Thursday, October 14, 2010

Teen Read Week: Books with Beat

 

Celebrating Books with Beat~! 

  Congratulations to the following students who submitted winning book Trailers during Teen Read Week's   Books with Beat:

 

 

 

 1st Place - The Boy Who Dared, Project by McKenzie Everham

 

 

2nd Place:  Compound, Project by Noah Rousseau

 

 

3rd Place, Comet's Curse, Project by Cassie Kondzich

 

 

Honorable Mentions:  Isaac Newton, The Lightning Thief

 

 

Colt Jarbo, The Outsiders

 

Book Trailers can be viewed at the following link:

 http://teachers.spart5.k12.sc.us/symborse/PhotostoryFinalists.htm

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

from:

Library Media Connection

 


     Jenna Fox wakes up from a coma and finds she has lost a year of her life. Her memories of her life before the accident are barely a whisper and she has to learn how to be Jenna Fox all over again. Her mother gives her video recordings to watch, one for each year of her life, and it is clear that Jenna has been her parents? whole world. As she gets stronger, she senses that something is very wrong...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor



from School Library Journal


Fourteen-year-old Toby Magill, a closeted Food Network junkie, gets a summer job flipping dough at Killer Pizza. Hoping to learn some cooking skills, Toby is optimistic about his new position, and he instantly bonds with his two coworkers. However, the teens soon discover that the establishment is actually a front for a secret monster-hunting organization, and they are the newest recruits. Their focus shifts from making pizza to weapons training and stakeouts as they try to uncover the leader of a pack of grotesque monsters that can transform into human shape and are preying on innocent people. Clearly, this is not the job for which Toby applied.


Killer Pizza  - Movie Trailer @ Barnes and Noble

Taken by Norah McClintok


 Stephanie does not get along with her mother's new boyfriend Gregg, who is very different from her late father. Gregg is always going out of his way to get on her nerves. Though he was annoying, Stephanie  never thought of Gregg as a threat – until he begins mentioning her resemblance to the girls who have recently gone missing from their homes….

Adam Canfield: Watch Your Back! by Michael Winerip


 From School Library Journal


The Slash, the newspaper of Harris Elementary/Middle School, and its co-editors, Adam and Jennifer, are back for more intrigue and mystery in this second novel by Michael Winerip. After being mugged for his snow-shoveling money, Adam becomes the inspiration for an article focusing on bullying. Adam tries to redirect his investigative skills to other issues facing not just their school, but also their town. With stories about a 300-year-old climbing tree in jeopardy of being cut down, the "un-fair" Science Fair, and a mysterious plot to flatten a poorer, African-American part of the town to make way for mini-mansions, Adam and the staff of the newspaper take on some very powerful adults to uncover deeply hidden truths.

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Haddix


Cecilia knows that she is not just another peasant girl; she is actually the true princess, in hidinguntil the evil forces that killed her parents are vanquished.  A commoner named Desmia is on the throne as a decoy. As she gets older, Cecilia finds it harder to study statesmanship and palace protocol secretly at night and then pretend that she has nothing on her mind other than scrubbing the gruel stains out of her best apron by day. Cecilia knows that it is time to take charge. Along with her best friend, Harper, she flees to the capital city, determined to reclaim her throne and face the danger head on.   When Harper and Cecilia reach the famed Palace of Mirrors, they discover complications with getting Desmia off the throne. Desmia believes a completely different story about her being a princess...

Summary by Linda Estridge from SCASL.net


Scat by Carl Hiaasen


 Mrs. Starch, the mean and strict biology teacher. But  when a fire breaks out on a school outing to Black Vine Swamp and she disappears, Nick Waters and his friend Marta think maybe a troubled kid Duane Scrod is to blame. Duane’s nickname  “Smoke” came from his reputation for setting fires on public property, and he and Mrs. Starch  have already had a run-in. Nick and Marta are even more concerned when a few days later they  see Duane with a mysterious man driving Mrs. Starch’s car. Is Duane responsible for Mrs.  Starch’s disappearance?  Did he set the fire? There is a lot more to Duane, the fire and Mrs.  Starch than anyone realizes.

Prepared by:  Jean Strickland, SCASL.net

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays


from goodreads.com


Ninth Grade Slays is the second book in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series. Vlad Tod is just your average half-vampire, half-human teenager. He recently found out he has an awesome vampire uncle, who is trying to protect Vlad as much as possible. He also recently discovered that there is a magical world of vampires called Elysia, that is basically everywhere he goes. The nearby vampire Council's president and Vlad had a show-down at the end of the eighth grade and Vlad killed him. Or did he?

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Peeled by Joan Bauer


How can a group of students stop the tide of fear caused by reports of ghosts and murder in the  abandoned Ludlow House in the small town of Banesville? Hildy and Zach use the school  newspaper to challenge the local newspaper’s coverage of events.


When the city’s newspaper  editor pressures the school to stifle the school paper, Hildy and Zach go “underground” with the  help of a restaurant owner and a former newsman. Will they be able to stop developers from  tearing down the orchards for a theme park, to determine who or what murdered the stranger on  the old Ludlow place, and to unmask the ghost?Prepared by: Linda Rosenlieb

lrosenlieb@edgefield.k12.sc.us

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Dog Days by Jeff Kinney


from Booklist:


Early in this hilarious what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation account, Greg Heffley cynically records his clueless mother’s promise that despite tight budgets, it would still be “the best summer ever.” Boy, was she wrong! Instead, the summer brings a long list of miseries: the anxiety-provoking shower at the public pool, a falling-out between Greg and his best friend, and, worst of all, “family togetherness.”

Heist Society by Ally Carter


 Since she can remember, Katarina's relatives have been grooming her for the family business--thieving. But when Kat tries to go straight and leave the Life for a normal life, she's promptly kicked out of her new school for stealing the headmaster's car and mounting it on the school fountain. Although she could have done it without breaking a sweat, ironically, this time, she's innocent.


In fact she was framed--by another highly-skilled thief. Her friend and brother-in-trade Hale, with his mischievous smile and limitless bank account, has appeared out of nowhere to bring her back to the Life, back to the family Kat tried so hard to escape. Hale has a good reason: A powerful mobster has just been robbed of his priceless art collection and he wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have cracked this vault, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he IS the list. Now, caught between Interpol and a far more deadly predator, Kat's dad needs her help.

summary from http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk


 

Comet’s Curse


from School Library Journal



Up-More than 200 years in the future, Comet Bhaktul hurtles past Earth, leaving a deadly contagion in its wake. Bhaktul's disease threatens to annihilate the human race within a decade, but the mysterious illness only affects adults. Scientists worldwide scramble to find a cure, while one scientist proposes a controversial project to preserve humanity, should other efforts fail. Under Project Galahad, 251 teens are sent on a mission to reach a habitable planet free of Bhaktul's contamination. As Galahad enters space, the young people must deal with the intense pressure of saving humankind and the sadness of leaving their families behind. Sixteen-year-old Triana, the ship's commander, must manage daily operations while also dealing with her father's recent death. Matters escalate when, less than a week out, one of the teens spots an adult onboard, a potential Bhaktul carrier. With the help of the Council and the ship's computer brain, Triana does her best to solve the mystery of the uninvited passenger and save their mission.

Bounce by Natasha Friend

Bounce





    


5 Stars - This is a great story about changes, accepting new people into your life, and letting people love you - even when you may not love yourself




Evyn's life is suddenly turned upside down.  Her stepfather is marrying a woman he barely knows.  And to top it off, Ev has to now move states away from her BFF - to live in a strange town with a new dazzling stepmother and her five children that Ev and her brother, Mackey, have never met!


Sure Eleni tries to act nice, like she's happy that Evyn and her brother are now part of her goofy family.  Evyn doesn't need her, though.  She has her dead mother who still talks to her at night, supports her, and loves her...a mother she hasn't seen since she passed away, dying in a car accident, when Evyn was just one-year old.


Things only continue to get weirder.  Evyn's stepsisters are impossibly perfect, and her college-aged stepbrother Linus is so incredibly hot he makes her drool.  How sick is that?


 The popular girls at school suddnely all want to hang out with her because of her cool new brothers and sisters....until they become angry at Evyn for not hooking them up with her cute stepbrother....then suddenly Ev is an outcast and the It Girls become the Mean Girls. 


To make matters worse, Evyn's best friend back home, Jules, has suddenly become Miss Popular and never has time to even talk to Ev on the phone. Ev's mom keeps telling her to be happy, to not walk - but to bounce.  Evyn will bounce.  She's ready to bounce away from this life forced on her - a life she didn't choose or want.



Saturday, July 31, 2010

All The Lovely Bad Ones


 All the Lovely Bad Onesby Mary Browning Hahn 





4 stars -




Travis and his sister Corey only meant to have a little fun....


  Spending the summer at their Grandmother's Inn wasn't the most exciting vacation they'd ever had.  Once there, Travis and Corey learn that there's a rumor around town that their grandmother's inn is haunted.  

 Corey decides to shake things up with the guests by pretending to be a ghost herself.   To her and Travis's surprise, however, more ghost sightings begin to be reported.  This time Corey is not the one doing the haunting.  

What started as fun and games has actually released the real spirits of children who lived on Fox Hill - small children who love to play pranks on Corey, Travis, and the guests.  All of the ghosts are not playful or innocent.  They're angry and hurt - and are ready for Corey and Travis to experience the same pain.  Corey and Travis must learn about what really happened to the children and families that lived on Fox Hill - the torture and horrors they experienced.

Before they themselves become one of the lovely, bad ones.....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

Every Soul a Star





  4 glittering stars


Ally loved her life at Moon Shadow Campground.  She loved living near nature, stargazing from her backyard, not having to worry about wearing the right outfit, fitting in at a public school, or finding a boyfriend.

Bree couldn't be more different from Ally.  She was beautiful, popular, and worked hard at creating the perfect life for herself - becoming the girl that every teen wishes she could be.

In Every Soul a Star, Ally and Bree find themselves having one thing in common:  Moon Shadow Campground - a place where thousands of people travel from far way and gather to view a rare moment -the total eclipse of the sun. 

Ally is devastated to learn that she will be moving away from Moon Shadow and attending a public school.  Bree's family will be taking Ally's place.  They will be the new managers at Moon Shadow.  Bree is forced to leave her school and friends behind - all for a life in the dirty outdoors, miles away from civilization, with not even a shopping mall in sight.

Together Bree and Ally decide to unite; they will convince their parents to keep their lives the way they were before.  While working together and spending their summer at Moon Shadow, Ally and Bree discover that change may be a good thing, and they both have more in common than they originally thought.  

Newcomer Jack and Ryan, a summer regular at Moon Shadow campground, also learn that appearances can be deceiving.  That they, too, can find their place in the world - even if they don't always feel like they fit in.  

This novel shows how four middle school students, who appear very different on the outside, are able to form a friendship and bond - one that will likely last forever - not just the summer at Moon Shadow Campground.

 

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Truth about Truman School


The Truth about Truman School  by Dori Butler



3.5 Stars 

 

Zebby was tired of her teachers telling everyone to take a stand...just not on EVERYTHING.  Don't ever speak negatively about their school, the teachers that worked there, other students who caused problems, how life's not fair.

Zebby decides it's time that everyone had a chance to hear and tell the real story - what life was really like as a student attending Truman Middle School.

When Zebby and her best friend Amr started their own online site, they thought they would get the chance to actually have a voice, expose injustices, and express their opinions about any topic.  To their amazement, the online site becomes hot!  It gets hundreds of daily hits.  All of the popular students at Truman Middle know about it.  Some even post their own articles, letters, and links.

Someone, though, has an agenda.  Revenge.  It's time to show everyone just how easy it is to take down a popular student.  Make her an outcast.  Ruin her life.  No matter how long it takes, he will get even with her.  He will destroy her life.  Just like she ruined his. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shift by Jennifer Bradbury





4 Stars - Life lessons unfold through a mysterious plot



 It was the perfect summer vacation plan.  A cross-country bike ride with your best friend.  A great adventure before having the face the real world, college, major responsibilities.  It started out as a joke, but Chris decided he really wanted the experience.


Chris and Winn had a lot in common.  Both enjoyed biking.  Both felt like they didn't fit in at school.  Both were restless, wanting adventure.  As close as they were as friends, Chris could sense the distance growing between them.  He was tired of Win's nonstop pranks that made everyone else angry.  Chris also felt uneasy about Winn's father.  He was controlling, seemed to have power over everyone else, and just acted plain weird. 


Despite this, Chris wanted to give their friendship one last shot.  He never imagined it might be the last time he would see Winn again...or that Winn would disappear, leaving Chris and his family behind. 


Chris tries to move on with his life.  He begins college and meets a beautiful girl.  The FBI, though, wants answers.  They think Chris knows more about Winn's disappearance than he's telling.  They won't let up until they find out the full story of that summer.  The bike ride that changed both Chris and Winn's lives forever.



The Compound

 The Compound  by SA Bodeen



4 stars -  Unique story - suspenseful! Imagine a nuclear war has been launched - it's the end of the world. You and your family are the lone survivors.    Your twin brother and Grandma, however, didn't make it.  They weren't able to escape in time.  They had to be left behind.You, though, are one of the lucky ones.  Your father is a billionaire.  He's planned ahead.  You have a hidden underground compound built in anticipation of a nuclear war - prepared to block out all radiation, sustain life, and supplied with all of life's necessities and more.  The hidden underground compound contains all the luxuries you could ever want - right down to a plasma HDTV. Dad has bought toys for each of your birthdays.  One for every year - to be presented at each of your birthday parties.  Life, for you, only exists in the compound - until the world is safe to re-enter. Eli never questioned his father when he opened the compound doors.  For six years, Eli grieved the loss of his twin brother, struggled with boredom and oppression, and wondered if life would ever really resume for his family.   Imagine his surprise when he finds out the world is already safe.  Has been safe.  His brother didn't die - he escaped.  The real danger Eli faces is not nuclear war or destruction.  The real danger is in between the steel walls of the locked compound.  Eli's father is determined to never let them go, no matter what.  Can Eli escape this underground prison?

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein






     4 Stars– A Goose-Bumpy, Spine-Tingling, Ghost Story that will leave you guessing until the end 

The Crossroads reminds me of an old, country, backroad.  The novel can, at times, have strange twists.  Many characters seem different and out-of-place.  The plot twists and turns will leave the reader wondering what else lies ahead.  The book can be downright scary – especially when you realize that some of the characters are not just mean people – but evil spirits consumed with the desire for revenge. Zack is ready for a new beginning.  He’s never really belonged – even in his own home.  Zack’s mother always resented his presence and never made her son feel loved or wanted.  When his mother passed away and Zack’s father remarries, his life begins to change for the better.  A new home, new town, new start. Then Zack and Judy notice something about the locals.  They look and talk funny – like old pictures and commercials from decades ago. 

 And then there’s the tree in Zack’s backyard -  the old oak tree with the white cross nailed into the truck.  The tree seemed to have a life of its own – almost human, seething with anger and hatred.   Despite some of the weirdness, Zack thought it was great to be living in his dad’s childhood hometown.  Until the evil spirits around them become stronger.  They won’t stop until they seek revenge.    Zack may be innocent, but his dead grandfather wasn’t.  It’s time for someone to pay. 

All Star Book Reviews


Reading All Stars Program


Students must read a minimum of two books, fiction and nonfiction, to receive the incentives of the Reading All Stars program. The books must be approved by their Language Arts teacher. 


By March 10th, students must either complete a blog post of book form as evidence as having read theitr two books. 


Qualifiers will receive a freet ticket to the Greenville Drive baseball game on Monday, April 12th and attend a pizza party!  Post your book review by selecting the comments link below: 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fakie by Tony Varrato



fakie.jpg

3.5 Stars - Fast-paced story that keeps you hooked

Most teens are used to living life in the fast lane.  Living life on the run, however, is completely different. 

When Alex's father is brutally murdered right before his eyes, Alex is asked to testify against the man that took his father's life away - the same vicious man who had also shot and left Alex for dead.

Although the man is jailed for his crime, he has powerful connections outside the prison walls.  Alex and his mother are forced to abandon the world they have always known.  They assume new identities, move to another state, and learn to become untraceable under the Witness Protection program. 

Despite their fear, Alex and his mother are able to move on with their lives.  They must learn to change themselves frequently - their looks, personality, speech, and even their home.  Alex knows he can never really become close friends with anyone - he could slip and reveal his identity, or  even worse, endanger the lives of his friends.

When they move again, this time to Virginia Beach, Alex assumes the identity of a skater.  To his surprise, he begins to really get used to this new life.  He even makes real friends - ones he feels he can actually trust.  Maybe, just maybe, he can stop being fake.  Alex would finally have a life he called his own.

That is, until the killer arrived.