Wednesday, November 30, 2011

STUDENT REVIEW - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
By Jeff Kinney
Published by Abrams, Harry N. Inc., 2011
224 pages (hardcover)

Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of.

The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays? (from

Yes, [I would recommend this book to middle schoolers] because the main character is in middle school. This book was funny. –Zaquan M.

It’s very funny and appropriate. I would definitely recommend this book to not just a middle schooler but to everyone. How funny is it? It makes you smile at some points and at others, well let’s just leave that for you to read. This book will keep you laughing and entertained for a while. I think it should be much longer. There would be more laughter and more buyers. It would be a win-win situation. –Isaiah D-B.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Books in the UMS Library!!!

Check out the new books in the UMS Library!

Most of the new books are from the UMS Student Council Scholastic Book Fair (thanks!) but a few are from other sources. If you want to have a copy of a new book or a book from a popular series, make sure you stop by the library soon! 

And remember... if the book you want isn't in, ask to be placed on the 'hold' list and you will get the book when it comes in :-)

Top Ten Tuesday: The Top Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone.

Redwall by Brian Jacques
Talking animals were cool when I was little, but I wasn’t so sure about an abbey full of talking critters. But the way Brian Jacques make each character have a personality was amazing. Thanks to my husband for getting me to read this book.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Science Fiction is not my thing. I have never watched Star Wars or Star Trek and I thought any SciFi novel would be like that (there is nothing wrong with any of that, but I am a historical fiction kind of girl) but I was wrong. Thank goodness I took the plunge and read one of the best books ever!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I was never into the Disney Princesses and faeries always seemed a bit too foo-foo for me. However, the Iron Fey series isn’t about your normal foo-foo faeries. These faeries kick some butt and are so very cute! An added bonus is a cat-like creature that has a knack of saving the day!

Animal Farm by George Orwell
A book with lots of metaphors that alludes to political stuff… yuck! Only this book actually does have an interesting story and Communism made a bit more sense after this.

Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce
I’m not a huge fan of comics/graphic novels, but this was pretty cute. It was nice to have some pictures to look at while I read.

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Again, graphic novels isn’t what I usually read and I definitely don’t read scary stories, but this was an interesting find. It still creeped me out, but I am glad I was adventurous and read it!

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
I try to avoid stories where main characters might die which is why I usually avoid stories about war. However, Walter Dean Myers is an awesome writer and this book about the fighting in Iraq was well done yet moving. It made me think about all the sides and points of view of fighting in the Middle East and while it wasn’t the happiest book I ever read, it was worthwhile and insightful.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
I LOVE P&P but zombies usually aren’t my thing. Sooooooo creepy. But this book made the P&P sisters pretty awesome. When I watched the BBC version of P&P after I read the book I actually kind of hoped zombies would jump out and Mr. Darcy & Lizzie would have to work together to save the world!

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantasy is a bit iffy for me, but I had to read some fantasy book for a class and chose the Hobbit because I knew the movie was going to be made and wanted to be prepared. Although there was no romance (or really any females at all), this was a pretty good read. And now I am ready to see Bilbo & Gandalf on the big screen.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This was another book I had to read for a graduate class. Oh my goodness! This book weirded me out and the movie was even creepier. However, the book is amazingly good. If nothing else, this book will make you appreciate your parents.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

By Laurie Halse Anderson
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2009
336 pages (paperback)

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. (from

First of all, I love Laurie Halse Anderson’s books. If you haven’t read all her books you should. She is just that awesome of a writer.

Now, onto Chains.

Wow! This book had me hooked from the start. I have read a lot of historical fiction, but Laurie Halse Anderson definitely took this book (and the Revolutionary War) in a different direction. I think the theme of Chains appeals to a lot of readers because it is about putting family first and hoping your decisions will be the best for your loved ones. Isabel makes a lot of risky, yet brave decisions that put her in the middle of the battle for New York City (literally).

An added bonus is an appendix at the back of the book with historical information. For instance, did you know that there was an assassination plot against George Washington during the Revolutionary War? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. At least not until I read Chains. But that even is a subplot in this book and there is more information about it in the appendix.

If you enjoyed Chains, check out the rest of Isabel, Curzon, & Ruth’s stories in Forge. And the final book in the series, Ashes, comes out soon! Whoo hoo!!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Top Ten Books I Had VERY Strong Emotions About

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books I Had VERY Strong Emotions About (cry, laugh, hurl across the room, etc.).

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This was an emotional rollercoaster of a book.

 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Banning/burning books makes me angry. I have only read this book twice because I get so mad about the things happening in the book. I know it isn’t real, but at times burning books and taking away our opportunity for knowledge was real. And even today there are people who want to ban books. This is a great book but I just the thought of it makes me too frustrated to read it.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Disgusting on so many levels. Never read chapter 14 before eating. Never.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
There were some hilarious parts (the pranks) and some very serious parts which is what made so interesting.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
That ending? Really?

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is why Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite. Her books are intense and really make you think as you read (but in a good way). Every Laurie Halse Anderson book I read grabs my attention at the beginning and keeps me engaged all the way through. And the best part is that she is such a diverse of a writer! She writes about hot topics among teens, historical fiction, and even some kids books.

 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
I was happy at the beginning of the book but then it just went downhill.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
So silly and fun. I kind of want to be a in a school like this, but I kind of don’t!