Thursday, December 8, 2011

TOP TEN TUESDAY: My Top Ten Childhood Faves

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is My Top Ten Childhood Faves.
*Yes, I know today is Thursday. I have been busy, ok!?! :-)

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderWell I really loved ALL the Little House books. I read the books and watched the TV show.
The idea of running through fields of prairie grass and setting out on adventures appealed to me. And Laura was awesome.

The Babysitter’s Club series by Ann M. Martin
The first chapter book I ever read was in the Babysitter’s Little Sister series and was called Karen’s Kitty Cat Club. I was hooked. I read all my sister’s BSC books. Then I bought my own to read. Then I bought more to read. Oh, how I loved those girls.
*Side note: my niece is named after the BSC character Claudia!*

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
At first Charlotte annoyed me with her prissy-ness, but once things start going crazy on the ship, I liked how she stepped up and became a strong leader with her own opinions. She was faced with so many challenges and was able to overcome and persevere in spite of mutinies, traitors, and death.

The American Girl books (especially the ones about Kirsten)History + girls doing fun things = American Girl books. And yes, I do have 6 of the dolls because I am cool like that.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
I love historical fiction, but, unfortunately, much of it is really sad. This book gave a more positive spin to the events of World War II and the Holocaust. It was nice to read about people helping each other instead of being mean to each other.

Heidi by Johanna SpyriThe idea of living in the mountains of Switzerland sounds so blissful. It just made me feel all warm and cozy inside.
Matilda by Roald DahlI want special powers to use against mean people.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis SacharCoolest. School. EVER!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I won’t the Young Author’s contest for my school in 4th grade and received a set of all the Anne of Green Gables books. I read them and reread them. Anne’s imagination is amazing and Gilbert is so freaking cute! Ahhhhh!

The Westing Game by Ellen RaskinThis book still amazes me. I was engrossed in trying to figure out how everyone was connected and how the murderer was. The characters were developed well with bits & pieces of the mystery carefully woven in. Every time I read this book I find details I had forgotten about or missed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

STUDENT REVIEW - The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus Series #1)
By Rick Riordan
Published by Hyperion, 2010
576 pages (hardcover)

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids.” What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.

Yes, [I would recommend this book to middle schoolers]. It was such a good book. I never wanted to put it down! It was action-packed and very well written. It was a good book because it was full of action and stuff was always happening like battling a Cyclops, meeting King Midas, etc. It had lots of good details. –Jenna H.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

By Ilsa J. Bick
Published by EgmontUSA, 2011
480 pages (hardcover)

It could happen tomorrow . . .
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

I had heard a lot of good things about this book before I started reading and those people were not wrong. Ilsa J. Bick has created a terrifying present-day setting in Ashes where you don’t know what is out there and who you can trust. Like the main character Alex, I really was questioning everyone’s motives and constantly wondering how Alex will  survive the fallout from the incident and the hundreds of survivors willing to do anything to make it another day.

Warning: This book does end on a cliff-hanger and I am not sure when the sequel will be out. BUT, this is so worth the time it takes to read it and the impending wait for the sequel. The characters were so real with vivid emotions and thoughts scattering between survival, missing loved ones, and looking toward a not-so-certain future.