Friday, March 28, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Patrick mentioned last fall that he would be visiting Michigan in March, and he agreed to come to our small, southeast Michigan community. At a population of only 2200, our venue is much smaller than most places he visits. The audience consisted of mostly high school students and a few 8th graders.
Most interesting to me was his description of how he arrived at the idea for each of his books. He gave examples of the thought processes used to create his characters and story-lines. Now I need to re-read his books to better understand what he discussed.
As a teacher, I appreciate that he involved the students and made them feel that he valued their opinions and concerns. I'm sure they will be talking about his visit for some time.
Thanks to Patrick for his willingness to share his time with a small town and its teens.
Patrick has two new books coming out in 2008. CHEATED will be released April 1, and another book is due out in October.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
A group of the kids had the idea that the city could build a skate park on the property when the creepy, old house was torn down, but the city officials had other ideas. They thought a museum was a better idea. Griffin had organized the sleepover hoping to get the attention their plan deserved. Instead, all he got was a night in his sleeping bag listening to his friend Ben snore.
Not wanting to leave without a little adventure, the boys did a little exploring before they left. Griffin accidentally discovered a secret drawer, and tucked in that drawer was a card – an old baseball card with a picture of Babe Ruth. He was sure it was valuable and would help solve his parents’ financial problems.
After a narrow escape from the wrecking ball, Griffin and Ben hurry to Palomino’s Emporium of Collectibles and Memorabilia to get the opinion of an expert. Much to their disappointment, S. Wendell Palomino gives them bad news. The card is a reproduction and worth very little. He offers them $120, and they take the money and run.
Imagine their surprise and fury when the nightly news is carrying the story of one S. Wendell Palomino and his incredible discovery of a valuable baseball trading card valued at $1,000,000. What follows is Griffin’s new plan to get back the card he believes is rightfully his.
Gordon Korman has once again created a story sure to captivate middle grade audiences. His adventurous characters, great use of humor, and non-stop action make SWINDLE great fun to read.
Friday, March 14, 2008
THE GAME OF MY LIFE: A True Story of Challenge, Triumph, and Growing Up Autistic by Jason "J-Mac" McElwain
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
TWILIGHT series by Stephenie Meyer
NOVEMBER BLUES by Sharon Draper
GET WELL SOON by Julie Halpern
GYM CANDY by Carl Deuker
GAME by Walter Dean Myers
THINGS CHANGE by Patrick Jones
NAILED by Patrick Jones
(Patrick Jones is visiting our local public library on March 17th. We are very excited!)
STONER & SPAZ by Ron Koertge
BLACK AND WHITE by Paul Volponi
THE RIFLE by Gary Paulsen
TEEN ANGST... NAAH by Ned Vizzini
GRIND by Eric Walters
SKATE by Michael B. Harmon
VAMPIRE KISSES series by Ellen Schreiber
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
It all starts when Ted's cousin Salim comes to visit. Salim and his mother are about to move to New York City and have planned a family visit in London before their departure. Of course, what is a visit to London without a ride on the London Eye. That's when the trouble begins.
Ted and his older sister Kat haven't seen much of their cousin in the past. The visit starts out on a wrong note because of the unusual sleeping arrangements required by their tiny house. Kat is unhappy about bunking on the couch, and Ted is unhappy with the disruption of his whole routine. As Ted explains, he suffers from a "syndrome" which he defines by stating that his brain runs on "a different operating system" than everyone else. His judgment of other people's emotional responses is a bit off, and his views of the world around him tend to be quite literal. (I'm guessing that he suffers from some form of autism.)
Salim turns out to be quite a pleasant visitor. His only request is to take a ride on the London Eye, a massive ferris wheel attraction in the center of London. When the cousins and their mothers arrive at the Eye, they find the ticket line and actual ride line disappointingly long. Relief comes when a stranger offers one ticket, free of charge, to Salim. Ted and Kat eagerly accept the ticket and pocket the original ticket money from their mother as they rush Salim to the waiting ride.
The mystery begins when Salim doesn't disembark from the London Eye at the conclusion of his ride. Was he kidnapped? Did he actually go on the ride? How could he have vanished so completely?
THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY is a must-read mystery for middle grades and up. Quirky characters, London scenery, and a who-dun-it style combine to make this a sure hit. Siobhan Dowd, author of A SWIFT PURE CRY, has outdone herself once again.
NOTE: I recently learned that Siobhan Dowd passed away in August of 2007. Her talent will be missed.