Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Top Ten Books with One-Word Titles

See you all in August!

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s (freebie) topic is the Top Ten Books with One-Word Titles.

True Story… I had a student who coincidentally kept checking out books with one-word titles (not counting a, an & the). It became a joke, though he really didn’t do intentionally. So here are my top ten books (plus some sequels) with single word titles.

Matilda by Roald Dahl
Tempest by Julie Cross
Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

So, have any one-word titles caught your eye lately?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

STUDENT REVIEW - The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

The Lions of Little Rock
By Kristin Levine
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group, 2013
320 pages (paperback)

Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear - speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family.
But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn't matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families. (from barnesandnoble.com)

I think it was a good book because it was heart-warming. It made me want to keep reading! Just a dash of romance and it would have been perfect ;-) (not really!). I would recommend this book to a middle schooler because it touches on the fact that racism happened merely 50 years ago.
--Sequoia R.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

STUDENT REVIEW - Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

Fairy Tale Detectives (Sisters Grimm Book #1)
By Michael Buckley
Published by Abrams, Harry N., Inc, 2007
312 pages (paperback)

In paperback for the first time, the Sisters Grimm take readers to a world where fairy tales are fact and not everyone is who they seem!

In book one of this bestselling series, sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. The sisters learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files. The girls are the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives, and their new hometown is filled with Everafters (as magical folks like to be called)-some good and some very, very bad. When a mysterious Everafter sets a giant loose on the town, it's up to the Sisters Grimm to save the day.
(from barnesandnoble.com)

The book never calmed down; there was always one adventure after another and always full of suspense. This book could elaborate a little more on the personalities of the characters. Yes, [middle schoolers should read this book] because the vocabulary isn’t difficult and the book is not too long and always kept you full of suspense!
--Heba S.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Top Ten Books on Tough Subjects

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books on Tough Subjects.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Tough Topics: Rape, Rumors, Abuse)
I wish every 8th grader would read this before heading off to high school.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Tough Topics: Suicide, Rape, Bullying)
This is the other book I wish all teens would read. I was speechless while reading this book… I couldn’t put it down, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read more because it was all too plausible.

Looking for Alaska by John Green (Tough Topics: Suicide, Death of Family Member)
I think this was the first book I read by John Green. He does a great job of mixing humor and despair to create a relatable and interesting novel.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Tough Topics: Cancer, Death)
Ditto what I said about Looking for Alaska.

A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive by David Pelzer (Tough Topics: Abuse, Foster Families, Poverty)
One of the most heart-wrenching books I have read. The sad thing is that it is true and this type of thing still happens all over America even now.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher (Tough Topics: Rape, Abuse, Bullying)Disturbingly sad, but it will make you think about the things people around you are going through.

Anything by Lurlene McDaniel (Tough Topics: Cancer, Death, Family Issues, etc.)
She is the queen of books on tough subjects that make you want to cry.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Tough Topics: Bullying, Suicide, Death, Underage Drinking)Such an interesting concept for a book. What might you do differently if you knew how much your actions affected others?

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Tough Topics: Abuse, Poverty, Dysfunctional Families, Rape)
I read this for a class and was appalled by how horrible the parents were and what the children had to deal with. Again, this was tough to read because it is a true story and many kids face these challenges daily.

The Lottery Rose by Irene Hunt (Tough Topics: Abuse. Foster Families, Poverty)
This is a book I read in my 7th grade ELA class. I don’t remember a lot of the books I read in class as a kid, but this one stuck with me. I was always encouraged by the perseverance the boy showed and the kindness of strangers to help him succeed.

Bonus Book! The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez (Tough Topics: Teen Pregnancy, Rumors, Prejudice)I read about this book in a magazine and immediately had to get it. Gaby created her own tough topic and made others face up to their reactions of it. She is an amazing and courageous young lady.

Monday, May 13, 2013

From the Page to the Screen... Your Favorite Books are Coming to the Theater!

Now, normally I believe that the book is better than the movie. HOWEVER, there is something exciting about a book you love being made into a movie or television show. Who will they cast for the parts? What will the sets and costumes look like? Will they stay true to what the author wrote or will it be something completely different?

The article below was first published in School Library Journal in May 2013. I think it is cool that so many popular young adult books are being used to make blockbuster movies so I wanted to share the article with all of you.

Get excited Tigers!!!

Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics

In this latest installment of our roundup of new book-based releases, you’ll find updates on already touted future movies as well as news of recent titles that have been optioned for future projects.

Coming Soon
The following adaptations, in order of release date, will be debuting in movie theaters in the coming weeks and months.
Following the success of the Academy Award-winning animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce’s picture book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs (HarperCollins, 1996), will make its way to the big screen as a longer animated film entitled Epic (PG). Directed by Chris Wedge, and featuring the voices of Josh Hutcherson (Nod), Amanda Seyfried (Mary Katherine), Colin Farrell (Ronin), Jason Sudeikis (Bomba), and Beyoncé Knowles (Queen Tara), it’s coming to theaters on May 24.
Queen of teen lit Judy Blume’s 1981 young adult classic Tiger Eyes is finally getting a  theatrical debut; the big screen and video-on-demand releases are set for June 7. Directed by Blume’s son Lawrence, the film was given the green light for a film adaptation after more than 30 years in print. It chronicles the story of Davey (played by Willa Holland) a young girl attempting to cope with the sudden death of her father. Amy Jo Johnson (Gwen Wexler) and Tatanka Means (Wolf – Martin Ortiz) also lead the cast.
mortalinstruments Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics
Based on Tim Tharp’s 2008 National Book Award YA finalist (Knopf, 2007), The Spectacular Now is making the rounds a several independent film circuits, including the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Alexandre Aja and showcasing the rising teen stars Miles Teller (Sutter) and Shailene Woodley (Amy), it will have a limited release this summer starting August 2.
Logan Lerman returns to his demigod roots on August 7 in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the sequel to Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief, both based on Rick Riordan’s bestselling series. Much of the cast has returned, including Brandon T. Jackson (Grover Underwood) and Alexandra Daddario  (Annabeth Chase). Some new characters to watch for are Douglas Smith as Tyson, Percy’s half-brother, and Leven Rambin as Clarisse La Rue, the daughter of Ares.
Forget about vampires and werewolves—on August 23, the Nephilim (or super-powered half-angels) will take over in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series (S & S). Lily Collins portrays Clary Fray, a New York City teen who is thrown in the middle of a secret world of demons when her mother (Lena Headey) is attacked by one. Then she meets Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), who is the key to understanding who (or what) she really is.
catchingfire Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics
No list would be complete without including the next chapter of the “Hunger Games” phenomenon. Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), and (Liam Hemsworth) Gale reprise their roles in the action-packed Catching Fire on November 22. Joining the love triangle is a new cast of characters and the talented actors that will portray them, including Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), and Amanda Plummer (Wiress).

In the Pipeline
Below are several book-to-movie adaptations scheduled to hit theaters next year, for which fans are already anxiously waiting.
The Maze Runner (Delacorte, 2009) by James Dashner is set for a February 14, 2014, release date; the film will be directed by Wes Bell from a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim (redrafted by Grant Myers and T.S. Nowlin), for 20th Century Fox. Leading the cast will be Dylan O’Brien; with Will Poulter (Gally) and Kaya Scodelario (Teresa) also on board to star.
Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011) by Veronica Roth will be released on March 21, 2014, directed by Neil Burger from a screenplay by Evan Daugherty. The star-studded cast began filming April 8 in Chicago, where the futuristic story is set. Getting a “Hunger Games” treatment, the up-and-coming Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior) plays the lead, and she will be surrounded by industry veterans, including Kate Winslet (Jeanine Matthews), Theo James (Four), Jai Courtney (Eric), Ashley Judd (Natalie Prior), Tony Goldwyn (Andrew Prior), Mekhi Phifer (Max), Maggie Q (Tori),  and Zoë Kravitz (Christina).

Classics, At Last
Below are a few book-to-movie adaptations that fans have been awaiting for a long, long time.
Alexander and the Terrible Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics
Disney’s live-action movie based on Judith Viorst’s 1972 well-known picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (S & S) is making tiny steps closer to the screen. Miguel Arteta is set to direct, and Lisa Cholodenko and Rob Lieber are writing the screenplay. Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner are set to take on the roles of Alexander’s parents.
Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time (Farrar, 1962) is to finally be made into a feature film with a script written by Jeff Stockwell, who penned the screen adaptation of A Bridge to Terabithia for Disney in 2007. Disney currently has the rights to the book and is working on the new version with Bedrock, which had negotiated rights to the property from the L’Engle estate.
And while Jane Austen’s first published novel has been remade again and again, a new iteration might be making it to the big screen that is quite different than its predecessors. Panorama will produce, finance, and rep foreign sales for a film adaptation of the bestselling mash-up novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk, 2009) by Seth Grahame-Smith. David O. Russell has written the screenplay but is not officially attached yet as director. Several producers and directors have been linked to the project in the past few years, with Natalie Portman reportedly cast in the lead. However, many of principals have left the project, and Lily Collins announced recently that she will be starring.

Building Buzz
fault in our stars Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics
Several more adaptations have been announced in recenty, although firm details about those projects are continuing to unfold.
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012) will be produced by Fox 2000 and directed by Josh Boone from a screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. It will star Shailene Woodley (Hazel), yet the role of Augustus “Gus” Waters has not yet been cast. Currently it’s one of the most sought after roles in Hollywood, with many young male actors vying and testing for the part. Some of those actors in the running are Brenton Thwaites, Nat Wolff, Nick Robinson, Noah Silver, and Ansel Elgort. Rumored to be in the running: Logan Lerman and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Stay tuned!
Made official only yesterday, Lionsgate has hired Jack Thorne to adapt R.J. Palacio’s bestselling and award-winning Wonder (Knopf, 2012). David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing for Mandeville Films.
Stephanie Sanditz is writing the screenplay for a film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s “The Infernal Devices” (S & S)  for Constantin Film.
Piers Ashworth is writing the screenplay based on Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (Harcourt, 2008) for Reliance Entertainment & Kintop Pictures. The film version will be produced by Deepak Nayar, Tabrez Noorani and Leigh Ann Burton.
Director Mikael Håfström has signed on to direct an adaptation of Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams’s Tunnels (Scholastic/Chicken House, 2007) for Relativity Media. The screenplay is being written by Andrew Lobel, Joel Bergvall, and Simon Sandquist.
Producer David Heyman is eyeing an adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone (Holt, 2012).
CBS Films is pursuing film versions of Marie Lu’s Legend and Prodigy (Putnam), with Jonathan Levine attached as director.
Stuart Beattie is writing a screenplay of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Little, Brown, 2011) for producers Joe Roth and Palek Patel at Universal Pictures.
Michael Scott is writing the screenplay to adapt his own book The Alchemyst (Random, 2008) for producers Mario Andreacchio, Konstantin Thoeren, Stefan Brunner, and Scott and Barry Krost at AMPCO Films. Eric Bress was previously attached as director, but has reportedly dropped out of the project.
Annie Sage’s Septimus Heap: Magyk (HarperCollins, 2004) is getting a screenplay written by Peter Craig for producers Karen Rosenfelt and Angie Sage at Warner Bros. David Frankel is set to direct.
knifeneverlettinggo Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics
Director Rob Letterman has signed on for an adaptation of R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps (Scholastic) from producer Neal H. Moritz, for Sony Pictures and Scholastic Entertainment.
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman will take on Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Candlewick, 2008) for Doug Davison at Lionsgate.
Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron (Dial, 2010) has been newly optioned by AMBER Entertainments, replacing its previous agreement with Fox that had Taylor Lautner attached to star.
Producers Tobey Maguire and Graham King are looking to bring Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave (Putnam, 2013) to the screen through GK Films.
Producers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith are bringing Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races (Scholastic, 2011) to the big screen with Warner Bros.
Director Tim Burton will be adapting Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Quirk, 2011) from a screenplay by Jane Goldman.
Warner Brothers, Heyday Films, and Benderspink will be collaborating on Dan Krokos’s The Planet Thieves (Tor, 2013). Producers Pouya Shahbazian and David Heyman are reportedly attached.

Meanwhile, on the Small Screen
Film producers aren’t the only ones mining the bookshelf for great ideas. Production is already underway for such popular series as Lauren Oliver’s Delirium (HarperCollins) and The Selection (HarperCollins, 2012) by Kiera Cass. The re-vamped pilot of Cass’s work is cross between The Bachelorette and the “Hunger Games” series; the now older cast stars Yael Grobglas (America Singer), Michael Malarkey (Prince Maxon), Celia Massingham (Celeste), and Lucien Laviscount (Aspen Leger). The CW drama is being written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, and directed by Alex Graves.
girl of the moment Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics
Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC television shows Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, is producing a version of Debra Driza’s sci-fi thriller MILA 2.0 (HarperCollins, 2013). Dave DiGilio will write the drama project, with Betsy Beers also producing.
FilmColony has acquired Lizabeth Zindel’s Girl of the Moment (Viking, 2007), hoping to adapt the YA novel as a half-hour comedy series. Development executive Melanie Donkers will produce, with Richard N. Gladstein and Zindel signed on as writers.

As-Yet Unpublished

Several film adaptations are reportedly in the works for as-yet unpublished works.
Acquired in a major literary auction, Cristin Terrill’s debut novel All Our Yesterdays, set to be published by Disney-Hyperion this September, has already been optioned by Global Produce and Gold Circle Entertainment. Brian Miller has been tapped to adapt Terrill’s novel for film. The book is “set in the near-future when a young woman must travel back in time to kill her first love before he destroys her present-day world,” according to the publisher.
Columbia Pictures has preemptively acquired the rights to Arwen Elys Dayton’s YA novel Seeker (Delacorte, 2015), with the Mark Gordon Company attached to produce the film adaptation. Producers include Hannah Minghella and Michele Wolkoff, with Rachel O’Connor and Eric Fineman. The futuristic trilogy will focus on Quin Kincaid “who has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker.’ Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new found knowledge and training to become an assassin,” according to the publisher.
Slated for publication in 2014 by Penguin, the first title in Sally Green’s new series of books will be adapted for the screen by producer Karen Rosenfelt for Fox. Half Bad launches the series about two factions of witches that are locked in an eternal battle between evil and good.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

STUDENT REVIEW- Hoot by Carl Hiassen

By Carl Hiassen
Published by Random House Children’s Books, 2005
292 pages (hardcover)

Unfortunately, Roy's first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and -- here's the odd part -- wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.
Roy has most definitely arrived in Carl Hiaasen's Florida. (from barnesandnoble.com)

[I liked this book because it] talks about environmental issues, there is lots of suspense, it is really funny, and it is a good length (not too long/not too short). [It could have been improved if] more people cared about owls in the beginning. This is a really good book.
--Ethan C.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun.

One reason I truly enjoy young adult books is that they are often light and fun and enjoyable. Even when the books veer into more serious topics, the books aren’t too depressing. Below are a few of the books that I found the most light-hearted and exactly what I needed during a rough week.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Predictable but enjoyable... the title says it all.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna & St. Clair were adorable.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryI absolutely love Anne’s innocence and imagination.
Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Although this book is intense, it takes you away to another world with otherworldly creatures.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Sarcasm is always a bonus for me. AND you can skip over the mathy parts if that hurts your brain.
Smile and Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Graphic novels are so entertaining to read and ______ goes a great job of concocting a story that is lively and characters that almost come off the page.
Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteLike Iron King, Paranormalcy has lots of fantastical creatures that seem to leap off the page and pull you into this other world.
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn ChildsI really did think this book would be dark & dreary, but it is fun & light-hearted… perfect for an enjoyable read.
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack GantosSure there is a murder mystery, nose-bleeds, and some crazy characters, but this book was wild… in a good way.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Between the drawings and the story, I definitely enjoyed this book.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

By Kristin Cashore
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013
404 pages (hardcover)

Kristin Cashore’s best-selling, award-winning fantasy Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace . . . and how to put it to good use. A thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure (and steamy romance!) that will resonate deeply with adolescents trying to find their way in the world. (from barnesandnoble.com)

Why did it take me so long to read this? I had heard it was a good book, but I should have taken those reviews more seriously and picked up the book ASAP.

Graceling is an enchanting tale of a young lady who feels out of place and suffocated by her powers (her Grace), though she does want to do good. Throughout the book the walls around her are slowly broken down as she learns more about her Grace, herself, others who are Graced, and others her Grace can help. Although Graceling has elements of many young adult and fantasy novels, Cashore brings it to life by building a beautiful world with characters we can love (and hate).

An added bonus is that there is a map in the front. I love maps! Cashore also cleverly gave some of the kingdoms names that are similar to the directions they are on the map (ie. the kingdom in the south is Sunder). Thanks for making the book and the places easier to understand!

This is a book for those who want a good young adult novel. You don’t have to be a fan of fantasy or magical powers to become entranced by Cashore’s story.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

STUDENT REVIEW- Explorer: Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
By Kazu Kibuishi
Published by Amulet Books, 2012
128 pages (paperback)

Seven clever stories answer one simple question: what’s in the box?
Funny, fantastic, spooky, and suspenseful, each of these unique and beautifully illustrated short graphic works revolves around a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels—or mayhem—inside. (from barnesandnoble.com)

I personally liked how James said “Can I go back” and the alien let him. This book is a wonderful book all around. Yes, [middle schoolers should read it] because it is a very fun book to read.
--Alejandro C.