What’s the toughest part about Hunger Games? After finishing it, the next book that I read just doesn’t have as much grab for me. I wonder if that’s a problem for Suzanne Collins. As I talked with students and staff about what to expect with Catching Fire, we had no clue how the author would follow up such a great story. Now I can’t figure which one’s my favorite. We knew that there would be rebellion. There’s no way that Capitol officials would let Katniss’ act of defiance go unnoticed. In the first book it is made very clear that Panem resembles Ancient Rome, hostingRead More →

I have a copy of The Gathering by Michael Carroll and at first I didn’t realize that it was book two in a series (yes, I see the giant “2” on the cover. Whatever.). I’ll definitely go back to read book 1, but I was able to follow along alright. 10 years ago the superheroes were the rescuers of the human race. The supervillain Ragnarok created a device to strip the heroes of their powers. Now, the children of the heroes are finding out that they inherited some powers. If you like shows like Heroes or enjoyed the giant list of superhero movies this summer,Read More →

If you have any Michael Crichton books on your library shelves and/or your students enjoy Ender’s Game you need Bunker 10 by J. A. Henderson. At 8pm December 24, 2007, a secret military installation blows up. The book then flashes back to tell about the last day in the lives of the soldiers, scientists, and trapped teens of the complex. What I especially love is that it counts down like 24, with each chapter being a specific time. Just like a good Crichton book the science is there and gets stretched a little. Sections of the book start out with scientific definitions (imagine my excitementRead More →

I finished Haddix’s Found earlier this week and loved it. Since I had already read Flanagan’s Battle for Skandia, equally satisfying, the next big book was Patterson’s Final Warning. (I’m a movie fanatic and waiting for Max Ride 4 after Ranger’s Apprentice 4 was the same feeling as waiting for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight.) Usually it’s my duty to hype books. I understand that sometimes it’s easier to just watch a TV show, so I understand the importance of finding a great book quickly. I especially understand a need for lots of action in a book. A few explosions neverRead More →

Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine is the sleeper hit of my library this semester. It sat on my new releases shelf for a while, unchecked by students. One afternoon, as I prepared for a booktalk, I stared at the book, wondering what had made it stand out to me when I made my purchasing order. Imagine a world where George Bush put his face on posters all over the country, required everyone to have a picture in their home, and stopped work halfway through the day to listen to his teachings. Thankfully we have a president and not a ChairmanRead More →

Harmless, a book that is anything but, raises some eyebrows. Do you buy it for your child? Do you put it on the shelf as a librarian? Can it be used in the classroom? As an 8th grade Language Arts teacher I saw many heart-wrenching situations that my students wound up in, many situations that I think we as educators don’t always catch or know how to deal with. I grew up in a pretty stable environment, a fact I am thankful for, but a stable environment is not always par for the course. What I love about Harmless is that it is told fromRead More →