Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'89 Walls

Kate Pierson. Minneapolis: Wise Ink, 2015. pp. 264.
Rating: Decent + 5 Scoops

Goodreads Summary: College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. 

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Teen Blog Spotlight + Giveaway

Welcome Danai Kamvoussiora, the writer behind the blog Books, Music, Beauty, Experiences. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of Danai's interview.

Why did you decide to start a blog?
Well, I've always admired people who put their thoughts out for all to read. Blogging seemed to be the best manner for me to do that as well. 

What should readers expect from your blog?
I love books and music so I incorporate both of my loves in the blog. Readers should expect book reviews and piano videos mostly, but I will also post beauty tips, and share some of my life experiences.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Talk Tuesday: What are You Reading?

Picks of the Week

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement-Set in rural Mexico, girls are faced with a choice: forgo their womanhood or become prey of the ruling drug cartels.

Why Do We Fight? Conflict, War, and Peace by Niki Walker-Conflict is an ever present component of society. Why Do We Fight? helps kids understand conflict and how best to deal with it.

What are you reading?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nerdy Social Action by Sarah Mulhern Gross

After reading Sarah Gross' post, I had to share it. Provoking students to action is near and dear to my heart.

In Spring 2011, I was assigned to my first student teaching field experience. Twice a week for twelve weeks, I worked in an eighth grade Language Arts classroom. When I began, the English Department was just starting a four-week poetry unit spanning the themes: determination, cultures, love, and courage. During the last week of the unit, my supervising teacher confided in me that she hoped to inspire 127 social activists, at which my heart leapt with joy. That Tuesday started off like any other. Mrs. Jennings and I prepped for the day's back-to-back classes during the first two periods of the morning.  Little did I know what I was about to experience.

As our planning time ended, students noisily trickled in the room before settling into their seats. At the ding, ding of the bell, class kicked off with Bear Time. To demonstrate the quintessential embodiment of courage, the video of the day properly titled, "One with Courage...Is a Majority," featured the infamous Tank Man. Suddenly, images of protesters rallying for freedom, government defiance, military brutality, and hope tumbled across the screen. As the images flashed, Coldplay's "Fix You" filled the four walls. Standing in the back of the room, barely choking down a sob, tears cascaded down my face. At thirty-one-years old, I had never heard of the Tiananmen Square Massacre nor Tank Man. Awestruck, I watched a lone man courageously place himself directly in front of moving tanks preventing them from moving forward. A consciousness like I'd never experienced before surged through me; further arousing the advocate nature of my being.  I admit, unashamedly, I cried three times that day, during third, fourth, and fifth periods; and consequently, every time I've watched that video since then. Who am I kidding, I cried today re-watching the video before writing this post.

To this day, Tank Man's identity and his fate after that memorable day is not known, but his bold, courageous opposition of authority will forever live on.

Originally posted on the Nerdy Book Club:

I have a confession to make:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spell It Out Challenge

This year marks my fourth year participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Riding on a high from meeting and surpassing last year's reading goal of 45 books, I bumped it up ten books for 2015. In comes the new year, then BAM! I'm hit, knocked down, and run over. Every reader's nightmare, The Slump, the dreaded reading slump, pinned me down refusing to release its captive hold. Though my apartment overflows with books, the library is a half mile away from my home, and my to-be-read list is ever-growing, the slump remained constant.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Talk Tuesday: What Are You Reading?

Picks of the Week

Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow-The second installment of Jarrow's deadly disease trilogy chronicles Mary Mallon, the infamous Typhoid Mary.

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd- Kidd prompts students to notice the graphic design in the signs they see everyday.

What are you reading?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1)

Hillary Monahan. Los Angles: Hyperion, 2014. pp.248 
Rating: Decent + 5 Scoops

Goodreads Summary: There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her. 

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules...and never let go. 

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.