Thursday, October 31, 2013


Oh the booktalk. How I hate thee. NO really, I do. I hate being in front of the camera and I hate having to talk about something (a book) that I like to myself essentially. It took me 15 takes to get it all together and still, I didn't really get it all together. You could tell I was reading a script but really 4 books and I'm supposed to just know? I have a horrible memory. Anyways, if you'd like to see my booktalk here's the link...

I'm warning you though...I suck. It was my first time.
The books I talk about are: Pippi Longstocking, Ella Enchanted, Ramona Quimby Age 8, and Protector of the Small.

Personally, my favorite is Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce.

Would you read one of the books mentioned? What do you think of my booktalk? Have you read any of the books?

Nonfiction Books- 4th-6th grade

First of all,

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! What are you dressing up as? or what are your kids dressing up as? My husband and I are a zombie couple and our daughter is going as a peacock! So CUTE!

Now for the books. These are all nonfiction books for 4th-6th grade students. These were assigned reading for my lit class.

The Boston Tea Party by Russell Freedman (2012): Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book. It was very educational and told the Boston Tea Party story in an interesting manner with lots of great pictures. It would be a great book to use for a lesson on the BTP or for a book report about the event.
3 out of 3 stars!

Bodies From the Ice by James Deem (2008): This book was by far my favorite of the ones we had to read for class. It's long but worth the read! It's photographs of the bodies found in the ice are phenomonal and are sure to bring in even the readers who don't like nonfiction (like me!). It reminded me of BONES tv show in the way that they described the bones, photographed the findings and told the story of the body. I thought this was a great great great book. I also found out it is part of series!
3 out of 3 stars! Definitely read this book!

There are 2 more books we read Butterflies and What to do About Alice? but honestly, they weren't all that great. Alice is a book about President Roosevelt's daughter Alice and her life and adventures. Butterflies is exactly what you think, it's about butterflies and moths. I did learn that silk worms are moths though so yay!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan

I don't usually read graphic novels because they just aren't my cup of tea, so to speak. This is a required reading for my children's lit class though so I had to. Surprisingly, this book was fascinating to me. The pictures were amazing with detail and the characters looked too real for just a drawing. This book is set on a farm and there's a drought. The majority of the book is black and white with some color scenes every now and then when there's a different story being told or something important. The author's take on the drought it a very interesting one because he created a Rain King, who is the rain and he's trapped the thunder in a bag (because where ever you hear thunder, rain follows). Tired of the raining, the Rain King hides out in a barn and Jack finds him. Always used to being told he can't do anything, he defeats the Rain King and it finally rains. For the first time in 4 years.
The author notes that his story is based on the Dust Bowl and black and white pictures he saw when he was a child. He definitely does the story and pictures justice in his version.

5 out of 5! Surprisingly vivid and great story!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda caught my attention for obvious reasons: 1. It mentioned Yoda 2. It had to do with Origami which I find fascinating and 3. the obvious reason, You can never go wrong with a Star Wars themed book, or at least one that mentions it.
Tommy and his friends are trying to decide if Origami Yoda is real or fake. Does Origami Yoda really know all the answers to his questions or his the school dork, Dwight just messing with them? Tommy compiles a case file on Origami Yoda asking students from his school to tell their stories of their encounters with Origami Yoda and if he helped them out or not. The majority of people say yes, Yoda helped them. But as with all middle schools, there is a doubter, Harvey. He hates Dwight and think Origami Yoda is a joke. Harvey decides to make his own Origami Yoda after Dwight loses it at lunch and throws away his Yoda. The last case file is about Tommy. Tommy likes Sara and wants to know if Sara likes him. It's the duel of the Yoda's as Dwight remade one the night before and Harvey has his with him too. So the task, Ask Sara to dance at Friday's Fun Night- if she say yes, Dwight wins; if she says no, Harvey wins. Well, Tommy is tired of Harvey and his negativity so he does it (after a lot of thinking and hesitation). Turns out, Sara likes him too and they 'twist' the night away.
This is a great book for middle school students 6-8 grade (Tommy and his friends are 6th graders). It's a quick read and part of a series! The next book is titled, Darth Paper Strikes Back.
It's cute, funny and shows the thoughts of 6th grade boys. I found it entertaining and loved the story line. The author also includes some cute little drawings throughout showing what people and Yoda look like. It's very reminiscent of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. There are also Origami Yoda instructions at the end (which I tried and failed- very hard since they are drawn out like a 6th grader drew them).

4.5 out of 5 stars! Origami Yoda instructions should not be drawn out the way they are; too hard to determine what you're supposed to do.