Reading For Pleasure

All My Noble Dreams and then What Happens

Author: Gloria Whelan

Publishing Information: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2013.

Ages: 12-16 Middle School/High School

all my noble dreams

Summary:

Rosalind lives in British-controlled India.  She is the only daughter in a well-off family whose father is in the British Government. Rosalind runs a small school for the village boys that is not controlled by the government. Her father would not approve if he found out about the school. Her father does not approve of her following of Gandhi and finding out about the school would aggravate him more. This is the second book in the Small Acts of Amazing Courage series.  The book also tells of what happened to Hari, the infant that Rosalind rescued in the first book and how her aunts are now doing living in India.  As Rosalind gets drawn further into British life, she finds her two worlds colliding and the struggle to remain true to herself and what she believes.

Analysis:

Although this book is second in a series it can be read as a stand alone book. I have not read the first book but plan too. I read this book in two days and it is absolutely engaging. The vocabulary is easy to understand and is a perfect read for middle school students. The subject matter is different and explores different cultures and times. Rosalind is a truly remarkable, strong female character that I think even young men would like reading about. She is tough, adventurous and ready to change the world! I highly recommend this book. The author of this book who is 89 years young shows us all that you can keep writing and producing wonderful books no matter your age!

Content:

English, Social Studies, Culture

Curriculum:

I see this book being used in Social Studies classes to examine different cultures around the world. Student could read the book then look at British culture or Indian culture and produce projects. They could examine the fashion of the time, the food, customs, family life. The possibilities are endless.

Digital Content:

Author Website:

http://gloriawhelan.com/index.html

A Tangle of Knots

Author: Graff, Lisa (Lisa Colleen)

Publishing Information: New York, NY : Philomel Books, c2013.

Ages: 8 and up

Cover image for A tangle of knots / Lisa Graff.

Summary:  Cady is an 11-year-old girl who loves to back pie. In fact she has the “talent” of being able to make the perfect pie for anyone. However a “talent thief” is on the loose and he will stop at nothing to steal everyone’s “talents”!

Analysis: This book is magical! The way the author weaves the story around the message of embracing who you are is inspiring. The story is attention grabbing and adventurous with pie recipes as well!  Baking is such a popular subject currently and any young readers who love to bake and read are in for a double dose of sweetness with this book!

Content Area: English, Human Relations, Baking

Curriculum: Our school district is starting a new Culinary Arts program this Fall and I think this would be a great companion book for the class. It not only pertains to the subject of baking, provides easy pie recipes but address the subject that many middle school kids struggle with of finding who you are and accepting that your talents are different and that is great! Students could bake pies from the book and talk about their talents. How Wonderful!

Digital Content:

Author Website

http://www.lisagraff.com/index.html

A Tangle of Knots is a hit!
“Delicious.” –Kirkus/STARRED
“Clever… complex.” –Booklist/STARRED
“[A] magical puzzle.” –Wall Street Journal
“Lyrical.” –EntertainmentWeekly.com
“A reading gift.” –Christian Science Monitor
“10 out of 10” –TIME Magazine for Kids
An Amazon Best Book of the Year So Far
A Kids’ Indie “Next List” Top Ten Title
A YALSA Best Fiction Nominee
A Junior Library Guild Selection

Pie

Author: Sarah Weeks

Publishing Information: New York : Scholastic Press, 2011

Ages: Middle School

Cover image for Pie / Sarah Weeks.

Summary:

When the famous Polly Portman of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania passes away someone tries to find out the famous pie crust recipe. it seems this someone will stop at nothing to discover the secret.

Analysis:

This charming mystery/ coming of age tale features the main character of Alice and her friend Charlie who will stop at nothing to protect the secret pie crust recipe that neither of them has. Alice studied under her dear Aunt Polly but was never given the exact recipe. Throughout the book the reader is given mouth-watering recipes to replicate at home while pondering how Alice will ever convince her family that they do not need the recipe to be truly happy.

Content Area: English, Baking, Human Relations, families, Mothers and Daughters

Curriculum:

Our school district is starting a new Culinary Arts program this Fall and I think this would be a great companion book for the class. It not only pertains to the subject of baking, provides easy pie recipes but also talks about family, and relationships and the fact that growing up can sometimes be hard.  Students can bake the pies as well as discover the relationship link between their lives and the book.

Digital Content:

Author Website

http://www.sarahweeks.com/index2.htm

Author Interview about the book

http://booktalk.scholastic.com/2011/09/27/pie-a-delicious-interview-with-sarah-weeks/

Review by Richie Partington San Jose State University Professor

Richie Partington (Richiespicks.com)

“PIE, set in Ipswitch during the summer of 1955, is a high-spirited, hoot of a whodunit for upper elementary and middle school readers.  This tale is going to inspire a mess of pie baking in your neck of the woods…Those who are familiar with a certain famous and esteemed children’s literature award are going to get quite a belly laugh out of reading the history and details of the national pie making award that Polly wins an unprecedented thirteen times in a row.  And as sure as life imitates art, I bet that there will be a passel of people dishing about PIE when the year-end lists are being compiled.”

Lincoln’s Last Days : The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

Author: Bill O’Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman.

Publishing Information: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2012.

Ages: Middle School/High School

Cover image for Lincoln's last days : the shocking assassination that changed America forever / Bill O'Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman.

Summary:

This is book describes the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the hunt to track down John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices.

Analysis:

If you have students or patrons that love history this is the book for them. Unlike other history novels this one is engaging. With easy to read text and jammed pack with action, adventure and mystery this book is like no other re-tell of history i have ever see. This book brings to life a time in our American history that truly shaped the way we are today. From beginning to end the novel is filled with historical events and descriptions that will surely keep readers on the edge of their seat and learning!

Content Area: Social Studies, American History, Presidential History, Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth

Curriculum:

Our school library was honored to receive a free copy of the recent movie “Lincoln” from the director Steven Speilberg. This book could be used in conjunction with the viewing of the movie while focusing on our Civil War unit.

Digital Content:

Lincoln Movie Trailer

http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oGdV3TqQJSMkIAUcpXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0bTA5c2syBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1NNRTI0N18x/SIG=123p678h4/EXP=1375935059/**http%3a//movies.yahoo.com/movie/lincoln/trailers/

YouTube video of Prologue and First Chapter:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie

Publication Information: New York : Little, Brown, 2007.

Ages: Middle School/High School

Cover image for The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian / by Sherman Alexie ; art by Ellen Forney.

Summary:

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Analysis:

This is a story of adolescence. A story that every person who has every been a teen or a teen who is different in any way should read. Novel does contain subject matter that some readers may not want to read about however, the whole book is not about masturbation. It is about Junior and what it is like to be a young person. I live in Spokane, Washington the hometown of the author and the setting for the story. He tells the truth. I see these students in our schools and I am sure every middle school and high school student in America has felt like Junior. This book should be read not for the sexual content but for the coming of age story it is. It is a shame that even in 2013 we still have books being questioned for its content and not looked at for its message.

Content Area:

English, American Indians, Sexuality, Teen Choices

Curriculum:

We offer a class that all students take titled Teen Choices. I would use this book in that class as it deals with many of the subjects discussed in that class such as bullying, being different, being a teen, emotions, violence. Students can relate to this book and it is a wonderful novel to use to elicit conversations that pertain to the life of a teen.

Digital Content:

Author Website

http://www.fallsapart.com/

Video of Author Accepting National Book Award

Awards:

2007
  • National Book Award, Young People’s Literature, for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
2009
  • American Library Association Odyssey Award as the year’s “best audiobook for children or young adults”, read by Alexie (Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, LLC, 2008,
2010

Incorrigible children of Ashton Place-The Mysterious Howling Book 1

Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place- The Hidden Gallery Book 2

Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place- The Unseen Guest Book 3

Author: Maryrose Wood

Publication Information: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, c2010, 2011, 2012

Ages: Middle School

Cover image for The mysterious howling / by Maryrose Wood ; illustrated by Jon Klassen.Hidden Gallery coverUnseen Guest cover

Summary Book One:

Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball.
Summary Book Two:
Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a governess trained at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, takes the three Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place to London, England, and learns they are under a curse.
Summary Book Three:
Since returning from London, the three incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. The children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences, yet.
Analysis:
A captivating mystery series that takes place in proper London. However, there are secrets among its upper class and there is a strange howling in the woods. What could it be? I was shocked when it was revealed to be children! I read these books very quickly and you will too. I read the entire series in less than two weeks and was not disappointed by any of them. The author does a wonderful job of giving us just a little of the mystery at a time and when all is revealed you had no idea what will be coming next. The fourth book in the series is being published in December 2013 titled  THE INTERRUPTED TALE!! There will be six books in total. The books are easy to read and the characters are certainly memorable. Middle School readers love to read a series of books and this one is sure to please. And of course with the popularity of wolves(thanks Twilight Series) these books take the subject of wolves in a completely satisfying different direction.
Content Area:
English
Curriculum: In the reading class I co-teach we have 15 minutes of silent reading at the beginning of class everyday. These are books I recommend to my students for that reading time.
Digital Content:
Author Website:
Book Three Reading
Reviews:

“It’s the best beginning since [Lemony Snicket’s] The Bad Beginning and will leave readers howling for the next episode.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“How hearty and delicious. Smartly written with a middle-grade audience in mind, this is both fun and funny and sprinkled with dollops of wisdom.”—ALA Booklist (starred review)

“With a Snicketesque affect, Wood’s narrative propels the drama. Pervasive humor and unanswered questions should have readers begging for more.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket in this smart, surprising satire of a nineteenth-century English governess story. Frequent plate-sized illustrations add wit and period flair.”—School Library Journal (starred review)

My Mixed-up Berry Blue Summer

Author: Jennifer Gennari

Publication information: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012.

Ages: Middle School

Cover image for My mixed-up berry blue summer / by Jennifer Gennari.

Summary:

Twelve-year-old June Farrell spends the summer at her Vermont home getting used to the woman her mother is planning to marry and practicing her pie-baking skills, as she hopes to win the blue ribbon at the fair.

Analysis:

This book was recommended to me by one of my students. She did not tell me anything about it just that I should read it. I enjoyed this wonderful story. It shows the different ways a family is made and when you are a teenager it can be difficult to deal with how others view your family. This book shows how people fear differences and the ignorance that comes from fear. I enjoyed that the author developed a wonderful little story with so many different messages about humanity, prejudice and differences.

Content Area:

Tolerance, Teen Choices

Curriculum:

Again this book could be used in my school’s Teen Choices class. When reading this novel discussions about what makes a family, tolerance and prejudice. In groups of 4 students could make posters promoting positive messages that could be hung around the school.

Digital Content:

Author Website

http://www.jengennari.com/index.html

Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year 2013
A 2013 Rainbow List selection by the American Library Association

Moloka’i

Author: Alan Brennert

Publishing Information: New York : St. Martin’s Griffin, c2003.

Ages: High School

Cover image for Moloka'i / Alan Brennert.

Summary:

Seven-year-old Rachel is forcibly removed from her family’s 1890s Honolulu home when she contracts leprosy and is placed in a settlement, where she loses a series of new friends before new medical discoveries enable her to reenter the world.

Analysis:

This book is not marketed for high school readers but after reading it I am recommending it to students grades 9-12. The story chronicles a time in history when little was known about the leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i in Hawaii. The story tells the life story of Rachel and the ups and downs her life takes not only due to her illness but the views of others. High School students would respond to the authors story-telling and the way in which we see Rachel weave her way through a society that is faced with fear and ignorance.

Content Area: English, History,

Curriculum:

I see this novel being used in an AP English class. Its content is a little more advanced and has more possibilities as far as projects and discussions. For a group project students can look into the history of Moloka’i as well as the geography. This could be done while reading the book in preparation for each individual student to compose a reflective paper once they complete the novel.

Digital Content:

Author Website:

http://www.alanbrennert.com/

Information about Leprosy

http://www.cdc.gov/leprosy/

History of Moloka’i

http://www.world-guides.com/north-america/usa/hawaii/molokai/molokai_history.html

CBS News Story

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-545392.html

The Mother-Daughter Book Club Series Books 1-6

  • The Mother Daughter Book Club-Book 1
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club- Much Ado About Anne
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club- Dear Pen Pal
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club-Pies & Prejudice
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club- Home For the Holidays
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club-Wish You Were Eyre

Author: Heather Vogel Frederick

Publication Information:

New York : Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers 2007-2012
Ages: Middle School / High School
Cover image for The Mother-Daughter Book Club / Heather Vogel Frederick.Cover image for Much ado about Anne / Heather Vogel Frederick.Cover image for Dear pen pal / Heather Vogel Frederick.
  Cover image for Pies & prejudice / Heather Vogel Frederick.   Cover image for Home for the holidays / Heather Vogel Frederick.     Cover image for Wish you were Eyre / Heather Vogel Frederick.
Summary:
Book #1- In the first book of this fantastic series we are introduced to the cast of characters and the first book they read which is, “Little Women”. The girls soon discover that they may all be very different as far as their likes and personalities but they really are alike in so many other ways.
Book #2- In book two our book club girls are entering 7th grade. The book club continues  with the reading of “Anne of Green Gables” and their is a new mean trouble making classmate to deal with.
Book #3- The friendships and book club continue and this time they are reading Jean Webster’s Daddy’s Long Legs”. The girls also are getting to know their pen pals from Wyoming!
Book #4- Four girls, and their mothers, continue their mother-daughter book club via video conference between Massachusetts and England, reading Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice,” and try to put friendship before romance.
Book #5- The girls and the book club are together for the holidays reading Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” but from unexpected blizzards to a sledding disaster, nothing goes as planned.
Book #6- As the Mother-Daughter Book Club reads Jane Eyre, the girls and some of their mothers are involved in some serious competitions, Becca finds romance when the Wyoming pen pals come for a visit, and a wedding brings the British Berkeley brothers and even Stinkerbelle to Concord.
Analysis:
This series of books is perfect to start reading in middle school and carry right into high school. As the cast of characters grow and age they experience the ups and downs of being a girl, having a Mom who you love one moment and hate the next and trying to figure out boys. The books are each paired with a “classic” novel that the Mothers and Daughters read throughout the book and we are given simple plot and character glimpses. I love that the author ties the new with the old. There are so many great classics that readers today are not reading. This series gets those titles to the forefront and hopefully into the hands of our readers. My daughter and I started reading this series in 2007 and we love it. She is now starting her Sophomore year in high school and we hoped there would be at least two more books but the 6th book was the last.
Content Area: English, Teen Choices, Reading
Curriculum: I have recommended this series of books to my reading students for their quarterly reading project. Not only do they read the contemporary work but the classic as well. They they produce a project connecting the two books.
Digital Content:
Author Website:

winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

winner of the 2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Award

winner of the 2009 International Book on Books for Young People Sweden – Peter Pan Prize

winner of the 2010 California Young Reader Medal

finalist for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize

– See more at: http://www.fallsapart.com/the_absolutely_true_diary_of_a_part_time_indian/#sthash.px4JGzJh.dpuf

winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

winner of the 2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Award

winner of the 2009 International Book on Books for Young People Sweden – Peter Pan Prize

winner of the 2010 California Young Reader Medal

finalist for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize

– See more at: http://www.fallsapart.com/the_absolutely_true_diary_of_a_part_time_indian/#sthash.px4JGzJh.dpuf

winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

winner of the 2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Award

winner of the 2009 International Book on Books for Young People Sweden – Peter Pan Prize

winner of the 2010 California Young Reader Medal

finalist for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize

– See more at: http://www.fallsapart.com/the_absolutely_true_diary_of_a_part_time_indian/#sthash.px4JGzJh.dpuf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s