Monday, February 22, 2016

North Texas Teen Book Festival

Anybody remember going to the Teen Book Festival last year with Hillwood?  We took two buses to Irving that Saturday and had a blast meeting new authors!  Well, it's time to start thinking about that again.  

This year, the event takes place on April 23, 2016.  Mrs. Eckert has already said she would pay for a bus to take us if I get enough interested kids.  I will be sending out permission slips right after Spring Break.  So, take a look at some of these authors and let me know if you think you might like to come with us.  There are some pretty big names here - James Dashner, Victoria Aveyard, Ally Condie, Gayle Forman, Gordon Korman, Marie Lu, and more!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

YAK Fest 2016

If you weren't able to make it to YAK 16, then you missed an incredible day of author stalking, book talking, selfie taking, and session laughing!  I have used Storify to bring in all the #yak16 Twitter posts.  Enjoy looking through the fun.  And, seriously!  Make plans to attend next year.  One of my favorite quotes from a student on Monday after YAK was, "I only went because I wanted the extra credit, but I had so much fun!  I met *enter a fabulous author here* and now I want to read her books!"  Don't miss out next year!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

House Arrest by K. A. Holt

Reaslistic Fiction

Absolutely loved this beautiful little book. Very quick read about brotherly love, regret, survival, and redemption. Although I wanted a different ending, I can see why the author chose what she did at the end. Sometimes endings have to be real and not just realistic. 

Who might like this?  Well, it has a boy as a main character and it is a novel done in verse.  You don't have to be a poetry person to get into this kind of book, people!  Come see me if you want to know more about these kinds of books.  They read like a regular book, but with fewer words on the page it means there is a bigger punch when the chapter is over.  It's a quick read, and it is very well done.  Guys AND girls would like it.  You just have to be ready for a nice family story about a family like no other.

Don't forget to read the Acknowledgments at the end of the book!  You find out that the author actually has a son who suffers from the same disease as the little brother, Levi.  After I found that out, it just made the whole book mean something a little different.  When you know an author is writing from a heart that knows the pain and struggle of the main character because it is a part of his/her everyday life, it just makes the writing seem that much more . . .

Here is a snippet of one of the poems from the beginning of the book.  It gives you an idea of the writing style and the plot.  Give it a try!

"Stealing is bad.
I know.
But my brother Levi is always so sick, and his medicine is always so expensive.

I didn’t think anyone would notice,
if I took that credit card,
if, in one stolen second,
I bought Levi’s medicine.

But someone did notice.
Now I have to prove I’m not a delinquent, I’m not a total bonehead.

That one quick second turned into
a judge
a year of house arrest,
a year of this court-ordered journal,
a year to avoid messing up
and being sent back to juvie
so fast my head will spin.

It’s only 1 year.
Only 52 weeks.
Only 365 days.
Only 8,760 hours.
Only 525,600 minutes.

What could go wrong?"