Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.
Today’s Topic: Top Ten Characters I Would Want with me on a Deserted Island
1. Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I know she is an obvious choice, but I really need her survival skills. I am a weakling.
2. Hannah and Becky from Into that Forest by Louis Nowra
Katniss will do all of the killing, but Hannah and Becky will help me become one with the animals. I would love to join a tiger clan.
3. Any main character from a John Green novel
I would like some intellectual, witty conversation on my island.
4. The Snatchabook from The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty
I would like this little creature to snatch a few books for me, thank you very much.
5. Lucy Knisley from Relish by Lucy Knisley
And Lucy will cook for me.
1. Sam and Camille from Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
Like Ricki, I just want some awesome people to chat and hang out with. These are my people.
2. Kitten from Kitten’s First Moon by Kevin Henkes
I have to have a pet kitty! (Though I’d prefer one of my kitties, Kitten is quite adorable.)
3. Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore
They will take care of hunting and protecting us.
4. Luc from Threatened by Eliot Schrefer
Luc knows how to survive in the wilderness. I do not. I’ll need him.
5. Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
With her wand. Tada! A/C, books, food, etc. Anything we need! And she’d be fun to hang out with too.
Which characters would you want with you? Did we miss any great ones?
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!
It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!
Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.
We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.
Congratulations Julee Murphy for winning a signed copy of Minion by John David Anderson!
Last Week’s Posts
**Click on any picture/link to view the post**
Last Week’s Journeys
Kellee: I am currently doing a lot of rereading for my committee work, so my other reading has really been put on hold for a bit. I was reading Touched by Paul Maurer before I started rereading, and I still pick it up a bit each day–we’ll see if I an finish it this week.
Trent read some amazing books this week! I love sharing wonderful picture books with him:
- Always Time for a Laugh by Disney (Jim got the Disney Storytime app which has some ebooks. We started with the Monsters, Inc. story.)
- Just a Tugboat by Mercer Mayer (I just love the Little Critters, and I hope Trent does, too.)
- Owen’s Marshmallow Chick by Kevin Henkes (Kevin Henkes’s board books are so well done! They each have a mini-plot, a conflict, great characters, and, of course, a lesson.)
- My First Palette: Six Little Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (We bought this at the Hunter Museum of American Art, where my dad is the director, and then we read it throughout the museum. Perfect! And Trent really was captured by them.)
- Stick Kid by Peter Holwitz (This is a great story!! Have you read it? If not, read it now!)
- Discovering Art: Cats by John Harris (My mom got this book to share with Trent. It mixes art, a HUGE part of our life, and cats, our favorite animal.)
- The Three Little Bears Board Book by Byron Barton (Jim, my husband, read this to Trent on Facetime while we were away. So sweet to see Trent’s reactions
- Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean (You cannot go wrong with Pete! I love reading I Love My White Shoes. The singing aspect really does keep the attention of kids. The newest Pete is a wonderful story as well, with just a great lesson. I missed the song though.)
Ricki: This was one of those weeks where I started several books. I did, however, finish A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. I know many of you have read this book, but if you haven’t, I recommend that you drop everything and find a copy. This is a magical tale that will stick with me forever. After I finish books, I almost always give them away because I only have space for the new books. I am keeping this book close because I can’t bear to part with it.
I also reread a picture book from my childhood—The Elves and the Shoemaker by Eric Suben (A Little Golden Book). It was good fun to enjoy this text again.
This Week’s Expeditions
Kellee: Like I said above, I will be rereading this week. They are all amazing books, so I am excited to do it I’ll also keep reading Touched when I have a chance. When I’m done with this, I plan on reading Boys of Blur, but I do not think that’ll be this week.
Ricki: One of the many books I started this week was Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a long time, so I decided to give it a try. It is very dark, and I am in love with the story thus far!
Upcoming Week’s Posts
Tuesday: Top Ten Characters We Would Want With us on a Deserted Island (skills, company they keep, hotness, etc.)
Friday: Candlewick Press Picture Books
So, what are you reading?
Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!
The Schneider Family Book Award is celebrating its tenth anniversary! Since 2004, the Schneider award has focused on highlighting the best pieces of literature that “embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” An author or illustrator can be honored and there are teen, middle school, and children’s awards. One of my favorite books, Hurt Go Happy won in 2008, and I am so excited to share it with you today to help celebrate the award’s anniversary.
I know that many teachers have gotten away from class novels over the years and lean more towards books of choice all year long with some read alouds along the way. Although I mostly believe in this as well, there was are a couple of novels keeping me from completely abandoning a class novel, specifically Hurt Go Happy. This is one of the those books that I finished reading, and I knew right away that I had to share it with anyone who would listen. Luckily, each year I have a bunch of middle schoolers that will listen, so I started reading this novel yearly with them.
Goodreads Summary: Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis is used to being left out of conversations. Though she’s been deaf since the age of six, Joey’s mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her, but often fails.
Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his baby chimpanzee, Sukari. Her new friends use sign language to communicate, and Joey secretly begins to learn to sign. Spending time with Charlie and Sukari, Joey has never been happier. She even starts making friends at school for the first time. But as Joey’s world blooms with possibilities, Charlie’s and Sukari’s choices begin to narrow–until Sukari’s very survival is in doubt.
Why is this novel so important? One of the things I think is so important during the middle school years is to talk about empathy and caring for others. We read The Lorax to talk about caring for the earth, we read Each Kindness to talk about treating each other with kindness, we read The Dot to discuss open mindness, and we read Hurt Go Happy to talk about empathy for animals, children, and for people with disabilities.
Hurt Go Happy truly pushes my students to think more about how their actions effect everyone around them. The book truly puts them in Joey’s shoes and Joey goes through so much in this book. Through our reading of this book, we grow even closer as a community of readers. While reading we discuss deafness, sign language, chimpanzees, abuse, research facilities, animal abuse, wild animals as pets, survival, parents, school, death, fear, and their future. The conversations get so deep. Much deeper than you would ever expect from middle school students.
Why did was this novel honored by Schneider? Not once in this book do you think Joey is incompetent because of her disability. Although her mother may try to keep her from growing, she has learned how to survive and succeed in the world she lives in. Joey may seem like a normal kid, but she is more than that. She has learned to live in a world with no sound without really, truly being able to communicate. Then when ASL is introduced into Joey’s life, you begin to learn how intricate of a language ASL is, and the reader begins to build even more respect for the deaf.
In My Classroom: This book gives me opportunities to work with setting, characterization, cause/effect, prediction, compare/contrast, sequence, and analogies. I try to avoid making the analysis of the book tedious, so throughout we mostly just discuss what is going on and make predictions. We also complete thinking maps (a type of graphic organizer) looking at the characterization, plot development, and specific events throughout the book. I found that stopping sometimes and having these discussions helped ensure my students are comprehending and thinking about everything that is going on. Since Hurt Go Happy deals with some tough subjects, and subjects many of the students have never even thought about, it is important to talk about them. We also discuss our essential questions throughout: Do you think animal testing is necessary? Defend your answer. & How would being deaf affect your life? How does it affect Joey’s? Both which lead to some debate and, once again, deep discussions.
Following the reading of the novel, my students are lucky enough to be able to take part in an interview with the author of Hurt Go Happy, Ginny Rorby. The students generate the questions, vote on which ones to ask and even ask her the questions. Ginny even allows us to send her extra questions and answers them for my students. Often times, this is the first author my students have ever interacted with, so this becomes a very special moment for them. Ginny was actually able to come visit my school once as well. See how amazing an experience that was here.
The part that really makes students connect to the novel is the field trip that we go on. At the end of the book, the setting changes to a rehab facility called The Center for Great Apes (@CFGA) which, while in the book was in Miami, has moved to Wauchula, FL which is 90 minutes from my school. In the book, you even meet Noelle, a chimp who knows sign language, Kenya, another chimpanzee, and Christopher, an orangutan, who are actually at the center. It is an amazing experience to take the story and turn it into reality.
Hurt Go Happy is a book that I feel not only bring our class together but teaches my students some of the most important lessons for life: to care about every living thing.
Thoughts from the author: I am lucky enough to call Ginny Rorby a friend. We met at a signing at a Barnes and Noble here in Orlando, stayed in touch through me teaching her book, and soon moved to friends. She is an amazing person, and such a talented author. Today I am happy to share with you Ginny’s thoughts about winning the Schneider.
Unleashing Readers: What’s your best memory from winning a Schneider Family Book Award?
Ginny Rorby: That was my first national award, (and so far only) and for a book I spent 18 years working on. When the call came I hope I didn’t say, ‘you’re kidding’ but I conveniently can’t recall. I do clearly remember tears welling, my voice cracking, and the lovely women on the other end of the call saying, ‘Ohhhh.’
UR: What did winning a Schneider Family Book Award mean to you?
GR: For the first time in my then two-book career I could legitimately be referred to as an award winning author. There was a ten year gap between the publication of my first novel, Dolphin Sky, and Hurt Go Happy. The Schneider Family Book Award made me feel credible, and literally gave me the courage to keep at it.
UR: If Joey was alive, how do you think she would respond to knowing her story was honored?
GR: As long as kids are still reading Hurt Go Happy, Joey is alive. But if we could ask her, I think she’d say it wasn’t just her story. It was Sukari’s, too. She’d be happy to know that well over a hundred thousand kids have had the opportunity to rethink our treatment of animals, and each other. She’s glad for that.
UR: Why did you decide to make Joey deaf, and what did you do to prepare writing a story about her?
GR: Hurt Go Happy is about how closely related child abuse is to animal abuse. For Joey to soar above her disablity, she had to be tougher than the world around her. Her love for Sukari gave her the strength to reach her full potential. In essence, Joey and Sukari rescued each other.
I went back to college when I was 33. If I’d known that it would take me 8 years to finish, I might never have started. To educate myself enough to write a believable deaf character was a lot like that. I began by taking ASL classes followed by reading everything I could find written about being deaf and raising a deaf child. I watched every movie with a deaf character. It took years longer than I would have ever dreamed. Worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Probably not. But then again, my love for Joey and Sukari gave me the strength to reach my full potential, too.
UR: Anything you’d like to say about the Schneider Family Book Award on its 10th anniversary?
GR: I truly believe that HGH is still being read and taught in schools across the country because of that award. It was an honor to receive, and I’m forever grateful. The beautifully framed award is hanging on my book case. Whenever I feel like I can’t write one more real emotion, I’m free to glance at it and remember that I did and I still can.
UR: Thank you Ginny for taking part in this celebration of the Schneider award and Hurt Go Happy!
Giveaway: To help celebrate this special anniversary, one person can win a set of all 3 Schneider Family Book Award Winners from 2014. Participants must be 13 years or older and have a US or Canadian mailing address.
Blog Tour: Check out all of the links of the Schneider Family Book Award 10th Anniversary Blog Tour & Giveaway
July 6, 2014 Nerdy Book Club http://nerdybookclub.
July 6, 2014 Kid Lit Frenzy http://www.kidlitfrenzy.com/
July 7, 2014 Nonfiction Detectives http://www.
July 9, 2014 Teach Mentor Texts http://www.teachmentortexts.
July 10, 2014 There’s a Book For That http://thereisabookforthat.
July 11, 2014 Kathie Comments http://kathiecomments.
July 12, 2014 Disability in Kidlit http://disabilityinkidlit.
July 14, 2014 Librarian in Cute Shoes http://librarianincuteshoes.
July 15, 2014 The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog http://
July 16, 2014 Read, Write, and Reflect http://readwriteandreflect.
July 17, 2014 Read Now Sleep Later http://www.readnowsleeplater.
July 18, 2014 Unleashing Readers http://www.unleashingreaders.
July 19, 2014 Great Kid Books http://greatkidbooks.blogspot.
July 20, 2014 Maria’s Mélange http://www.mariaselke.com/
Happy anniversary Schneider!
Keep honoring such amazing books as this one!
**Some of this information was post previously in my Hurt Go Happy review. View it here to see additional information.**
2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Announced
The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the finalists for the 2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.
The 2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
(St. Martin’s Griffin)
Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott
(Henry Holt / Christy Ottaviano Books)
The Milk of Birds by Sylvia Whitman
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
(Arthur A. Levine Books)
Winger by Andrew Smith
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
All Walden Award titles will be identified by an award sticker—gold for the winner and silver for the four finalists. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 30th. The winning title and finalists will be honored on at the 2014 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 24th at 4:25pm in Washington, D.C. and will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.
The 2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the thirty-six publishers who submitted titles for consideration.
The 2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered nearly 300 young adult titles throughout the process. The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities. They are:
Kellee Moye, Committee Chair
Hunter’s Creek Middle School, Orlando, FL
Lois Buckman, Past Committee Chair
Anderson County Public Library, Anderson, SC
Bryan Elementary, Hampton, VA
Prairie Creek Intermediate School, Cedar Rapids, IA
English Language & Composition Teacher
Silver Creek High School, Sellersburg, IN
Professor, Children’s/Young Adult Literature & English/Language Arts Education
Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh, PA
Assistant Professor English Education
Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN
Dimond High School, Anchorage, Alaska
Reading Coach/Literacy Coach
Northbrook Junior High School, Northbrook, IL
Dean – School of Education and Human Services
Marymount University, Arlington, VA
For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents.
I am so excited to share this list with you all! It is a list I am so proud of, and I cannot wait to see which of these amazing titles ends up being our winner!
Because I’m Disposable
Author: Rosie Somers
Published July 9th, 2014 by Smashwords Edition
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Callista Tanner was in the bathroom slitting her wrists the night her father took a fatal plunge down the stairs. People around her think she attempted suicide because she found him dead — or worse, because she had a guilty conscience. Few know the truth; Michael Tanner had been beating her for years.
The freedom that should have come with her father’s death becomes a cage of rumors and self-doubt. Callie seeks escape in the most destructive ways, bringing her emotional scars to the surface for the world to see.
One bright spot exists in Callie’s dark world.
Lincoln Devaux refuses to let Callie sink fully into the depths of her own depression, stepping into her life when she needs someone the most. She tries to push him away, but Link is determined to save Callie from herself. Even when she doesn’t think she’s worth saving.
Five Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Writing
1. Gird Your Loins
I started writing, seriously writing when I was eighteen. I’d always played around with storytelling, written poetry, short stories, etc. But once I got it into my head that I was going to write a novel, I immediately became convinced that I was going to become the next big thing. Overnight. Yeah, I was that author. But the hard truth is that agents and editors receive outrageous amounts of queries every day, and only a fraction of those meet what the agent/editor is looking for. Rejections are a part of writing, and no matter how nice the sender is, that rejection is probably going to hurt. Do what you have to do: cry, scream, turn into a raging, green mutant and trash your apartment. But when you’re done, dust yourself off, turn the coffee table back over, and try again.
2. First Novels Are Garbage
That first novel, the one I started when I was eighteen… it was pure crap. Of course, I didn’t recognize that when I was writing it. I didn’t recognize that when I was proudly passing it out to family to read. And I didn’t recognize it when I sent those first query letters. As those rejections trickled in and squished my ego back into my zip code, word by painful word, I started to look closer at my work, and I was able to recognize it for what it was: garbage. To this day, I keep that manuscript printed out and in plain view of my work area to remind me of where I started and that there’s ALWAYS room for improvement.
3. Constructive Criticism Is Constructive
I’ve seen plenty of writers get their panties in a bunch when a friend, beta reader, agent, or editor offers negative feedback. And I’ll admit, I’ve felt the bite of constructive criticism. But it’s important to remember these people are seeing something in your book that you are too close to see for yourself. It might hurt to hear that your book sags in the middle or the beginning is a snoozefest, but if your test readers are seeing it, real readers will feel that way too. Personally, I’d much rather listen to my betas and editor than put out a book with huge issues.
4. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
If you want a six-figure income, writing probably won’t do it. The simple truth is, the authors who bank are pretty rare. Sure, there are the Rowlings and the Meyers of the world, but very few authors will ever see that kind of success. Don’t write because you want fame and fortune. Write because you love the story.
5. Just Write
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter why you do it. It doesn’t matter how much you wrote or what the story is. It doesn’t matter if you win Nano by November 15th or take two years to write a novelette. Just write–at your pace, in your time, write your story. Don’t worry about what other people are writing or what is selling. Just write.
Author Bio: Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year-round sunshine. She can often be found in her favorite spot on her favorite beach, nose-deep in a good book.
Giveaway: The author is giving away an Amazon Kindle to celebrate this book launch!
Thank you to Rosie Somers for your insightful post and Sarah Nicolas for letting us be part of the blog tour!
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!
Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
Selected by: Paul B. Janeczko
Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
Published March 11, 2014 by Candlewick Press
Goodreads Summary: Celebrated poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko pairs with Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet for a collection of short poems to sample and savor.
It only takes a few words, if they’re the right words, to create a strong image. Whether listened to in the comfort of a cozy lap or read independently, the thirty-six very short poems in this collection remind readers young and old that a few perfect words and pictures can make the world glow. Selected by acclaimed poet Paul B. Janeczko and gorgeously illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poemsinvites children to sample poems throughout the four seasons.
My Review: Paul B. Janeczko did a wonderful job choosing poems that represent each season beautifully from amazing poets such as Sandburg, Williams, Hughes, and Fletcher, then add Melissa Sweet’s mixed media illustrations that engulf the page in color, and you have a perfect poetry anthology for any age. There isn’t much more to say about this book, but that it is something every person should see.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: What can you not do with this book?! It has every type of poem imaginable that can be used in so many different situations. Need an example of a type of figurative language? You’ll find it in here. Need an example of a rhyme scheme? Yep, in here. Need to talk about rhythm? This’ll do. Want to introduce poetry? Have examples of poems for mentor texts? Allow students to draw how they interpret different poems and come back together and share? All can be done with this. And all with short, non-overwhelming, yet amazing poems.
Discussion Questions: What poems would you have chosen for the different seasons?; Which poem is your favorite?; How do you picture ______?
Read This If You Loved: Any poetry.
**Thank you to Rachel at Candlewick for providing a copy for review**
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.
Today’s Topic: Top Ten Favorite Movies (For their Great Stories)
Confession: I hate movies. I never start a movie with my husband without a book by my side (in case I get bored). I rarely go to the movie theater because I feel trapped.
1. The Thing Called Love
This is the one movie I could watch over and over again. The story is beautiful. It stars River Phoenix and Sandra Bullock, to name a few greats.
2. Crazy Stupid Love
With a great cast, this movie really shines. I couldn’t stop talking about it after I saw it!
3. 50 First Dates
There is something beautiful about the combination of Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.
4. In Love and War
I loved seeing this movie, which was based on Hemingway’s time during the war. I am not certain how accurate it is, but either way, I really enjoyed it.
5. Three Great Book-to-Movie Adaptions (But Read the Book Instead)
The Fault in our Stars
I am Legend
Of course, while the books were better, I was please with these three movie adaptions.
I had a tough time with this list as there are as many wonderfully written movies out there as books, but I did the best I could!
1. Pixar Movies
I am cheating with this one, but all of their movies are brilliant. From the original, Toy Story, to their shorts that are shown at the beginning of each Pixar movie, they are all so well done.
This is a story about a man that has anterograde amnesia which means he cannot make any new memories after the event that caused his amnesia. He is trying to avenge for a tragedy in his past. It is so amazing how the story is told in flashbacks and snippets.
3. Usual Suspects
Um, Kevin Spacey is awesome, right?! And the end?! Wow. Still amazes me. If you haven’t seen this, do it now.
4. American History X
This movie has a story that I wish was a book so I could read it. It is about prejudice and regret and pain and family. It is a tough, tough movie.
5. Four Book-to-Movie Adaptations
Bridget Jones’s Diary
10 Things I Hate About You
My favorite book-to-movie adaptation is probably Bridget Jones’s Diary. I adore this movie (and the book. Read the book.) I also loved The Shawshank Redemption based off of Stephen King’s short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from his short story collection Different Seasons (a superb short story collection. Includes the short stories that were adapted into the movies Apt Pupil and Stand By Me.)
But for my other two best book-to-movie adaptations I went a different route. My two favorite adaptations are modernized adaptations of classics which I admit I have not read: Clueless (Emma) and 10 Things I Hat About You (Taming of the Shrew), but these two movies are two of my favorites ever.
(By the way: I agree with Ricki about The Fault in our Stars. It was a phenomenal adaptation, and I adored that book and read it 6 times.)
What other movies have great stories? Please share!
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