This book was a recommendation from a student,but it wasn’t so much for its magnificent quality. I was very intrigued by Jem,  the main character, and her unique gift, the ablity to tell a person’s day of death. This is a major burden as anyone could imagine. She refuses to tell anyone about this “gift” and as an orphan, really refuses to let anyone in, until she meets Spider. You can’t help but root for this relationship but it gets a little graphic for a middle grade read. After witnessing a terrible catastrophe Spider and Jem are on the run. I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. Jem is a difficult character to understand and I feel like she was constantly making the more difficult decision instead of the easy and obvious one. I wanted there to be more to her character development . Nan, Spider’s grandmother was an interesting character that I hoped Jem would confide in more. Perhaps there will be another opportunity for that relationship.  It was a unique science fiction novel that is a part of a trilogy. The ending did leave me wanting more, but not enough to run out and get the next installment. This book only receives three out of five stars for me.


Goodreads Summary:

Embarrassed to Read by Donalyn Miller

Nerdy Book Club

A recent National Literacy Trust report found that 17% of children surveyed would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading.  According to a dictionary, “Embarrassment is an emotional state of intense discomfort with oneself, experienced upon having a socially unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others.” Embarrassment is tied to our need for social acceptance. If you have ever chased a naked toddler, you know that children aren’t born with an understanding of socially acceptable behaviors and must learn them from people who understand society’s rules.

So, where do children learn that reading is embarrassing?

Children receive the message that reading a lot isn’t cool from adults. When parents don’t model reading, teachers consider reading a school job, and communities and schools close or defund libraries—we communicate to children that reading isn’t important.

In modern society, children’s future success depends on their acquisition of literacy skills…

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Tuesday’s Quick Write

Prompt  from Kate Messner’s Writing Camp:

Name : Kate Clark

From: Chicago, Illinois
Physical Characteristics: Long wavy Blonde hair, skinny, green eyes, petite

External Song: Piece of Me – Brittany Spears

Internal song:   Just a Girl- No Doubt



Everyone stares as Kate walks down the hallway. She soaks up their stares and feels the power they provide her. She is beautiful and knows it and being on Justin’s arm means everyone wants to be her but there is something they will never understand. Kate wants to be seen for being Kate; Kate the artist, Kate the sister, Kate the friend, but for right now she is Justin’s Kate. Justin’s security is priceless while her world is unraveling outside these walls, but it doesn’t matter. She knows he isn’t any good for her but he is like a drug. The drug that keeps her popular and in control. If they ever found out what was going on behind the scenes she would no longer reap the benefits of being Justin’s Kate.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Clicking on photo will take you to Goodreads

A world where love is a disease provides the premise for the much acclaimed series. Seeing as how I am on a severe dystopian/romance kick this novel was right up my ally. Set in yet again a future American society that has literally walled itself off from all other countries in an effort to segregate itself from those who do not think love is a disease. All in all the book was predictable but entertaining. The main character, Lena, struggles with the obvious question of is this the right thing and is the cure really a cure for a disease?

This is a great book if you don’t mind something that isn’t completely new. The ideas a new but plot development is pretty typical. Lena’s love interest, Alex, is everything the reader would want him to be but not quite swoon worthy like Noah in The Unbecoming of Mora Dyer, (still one of my favorite love interests.)Alex is however everything Lena needs to see that love is not a disease but a beautiful exciting experience that should not be simply “cut” out of our lives.  I really loved the way Oliver showed how love impacts all of us- it is not just our relationship with the opposite sex, but with children, hobbies, and music. How can you be passionate about life without love? I will be readying the sequel because I am eager to see what will happen to Lena even though it seems very similar to other novels like Legend, Matched and even The Hunger Games.

4 out of 5 stars

Legend by Marie Lu

Clicking Picture will take you to Goodreads

5 out of 5 Stars

I absolutely ADORED this book.  In a lot of ways, like most, I have been reading novels that will try to fill the emptyness in my heart that The Hunger Games left. Divergent and Insurgent did a marvelous job of filling my void, but in a way they almost made it greater because of their similarities. Legend, however, gave me a few things that the other novels could not, such as a heroine I really truly enjoyed.

This novel is set in a dystopian future America that is divided into two political groups, the Republic and the Patriot; written in first person, alternating characters every chapter. This is one of my favorite types of novels to read. I love getting to see what both characters are thinking without the author’s assertions.  June is the strong female lead in a dystopian novel that I have been craving. She’s smart, quick, semi-rebellious and can most definitely hold her own.  While I loved those attributes with other heroines such as Tris in Divergent or Katniss of The Hunger Games, they were more likely to through a pity party for themselves or over think their every move. They also lack something that has plagued couples since the beginning of time- communication. It drives me nuts that they just don’t tell their male counter part what they are doing and why. The male lead, Day, is someone that is impossible not to love and trust worthy. Even though he is on the run from the government it is impossible not to side with this kind, generous, and good looking boy.

Their story kept me turning pages until the very end. There were a few situations that were easy to predict (making it an excellent read aloud or Lit Circle novel to discuss foreshadowing) I was still surprised by a few things and all in all could not put the book down.

Thursday Quick Write

Prompt for Today: 

Okay…ready to write? Today’s Thursday Quick-Write is courtesy of guest-author Margo Sorenson!

A student walks into the library/media center at lunchtime.  What is she/he thinking?  Worried about?  Dreading?  Hoping or wishing for? What are the risks/stakes for him/her? Show us in a paragraph or two.

Note from Kate:Some possible formats for this quick-write:

  • A journal entry from that character, written later on
  • A letter from that character to his or her best friend
  • A letter from that character to his or her worst enemy
  • A poem in the character’s voice
  • A monologue in the character’s voice
  • A conversation in dialogue between the character and a friend/the librarian/an enemy

For those of you in the middle of a work-in-progress, try this with your main character, or better yet, a secondary character you want to develop more fully.  Imagine him or her walking into a room and feeling uncomfortable and awkward. Why? You can write this from a third person perspective, from the focus character’s point of view, or for a twist, try writing from the point of view of a disinterested observer in the room — someone who has no idea who the person is or what’s going on. What would he or she observe in terms of mannerisms and body language?

Diary Entry

December 2, 2011

Why did he do that? There is nothing worse than what he has done to me. I wish I could curl up in a ball and die. Everyone was staring. I could feel their eyes digging into my skin like piercing needles, as if staring at me would give them more information. I was not at that party last night, and I would have never done those things with any one, let alone Jimmy. No one would ever do anything with Jimmy, he is just gross. If Tyler wants to get back at me for calling it off with him than he is asking for a war. I am not going down without a fight; my reputation is at stake. I am going to sit in this library until I come up with a plan. In this silence I can feel revenge brewing. At least Ms. Simpson doesn’t know yet. As soon as she catches wind of this nasty rumor her eyes will glaze over with disappointment each time I check out a new book. No one questions Tyler, no one will ever believe me now if I say he was the one that got caught cheating. In a way this is brilliant on his part, Tyler’s reputation is still in tact and he has every girl on this campus feeling sorry for him, even though everyone already loves him. Why is the girl always the scapegoat? I did not do anything to deserve this. Or maybe I did? Whatever the answer is to that just doesn’t matter now. But he will pay.