What I've Read

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Book Love


The Book Hacker is back! Sorry for my temporary absence. In the past few months, I've experienced a break-up, got a new (and AMAZING) job, relocated my entire life, and attempted to adjust to all of it.

I'm so excited that this is my first book to review since my sabbatical. I highly recommend it!


Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent ReadersBook Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers by Penny Kittle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've only been on the teacher side of the desk for four years, but I'm thoroughly convinced that this idea is what's going to change education. It would have changed my education for sure. Penny Kittle clearly knows the students of today.

Not only does she enlighten on her philosophy, but she also elaborates on practical ways educators could apply this in the classroom. My whole classroom format will change because I read this book and I believe my students will be better for it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Not a Drop to Drink

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can
play along!


Just do the following:

Grab your current read.

Open to a random page.

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

From Chapter Twelve of Mindy McGinnis's Not a Drop to Drink


In the dark field, it felt to Lynn like predators 
would see Lucy not only as the easiest target 
but also as Lynn's weakness as well. 
She hoped Lucy could feel the affection 
coursing through her fingers, 
even though the grip on her tiny wrist was iron. 
As I've mentioned before on Twitter, but not on here, I am SO excited about this novel! I got to visit the Dark Days panel at ATBF a couple weeks ago and let me tell you, Mindy McGinnis is incredibly charming and an absolute delight in person. Her dark YA novel sounds like one I can really sink my teeth into. I just got it from Amazon today, so I'll let you know how it goes!



My current thoughts.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review: Peter Pan

Peter PanPeter Pan by J.M. Barrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read this before but it's been ages. I love the tale of Peter Pan and Wendy, of the Lost Boys and poor, arrogant Captain Hook, and reading it again via audio certainly gave me a new appreciation for the Boy Who Will Never Grow Up and the Girl Who Wanted to Grow Up.

It's a beautiful story, and the audio, narrated by Jim Dale who also read the Harry Potter audio books, is breathtaking. I wish I had heard this before I read it in book form because it truly is one of those books made to be read aloud. Jim Dale does every single voice differently and is able to capture these personalities with skill and imagination.

Reading this is truly like a return to childhood, to a self you forgot you knew.

Just like Peter, this book awaits children and adults everywhere who may have forgotten the beauty of imagination and the power of hope and joy.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know other reviewers have used words such as "blase" (which, to be fair, is quite 'blase' in and of itself) to describe this novel, but let's get down to the nitty gritty of it all. I know it's the "hip" thing to not like the books everybody else is reading and, honestly, before I picked up one of John Green's novels (this is my first, but NOT my last) I figured he had to be overrated.

I. Was. Wrong.

Write that in your datebooks because I don't say it often, but I was very wrong in my prejudgment of this novel.

Pros:
The characters are charming, poignant, and painfully real. In the face of tragedies too huge for most adults to experience with a smile, they manage to insert light, carefree, intellectual humor. I laughed as much as I cried in this novel, and let me tell you, that's saying something. Green does not romanticize the struggle with cancer, but rather gets deeper into the fact that no matter how old a person is, he or she has an identity. No matter what their struggle, they have a sense of humor and the ability to be a beautiful soul. The love story here is one of the truest and greatest I've ever read, perhaps because of the short time frame, perhaps because of the circumstances. I don't know. Either way, it's a book I will use in my classroom and recommend to anyone I meet.

Cons:
... I can't really think of any, unless you include massive emotional upheaval and tear-wrenching catharsis.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Where the Stars Still ShineWhere the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly, I really liked this book. I will probably read it again and I will DEFINITELY use it in my classroom. That being said, there were some weak spots.

Pros: Excellent character development and story arc within a relatively short period of time. The main character experienced major changes from the beginning to the end of the story and showed maturity and growth. Actually, all of the major characters are surprisingly well developed. The imagery Doller uses is phenomenal. She uses lovely and interesting metaphors in her descriptions. It also includes such a beautiful and realistic representation of mental illness that is severely lacking in YA literature. I also love the big crazy Greek family!

Cons: There were some instances where authenticity was an issue for me. I felt like some of Callie's reactions were unrealistic. It seemed to me like she would be the kind of person to push back more during certain instances where in the book she passively went along with it, but at the same time, I understand why she didn't.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Apologies...

Ok. So I lied. I didn't post every day this week. ...

For the Cumbercookie followers out there, here is a full fledged, highly organized, and well-thought-out apology delivered by the oh-so-lovely Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes:


I got lost in a book or two. And I think I might be getting sick and needing extra-ridiculous amounts of sleep.

Also, I got up to 2,500 words in my novel!  

YAY!

Now only about 78,000 more to go! Jeez-a-loo

Anyway, I'm sorry. Expect more and better posts this week!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Austin Teen Book Festival 2013 or #ATBF13

This weekend consisted of so many books which will be reviewed sometime in the near future. I know. I feel like I always say, "I'll get to it," but I will. Promise.

My bookish girl friends and I headed to Austin this weekend (all of us childless adults, mind you) for the Austin Teen Book Festival and it was AMAZING! We had absolutely the best time and got to see/meet some great authors who gave us advice on writing, publishing, etc.

Honestly, I'd forgotten what that looked like.

So many nerdy people in nerdy t-shirts! So much fangirling!

ALL THE BOOKS!

 I repeat,

 ALL. THE. BOOKS!

I will write a new post later this week complete with images and snippets of what happened.

Expect an update each day!