall I thought it was a pretty good book.

Lionboy Trivia Question #10

Posting date:4/3/08
Due Date:Monday, 4/7/08

Question: How does Charlie amaze the crowd of circus people?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Lionboy Trivia Question #9

Posting date: 4/1/08
Due Date:4/3/08

Question: What’s a funambuliste and a trapezioriista volante?

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Oh my goodness this is one of the best, best, best books I have read in a long while. I adored Princess Academy, and I think this one is even better. I can't believe its only awards are Best Book of the Year lists. Those are nothing to sneeze at, mind you, but still, no Newbery honor even? Of course I haven't read all of this year's honorees, so I suppose they could be better, but I'm highly doubting it. And oh, happy day, she didn't name this one something with "Princess" in the title, because this book will appeal to boys and girls. The main characters are girls, but they find themselves in a pretty ugly situation, being imprisoned in a tower for seven years and hounded by horrific Khasar. It's quite dramatic and suspenseful, and a totally terrific read. One of those books I'm sad I've read because now it's not out there for me to find anymore. It's amazing!

I've ordered it for the library, but in the meantime you can find it at Multnomah County Libraries.