Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
By Brian Selznick
Published by Scholastic, 2008
533 pages (hardcover)

ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. (from barnesandnoble.com)

This was such an interesting book! I was a little intimidated by its 500+ pages, but at least 1/3 of them were pictures which helped tell the story and draw readers in to Hugo’s life.

Stories with orphans and magic (ie. Harry Potter) are almost always interesting and Hugo was no different. All the characters came to life with such distinct personalities that even the cranky toy shop owner was endearing.

This story also chronicles the history of early film with enthusiasm and vivid descriptions/pictures. Film, and the magic that is brought to us with film, is on display in this book. Besides being beautifully written, the story is inspiring and gives hope that even in the most frustrating situations, we can succeed.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Grab If I Were Being Taken By Aliens!

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Grab If I Were Being Taken By Aliens!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne is such a fun character and Gilbert Blythe is cute. I got the whole series when I was in 4th grade and won my school’s Young Authors contest so they are pretty sentimental to me.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThis is a book I could over and over again.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
I bought a signed copy. I love that signed copy.

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy KunhardtPat the Bunny was my first book ever and I still have that copy.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I love this book. I would also save my companion DVD of the BBC version because Colin Firth is a great Mr. Darcy.

The Giver by Lois LowrySuch an amazing book. This is another book I could read over and over again.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund MorrisThis book made me fall in love with Teddy Roosevelt. Honestly, he was the coolest president ever.

I Love My Mommy by Giles AndreaeYes, this is a kids book, but I read it with my son all the time. We love it.

Little Women by Louisa May AlcottThe copy I have is absolutely wonderful with awesome pictures. Besides, I just love those March sisters.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by AviI read this book so many times growing up. I just love the story of a young girl taking on corrupt sailors.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  Ugh! Estella is so mean. It breaks my heart that she breaks Pip’s heart.

Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Ginny had to go back to America without the cute boy or the last bit of information. Thank goodness Maureen Johnson wrote The Last Little Blue Envelope.

The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Oh, Timothy, you were an awesome friend and mentor.

Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck
The last scene? Yeah. Shocking and sad.

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
It wasn’t the love story stuff… it was two deaths in particular (one in The Hunger Games and one at the end of Mockingjay) that made me so sad.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
Such an amazing spirit lost to evil.

Revolution by Jennifer DonnellyI wanted real history to be different so the book would have a happier ending.

The Iron Fey books by Julie Kagawa
Puck & Ash’s friendship tested over a girl. Twice.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBurning books and the way the society treated those who loved to read & talk broke my heart.

Before I Fall by Lauren OliverLife lessons and the meaning of sacrifice becomes more and more heartbreaking each time the day happens.

**BONUS: Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
Whose heart doesn’t break for these star-crossed lovers?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Fair Thursday & Friday!

Don't forget about the Scholastic Book Fair in the Main Foyer Thursday evening and Friday morning!

Also, money from the book fair goes to our very own UMS library.  Students & Staff can also vote for the books that the library chooses from the book fair.  Just place your vote in the book box.  The box will be in the library before the fair and at the fair on Thursday and Friday. 

STUDENT REVIEW - Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle

Luv Ya Bunches
By Lauren Myracle
Published by Abrams, Harry N., Inc., 2010
352 pages (paperback)

What do Katie-Rose, Yasaman, Milla, and Violet all have in common? Other than being named after flowers, practically nothing. Katie-Rose is a film director in training. Yasaman is a computer whiz. Milla is third in command of the A list. And Violet is the new girl in school. They’re fab girls, all of them, but they sure aren’t friends. And if evil queen bee Medusa— ’scuse me, Modessa—has her way, they never will be. But this is the beginning of a new school year, when anything can happen and social worlds can collide . . . (from barnesandnoble.com)

I would very much recommend it because you can really relate to the book no matter what age. The thing I liked about the book was that it was very realistic. Things didn’t ALWAYS end up as good as some fantasies do. The problems they faced are everyday problems children face. I think the book is perfectly find and I wouldn’t change anything. --Lauren M.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Top Ten Books I'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books I'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read.
I hear it all the time… “I don’t know what to read.” “I don’t like to read.” “I want the shortest book possible to get through this assignment.” Well, first of all, there are lots of great books out there on all sorts of topics and as long as you have a pulse, there is something out there for you. Really.
Below are some of the books I often recommend to students (and staff!):

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
This is a well-written, light-hearted book that is very interesting. Definitely one of the better books I have read.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
There have been a lot of dystopian society books written in the past couple of years but Divergent is one of the few that created a solid setting with interesting characters that one can feel emotions (love, hate, fear, etc) toward.


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
So many people with different interests love this book and this series. It is great for people interested in mythology. It is great for those interested in fantasy. It is great for those who like stories of friendship, action, and adventure.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
There is love, sarcasm, travel, friendship & a little bit of random history. This is just a fun book to read.
Any Books by James Patterson
I have a lot of respect for James Patterson. He is a diverse writer who really just wants people to read. The great thing about his books is that he has a lot of chapter books, but he also has a lot of comic books/graphic novels. His Maximum Ride series is the most popular, but most of the library’s James Patterson books are quickly checked out because he is just that awesome.

Vladimir Tod books by Heather Brewer
Basically, it is drama & vampires that both guys and girls can enjoy.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers
This is realistic urban lit, but told in the form of a script (with a little bit of narrative) which makes the book different and more interesting than others.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is an expert in creating creepy and engaging books. Most people know that I HATE scary books/movies, but even though The Graveyard Book was definitely creepy, it was also a really awesome book with interesting characters. In fact, I never realized that dead people could be so awesome.

Speak or Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson’s books definitely capture  readers’ attention. Even people who aren’t too interested in reading are usually wanting to know what happens next in her books. (And, no, I am not sure when the final book in the Seeds of America series will come out. It should be next school year.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

STUDENT REVIEW - Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

Chasing Vermeer
By Blue Balliett
Published by Scholastic, 2004
272 pages (paperback)

When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI?  (from barnesandnoble.com)

Yes, [I would recommend it to a middle schooler] because it is a pretty long book, a mystery and just awesome. The mystery and suspense in this book was good because it was very exciting and suspenseful. [I would change] nothing because it is very great! –Colin T.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Get Good Books @ The Scholastic Book Fair!

It's Book Fair Time Again!!!

The UMS Student Council will be holding their Scholastic Book fair during Parent/Teacher Conferences on Thursday, February 9th from 4-8pm and Friday, February 10th from 8-11am outside the cafetorium.

Stop by for some popular new books, old favorites, and other fun things to read. The prices on these books are often lower then the prices at bookstores and there are lots of popular paperbacks so now is the time to get some good things to read.

The Scholastic Book Fair benefits the UMS Library which means that depending on how much is purchased, the Library gets a certain amount in free books. This fall I was able to get a lot of popular books to add to the Library's collection thanks to the book fair :-)

Also, a special thanks to all the student council members who work the book fair. You are amazing and I appreciate everything you do!!!