Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Classroom Novels

I haven't been reading as much as I should, as I have been planning my lessons for this upcoming year.

 I did recently read Night by Elie Wiesel and it was a VERY powerful novel. I recommend it to everyone. It was a relatively short read, but was such a sad look into the Holocaust. It is hard to believe that such an unimaginable tragedy occurred only 72 years ago. We think that we are such a civilized world and we still have such a ways to go.

Currently, I am reading Rules of Attraction which is the sequel to Perfect Chemistry (The novel I am teaching in conjunction with Romeo and Juliet). It is a young adult romance and very well-written! I do think I liked the first book better, but it is still a dynamic novel.

Next on the list, I want to FINALLY read Water for Elephants. It is sitting on the shelf, waiting for me!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Reading

Hello to anyone who still reads this! :)
It has been awhile since I last updated, but I have been busy reading and preparing for my first year as a teacher. The books that I am reading are those which I will be teaching in my classroom. Here is a quick look at them!
Romeo and Juliet - What can I say that hasn't been said?
Perfect Chemistry - This is an awesome contemporary novel that I am assigning as a companion piece to Romeo and Juliet. I loved it and cannot wait to read more novels by this author. I am also very excited to see how it it is received by my 9th graders.
Animal Farm - It is a classic. Not my all-time favorite, but I can work with it!
You Don't Know Me - This is a novel that I am currently reading. So far, I find it a little unusual, but I can definitely see my students enjoying it!
These are all of the novels that my Remedial Reading class of 9th graders will be reading. I haven't started reading the tenth grade books, yet. Stay tuned for more reading fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Too many books to list....

...But, I'll try. I have been hooked on my Kindle books, as of late, and have found a FB group that lists new freebies, daily. So, many of the books are not top-sellers, but I still love them! :)

Lady in the Mist (The Midwives) by Laurie Alice Eakes
I think this is the most recent book that I have read. It was a quick read and held my interest. It is about a young woman in colonial America, who is a midwife, and is dealing with the realization that she will never marry and have her own children. Of course, a love interest enters the scene, but there are many obstacles standing in the way. You will have to read it to see what happens. I give it a 3.5.

Gypsy Bond by Lindy Corbin
Yes, I admit, even though I have a degree in English, I still indulge in a pointless romance novel from time to time. That is exactly what this book is. Quick read. I give it a 2.5.

Joyful Momma's Guide to Shopping and Cooking Frugally by Kimberly Eddy
This was an interesting non-fiction book. I love to coupon and bargain shop, so I was able to find a lot of good tips! 3.5.

Every Last Kiss (The Bloodstone Saga) by Courtney Cole
I read about 1/3 of this book and became bored. It is an epic fantasy type set in Ancient Egypt. 2.

The Boyfriend Bylaws (Totally Fit) by Susan Hatler
Okay, this book was really cutesy, but thankfully, short. Not a fan. I give it a 1.5, only because their was some comedic relief.

The Frozen trail by Lisa Dayley
This was a novella about the Mormon handcart company that traveled to Utah. It is told from the perspective of a teenage girl, who loses her mother along the way and must care for her siblings and aging father. I liked it! 3.5.

Bluegrass State of Mind by Kathleen Brooks
This was another very short book. Yes, its a romance, but not too trashy. :) It is about a young woman who loses her sister and must care for them or make sure her their current guardian (her brother-in-law's brother, lol) is taking care of them. Yep, they fall in love. 2.5.

South Beach Cinderella by Sharon Potts
This is probably my favorite book on this list and its worth a read. It is about a wife who has to deal with her husband's mid life crisis and his affairs. Good book! 4.

Ok! That's all for now. I will try to keep this updated a little better! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Interested in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692? You will love this novel!
~One of USA Today's Top Ten books of 2009~
Connie is a Harvard graduate working towards her doctorate on early colonial life. However, first she must go through her grandmother's old house to get it ready to sell. While there, she discovers a Bible with an ancient key hidden deep within. The key has a piece of paper in it with one name - Deliverance Dane. Connie is determined to find out who this woman is and why her name is written in the key. In the meantime, Connie falls in love with a church curator, who mysteriously falls ill. It turns out her only hope of saving him is linked to Deliverance Dane.
I loved every minute of this novel and could not set it down! I am a huge fan of historical fiction, obviously, so this was right up my alley! Even better, I found it in the Wal-Mart clearence section for $5! It is a $28 book - score! I would suggest this novel to anyone interested in history or suspense novels, there is even a love story built-in. :) I give this novel a score of 4.5~!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaching Tidbit

Yes, I know that this isn't a book review, but I had a brilliant idea and decided to write in this blog.
So, I think it would be a really neat idea, once I have a classroom, to have a classroom blog. Well, that is not the wonderful idea, but stick with me. Anyhow, this classroom blog would be available to all parents and students for viewing. However, I think I will be the only one to moderate.
With this blog, I think it would be neat for students to write book reviews of books that they read so that I can post to the blog for parents and other to see. You may ask, "What if the student just copies the review or makes it up?" Well, that is where the brilliant idea comes in......
Get this... For 5 points extra credit, a student can read a level-appropriate book, keep a reading log (which keeps them honest about ACTUALLY reading), and then write a one-page review for the blog. Students could complete 2 of these per semester, if they choose, which could potentially raise their grade by 10 points, a whole letter grade. The beauty of this is that it would get kids to do extra reading without forcing the issue. If you want a better grade - read. If not - don't read. Another benefit, is that it would teach them to write a review, NOT a summary. Kids are taught in elementary to summarize. It takes creative thinking to write a review.

Ok, so what do my teacher-y friends think about this idea? All input is appreciated!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This novel is absolutely amazing. A professor of mine gave it to me, so it was a freebie! The novel follows the life of a young girl in 19th century China when girls still have their feet bound in order to be desirable wives. This girl becomes lifelong friends with another young girl through the secret language of Chinese women, nu shu. Point of view is first person, the young girl is now a very old woman who believes that everyone she has known in her life has passed on, so now she can finally tell her true story. Overall, it is a wonderful book and I truly have nothing negative to say about it. If one enjoys Memoirs of a Geisha, she will undoubtedly enjoy this novel. I would recommend it to women and girls over fourteen who are interested in historical fiction. I give this novel a 4! I am actually lending this to my best friend who also has a reading blog
Check it out and see if she enjoys the novel as much as I did! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

For Time and Eternity by Allison Pittman

This novel is another Kindle Freebie, but it is actually really good. I imagine it is only free because it is the first novel in the series and the following novels are $10 a piece. I am sorry, but I am not going to pay $10 for a book that is downloaded. If I pay more than $4, I want a tangible object that can sit on my bookshelf! :)
Anyhow, this novel is about a woman who joins the Mormons on their trail to Zion in the 1800's. She leaves her mother and father, who are very overbearing in their Christian faith, for a religion that she believes is more loving. She converts and loves her life for about 5 years. Then, the 'prophet' begins creating new rules and ideas. Finally, she discovers that she no longer believes in the religion around the time her child dies and her husband takes another wife. Remember, this is back at the beginning of the Mormon faith, before the mainstream church denounced plural marriages and such.
While I enjoy the plot of a young woman coming into her own and standing up for her beliefs, the plot line is a little shallow at the time she changes her mind about the Mormons. For awhile, she is a young mother and wife who attends service regularly and follows her husband, blindly. Then, she has a baby that passes away and she immediately denounces the Mormon faith for Christianity. However, regardless of how it comes about, the rest of the novel becomes more intriguing.
I would suggest this novel to women who enjoy historical fiction. While this novel may not be the most historically researched, such as The 19th Wife, it is still a good read the follows the basic history of the early Mormon church. I will give it a 3.5 because it did keep me entertained.