Monday, June 23, 2008

#5: From Mrs. Powel, 7th Grade Science

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, is a love story between Henry and Clare. It is an unusual love story because Henry has the ability to travel through time. Henry goes into the past and visits Clare during her childhood, meets her in present time and visits her in the future. This makes for an interesting relationship.

I really enjoyed this love story because it was so unusual. The story is told from both Clare's and Henry's point of view so you get an understanding of the person who is forever vanishing into a different time and the person who is forever waiting for him to return. This book speaks to the power of love!

#4: From Ms. Pelosi, Reading Teacher

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich continues the Stephanie Plum series-- In this story, Plum, a hapless bail bondsman in Trenton, New Jersey, is sucked into a bank robbery gone wrong with people named Bugger, Zook, Mooner, and Stalker Gary. She is also called in to assist Ranger in a security detail for a desperate aging singer named Brenda who decides she wants to become a reality star and follows Plum around filming all of her mishaps and just generally getting in the way.

If you want to laugh out loud, read any of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. Everything that can go wrong does when Stephanie Plum tries to pick up her skips--bombs, naked old men, monkeys, etc. Her sidekick, a character with a colorful background named Lulu, is just as funny. Stephanie’s love interests are a cop named Morelli and a security agent named Ranger who are driven crazy trying to protect her. This book is an easy summer read that will make you laugh out loud. Book numbers 1-13 were even funnier!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

# 3: From Ms. Zywica, 8th Grade Science

The book that I immersed myself in was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It is the story of a man that joins a traveling circus as its veterinarian. The book opens with a prologue that keeps the reader horrified and hopeful as the rest of the story unfolds. It is told in a retrospective manner from a man in a nursing home that is so old he can't remember how old he is. With the majority of the book's setting being a traveling circus the characters, both humans and animals, all have unique and intriguing personalities. The plot is well rounded with aspects of adventure, love, and the hardships of living in the era of prohibition.

I really enjoyed reading this book on the beach here in Sarasota. The book has a variety of pictures that are part of the Ringling Museum collection. The Ringling Brothers circus is only referred to occasionally the book, but it does give a Sarasota reader a sense of pride. I would definitely recommend this to adults, but most of the situations in the book are not the aspects of a circus that a child should see or read about.

Monday, June 2, 2008

#2: from Mrs. Shults, Literacy Coach

Randy Pausch is the author of this unique auto-biography, The Last Lecture. Pausch is a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University who has terminal cancer. As a legacy to his young children, Pausch delivers his “last” lecture to his students. The lecture becomes a guide for living a full and contented life.

I strongly recommend this book. It did not make me cry. Pausch writes about how to live life in a way that will make your childhood dreams come true. His own life pays tribute to this philosophy. This is an inspiring story of a man who knows how to live.

#1: From Mrs. Andrews - IB 6

The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less, by Terry Ryan is the true story of her mother’s ability to overcome the challenges of raising ten children and managing life with an alcoholic husband by winning money from jingle writing contests.

This is my all time favorite summer read...having grown up with 5 brothers and 2 sisters, I could relate. Plus, the title is perfect for any LA teacher. This book had me laughing out loud at the beach and also sobbing (much to my children's horror and embarrassment!)