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.



Like to read author interviews? December 16, 2008

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I know that everyone is as busy getting ready for the holidays, but Mary Pope Osborne is doing a week of Blog Interviews. Today she was at The Reading Zone, and also has stops at Big A, The Well-Read Child, Fields of Gold, and The Page Flipper.  Since we all probably know a child or student who loves the Magic Tree House books, you should go check it out!


Tuesday and Wednesday Winter Blog Blast interviews November 18, 2008

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Ellen Dalow at Chasing Ray
Tony DiTerlizzi at Miss Erin
Melissa Walker at Hip Writer Mama
Luisa Plaja at Bildungsroman
DM Cornish at Finding Wonderland
Kathleen Duey at Bookshelves of Doom


Ellen Klages at Fuse Number 8
Emily Jenkins at Wrting and Ruminating
Ally Carter at Miss Erin
Mark Peter Hughes at Hip Writer Mama
Sarah Darer Littman at Bildungsroman
MT Anderson at Finding Wonderland
Mitali Perkins at Mother Reader


nearcircle November 12, 2008

Filed under: blogs,KidLit — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:30 pm
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The motto of nearcirlce is it’s better to blog together. I haven’t quite figured out all their features, but I did find that they have a KidLit circle, as well as many others. If you are a blogger or just like to read blogs, check the site out. 


Holy Cow-What a nice surprise! September 28, 2008

Filed under: blogs,books,kidlitosphere — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:19 pm
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Thanks Mary Lee and Franki from A Year of Reading!
I’ve been tagged from their blog after they receiving a nod from Charlotte’s Library blog.

Here are the rules for I heart your blog:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!  


Seven Other Blogs that I think have not been mentioned so far are:

Jen Robinson’s Book Page-She sends out a great free newsletter. Her reviews are very detailed and she also provides information about other “going-ons” in the  world.

Two Writing Teachers-great lessons, great photos and documents, great advice-very inspiring! While very different, I enjoy posts by both members of the team-Stacey and Ruth

The Reading Zone-I like reading what is going on in her classroom, and like that you can be passionate about literacy and science!

A Patchwork of Books-a wonderful blog-read her reviews and click on the links to purchase them through Amazon.

My Breakfast Platter-a sixth grade teacher’s perspective

A Wrung Sponge– I like her combination of poetry, haiku, and children book reviews. I think it’s a great example of how a mentor text (in this case the Haiku form) can be used to craft your language.

The Miss Rumphius Effect– literature, teaching, poetry-it’s got it all


Now this one isn’t a blog, but if you haven’t checked it out, you are missing out on some great teaching resources! Beth Newingham’s website


Central Ohio KidLit Bloggers September 27, 2008

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Click to play Cover to Cover
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Teacher Swap 2008

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 We made it before the deadline! As part of the swap, the participants were supposed to mail each other’s “swap items” by September 30th. Normally this would mean I’d be mailing it on that date a few minutes before the post office closed. But due to the generosity of some fellow bloggers and a sprinkle of good mojo/karma, I got to do my teacher swap in person.  Megan from Read, Read, Read and I were randomly assigned each other at The Teacher Swap on The Reading Zone.  Several other bloggers had decided to have a get-together for books and breakfast (since Kidlit Conference in  Portland, Oregon was just too far away) and both Megan and I were fortunate enough to be invited to join them. So Megan from Dayton and me from Licking County, met up with the group this morning. I just got home from a get-together with the Central Ohio Kidlitosphere Book Bloggers.Despite going to the wrong restaurant for the breakfast part, things were great (I didn’t know there were two Northstar Cafe on High Street.


Wow-Megan is creative and crafty! 6 items plus a homemade card and bookmark!

S-Something fun to write on during long meetings!

C-colorful tools to keep you busy…(Sharpies)

H-a Hairy Distrcation (a set of hairstyle playing cards-my favorite is the mullet!)

O-One more Professional Book-Becoming a Literacy Leader by Jennifer Allen (expect a review soon!)

O-A teacher always organizes (even her pasttimes and hobbies!)

L-Lazy Day Treats-chocolates and Hot Tamales (my favorite-I don’t know if you can tell, but the box is open since I ate a few on the way home!)


Thanks Megan, Cover to Cover, and other Ohio kidlit bloggers!


Argh! A book I actually did not like! The Life and Crime of Bernetta Wallflower- August 13, 2008

Filed under: books,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:25 pm
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I’ve never been inspired to write a review for a book on Amazon until now, but feel I must after reading The Life and Crime of Bernetta Wallflower by Lisa Graff! I read it after reading several favorable reviews as a possibility for my intermediate classroom library or read aloud. I actually feel yucky about writing something negative, but I feel I mus.

What did I take away from the book? Crime pays! Not a message that I want my students or children to have reinforced. Bernetta is the accused of running a forgery ring for school papers and expelled. She then is happy to meet a new friend at her father’s magic club, which she is present at after sneaking out of the house (another bad message). The boy follows her and sneaks into her bedroom (yet another bad message) and convinces her to meet him without her parents’ knowledge. He then proposes setting up a sting/con to earn money for the summer. For unknown reasons Bernetta agrees to go along with it and proceeds to tell one lie after another: to her sister- to enlist her help so she can have an imaginary babysitting job and her parents-she goes everyday to the “babysitting” job and even takes her younger brother along with her on some of the con jobs. After conning numerous people and businesses out of a considerable amount of money, her new “friend” helps her old best friend/enemy con her out of all of the money by accusing her of “stealing” her backpack. Spoiler alert-turns out her new “friend” is friends with her old “friend” and had run a similar con job in the past. The lying and stealing continue with the help on the new friend’s uncle who helps Bernetta and friend pull one last con on to get all the money back from the “evil” best friend. The kids end up with $10,000 and a summer full of lying and it is not until the last paragraph where Bernetta decides to own up to her family as to what she has really been up to! In my opinion, the biggest betrayal is not friend to friend, but Bernetta to her family. The reader is left with Bernetta having gotten away with crimes and lies with only the hint that she might get into any trouble for it. Not a message that I think any young reader needs to have. Don’t include this book in your classroom library!

I read this book after reading several positive reviews by others, so if you’d like a different opinion, check out:

Mother Reader’s blog

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast