Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Assignment #1

Get ready for your first official blogging assignment for the year!  (I'm sure that some of you are just so excited that you can't contain your enthusiasm!) 

Read through my summer readings posts.  Which book that I read over the summer would you most enjoy reading?  Write which book and explain why you would be interested in reading this book.  Remember to post your name so that you receive credit for the assignment.  If you are unable to post, you may turn in a hard copy of this assignment. 

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Welcome Back to School!

Welcome Back to School!  I will have to admit that I am dreading getting up early for school.  I'm looking forward to being back at school for lots of reasons though.  I enjoy getting to know all the 7th graders and helping many of you discover that you actually like to read.  (Some of you already like to read and some of you will probably never allow yourself to enjoy reading!)  I'm just like many of you and I want to go back to school to see my friends/co-workers.  It's hard to get much work done in my room when I have Mrs. Matzke next door and I just want to hang out and catch up on what has been going on in her life. 

One of my goals for this year is to use this blog more often to encourage conversation about reading.  (We used the blog last year, but only for our Stargirl unit.)  To start us off, I would like for you to post one of your goals for this year.  What would you like to accomplish this year in reading or any other aspect of school?  Be sure to post your name in your blog post, so that you can receive credit for it. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reading Update

Finished Insurgent on vacation.  Loved, loved, loved it!  Mrs. Matzke had said that she heard that it wasn't that good, but I disagree with whoever told her that.  It was confusing at first because it just picked up from where the first book left off.  Since I had finished Divergent at the beginning of summer, I had forgotten some of the details that seemed important to understanding this book.  I did a google search and did a quick read on the characters.  If you liked Divergent, I won't have to convince you to read the second book.  I did have a conversation with Shelby R. who read both books this summer and she completely agrees that the second book is just as good as the first.  We both can't wait for the third book.

I also finished If the Witness Lied, Where It Began, and Kiss Me, Kill Me while on vacation.  Where It Began was a great book.  I even took this book on the boat and tried to read while we were traveling to lunch.  It's a chick book that has an element of mystery involved.  Gabby wakes up in a hospital bed and can't remember exactly how she got there.  She learns from her mom that she left a party driving her boyfriend's BMW and crashed into a car.  Billy, her boyfriend, can only have limited contact with Gabby who is being questioned by the police about the wreck.  Things just don't seem to be adding up, but it's obvious that Gabby's memory loss about the event is a good thing for her boyfriend.

If the Witness Lied is by Caroline B. Cooney who is a fabulous mystery writer.  Tris is a three year old who the media has labeled the "kid who killed both his parents".  Before Tris was born, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and refused treatment because she didn't want to hurt the baby.  She died shortly after Tris was born.  Tris also killed his father.  His father was getting something from under the car and Tris released the parking brake which ran over his father.  Tris and his brother and sisters are being raised by their Aunt Cheryl who wants to capitalize on Tris' fame.  They are going to be on their own reality show.  Tris' brother, Jack, is the only sibling still at home and he is opposed to having his family on TV.  He is afraid of what it will do to Tris.  Jack begins to discover what actually happened on the day that his father died and it isn't what he has been told. 

Kiss Me, Kill Me is also a mystery book that has an element of mean-girl.  Scarlett has always wanted to be part of the "popular" group at school.  When she gets invited to a party given by one of the "popular" girls, she ditches her friends and goes.  While there, she kisses Dan who has an allergic reaction and dies.  Scarlett had no idea that he had a peanut allergy and she had just eaten chips made with peanut oil.  She quickly becomes labeled the girl that kissed and killed.  After changing schools, Scarlett receives an anonymous note that tells her she didn't do it.  This sets her on a path to discover what really happened. 

In between fairs, I also finished A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.  Wendy is the author of 11 Birthdays which is a popular book.  I figured that this book would be an easy read and fairly entertaining.  It actually was educational too.  Mia sees colors for sounds, letters, and numbers.  It sounds really strange and I can't even imagine what this would be like.  It is a real disorder though and has a name, synesthesia.  This book chronicles her struggles with this disorder as a teenage girl.  In the beginning, her family doesn't really support her or believe that she has a disorder.  They just think that she's making this up for attention.  Mia meets another boy with synesthesia through a chat room and they become friends.  Through it all, Mia relies on her cat, Mango.  (Hence, the name of the book.)  Easy read, entertaining and educational to a point.