Welcome to Lit's Blog, where all things literary are fair game! As a middle school Language Arts teacher, one of the many things I'll be using this forum for is to share my opinions on books, both Young Adult, and otherwise, that I've recently read, and hope that you'll jump into the fray with your thoughts, as well! Please visit often, as I'll be adding regularly. Just scan the titles of each blog for the book's name, and let me know what you think!

(Parents: At the end of each blog, you'll find a "book rating", based upon the MPAA ratings (see link entitled "MPAA Ratings Guide"). Since I generally try to read whatever the kids seem to be reading, and encourage my students to read a wide menu of texts, do not be surprised if you see an "R" rating on a title, or two. I will do my best to be as accurate as possible - HOWEVER, this rating is intended only as a guide. Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether your child should read the titles listed, or not.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Color of Water

This is now one of my top ten favorite books! James McBride, author of "Miracle at Santa Anna", has succeeded in writing a memoir/biography that not only tells the lifestory of his Jewish mother and the challenges she faced as the wife of an African American, and mother to eight children, but also what it was like for him to grow up as a "mixed race" child during the 1960's and 70's. He successfully relates the struggles of being mixed race without being preachy. This book is a must read! (PG)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kissed by An Angel/The Power of Love/Soulmates by Elizabeth Chandler

A trilogy all in one book, this is the story of Ivy and Tristan, two high school students who meet and fall in love (and I mean REAL love). The deeply-caring-about-each-other's-welfare-want the-best-for-each-other-no-matter-what-love. Ivy is new to the school, and immediately garners attention because her mom is marrying the town's rich guy, which means she is going to be the step-sister to the high school's resident hunk (and mean guy), who seems to have an eye for her. Ivy catches the eye of nice guy Tristan, and it's love at first site. Sadly, tragedy steps in, and their relationship is cut short - or is it? And is the tragedy really a tragedy, or is there something more sinister going on?

Rating: PG13

Cirque Du Freak Series

Okay - if you like a good story that's relatively predictable, and you find yourself asking,"Well, what do I read now?", then this series is for you. Written by Darren Shan (who is also the main character in the book), this tells the story of his adventures with a traveling circus of "freaks", only there's a twist - Darren is not with them by choice. Actually, to be accurate, he's not with them by his choice; well, actually it is his choice, only he doesn't choose the choice of his own free will. Make sense? If not, just read the books! Lots of adventure, pretty great writing, and a cliff hanger at the end of each book...doesn't get any better than that!

Rating: PG (mild violence)

I'm Baaaa-aack!

Finished the 11.5 Things class through the district, done the vacation thing, finished working on curriculum (first half, at least!) - and still managed to read some books! Actually, I've read quite a few books over the course of this year, so I think it's time I added those! Here we go...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Good Ghoul's Guide to Getting Even

Breaking Dawn this is not. Still, The Good Ghoul's Guide to Getting Even starts out as a little hokey (okay, in all fairness, I had just finished Breaking Dawn a few minutes before jumping into this book, so maybe my expectations were a little too high), but then actually turns into a decent, spoofish (is that even a word??) take on vampires, only the main character in this book is an overachieving, somewhat nerdish future valedictorian who suddenly finds herself among the undead. Being the problem solver she is, she sets out to find a way to undo her undead status, taking the reader through several twists and turns before the book's end. PG13 (mild language)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Breaking Dawn (!!!!!!!!)

In a word (er... textspeak...OMG!!!! (translated "Oh My Gosh!")). Breaking Dawn was, by far, my favorite of the series - even surpassing that of Twilight, which was in itself, an obsession from the moment I turned the first page. Without giving away anything, I think it's safe to say thatStephanie Meyers has accomplished what every author hopes for - a final novel (in a series, that is) that, one way or another, neatly wraps everything up with countless twists along the way. I'd better stop there before I given anything more away. Final word? Read it!!!! PG-13

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stuck In Neutral

I have to admit that I've had Stuck In Neutral in my classroom library for quite some time, but never got around to reading it until just now. This book is unique, in that it tells the story from Shawn, a fourteen year old boy with Cerebral Palsy. Although he appears to be a "vegetable" (his words), he is actually just a normal fourteen year old boy, with all of the hopes, desires and worries that go with that age - with one exception. He believes that his father may be planning to kill him. Although this is completely a work of fiction, the author is the parent of a child much like Shawn, which lends a truthfulness to the story that I don't think would have been there. PG