Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Win a free book from Lisa Schroeder

The lovely author Lisa Schroeder is having a contest over at her blog. You can win a copy of her new book plus other goodies. Check it out HERE.

But you should know that I'm also entering and I'm pretty sure I'm going to win...Just sayin'

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Go see A Wrinkle in Time for FREE!

This Saturday at 2 p.m., all kids with a library card get in for free to see the Oregon Children’s Theatre production of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic tale, “A Wrinkle in Time.” The show is best for ages 8 and up. Adults pay $9 or $12. Call 503.228.9571 before 5 p.m. on Friday to order tickets; offer valid only for new orders at the OCT box office. Watch a preview and learn more about the production here:

Oregon Children's Theatre : A Wrinkle in Time

Monday, May 23, 2011

TWENTY-ONE books blogged today!!!!!!

Holy smokes, I can't believe I just did that. Hope you enjoy reading about the 21 books I've read in the past couple of months. I definitely enjoyed reading them!

Happy birthdays!

Somebody on this post got to go to Great Wolf Lodge for his birthday and someone writing this post is very jealous...Just sayin'

Enjoy these great suggestions from these two birthday boys.

What Happened to Goodbye - Sarah Dessen

Well, as is typical when I read one of her new books, this is not my favorite Sarah Dessen, but it was fabulous. Usually it takes me some time and two or three readings of one of her books to move it up the SD faves list. This is not a criticism, of course, as all her books are great and it would be awfully hard to top The Truth About Forever, Just Listen and Along for the Ride. I mean, come on!

Strengths of this book are the strong, true to life characters, the difficult mother-daughter relationship, and the reprise for characters and places from previous novels (but just a peek, so it doesn't leave people out who never read the earlier books or overshadow the new story). Oh, and I always consider a little romance a plus myself.

Those who love Sarah Dessen already will love this one, too, for all the usual reasons. Those who've never read a Sarah Dessen will be pulled in by McLean and Dave's coming of age story and won't want to say goodbye to this one.

Recommended. Available in the WOMS library now.

Once Was Lost - Sara Zarr

I listened to this book (read by the author), and it was one of those where I was always looking for the next opportunity to go for a walk or get in the car so I could hear what was going to happen next. It was riveting, and I was not sure what the outcome was going to be, so I had a bit of a stomachache a lot of the time I was listening. That's a good thing, though!

There are sort of two main plotlines in this story. One is that of main characters Sam's family. Her father is a minister with very little time for his own family, and her mother is an alcoholic who just recently entered an inpatient treatment.

The other main storyline is of the disappearance of a young teenager from the small town Sam lives in. The girl went to Sam's church and Sam knows her and her older brother.

Both of these plotlines lead Sam to question her faith - a big issue for anyone to tackle.

I thought the characters were extremely well developed and the plot very intense. Several times I was holding my breath hoping that this person or the next would make the right decision or not have made the wrong one or would get the answer they were looking for.

A great book!

Available at the Multnomah County Library.

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

OK, first of all, the French part of the title is actually about France, so don't panic. and second of all, I am definitely NOT like Anna, the main character in this book whose father sends her off to PARIS for boarding school her senior year. You know why I'm not like her? Because she didn't want to go!!! To PARIS!!!! What is she nuts? It's Paris. Paris, FRANCE. Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame. The Seine. And cute boys with accents. Luckily, that brings her around, finally.

This was a fun story about high school and travel and figuring out who you are no matter where you are. I enjoyed it and people who are interested in travel and/or a little romance will likely enjoy it too.

Available at the Multnomah County Library.

Almost through the OBOB list

Fifteen down, one to go! These were three I wasn't all that keen on for some reason, but they were all quite good. Airman was the biggest surprise. I didn't love it, but I certainly didn't hate it as I expected to from JUDGING A BOOK BY THE COVER. Yes, once again, I did it. Instead of it begin some sort of fantasy thing, though, it turned out to be a good adventure story with some serious suspense and intrigue. And a little sci-fi thrown in. Checked out the audiobook from Multnomah County and adored the Irish accent on the reader.

Elsewhere was a bit odd, but it was pretty good. Not so many stories are told from the other side of life (by a dead person I mean). I listened to this one as well. I think this was a very challenging idea, and Gabrielle Zevin did a good job of putting it together without making it seem too hokey. I thought the portrayal of Liz was especially well done, as what fifteen year old wouldn't be pretty irritated that she was now dead and wasn't going to get to do things like get her driver's license or graduate from high school?

Of these three, I think First Light was the one that I thought would be the most different from what it was. Reminded me a lot of city of Ember, for obvious reasons if you've read both. I thought it was interesting how this author brought the people of light and the people of ice together. I didn't predict that until close to the end of the story. I'm wondering if there will be a sequel, as it seems ripe for one.

One last OBOB to go - know which one it is?

Ten grown up books

Just some quick little observations on the grown up books I've read of late. Post me a comment if you want more info on any of the books.

The Truth About Dating. Funny, but it took me until about half way through to realize it was non-fiction. I did read it on my Kindle, so some of my usual cues were not available.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Loved, loved, loved this series, especially the super smart main female character. The violence was not nearly as graphic as I thought it would be, so I wasn't too bothered by it. It might be too much in the movie form, though. Also loved reading about Scandinavia. Made me want to go there again!

Russian Winter Great story that moved seamlessly from present to past and back again. I am intrigued by the ballet, although I have not a balletic bone in my body (if balletic is a word, which I highly doubt). Thought the ending was a little too neat, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Nice Girls Do Fluffy romance book which I don't really recommend. Not enough to the story to hold my interest.

The Great Gatsby A literary classic which we read for book group. I'm still sort of wondering if we can't find a better book to teach in high school - I just can't think many kids would relate to this story.

The Night Season My favorite Chelsea Cain book so far. And yes, she did come to our book club because she's the coolest author in Portland! Plus we had adult beverages.

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced The story is intriguing, the re-telling is not so much. It's frightening to think that ten year olds are still being married off to anyone, let alone much older men. Yick, yuck, yick.

Belong to Me Listened to this on audio. again, thought it came together a little too neatly, but I did enjoy it.

Princess for Hire -Lindsey Leavitt

Ever wanted to be a princess? Well, if you look hard enough at the help wanted ads, AND you have that special something, you may just find yourself in a position to become one - at least for a day. That's exactly what happens to Desi Bascomb in this funny "Freaky Friday"-esque story.

Does Desi want to be a substitute princess when the actual princesses need a break? Not so much. But does she want the money? Yes! and is it sort of fun? Yes. And does she think she can help the real princesses out? Yes. And here's where she runs into a little trouble...Ooooops.

Plus, a little romance never hurt, right?

Book one in the series. Available at the WOMS library courtesy of a generous gift from the author to our Mother-Daughter book group. Thanks so much, Ms. Leavitt!

Racing the Iditarod Trail - Ruth Crisman

This is a short but fascinating look at the Iditarod race that takes place every year in Alaska. It's non-fiction and it tells about the history of the race, some of the race's important entrants in the past, the dogs and their training and care, and the people of Alaska. It's very interesting stuff. This book is packed with photographs, too, which I think make it that much more interesting.

If you're at all interested in Alaska, endurance sports, and/or dogs, this is a great book which you will definitely enjoy.

Available at the WOMS library.

Am I Right or Am I Right?

Just from looking at the picture on the cover of this book, you will probably not be surprised to hear that Calma, this story's main character, is a bit of a drama queen. Her heart is in the right place for sure, but sometimes she leaps before she looks and it can have pretty bad consequences.

I thought the author created fairly believable characters in this novel, but the relationship Calma and her mom had, communicating almost always via notes on the fridge made me kind of sad. Her lack of relationship with her father and her unwillingness to bend even a little on that also made me kind of sad. Luckily, there was a lot of funny stuff to off set the downers.

This book has a lot of plotlines going, so readers will need to stay focused to keep up.

Available at the WOMS library.

Charles and Emma : the Darwins' Leap of Faith - Deborah Helligman

I listened to this book and I thought it was quite fantastic, although I think it would be a little slow for many middle school students. If there are students, however - middle or high school - who are really interested in science and/or Charles Darwin, I think they would like this book quite a lot.

The book is filled with interesting information about the time period, about the theory of evolution and about Darwin, both personally and professionally. I liked learning more about him personally, as most of what I knew about him was about the science. Most of the book focused on him as a husband and the difficulties he and his wife had because he was more of a religious skeptic than she. It was interesting to follow them through the thought process.

Overall, a great book, but it will take a special reader to appreciate it.

It's that time of year...

Saw this on my friend Ms. Yingling's blog.

No actual kittens are harmed in this or any other library.

But get your overdue books in anyway!

Shefound this picture at

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Want to see Katniss?

The first picture's been published of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen for the new Hunger Games movie. What do you think?

Here's what Lawrence had to say about the experience from Entertainment Weekly's online edition.

In a free-wheeling interview, Lawrence describes her first encounter with Ross last winter, during the height of Oscar season. “He was asking me what the experience was like,” she recalls, “and I just kind of opened up and said, ‘I feel like a rag doll. I have hair and makeup people coming to my house every day and putting me in new, uncomfortable, weird dresses and expensive shoes, and I just shut down and raise my arms up for them to get the dress on, and pout my lips when they need to put the lipstick on.’ And we both started laughing because that’s exactly what it’s like for Katniss in the Capitol. She was a girl who’s all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t belong here.’”

When Lawrence was offered the role, she describes her response as a mixture of elation — and desperate anxiety. “I knew that as soon as I said yes, my life would change,” she says. “And I walked around an entire day thinking ‘It’s not too late, I could still go back and do indies, I haven’t said yes yet, it’s not too late.’”

And yet, who can turn their back on Katniss? “I love this story,” she says, “and if I had said no, I would regret it every day.” After officially signing on, Suzanne Collins herself called to offer a starstruck Lawrence her most hearty congratulations. “I feel like when you said yes,” the author told her, “the world got lifted off my shoulders.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy birthdays this week!

Hope everyone had a happy birthday this week - I know we have some great reading recommendations to post! Enjoy :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In stores today - a new Sarah Dessen novel

See you at Powell's after school? I'll be there!

Click here to see a post from Sarah Dessen's blog - it's about how she got the idea for the book.

6th and 7th graders - are you ready???

OBOB competitions begin on Monday for 7th grade and on Tuesday for 6th grade. The top two teams emerging from this round will go on to their grade level finals. 6th and 7th grade champions will battle it out for the ALL WOMS WORLD CHAMPIONS trophy!!!

Are you ready to support your class????? Here's one way to check: see if you know which authors wrote each of these books. If not, go back and practice some more.

After Tupac and D Foster


Chasing Lincoln's Killer

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm

Elephant Run


The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Fever 1793

First Light

The Goose Girl

Heart of a Shepherd

The London Eye Mystery


Science Fair

Skeleton Creek

Waiting for Normal

Happy birthday, Serena!

Loving Serena's birthday book choice - Laurie Halse Anderson's one of my favorite authors!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Happy, happy birthdays!

All three students today picked OBOB choices! If you haven't read them yet, you should give them a try.

Happy birthday, everyone!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Sarah Dessen talks about books

Sarah Dessen's new book, What Happened to Goodbye is coming out May 11th. Here she tells you about some other great books she's got her eye on.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Book Fair is in the house!

The book fair is off and running! Tuesday we'll do the bonus tickets for the first five students to spend five dollars one more time. If you spent $5 or more today, listen on the morning announcements to see if your ticket was drawn for $ 5 free merchandise. This is our big library fundraiser, so dig the money out of those couch cushions and come on down!

Two audio books

I recently finished listening to two audio books, one which I loved and one which I didn't love but which I found myself unable to drop, so clearly something in it drew me.

Oustide Beauty by Cynthia Kadahota was the one I didn't love. Perhaps it was too slow, perhaps I did not love the reader, perhaps I was just not in the the right mood for it as it was a bit of a downer. I'm not really sure. But there was something that kept me going. Something in the plight of the four sisters who made up this story's main plot hooked me in and made me want to read more. Actually, now that I'm really trying to piece it all together, I think it was that I almost disliked the mother in this story - I could not feel sympathy for her self centered view and her poor parenting skills, and I think that turned me off.

How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt was the other book, and this one I really enjoyed. It was a journey story of a girl running away and yet also running toward something, although that was definitely not a conscious decision. This story moved beautifully from past to present and back, and I liked that very much in this book, in part because it was very clear what was happening before and now, and in part because they were always connected and I enjoyed trying to figure out how that was going to work. I really liked the strong girl character in this book and I thought it was fabulous that she learned to build a house and was really proud of that. There is sex mentioned in the story, but not a lot of graphic detail. Better for mature readers. Fans of Sarah Dessen would enjoy this book.

Available at Gresham High School on audio and at Multnomah County Library.

Happy birthday, Rob!

Here's a GREAT suggestion from Rob. If you haven't read the BONE graphic novel series, I also highly recommend it. Everyone loves them!