Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

What I’ve Been Reading (and Listening to) December 11, 2011

I’m currently reading Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler and have recently finished Bystander by James Preller.

Having spent a great deal of time in the car over the past month, I’ve just finished Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. I loved them all, for very different reasons. I’m one a YA kick right now on the heels of ALAN in November.

I do listen to audiobooks almost every time I’m in the car without someone with me. So even if it’s just a four minute drive between school buildings. I didn’t have much of Whale Talk left, so I thought I could probably finish it on the ride from the office to GIS. I didn’t anticipate that I would start bawling and be unable to go into the school for ten minutes while I pulled myself together. I LOVE Chris Crutcher and Whale Talk is amazing. I do think that any adult who likes to read, really should venture into YA or teen books. There are so many amazing titles that deal with so many different issues that if you don’t, you are really missing out. I love the main character T.J. Jones, his biker father, and the group that makes up the swim team. The issues of race, abuse, hunting, amidst the backdrop of varsity sports and athletic fervor will really make the reader think.

I don’t know how I hadn’t read any of the Larry books by Janet Tashjian. When I go to the library to get audiobooks, I just look for covers that I know have gotten a lot of blog talk over the past several years that I hadn’t gotten to when they first came out. The Gospel According to Larry is brilliant. I really enjoyed Josh’s wry tone as he tells the story of Larry/himself. Consumerism, celebrity, all great messages during the whole Occupy Wall Street Movement.

 

 

What’s Up??!?! November 12, 2011

Filed under: ALAN,books,NCTE — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:40 pm
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Where do I start?

I could start with the pile of books that I bought last week at the middle school…

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (book commercial)

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

 

Or how about a blog that is new to me that I am enjoying?

The Thinking Stick

 

Or how about the countless hours I’ve been spending finishing up elementary principal certification, due at the end of the month?

 

Or about all the rest of the hours I am putting in on tweaking my cover letter and resume as I apply to international schools around the world in my quest for a principal position?

Or the search for the bottom of the dirty laundry pile so I can pack for NCTE/ALAN-leaving Thursday

That’s mainly what’s up….

 

Quick jottings of ALAN 2009 November 25, 2009

Filed under: ALAN,NCTE — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:35 am
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Amazing Authors I Couldn’t Believe I Got to Hear:

Gregory Maguire

Jeanette Walls

Authors I already loved:

Maggie Stiefvater

Laurence Yep

Mary Pearson

Rebecca Stead

Jacqueline Woodson

Todd Strasser

Authors whose books I had heard great things about,

but hadn’t had a chance to read:

Chris Crutcher

Patricia McCormck

Stephen Chbosky

Lauren Myracle

Adrian Fogelin

Sarah Dessen

Sara Zarr

Authors I just learned about and can hardly wait to read:

Matt de la Peña

 

Amelia Earhart Walden 2009 award finalisrs November 23, 2009

Filed under: ALAN,NCTE,Newbery — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:04 pm
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After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Me, The Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine, My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love , Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steve Klugler are the finalists of this new $5000 award for the best novel that possesses a positive approach to life, appeals to a wide and appreciative teen audience, and demonstrates literary merit. The winner is ….
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steve Kugler.

 

NCTE 2009: What I’m looking forward to attending November 16, 2009

Filed under: authors,NCTE,professional development — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:16 pm
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Decisions, Decisons! What a happy dilemma!
Franki over at A Year of Reading had a great suggestion of sharing what you are looking forward to attending at the upcoming NCTE. I do pay the extra $20 to get my program book ahead of time (and I do mean book! It’s over 380 pages) to pour over. It is really hard to decide as there are an average of 50+ sessions to pick from fourteen different times over 3 days!

The first thing I do in the program is find the Conference Planner (page 35-36) and mark off the block of time for the Books for Children Luncheon (Love It!) . I’m also planning on attending the Middle Level Mosaic Workshop, which is a double-block. Then I start by looking through the index for authors and my favorite professional authors who are attending and then look up their sessions.  I move on to friends from near and far who are presenting to see if their session will fit in the blocks I have left, and so on.

Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to. I do realize this isn’t a very narrow list:

NCTE Author Strand-Adolescent Literacy: Moving from Principles to Practice

Going Public: How Sharing Your Teaching Beyond the Classroom Can Make You a Better Teacher (Literate Lives, Creative Literacy, A Year of Reading)

Poetry Party! Celebrate NCTE Poetry Award Recipient Lee Bennett Hopkins

Babymouse and Lunch Lady: Creating Graphic Novels for the Younger Set

Enlarge the Reading Circle-How to dramatically increase reading comprehension and engage reluctant readers

Reading Between the Lines of Nonfiction: Going Deeper into Informational Text Through Student Driven Discussions

Finding Your Voices Through Poetry: Young Children as Listeners, Readers, and Writers

Book Choice Matters: Teaching Young Learners How to Make Wise Independent Choices (Franki, Debbie Miller, Ann Marie Corgill, and Karen Szymusiak)

Laurie Halse Anderson at the ALAN breakfast

The Reading Zone’s presentation on Engaging Middle School Students Through Read Alouds

Virtual Book Studies

Literate Lives of Children: Topics and Trends in Elementary Education

Cafe in the Classroom: Helping Students Visualize Literacy Goals and Teachers Maximize Assessments to Guide Instruction

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Phenomenon: Jeff Kinney Talks about Drawing in Reluctant Readers

Twenty-Five Years of Literature Circles: From Book Clubs to Inquiry Circles

Reading Like Writers, Writing Like Readers: Teaching Students to Study the Craft of Writing (Carl Anderson!)

Katie Wood Ray: The Joys and CHallenges of Teaching the Youngest Writers

Effective Adolescent Literacy Instruction (Jim Burke, Alan Sitomer, Jeff Wilhelm)

Workshop:
Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century: NCTE-ALAN Two Day-Workshop