Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ELLEN HOPKINS VISITS MICHIGAN!!!




(Okay, I know this isn't Ellen, but I forgot my camera. *shoot*)

Ellen Hopkins is touring and presenting with her new book TRICKS. I had the pleasure of hearing her read and speak here in Michigan tonight. Listening to her read the words of her amazing characters was really a treat.

Many of you have probably been reading about some of the controversy surrounding her books. She spent much of her visit explaining the importance of her writing for teens today. She is passionate about what she does, and that passion was poured out to her audience. I feel privileged to have been in her company tonight.

FRONT AND CENTER by Catherine Gilbert Murdock




Life never seems easy for D. J. Schwenk. Her shoulder injury from football has healed nicely and basketball season is in full swing. That should make her exceedingly happy, but instead she feels the pressure mounting.

This year the coach wants D. J. to develop her team leadership skills. He's riding her about being more vocal out on the court. Unfortunately, D. J. is not one to talk or draw attention to herself. Yes, she's a great player but not in a take-charge-of-the-team sort of way. The coach is not only interested in improving her role on the team, but also in the fact that she needs to show that leadership to the college scouts attending almost every game she plays.

There is even more pressure coming for D. J.'s brother Win. The victim of a spinal cord injury in a college football game, he is learning how to adjust to life in a wheelchair. As part of his therapy he seems to have made it his goal to get D. J. accepted into a Division I college program. He's arranging campus visits and demanding that she make phone calls to all the coaches who have send her recruitment letters. Once again her timid ways make these visits and phone calls very challenging.

To top things off, D. J. is struggling with boyfriend issues. Her thoughts are filled with Brian and the great times they've shared. But he seems to want to keep their relationship out of the public eye which makes D. J. think he's ashamed of her. When long-time friend and classmate, Beaner, approaches her with romance in mind, she decides maybe she should leave Brian behind. Her mind tells her that it’s a good idea, but her heart tells her something different. She is torn between the two.

FRONT AND CENTER is the final book in a trilogy by author Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Fans of DAIRY QUEEN and THE OFF SEASON will be sad to see D. J. move on, but hopefully, they'll be satisfied with the choices she makes as Murdock bids her farewell.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"TEASER TUESDAY"

Here's my TEASER TUESDAY #13.

Once again the idea is the original creation of SHOULD BE READING.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
4. You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from. That way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
5. Please avoid spoilers!
6. Than add yours to the list at Should Be Reading.

FRONT AND CENTER
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
p. 57

"As soon as he spoke up, I started thinking up all the ways he could embarrass me, bragging about his cows or asking if anyone knew about organic farming or scratching himself in a weird way; with Dad the list is pretty much endless. But there wasn't much I could do but say yes."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

THE OFF SEASON by Catherine Gilbert Murdock





D. J. Schwenk is starting the eleventh grade and playing varsity football for her Wisconsin high school. The season is starting off great, and off the field things aren't too bad either.

Now that her dad has had hip surgery, he's back at work on the family dairy farm. Although the farm is still losing money, he is relentless in his determination to figure out some new business gimmick to turn things around. D. J.'s two older brothers are off playing football for Big Ten college teams, and her little brother has himself a girlfriend and might be acting just a bit more normal than usual. Her mother is busy as an elementary school principal and bossing everyone around at home.

The highlight of the fall is the fact that D. J. has a boyfriend for the first time in her life. Brian, the football player who worked with her on the farm the summer before, is becoming more than just a friend. A quick, impromptu road trip ends up including a roadside rest stop that involves some pretty serious kissing. Since then the two have spent as much time together as two busy football players playing for rival teams can possibly manage. D. J.'s every waking moment is spent thinking about Brian and football.

The positive events of fall begin to crumble when D. J.'s mom hurts her back. Who knew that yelling at your youngest son for sneaking around with his girlfriend could cause a slipped disk? With her mom flat on her back on the living room floor, D. J. suddenly has more responsibility than she ever thought possible.

Bad things continue to happen - there are problems with her relationship with Brian, her best friend Amber has had it with school and arguments with her mom, and a tragedy at a college football game changes her brother Win's life forever.

Author Catherine Gilbert Murdock's first novel featuring D. J. Schwenk was DAIRY QUEEN. She follows that up with THE OFF SEASON which includes the same great characters, sports inspired determination, and refreshing humor as her first book. The challenges she creates for her characters and the way she has them handle them illustrate remarkable courage and resilience. Now I'm off to read FRONT AND CENTER, her third book about D. J. Schwenk, due for release in October.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

FAITH, HOPE, AND IVY JUNE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor




FAITH, HOPE, AND IVY JUNE is about two girls from totally different places and backgrounds who participate in a student exchange program. Although both girls are from Kentucky, one is from the bustling city of Lexington and the other is from the mountains.

Ivy June is excited about her upcoming trip to spend two weeks with Catherine in Lexington, Kentucky. The exchange program was organized by their schools, and Ivy June was encouraged to apply by her family, especially her grandparents. Her name was chosen from among six names thrown into a coffee can.

Although she is excited about the adventure, she worries about fitting in in the big city. She knows Catherine will no doubt live in a fancy house with indoor plumbing which will be a welcome change, but Ivy June doesn't want to end up coming back home wishing for a different life. She has been living with her grandparents for some time now. It was just getting too crowded over at her old house. She's just a short walk from her ma and pa, but being the only child living with her grandparents and her 100 year old great-grandmother has given her more of a sense of belonging and love then she ever had at home.

The idea of the exchange program is for Ivy June to stay with Catherine for two weeks. She is to attend Catherine's private school for one week, and then enjoy a week of sight-seeing during Catherine's spring break. After a week back in the mountains, Catherine is scheduled to visit Ivy June for two weeks.

Both girls might be in seventh grade, but that's about where the similarities in life-style end. How will they get along? Can they each adjust to the vastly different economic conditions and completely different family structures they will encounter? And how will they hold up in any serious situations that might develop during their visits?

Prolific children's author, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is at her best in FAITH, HOPE, AND IVY JUNE. She masterfully creates two totally opposite worlds in which Ivy June and Catherine come together as friends who learn to recognize the uniqueness that surrounds each of them. Using journal entries written by both girls, Naylor reveals their excitement, nervousness, and frustration as they meet and live each other's lives. Readers will experience humor, controversy, suspense, and love as Ivy June and Catherine's adventure unfolds.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

THE BOOK OF SAMUEL by Erik Raschke




Samuel Gerard and his friends Jonathon and Jesse are out to get the Mexicans. According to the three friends, the Mexicans have stolen their bikes for the last time. It's time for revenge.

At least that's what used to occupy Samuel's thoughts. Now things are looking a bit different. When your father quits his teaching job and starts living in a tent in the backyard and reading nothing but the Bible, things don't look quite the way they used to. Samuel's father is having what might be termed a "mid-life crisis." He has turned to the word of God to explain and justify his every move.

Samuel tries to stay connected with his father by spending time in the tent and listening to him read from the Bible, but eventually he realizes the man has to deal with this crisis on his own. It's not long until his father packs up and takes off leaving Samuel alone with his hard-working mother.

Samuel and his two friends are often the victims of taunting from the kids at school. They are fairly good students but not particularly athletic or popular which makes them targets for the bullies. Samuel in particular, with his discount store clothing and his strange vegetarian lunches, makes him an easy pick for teasing. One especially scary tormenter is Saula, an odd and incredibly strong girl with an unexplained hatred for Samuel.

To make matters worse, Samuel's mother offers to have his cousin David come to live with them. Unfortunate family circumstances have made David a hot-tempered and volatile individual. Now Samuel has a bully to deal with right under his own roof.

THE BOOK OF SAMUEL follows a 12 year old boy through the turmoil of family problems and the often too typical pressures of being different. There are moments of humor, moments of frustration, moments of sadness, and even moments of horror as Samuel negotiates his way through life. The book is at times a challenging read, but readers will find meaning and satisfaction as they get to know and understand this determined young man.

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY"




I'm always up for a new Lisa Schroeder book. CHASING BROOKLYN doesn't come out until January 5, 2010, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

Summary courtesy of Barnes & Noble:

Restless souls and empty hearts

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

CONTEST REMINDER




Hey, everyone! You have until October 1 to enter the giveaway contest for THE LIGHTNING THIEF.

Click here to find out more!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

ROSIE AND SKATE by Beth Ann Bauman




Rosie and Skate are sisters. Rosie is a worrier, mostly concerned with holding things together at home and making a good impression. Skate is a free spirit, mostly interested in riding her skateboard down the boardwalk and spending as much time as possible with her boyfriend Perry. The one thing Rosie and Skate have in common is their alcoholic father.

Rosie finds comfort in attending a support group for teens with alcoholic parents. She thinks it would help Skate come to terms with their father's problem, but Skate thinks the meetings are too full of drama. When their father ends up in jail, Rosie visits him regularly, but again Skate doesn't join her.

Both girls are in high school but live very different lives. Rosie lives at home with an aunt who has come to stay while Dad is incarcerated. Skate lives with Julia, her boyfriend Perry's mom, or with Frank, her boss at the arcade. Perry is away at college, and their long-distance romance is becoming shaky at best.

ROSIE AND SKATE is the story of two sisters finding their way in a not-so-perfect situation. Both care deeply for each other, however, each is dealing with adversity in her own individual style. Despite the sometimes rocky times, the story is filled with concerned and caring people ready to help one another and give each other needed support.

Beth Ann Bauman is the author of a collection of short stories for adults so this is her first foray into the YA arena. Her writing flows smoothly and evenly and was a pleasure to read. The characters jumped off the page for me and seemed realistic and believable. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

7TH AND 8TH GRADERS RECOMMEND ...

School has started and I’ve got a whole new batch of 8th and some 7th graders, too. Here’s a great list of books they heartily recommend.

HAUNTED by Meg Cabot (and the whole Mediator series)
JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen
ONE OF THOSE HIDEOUS BOOKS WHERE THE MOTHER DIES by Sonya Sones
CRANK by Ellen Hopkins
TWILIGHT series by Stephenie Meyer
RESPONSE by Paul Volponi
TANTALIZE by Cynthia Leitich Smith
HARRY POTTER by J. K. Rowling
MODERN FAERIE TALE series by Holly Black
SIDE EFFECTS by Amy Goldman Koss
WHITE IS FOR MAGIC by Laurie Faria Stolarz
TITHE by Holly Black
CHARLIE BONE series by Jenny Nimmo
UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld
BIG RED by Jim Kjelgaard
SMALL STEPS by Louis Sachar
WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN’T KNOW by Sonya Sones
BRAS AND BROOMSTICKS by Sarah Mlynowski
WHERE I’D LIKE TO BE by Frances O’Roark Dowell
BARN BURNER by Patricia Willis
ON THE DEVIL’S COURT by Carl Deuker

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY"



HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW will be the third book in the new GIFTED series by Marilyn Kaye.

After having read the first two, I'm hoping to get a chance to review this one, too. It's due out in October.

I was unable to find a summary anywhere, but if you want to read my reviews on books #1 & #2 just click below.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER book #1

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND book #2

TOP OF THE ORDER by John Coy




Jackson is looking forward to the upcoming baseball season. He'll be playing with all his friends, and he'll be playing his favorite position - shortstop. It should be a terrific season!

As practice begins it looks like everything is shaping up just as Jackson expected. However, things are about to change. First, the team is short a second baseman. Who can they get to fill the spot? Coach tries Trenton at second base and it's a disaster.

Then a new player shows up. The player has talent and shows promise. The only thing is - she's a girl and she plays with a hot pink glove. It's Gig's sister. This could be a good thing for the team, but Gig isn't happy about having a girl on the team, much less having it be his sister. Jackson doesn't honestly see a problem with it since she's a decent player, and she's filling a needed role.

The other problem early on in the season involves the injured catcher. A broken ankle knocks him off the team, and Coach picks Jackson to replace him. His dream of playing shortstop is shattered. Can he make the best of it or will it ruin his love of the game?

TOP OF THE ORDER is author, John Coy's first venture into writing for a middle grade audience, and he's done an excellent job. His characters are likeable and believable from their love of baseball to their typical sibling rivalry. The characters come from a variety of backgrounds creating appeal for all readers.

Coy writes great play-by-play action scenes for the baseball portions of the book. They are engaging even for those not familiar with the game. Jackson and his teammates learn the technicalities of the game and how to handle themselves as good sportsman on and off the field.

Another unique aspect of Coy's novel is the inclusion of a writing component. Jackson's teacher invites an author into the classroom to help students with their writing. The author works with the kids and models many standard writing practices used in actual classrooms today. Teacher should be thrilled to see their work put into practice within an actual novel for kids.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

IT'S CONTEST TIME!!!




THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan is the first book in the Percy Jackson Olympian series. This series has become a huge favorite with my students. Many of them got hooked on it as 8th graders when it first came out, and I'm amazed at how many still comment on it as high schoolers. Some high schoolers even returned to check out the new books as the series continued.

In an effort to pass along this great adventure to other readers, I'm offering a copy of Book #1, THE LIGHTNING THIEF.

All you need to do is comment below and let me know the following:
+1 What is your favorite adventure series?
+2 Become a follower.
+3 Already a follower.

Please leave an email address so I can contact the lucky winner.
Only US and Canada entries please.
Contest ends October 1.

"TEASER TUESDAY"

Here's my TEASER TUESDAY #12.

Once again the idea is the original creation of SHOULD BE READING.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
4. You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from. That way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
5. Please avoid spoilers!
6. Than add yours to the list at Should Be Reading.

TOP OF THE ORDER
by John Coy
p. 59

"They'll give you a hard time, too, especially if you use that pink glove."
"I can handle that. I'm going to play baseball."

Monday, September 14, 2009

CELEBRATE BOOK BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK


Congratulations to all those nominated and to all the deserving winners! You can read about them here. New ones will be posted throughout the week.

Check out the site for neat activities and to browse through the lengthy list of participating bloggers. There is something there for all book lovers!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

JUMPING OFF SWINGS by Jo Knowles




I guess you could say Ellie was "looking for love in all the wrong places." When most of her friends were still virgins, Ellie had gone the "farthest" as they like to say, on a number of ocassions. The most recent was with Josh. When it was over, he said thanks and left her alone in the van to return to the party.

Ellie's friend Corinne tries to find out why Ellie seems driven to have sex with so many guys. All Ellie can say is that at the time she thinks they care about her and that feels so good.

It doesn't take much thinking to realize what is going to eventually happen. Yes, Ellie becomes pregnant. The baby definitely belongs to Josh, but Ellie chooses not to involve him in the situation. In fact those closest to her are surprised when she chooses Caleb's mother Liz to confide in and seek out for advice.

Author Jo Knowles approaches the topic of teen pregnancy from a different angle. Most books focus solely on the story of the pregnant teen, but JUMPING FROM SWINGS tells the story from four different view points. Of course, there's Ellie, but readers also hear from best friend Corinne, Josh father of the child, and Caleb who has always had a soft spot in his heart for Ellie. Congratulations to Knowles for creating a novel that doesn't glorify teen pregnancy. Instead readers will see the harsh reality of this all too common situation and the truly life-changing decisions that face everyone involved.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NOTES FROM THE DOG by Gary Paulsen




As a long-time Gary Paulsen fan, I'm always excited when I see he has a new book. NOTES FROM THE DOG goes in a slightly different direction than most of Paulsen's previous books. His dedication gives a hint about the topic within - "This book is dedicated with all respect and hope to everyone who has ever faced cancer."

When a bald, young woman in her early twenties moves in next door to Finn, it changes his life forever. As a loner who has vowed to spend his summer avoiding people, Finn is none too happy when his dog Dylan and this new neighbor seem to hit it off immediately.

Johanna wastes no time be-friending the shy Finn and the energetic Dylan. She casually explains her baldness by describing herself as a recent survivor of breast cancer. There is something about her that brings out the best in Finn, and he soon finds himself doing her bidding as he works diligently to create a beautiful garden out of his own neglected backyard.

Finn's friend Matthew joins in the friendship with Johanna, and together the three have some interesting summer adventures. The main project they embark on is fund-raising for a survivor triathlon Johanna is planning to enter. Through his friendship with Johanna, Finn discovers he has more of a talent for connecting with people and gardening than he ever imagined.

Although Paulsen doesn't take his readers on the usual adventure in some far-off wilderness, his fans will still find Finn and his dog Dylan worthy of their attention.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY"



After reading a few early reviews on this one, I'm getting quite interested in reading it.

THE MAZE RUNNER
by James Dashner
Release date - October 6

Summary courtesy of Barnes & Noble:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"TEASER TUESDAY"

Here's my TEASER TUESDAY #11.

Once again the idea is the original creation of SHOULD BE READING.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
4. You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from. That way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
5. Please avoid spoilers!
6. Than add yours to the list at Should Be Reading.

NOTES FROM THE DOG
by Gary Paulsen
p. 11

"I pulled the note from my pocket and read it again. You're not as ugly as you think."

THINANDBEAUTIFUL.COM by Liane Shaw




Maddie considers herself pretty normal. At the age of eleven, she began thinking, and yes, worrying about her appearance. But aren't most girls concerned about things like hair, make-up, and weight? It may have been that visit to the doctor for a physical that got the problem started.

It was a routine sports physical. After the exam and Maddie was back in her clothes, the doctor came back into the room to chat. Part of the conversation was a warning from him that girls her age need to start watching what they eat so they don't put on "unwanted" pounds. Those words stayed with Maddie, and as her desire to create the perfect figure began to occupy more of her thoughts, those words may have urged her to go way beyond what was healthy and wise.

Most of THINANDBEAUTIFUL.COM involves Maddie writing about herself and confronting the fact that she is suffering from an eating disorder. She has many people who offer her support, but recognizing whose support she should seek is difficult. Her family and school friends are ready to do whatever is necessary, but she is drawn to an online chat group known as Girls Without Shadows. Their belief is they have the right to do what they want to their bodies in their desire to be thin and beautiful. The idea of eating disorders does not exist for them.

Author Liane Shaw presents the all too common problems of anorexia and bulimia in stark detail as she helps Maddie tell her story. The excuses and denial typical of those with eating disorders is made plain for all to see. Anyone suffering with one or both of these disorders, or anyone who knows someone who is, will benefit from reading Maddie's story.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

WILD BLUE: THE STORY OF A MUSTANG APPALOOSA by Annie Wedekind




WILD BLUE is one of the books in a new series called the Breyer Horse Collection. According to a letter that opens the book, this fiction series is designed to help readers learn about and appreciate different breeds of horses along with their history and characteristics. This collection is sure to be a success with middle grade readers who love of horses or are just looking for an enjoyable wildlife adventure.

Blue is a wild mustang appaloosa. At two years old she has only known life in the wilds of Idaho. Living with her small band of wild horses, she is used to wide-open spaces and the freedom to roam without the interference of mankind.

One afternoon a pony is caught in a snare trap, and Blue and her sister Doe watch helplessly. A sudden thunderstorm and torrential rain complicate the situation making escape impossible. Two cowboys show up, but instead of rescuing the struggling horse, they use ropes to capture Blue and her sister. The fear-stricken horses are loaded into a trailer and taken from the only home they've ever known.

What follows is a terrifying ordeal seen through the eyes of Blue the wild mustang. She experiences men for the first time, as well as captivity, the modern mechanical world, and things she never knew existed. No matter how frightening her world becomes, she stays focused on one thing only - escape. More than anything she wants to return to Idaho and life with her herd.

Annie Wedekind captures the essence of the wild mustang. In the beginning she creates a vivid picture of the free life of the wild horse. Then her stirring descriptions take readers into the terrifying world of captivity including all its sights and sounds and trembling fear. She shows both the good and the bad when it comes to people and their treatment of animals. Blue's story will touch the heart of even the most jaded reader.

CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins




The eagerly awaited sequel to the popular HUNGER GAMES is not to be missed. As I turned each page, I kept thinking this was definitely worth waiting for.

Katniss and Peeta have returned victorious from the Games. Their families' lives are better than ever, and they have found ways to share their new wealth generously. The blossoming love affair that saved both their lives has quieted considerably. Both seem to be going their separate ways unless duty calls for them to appear together.

Katniss is attempting to work through her emotional confusion involving her feelings for Peeta and what she has for years also felt for Gale. She and Gale still try to spend Sundays together checking his snare traps and hunting beyond the fence, but there is a tension between them that they never had before.

As the six month mark since the Games approaches, Katniss and Peeta know they will be required to perform certain ritual duties as winners. An interesting conversation and a stern warning from the President make Katniss wonder exactly what to expect on their return to the Capitol. It seems that some districts have used Katniss's game behavior as inspiration for rebellion, but no one knows exactly to what extent the districts have gone.

Author Suzanne Collins brings back many of the original characters in CATCHING FIRE and adds some interesting new ones. The twists and turns she creatively uses at unexpected moments made me gasp more times than I could count. There will be plenty to discuss as readers work their way through the book, but putting too much more in a review will only spoil this incredible story.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY"




I've been a fan of Sara Zarr since her first book, so I'm excited to read LOST due out October 1.

Summary courtesy of Barnes & Noble:

"Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel. In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed---about God, about your family, about yourself---is transformed."

DIARY OF A WITNESS by Catherine Ryan Hyde




Ernie lives with his mother. She loves him dearly and provides well for him, but practically every day is a living nightmare for Ernie. He's a loner, interested in videos games and not sports, and at about 100 pounds overweight, he's the object of ridicule from his fellow classmates.

For Ernie school days are torture. Teachers seem to turn a blind eye when he is made the butt of every joke. There are five jocks that have made Ernie their special target. In the hallway between classes and in the locker room before and after gym, they tease and taunt and play endless pranks. When opportunities arise to report the pranksters, Ernie always senses that if he does complain his tormentors will only find ways to make his life more miserable.

Ernie does have one friend. His name is Will, and he constantly promises that he has Ernie's back. Will is skinny and suffers from chronic acne which makes him another frequent target for the jocks. Since his mother left, he and his younger brother have lived with a father more interested in finding his next beer than in raising his two sons. Together Ernie and Will help each other through the agonizing world of their small town high school.

After a fishing trip that ends in tragedy, the teasing and taunting of the two teens increases. The attacks are more deliberate and result in potentially dangerous injuries. Ernie can't bring himself to discuss the problem with his mother, but he finds some comfort and release in writing about the incidents in a journal given to him by his uncle. Will, now living with his mother since the fateful fishing trip, reacts in more negative ways that have Ernie worrying about Will's sanity and safety.

DIARY OF A WITNESS addresses the growing problem of bullying in today's society. Catherine Ryan Hyde takes readers into the lives of two teens facing bullying on a daily basis. As with many victims of this increasing problem, they feel helpless to change their situations which make them even more vulnerable to the vicious verbal and physical attacks. This emotionally charged novel will hopefully make readers take notice of and become more active in the prevention of the bullying behavior they witness in their communities.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"TEASER TUESDAY"

Here's my TEASER TUESDAY #10.

Once again the idea is the original creation of SHOULD BE READING.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
4. You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from. That way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
5. Please avoid spoilers!
6. Than add yours to the list at Should Be Reading.

DIARY OF A WITNESS
by Catherine Ryan Hyde
p. 154

"If he kept me too long, I might end up in a nearly empty hall. It could get ugly out there alone."

AND THE WINNER IS....




The winner of my contest for a copy of EVERYTHING IS FINE by Dee Ann Ellis is

**Mrs. Larkin** http://blogs.ellingtonschools.org/larkin/.

Congratulations! I've sent you a message at the blog site listed above. Be sure to let me know where to send your prize.

Now I'm off to the bookstore to get my copy of CATCHING FIRE!!!