Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019-2020 Golden Sower List

Every year I write out a list of all the Golden Sower chapter book and novel nominees in my composition notebook. This year, I decided to make a pretty graphic representation instead! I'm sharing it for those who also read the Golden Sower books each year - it's a fun way to keep track!

Font: AG Teacher Tired
Photos: all saved from Google Images

Download your PDF here in my TpT store!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Teen Titans: Raven

Starting over isn't easy. Raven remembers how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can't remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. When strange things start happening--impossible things--Raven starts to think it might be better not to know who she was in her previous life.

But as she grows closer to her foster sister, Max, her new friends, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she's ready to face what's buried in the past...and the darkness building inside her.

I absolutely loved this origin story! Graphic novels are such a perfect way to hook reluctant readers in the classroom, and anything to do with superheroes flies off my shelves. This origin story of Raven is perfect to get into the hands of readers who love the hero's journey, anything to do with superheroes, girls who think graphic novels aren't for them, and so many more!

I'm actually pretty bummed that we no longer teach mythology in my grade level in my district - this would have been the PERFECT companion book to our discussions of the hero's journey. I'm getting a few copies for my classroom library for sure - this is one that will always be checked out!

For My Middle Schoolers:
Don't even worry about it - I will have several copies ready for you to check out when we get back to school!

For My High Schoolers:
This is the perfect book to tote around to all those family gatherings you don't want to attend this summer!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart


Imogen lives at the Playa Grande Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She spends her days working out in the hotel gym and telling other guests how she was forced out of Stanford.

But Imogen isn't really Imogen. She's Jule. And she's on the run from something. Or someone. Which means . . . where is the real Imogen?

Rewind: Jule and Imogen are the closest of friends. Obsessed with each other, even. Imogen is an orphan, an heiress; she and Jule spend a summer together in a house on Martha's Vineyard, sharing secrets they'd never reveal to another soul.

But that was months ago. Where is Immie now? And why is Jule using her name?

I love me some E. Lockhart!! I devoured her previous book We Were Liars, and picked this book up without even reading the description. That's how sure I was I would love it. And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint!

Mistaken identity? Or something more nefarious. At one point you think there's a murder, then maybe up to four? And then no murders at all? This book kept me guessing until the very end.

Thanks to the clever backwards storytelling, you meet Imogen at the Playa Grande Resort, and work your way backwards through almost a year in her life, ending where the story begins. With each step backwards, as much as a few weeks, and as little as a few hours, you are able to unweave bits of the dark and twisted plot, until you are left shaking at the end with fury and excitement!

For My Middle Schoolers:
You may find the backwards storytelling a bit daunting, but hang with it. It starts to make sense, and you will LOVE the way the story ends!

For My High Schoolers:
OH MY GOSH GET THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. You know who you are - you stole all of my books even remotely like this when you were in my classroom. You will obsess over this book, trust me!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Review: In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody

Genre: young adult fiction

Blurb: A fresh and funny novel about how one different choice could change everything.

Three years ago, Kennedy Rhodes secretly made the most important decision of her life. She declined her acceptance to the prestigious Windsor Academy to attend the local public school with her longtime crush, who had finally asked her out. It seems it was the right choice―she and Austin are still together, and Kennedy is now the editor in chief of the school's award-winning newspaper. But then Kennedy's world is shattered one evening when she walks in on Austin kissing her best friend, and she wonders if maybe her life would have been better if she'd made the other choice. As fate would have it, she's about to find out . . .

The very next day, Kennedy falls and hits her head and mysteriously awakes as a student at the Windsor Academy. And not just any student: Kennedy is at the top of her class, she's popular, she has the coolest best friend around, and she's practically a shoo-in for Columbia University. But as she navigates her new world, she starts to wonder whether this alternate version of herself really is as happy as everyone seems to believe. Is it possible this Kennedy is harboring secrets and regrets of her own? A fresh and funny story about how one different choice could change everything, Jessica Brody's In Some Other Life will keep readers guessing, and find them cheering for Kennedy until the final page.

My Thoughts:

Do you remember the movie "Sliding Doors"? Of course you don't, you're too young for that! Back when Gwenyth Paltrow cut her hair off, she made a movie with a similar premise. How one decision or action can change EVERYTHING in your life.

I watched that movie like 700 times. On VHS. Because I'm that old.

I love the idea of "what if" ... what if Kennedy had chosen differently three years ago? How would her life be different? And I especially love that you see not just how Kennedy is different, but how the others around her are different as well. Her choice affected not just her life, but many others.

The parts of this novel that were predictable, I wanted to be predictable. Kennedy begins to see the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the gated fence. Kennedy finds love can be difficult no matter what uniform you are wearing. And most importantly, Kennedy realizes she has more control over her life than she thought.

For My Middle Schoolers:
This is definitely a book you should pick up if you love realistic fiction, romance, or "sudden switch-up" type stories!

For My High Schoolers:
You will think this book is too young for you because I'm recommending it to my middle schoolers, but it is NOT. Kennedy is in her last year of high school, and you will definitely relate to the high school pressures she faces!

Rating: 5 stars!!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Read With Devine: Spring 2019 Edition

As per usual, I've been devouring books this spring! I have found myself on a bit of a mystery kick, and my students have definitely noticed! The other day three different students asked why I only read books where someone is murdered!

In honor of reading outside again, thanks to FINALLY saying goodbye to snowy days here in Omaha, I wanted to share my most recent Goodreads additions. Book descriptions are from Amazon, because I'm TERRIBLE about accidental-spoilers!

Note: Links to books are affiliate links through Amazon. I may earn a small amount from any purchase you make once you click the link. That money helps me get more books into my classroom library, so it feels like a win-win!