Sunday, March 13, 2011

Reading update...

**Updated - if you like the reviews I posted on this blog almost 10 years ago, please go to my NEW BLOG (which is really not so new) at***

I know I said in an earlier post I was going to be diligent about writing posts, well I guess I lied.

I have actually been more diligent about reading than anything else. Since the beginningod the yea, I have read a total of nine books. I know to some that is not too great, but for me that is an accomplishment since I tend to be a slow reader. I actually read every single printed word on the page. I don't skim the paragraphs in order to get the main idea. I want to absorb the author's intent.

Since last I wrote, I have read the following great books:
*The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
*Tick Tock by James Patterson
*Nostradamus Prophecies by Mario Reading
*The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett
*Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
*Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs by Dave Barry
*The Funny Thing Is... By Ellen Degeneres

I am currently reading Sing You Home by Jodi Piccoult. I simply love her books and her writing style, but I can't read her books too close together. They are great, don't get me wrong, they just make you think and question your life, your feelings, and your beliefs so much that my brain can only take so much.

I know I may and crazy, but I am so excited about this spring break because I am going to spend the days in the TCU Library. I am hoping to finish evenmkore books this week and then come back and write about them. Don't hold your breath though, I might get so involved I read nine more books before I come back to post.

Happy reading!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I am so very excited! I was able to announce the 2011 Texas 2x2 Reading List today. My committee and I selected the list last week during two days of discussions and debate. It took this entire week to hear back from all of the publishers guaranteeing availability of the titles.

I have been an advocate of the Texas 2x2 Reading List since the very beginning in 2000. I have been on the committee for selecting the list since 2008. I hope you enjoy the books on the list and share them with children from age 2 to 2nd grade (you can also share them with newborns, moms that are pregnant - it's never too early to start reading to a baby, and anyone else you want).

2011 Texas 2 x 2 Reading List

Alter, Anna. Disappearing Desmond. Knopf Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-37-586684-5. $17.99. Ages 4-8. Desmond is so skilled at disappearing that sometimes even his teacher cannot find him, but when he meets Gloria, a new student at school, his attitude slowly changes.

Baker, Keith. LMNO Peas. Beach Lane Books. ISBN-13: 978-1-41-699141-0. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Busy little peas introduce their favorite occupations, from astronaut to zoologist.

Barry, Frances. Let’s Save the Animals: A Flip-the-Flap Book. Candlewick. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-364501-4. $12.99. Ages 4-8. Through large, colorful illustrations and flip-the-flap pages readers are introduced to ten endangered animals and how they can help protect and save them.

Barton, Chris. Shark vs. Train. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-31-600762-7. $16.99. Ages 4-8. A shark and a train compete in a series of contests on a seesaw, in hot air balloons, bowling, shooting baskets, playing hide-and-seek, and more

Chall, Marsha Wilson. One Pup’s Up. Illustrated by Henry Cole. Margaret K. McElderry. ISBN-13: 978-1-41-697960-9. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Rhyming text counts off ten puppies as they awaken one by one, case and bounce around the house, eat kibble and get washed, then fall back to sleep.

Craig, Lindsey. Dancing Feet. Illustrated by Marc Brown. Knopf Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-37-586181-9. $16.99. Ages 2-5. Easy-to-read, rhyming text depicts different animals dancing.

Elliott, David. In the Wild. Illustrated by Holly Meade. Candlewick. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-364497-0. $16.99. Ages 4-8. In beautiful woodcut and watercolor illustrations poems of animals in the wild are brought to life.

Elya, Susan Middleton. Rubia and the Three Osos. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Hyperion Books. ISBN-13: 978-1-42-311252-5. $15.99. Ages 4-8. A new twist on a classic tale mixing English and Spanish along with a surprise ending.

Graves, Keith. Chicken Big. Chronicle Books. ISBN-13: 978-0-81-187237-9. $16.99. Ages 4-8. This unique twist on the classic Chicken Little, will have you laughing out loud and cheering for the unlikely hero.

Hacohen, Dean. Tuck Me In! Illustrated by Sherry Scharschmidt. Candlewick. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-364728-5. $9.99. Ages 2-5. The reader helps tuck in baby animals at bedtime using pages with flaps to serve as blankets.

Isadora, Rachel. Say Hello. Putnam Juvenile. ISBN-13: 978-0-39-625230-3. $16.99. Ages 4-8. A little girl greets people in her neighborhood in many different languages.

LaRochelle, David. 1+1=5: and Other Unlikely Additions. Illustrated by Brenda Sexton. Sterling. ISBN-13: 978-1-40-275995-6. $14.95. Ages 4-8. 1+1 does not always equal 2 in this playful approach to addition requiring readers to think outside the box.

Lerch. Swim! Swim! Scholastic Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-54-509419-1. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Lerch the fish is lonely, and after trying to befriend some unreceptive - and inanimate – objects, he finally succeeds in finding a friend.

Lin, Grace. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-0-31-602452-5. $14.99. Ages 4-8. Ling and Ting are identical twins that people think are exactly the same, but time and again they prove to be different.

Mayor, Salley. Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN-13: 978-0-61-873740-6. $21.99. Ages 4-8. An illustrated collection of sixty-four traditional nursery rhymes.

Ruddell, Deborah. Who Said Coo? Illustrated by Robin Luebs. Beach Lane Books. ISBN-13: 978-1-416-98510-5. $16.99. Ages 4-8. Lulu is a sleepy pig whose friends try to keep her from sleeping.

Thomson, Bill. Chalk. Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books. ISBN-13: 978-0-76-145526-4. $15.99. Ages 4-8. A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.

Underwood, Deborah. A Balloon for Isabel. Illustrated by Laura Rankin. Greenwillow Books. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-177987-9. $16.99. Ages 4-8. As graduation approaches, Isabel tries to convince her teacher that she and Walter, both porcupines, should receive balloons on the big day just like the other children.

Williams, Karen Lynn. A Beach Tail. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Boyds Mills Press. ISBN-13: 978-1-59-078712-0. $17.95. Ages 4-8. When his father tells him not to leave the lion he is drawing on the beach, a little boy starts making a very, very long tail – and a trail to follow back.

Willems, Mo. Cat the Cat Who is That? Balzer+Bray. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-172840-2. $10.99. Ages 4-8. An exuberant cat introduces readers to her friends.

I am currently reading All Clear by Connie Willis. It is the conclusion to the time travel novel Blackout which begins in 2060. Historians allowed to go back in time to research various events from the past. In Blackout a group of historians travel back to different events during World War II in London and the surrounding areas. The historians are not always together and the chapters jump from character to character and year to year. At times it can be a little frustrating to follow, but if you keep trudging through the storyline makes sense and is completely engrossing. I did not know a great deal about World War II (especially in London) but find myself constantly thinking about the well developed characters and storyline.
I have completed my first book of 2011...reading it that is, not writing it.

Granted it was a YA (young adult) book, but it was, like the author says, "Awesome". I was totally engrossed in the story from the first page. This is a wonderful debut novel by Adam Gidwitz. In nine chapters he tells of Hansel and Gretel in a way I have never before seen or heard. This is not your typical Disney-fied version of a fairy tale. In fact it is far from it! This story is grim, bloody, dark, and AWESOME! The reviews suggest this book for grades 3 and up. I have asked three of my young reader friends to read the book (if they were interested) and let me know what they think of it. One of them, D.D., read the blurb and the first chapter and was so taken by the story she took my copy away from me. Another of my friends, D. R., went to get her library card from her mother so I could put the book on hold for her at the nearby branch of the public library. They both seemed very excited, which thrilled me beyond belief. I LOVE connecting readers and books!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Here I Come Again

Okay, second day in a row...I'm baaaaack!

Well, let's see what should I write about today? I'm reading the latest John Grisham novel, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. It reads like most of his other courtroom dramas, but this one is written for young adults, in particular grades 5-8. I am really enjoying the storyline. Maybe because I have a son I can place into the role of the main character, Theodore. He is a thirteen year old eighth grader that is much more interested in the law than in middle school. So after making the above statement, I'm not really sure why this character reminds me of my son...who is NOT 13, in middle school, OR interested in the law! Hmmmmm. Well, anyway, he still reminds me of my son. Isn't that weird how someone can remind you of someone else and there is no reason AT ALL as to how they could be connected. I guess I need to finish the book and I will ponder this topic. Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Decade...New Leaf, hopefully!

I know it has been almost two years since I have written anything on this bad! However I would like to change something in my life and I think maybe I should write more. I love to read, so I should love to write, right? No, not me. I really have never enjoyed writing, but now that I am 40 (wow, that didn't hurt so bad) I should change my ways. Since I love to read, I thought why not write about reading....books I want to read, books I'm reading, books I can't find, etc. Who cares if no one is reading this...come on, it's really not for anyone but me and my need to make a change. So I've now officially rolled into a new decade and I'm turning over a new leaf...let's see how long I can keep this up!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Moment in History

Our President-elect...Barack Obama!

What a glorious moment in history. One I will remember for the rest of my life.

CB ran through the street carrying his Obama '08 sign and has been jumping up and down in the living room. My little democrat is very excited...and so am I.

I am now waiting for our President-elect to walk onto the stage in Chicago to speak to the country.

Now, we must pray for him, his family, and our country.