Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Band Geek Love - Josie Bloss

This book started off strong, and band geeks will probably love it, but I have to say, the main character's voice while strong, got to be a little bit annoying. Even I, who read a lot of YA lit and am usually immune to the whims of adolescent angst overwhelming me found myself getting pretty tired of her.

Ellie Snow has been waiting for YEARS to be a senior in the marching band and finally her time has arrived! Unfortunately, not everything is going to plan. Namely one Connor Higgins. Adorably cute, a good trumpet player, and a SOPHOMORE. Ellie, who had a very bad social snafu when she was a freshman is determined not to let this guy ruffle her feathers. Which of course means he does at every turn. But how can she, senior star, go out with a sophomore?? So what if he's sweet, kind, cute, a great trumpeter? He's a sophomore.

I found Ellie's character to be too shallow for my liking, although I am sure there are girls out there like her. I just don't want there to be. She treats Connor abysmally, and I think she makes girls look bad. I hate that.

The book does have plenty of funny moments and I'm sure band kids will get even more of the inside stuff than I did. There is some bad language in the book which is true to life but not really necessary.

An ok read, but not highly recommended.

Mrs. Yingling is having an Atherton giveaway!

My friend Ms. Yingling, a librarian in Ohio, is having a book giveaway and you can win a set of all three Atherton books! It's easy to enter - just go to this link and tell her what your fave sci-fi series is and why. If you're lucky, you'll get picked!

Good luck!

Sister Wife - Shelley Hrdlitschka

Before I knew anything about this story, I was completely drawn to its cover. Perhaps it was the hands intertwined, perhaps the delicate lawn gown, perhaps the stark simplicity. I don't know. What I do know know is that the cover is a bit haunting, although I wonder now if it's because I know the story behind it.

Hrdlitchka's novel is the story of a polygamist sect in Utah. Polygamy means men having more than one wife. And in this particular sect, oftentimes the wives are very young. Fifteen is generally the age they are told who they've been assigned to as a wife. Normally the man is much, much older than they are.

Celeste, one of three main characters in this story, is about to turn fifteen, and is quite conflicted about obedience to this tenet of her family's religion. She has feelings for another boy, and she doesn't want to marry some old man. At the same time, she feels bad about questioning her religion. She is made to feel even worse about that by her younger sister who really wants to get married and have babies and cannot understand WHAT her sister can be thinking. The third main character is Taviana, a girl who grew up outside the sect but whose been taken in by Celeste's family from a life on the streets. Taviana appreciates the security of the life she's come to know in Unity, but she still doesn't quite fit in.

I thought this was a fascinating story, but it made me incredibly angry with people who choose to do this to their children. I'm not all for polygamy, by any stretch, but if it were only consenting adults, that would be one thing. To force children to marry grown adults with no other option, to me seems very, very wrong. The age difference alone is appalling. I have a really hard time with this concept.

This book brings up many more issues than just polygamy, however, and it is a great book which will make readers think about all kinds of issues. Recommended for mature 8th graders and up.

Poetry Friday - "Baseball"


The game of baseball is the king
Of all the games we play
And it is one pursuit that is
Distinctly U.S.A.
The people swarm into the stands
To watch their favorite teams
And munch their hot dogs when their lungs
Are not engaged in screams
The pitcher hurls the horsehide and
The batter gets a hit
Or else the ball goes sailing and
Some fielder smothers it
A clever runner steals a base
A player takes a walk
Or managers and umpires
Decide to have a talk
The crowd is gay or gloomy or
Completely in suspense
But it goes wild when someone knocks
The ball beyond the fence.

by James J. Metcalfe ©

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

6th Grade Entry - The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief        
By; Rick Riordan
published by; Miramax Books  354 pages

* In the Lightning Thief Percy's father Poseidon has been framed. Zeus belives he's stolen his master lightning bolt. So now Percy and his two friends have to go on a magical quest to the under world. Because they need to return the lightning bolt to Zeus. But they need to return it in time befor the summer solctice in order to clear Possiedon's and Percy's names.
*Percy is a young boy with ADHD and is dislezic. Who seems to always get into all knids of trouble.
*I really liked the Lightning thief Every since the beging of the book it held my attention. I'm also learing about the greek gods in school. It was really cool to think of the greek gods in a different way.
*I would recommend this book to anyone that love's funny books.    

Summited By,   
                                Juliana W.

6th grade entry - Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Jeff Kinney
Amulet Books, 217 p.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is about a middle school kid named Greg. He is just a normal kid that has a exiting little brother and an older jerk face brother.
Any ways that is not the point the point is that he says that he gets to sit by girls that he likes but they don’t like him back. My perspective of Greg is a geek who has a geek friend who embarrasses him all the time. All his little brother dose is sit on his portapottie on front of the TV and eat cereal and what ever he does not it he dumps it in the plastic toilet and Greg has to clean it up.
One of the main characters is Greg he is funny. He tries to listens to his older brothers music after his mom says NO.
3things I liked best about the book was that there where some great characters. His dad is so funny. The last thing is cheese.
I think my big brother would love reading this book because he is just like Greg’s big bro.

Submitted by Nassin A

6th grade entry - Eclipse

Stephanie Meyer
Little brown and Company 629 p.

Bella Swan moved to Washington to live with her dad, Charlie. She moved to a new school also and finds an incredible looking guy named Edward. They fall in love and become boyfriend and girlfriend but she finds out that he’s a vampire and they things get bad.
When Bella goes into her room to get an outfit for her graduation party her cloths are missing. She thinks it’s Edward’s sister, Alice but she says she never went in her room. They soon discover, by her best friend who is a werewolf, Jacob, which someone or something came into her room to steal her cloths to get the scent. They don’t know who it is and why they are doing it. The story continues as a wild adventure.

The main character in this story is Bella Swan. She is a goofy, funny, beautiful girl who is in love with Edward Cullen. He is a Handsome, funny, talented boy who happens to be a vampire. She sometimes gets in very bad situations like riding a motorcycle when she’s not supposed to. She sometimes acts like her father, Charlie who divorced with her mom a long time ago; she’s witty, independent, nice, and strong just like her father.
I like this book because it’s really adventurous and the author makes you visualize the setting so well you think you’re in a dream. I can visualize the fights between Edward and Jacob really well as if they are really happening.

I recommend this book to everyone, boys and girls, because it’s exciting, funny, and once you read it you will want to read it again. This is an awesome book for a person who loves vampires! Once you read the first one you will want to read more of Stephanie Meyer’s books!

Submitted by Alex Q.

6th Grade entry - No Talking

NO Talking
By: Andrew Clements

The book No Talking ,is about a boy named Dave Dave is a sixth grader that has brown hair and loves to talk a lot! There is also a girl named Lynsey and she is a sixth grader too and she is the queen of the blabber mouth she can just go on and on about one subject and she also has brown hair. Lynsey thinks boys talk more and Dave thinks girls talk more . Dave and Lynsey are not best friends at all!
Dave once read in a book about Ghani that he went for a whole day and when he was not talking brought order to his mind, so that is where Dave got the idea of not talking.
So they have a competition seeing if girls talk more or boys. All the teachers liked the peace and quiet, but after a while they got tired of it and they told the kids that they could say three words at a time or don’t even come to school only if the teacher asked a question they could say three words, because they would not even talk . If the teachers asked for example, what is 4+16 and they would have to say, “answer is 20” or else that team would loose. The teachers tried so hard to make the students talk more than three words so they started to ask harder questions. So the competition would be over and the students would talk normal. The competition went for a long time. What I liked about this book is 1st Andrew Cements is one of my favorite authors 2nd the book had a lot of details and 3rd it was a funny book. I think this book was a 2 out of 5 because it was a little easy to read but, I think a lot of people would enjoy this book because it is a really funny book. The book has 197 pages I think.

Sumitted by :Tai P.

6th grade entry - The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963
Christopher Paul Curtis
Scholastic Inc.
210 p

In the funny story the Watsons go to Birmingham, 10-year-old boy named Kenny lives in Flint, Michigan with his mom dad, brother, Byron, and little sister Joetta. When their parents decide its time to go visit Kenny’s Grandma Sands in Birmingham, Alabama, there are lots of things to get done before going. At school, Kenny is one of those kids who gets beat up and teased a-lot. Lots of things happen to him before going on the trip. One thing that happens to him is when he really wants a friend, a saver from God, he gets one. This saver is a kid that will end up getting teased too.

Now, it may seem to you that Byron and Joey seem like nice kids, but only one of them is. Joey is a girl a –lot like her mom, but not much like Kenny. She really doesn’t get teased so much. Byron is different. At school, Byron is the God of the elementary school. So he can beat up any kid when he wants to. Joey gets along pretty good with Kenny, but not Byron. He is really the main boy (god) that can beat up Kenny.

When the family finally goes to the trip, they discover three things, (well, really Kenny does). Kenny discovers that it’s like living in the sun. Then, he meats Winnie’s the Pooh’s evil twin brother Wool Pooh. After that, Joey almost gets killed in her church during Sunday school because two white men threw a bomb in during services. Finally, they go back home to their icebox in Flint, Michigan.

I really liked this book because it’s so hilarious in many ways. I also liked the way the author wrote the book as if Kenny was telling the story himself. My favorite part was when Byron got caught lighting matches, and almost got his fingers burnt.

I recommend this book for anyone that loves to read funny and adventure stories.

Submitted by Jocelyne H.

6th grade entry - Valentine's Resolve

Valentine's Resolve
New American Library, a division of Penguin Group, p. 323

My book is about a character named David valentine the story takes place in the feauture in the year 2075 he travels from Iowa to Missouri the story is about aliens who invade the earth David is a specialized person who is supposed to fight them off.

David travels from place to place trying to kill ware wolf and vampires around the world he has special weapons that he uses.

I like the book because it has a lot of action in it so I thought it was really interesting that he fights of all these vicious creatures.

I think anybody would enjoy this book as much as I did because it’s a really cool and it has a lot of action.

By BrennanM

6th grade entry - The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine
Dan Gutman
Danny Dun
146 Pages

Sam (the cool kid) finds out that Brenton (the nerd) made a homework machine. The homework machine does your homework for you. Of course the others at the table found out. Judy (the goody goody) thought it was a bad idea. Kelsey (the bad girl) didn’t really care. So Sam wanted to see the homework machine. Brenton invited the three over to his house. Once the four started hanging out together everyone started to get suspicious.
One of the four main characters is Sam Dawkins. People call Sam Snik or Snikwad because it is his last name spelt backwards. Snick is a cool kid in the beginning of the book and he would have never thought about hanging with someone like Brenton. But when he does ha starts to become a nerd.
What I liked best about the book was it takes place in a police station and them telling the story. It makes me think something exciting, weird, or funny is going to happen. The book made me curious.
People who I think would like to read this book are people who are funny and humorous.

Submitted by Shelby.H.

A Girl's Best Friend - Kristin Billerbeck

Blogger won't let me upload a picture. Sorry.

I just went to get the picture of this book and I noticed that the publishing house is called Integrity Publishers. HA! I would highly have to disagree with that name. The editor of this book should be fired because this book should never have been published without some major re-writing. See here's the deal. This book, which I picked up at the Multnomah County used book sale ( a whole bag of books for SIX dollars. Amazing bargain!) is in the adult Christian lit genre. And really, if a book is well written, I'll read Christian lit, Hindu lit, Jewish lit, whatever. I don't have a problem with a book that has religious values in it.

What I do have a problem with is a book that just throws a bunch of religious stuff into the story randomly when it doesn't relate to the story and, as in the case with this book, may even make the reader stop and go, wait a minute. What the heck is this doing here? There shouldn't BE parts in a book that make a reader do that. The characters in this book were supposedly trying to do a better job of living their Christian values. Great idea. And that's what the author kept trying to convince you of by throwing in some stuff about church or singles group or random Bible verses. But then she never went on to have her characters either (a) actually start doing the things they talked about or (b) own up to the fact that they weren't living up to their ideals. She just had them go on their merry way and acted like she'd never even mentioned those things.

I think this would actually have been an ok story if they'd just left the Christian aspect out. Seemed like they (author, editor, publisher???) were just trying to get into a niche market by plastering the book with platitudes, not because the story was better with this angle added.

I'm tempted (no pun intended) to read another of her books to see if maybe this was a fluke and a mistake, but then again, life's too short to waste on bad books, so maybe not.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Poetry Friday - "A National Moment of Remembrance On Memorial Day"

A National Moment of Remembrance On Memorial Day

That poem about where “poppies blow”
And, “the crosses, row on row”
Still rings true, these ninety years
After written, still brings tears.

We still have Dead, “amid the guns”
And lose our young and our loved ones
Those who lived, “short days ago”
Who, “felt dawn, saw sunset glow”.

In Flanders Fields, “the poppy red”
Still grow near where the blood was bled
They, “Take up our quarrel with the foe”
And still die for Freedoms that we know.

They pass, “The torch” to, “hold it high”
And not, “break the faith with us who die”
For they, “shall not sleep, though poppies grow”
Beneath all those, “crosses, row on row”
In Flanders Fields.

Del “Abe” Jones

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Alphabet of Dreams - Susan Fletcher

This month's Mother Daughter Book Club choice was any book by local author Susan Fletcher. And we are all really excited because she's COMING to our book club meeting today. We're so lucky to have had two local authors willing to come visit with us this year!

I chose to re-read Alphabet of Dreams, which I think is her very best book, and that's saying something, because all her books are good! She's written Walk Across the Sea, the Dragon's Milk trilogy, Shadow Spinner (my second fave of hers), and this book that is built around the dreams of young Babak.

Babak and his sister Mitra's family have been exiled and now these two, the youngest children in the family, have been separated from everyone else. Once they lived as royalty; now they are forced into living in the shadows and stealing to get by. It's not a fabulous life, an Mitra, especially, wants a change. The possibility becomes real when it is discovered that little Babak can foretell the future through dreams. This "talent" is worth quite a lot to many people, including the powerful Melchior, one of the Three Wise Men of the New Testament story.

Fletcher creates her own vision of how the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem for the birth of Christ might have happened. The story is told all from the point of view of Mitra, and is woven together through incredibly lyrical language and strong character development.

Excellent author's notes at the end of the book help the reader to understand that while this does have historical elements to it, it is a work of fiction. It also details the origins and beliefs of Zoroastrianism which I found to be very helpful. the first time I "read" this book, I actually listened to it on tape, and although I LOVED the reading o it by that particular narrator, I wish the author notes would also have been included.

A fantastic story and an Oregon Battle of the Books pick for this year. Available at the WOMS library.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TheHistory of Love - Nicole Krauss

This was my grown up book club book this month, and I really did not enjoy it. I felt kind of lost through most of the story. It was told from a lot of different points of view, and even when I was listening and there were different voices, it felt really jumpy to me. It did all wind together at the end, but even then the conclusion was pretty ambiguous. As I've said before, I don't mind thinking when I'm reading a book, but I don't want to be confused by the storyline. That's hat happened to me here. My only consolation is that it's what happened to my friend as well.

The one thing I really did like about this book was the lyricism of some of the writing. There were passages I just wanted to write down because they were so beautiful. Unfortunately, they were overshadowed for me by the disjointedness of the story.

I'll be interested to see what the rest of the group thinks. I wanted to like it, I really did, but I just couldn't.

My Sarah Dessen contest entry

Thought you might like to see the entry I did for Sarah Dessen's recent contest. It was a contest where you had to photograph something in your neighborhood that reminded you of something in one of her books, then caption it with text from the book. I picked The a quote from The Truth About Forever. where Macy is talking with her ex-boyfriend about Wes's yard art. Really, if you haven't read this book of hers, you're definitely missing out. Mine didn't win, but I still had fun. If you want to see the winners, check them out here.

Bollywood Babes - Narinder Dhami

I read another book about these three crazy sisters earlier in the year (actually, I think I listened to it) and there are a few things I really like about these books. I really like how the girls are actually like real sisters. They're bratty and fight sometimes, and then they're best friends and comrades at other times. Having grown up with a sister myself, I know it's true. Luckily once you're older, it's mostly friends :)! Another thing I really like is that these girls live a pretty regular life. They're average girls. Also, while they like boys, there are no complicated relationships between girls and boys in these books. this s a good thing because while some readers really enjoy romance, not everyone does, and it's nice to have some titles to recommend which don't. And of course, I love that the main characters are Indian, although I wonder how Indian people feel about the portrayal of Indians in this book. Is it accurate or stereotypical? An interesting question that I don't know the answer to. If you do, let me know.

This storyline revolves around the girls trying to raise money for their school by bringing a formerly famous Bollywood star to their school fete. However, when the washed-up has-been actress they find moves in with them, they begin to reconsider their decision. And they begin to do some serious finger pointing! It is not a pretty picture for the girls, but it's humorous for the reader.

I enjoyed this book more than the first, actually, which doesn't happen that often, so that was a nice find. Available at the Multnomah County Library.

Just Listen - Sarah Dessen

This is my second favorite Sarah Dessen book, and she was having a contest I wanted to enter recently, so I re-read Just Listen. It's the third time I've read it, and each time I read it I like it better and better . I can hardly wait until Along for the Ride comes out in June.

Annabelle and Owen are the main characters in this novel, both of whom are complex characters with secrets they rarely share. Both of them are also loners, and at lunch they sort of end up being loners together. And then they end up being friends.

Owen is obsessed with music. Owen is also completely honest. Always. Even if you don't want to hear it. Anabelle is definitely neither of these. In fact, Anabelle couldn't really care about music (except in the car wash) and if there's any chance anyone might get hurt, she'll go to great lengths not to tell the truth. This is the main reason she's all alone now - she won't tell the truth.

There are all kinds of family dynamics going on in this story, including divorce and an eating disorder, that affect the characters as well, and it is all perfectly woven together. Another fantastic contribution to YA lit by the amazing Sarah Dessen.

Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffeneger

This was my book club's book last month and it's one of my favorite books of all time. Again, not for a middle school library, but a fantastic premise. The husband in the story, Henry, is a time traveler. He travels back and forth in time. He doesn't generally know when it's going to happen or where he'll end up, and it can be a frightening experience. Claire, his wife, meets him for the first time when he time travels to her house when she's a very little girl, I think 8 years old or maybe even six. It's his story, and her story and their story and the story of time travel all woven together and it is incredible. Older high school students and grown ups who like science fiction and romance should give this one a try.

I Love You, Beth Cooper - Larry Doyle

This book, while completely inappropriate for a middle school library, is really quite hilarious. I'm not sure where I saw it, but something I read about it made me think it would be good, and I was not wrong. I haven't laughed out loud so much since I read John Green's Paper Towns. The main character in this story, class valedictorian and consummate nerd, decides to go for broke and announces to the orld during his speech at graduation that he loves Beth Cooper, most popular girl, head cheerleader, basically a girl who'd never be in love with him. Any yet, somehow that night, they end up partying together (along with one of his friends and two of hers) and running for their lives from her Marine boyfriend. The things they do are way beyond belief, and when this comes out in a movie pretty soon here, I think it might be completely stupid, but in a book, it was really very funny.

The one thing I never figured out was whether this book was adapted from a screenplay into a novel or whether the novel was adapted into a screenplay. If you know, give me a shout.

Plum Spooky - Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite grown up mystery authors. She has a funny, spunky character named Stephanie Plum who's a bounty hunter. If someone doesn't show up for their court date, Stephanie has to go after them. She's kind of a klutz and always ends up in crazy situations. Kind of like how I'd imagine I might be if I were a bounty hunter. But Evanovich generally makes the situations funny, so they stories aren't too stressful to read. This was a "Between the Numbers" book. Most of the series have a number in their title. This was a pretty typical one, but I thought it was a little more sinister than usual. Still, I enjoyed it, and fans of the series will not want to miss it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poetry Friday - A Riddle Poem

A riddle poem indirectly describes a person, place, thing or idea. the reader must try to figure out the subject of the riddle. A riddle poem can be any length and usually rhymes.

Can you figure out the answer to this riddle?

The beginning of eternity
The end of time and space,
The beginning of every end,
The end of every place.


scroll down for the answer....

The letter E

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just One Wish - Janette Rallison

This was a fairy tale come true story, well mostly, and I, predictably, really liked it. Annika's little brother Jeremy has a brain tumor, and he has to have surgery pretty soon. Annika thinks that she'll be able to help him survive that scary experience and his cancer by granting him a special wish, courtesy of her genie. She's SURE he's going to wish for a Robin Hood action figure. In fact, she's so sure that she fights a guy for one in the toy store. Imagine her surprise when he wishes for the "real" Robin Hood (an actor)! But it's what he wants, so what's a girl to do? ROAD TRIP!

Though the events that ensue in her quest to convince Robin Hood are pretty far-fetched, if you let yourself believe, it's a really fun story. Annika gets herself into some pretty crazy situations, and the archery scene is awesome. Girls RULE!

The story is a bit predictable, but with a very thoughtful ending and a great portrayal of siblings. There's a little romance (who wouldn't want to date Robin Hood, after all?), a little serious side, a lot of funny stuff. Something for nearly everyone. Recommended.

Available at the Multnomah County Library.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Poetry Friday - "Spring Rain" by Buson

In the rains of spring
An umbrella and raincoat
Pass by, conversing.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Poetry Friday - "Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face"

Jack Prelutsky is another perennial favorite poet of kids, and so this week, I give you this funny, goofy poem. Gives one something to think about, doesn't it?

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
by Jack Prelutsky

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you'd be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place--
be glad your nose is on your face!