Monday, March 24, 2008

Relocated - new URL listed below

The Reading Rocks blog has moved to a new location!   Our district is now hosting wordpress blogs for our teachers and staff. You can find us here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm

 

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4 stars

Ginny describes her seventh grade year - her first boyfriend, her best friend's betrayal, her brother's arrest, and her mom's remarriage, all through her "stuff."  What kind of stuff?  Guidance counselor reports, notes she's written, report cards, etc.  This book is a bit like reality TV.  It's almost a guilty pleasure because you feel as if you are peeking or watching a person's life unfold.  I loved this book b/c it was a quick read, kept my interest, and gave a realistic view of what it's like to be a 7th grade girl whose life is not perfect! Recommend

Oh, Rats! by Albert Marrin



The Story of rats and people

3  stars

 Oh Rats! The Story of Rats and People

I admit it.  I didn't want to read this book.  The beady red eyes...the huge furry rat on the cover...was so...ewwwwwwww..... 

Why I liked this book:

1.  Text and pictures made it very easy to read - 30 minutes.

2.  Side notes on the pages were interesting - such as "rat" dishes enjoyed in restaurants around the world.

3.  The book really exposes you to a whole other side of rats - such as how sanitary they actually are, how they have saved so many lives throughout history, their great strength and resiliency, and promising studies that indicate how valuable rats can be to our society.

 No - I will not be adopting any pet rats in the near future.  I am glad, however, that I can think of this book if I ever am surprised by an unexpected visit from one of these creatures!

 Read Oh, Rats!  You may find yourself becoming a rat fan as well.

Click the arrow below to hear live rats!

Lush by Natasha Friend



 4 stars

Sam's life is hanging by a thread. Her best friend since elementary school has turned into a typical dorky, pervy middle school moron. Although Sam has four BFFs that she spends every weekend with, they don't have a clue about her father's alcoholism. Sam's mother is always zoned out on yoga, and she never wants to hold Sam's father accountable for his drinking binges. Desperate for advice, Sam turns to an anonymous source - by leaving a letter describing her problems in a library book. Soon Sam begins corresponding back and forth with a person she's never even met. With this support things begin to get better, though. Sam finds herself the object of a hot high school guy's crush. She is suddenly Miss Popularity at her own school. Her father promises to make some changes. Yep - life is good. That is...until the violence starts.

Lush is an important book for anyone in middle school dealing with struggles and stress in his home life. The author does not paint a pretty picture or a happy ending in this novel. This does, however, offer hope to anyone dealing with alcoholism - and will offer the reader hope in the end.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Black Duck

5 stars

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Black Duck  is a book inspired by actual events in our history.  When alcohol was banned during Prohibition, a rum-running cargo called Black Duck became legendary for its seemingly heroic feats.  The crew was always managed harrowing escapes from the Coast Guard, and the boat itself seemed to vanish into thin air when being pursued.  Though the exploits of the boat and crew are interesting to read about, it's the cast of characters in the novel that will capture the reader's interest. The story begins when David Peterson locates an elderly man named Ruben Hart who is rumored to have been a crew member of the Black Duck during his younger days.  Through informal interviews, David learns the story of Ruben, Ruben's best friend Jeddy, and the tragic downfall of the Black Duck. The story will leave the reader spellbound - starting with Ruben's first recollections. Ruben asks David, "Have you ever seen a dead body?"  Then Ruben begins his story.. So Jeddy McKenzie and I came on this body... page 8 This novel hooks you from the start - all the way to the tragic, yet satisfying conclusion.

Digital Portfolio Tools for Education

As a former high school English teacher, then Library Media Specialist, and now Instructional Technology Specialist, I am always on the look...

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