I’m a Winner!

A month ago today Heidi Ayarbe decided to host a “Lame Duck” writer contest to show her appreciation for authors who take risks with their writing.  I entered on a whim and, along with two other lucky people, was chosen as a winner.  I was very excited today when I returned to my apartment to find a copy of Going Bovine by Libba Bray waiting for me!  The book is one I haven’t read, sounds interesting, and will help me with my quest to win all the Printz winners!

So thanks, Heidi, for hosting the contest.  I am excited to read this book, and a few others that you mentioned in the post!

 

What’s next on your reading list?

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Postcards From No Man’s Land- Aidan Chambers


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I had started this book in the Spring of 2008 and for some reason I never finished it.  In the hopes of checking off another book on my Printz challenge and because I found a super cheap copy at a dollar store I decided to try again.  I’m glad I did.

Postcards From No Man’s Land weaves together two stories separated by decades.  One story describes the impact of WWII on Holland and its citizens while the other is a modern day story of a teen boy visiting Holland on his own.  In both stories issues of sexuality are discussed, though I was not always sure as to why they were pertinent to the teen boys story.  The book was very descriptive and it definitely held my interest. There are interesting family dynamics explored in the book as well.

This is a book for high school students.  The content and the vocabulary make it appropriate for grades 9-12.  I would consider using in a classroom but would probably send a note home outlining to parents the controversial topics it discusses.  It may be a useful book for history teachers as well.

I was glad to finally read another book with a male protagonist!

Awards:

1999 Carnegie Award

2003 Printz Award

Those of you who have read it, what did you think?

Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson


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This book is so well known that I feel silly that I didn’t read it till now.  Speak is a great novel that follows its main character, Melinda, through her freshman year of high school.  Melinda faces a lot of issues throughout the book all stemming from an event that occurred the summer before the book starts.  I felt like this book opens up important topics for discussion.  As usual Anderson captures the voice of American teens with great accuracy.

I know there are school districts that have all of their freshmen read this book.  I would not hesitate to use it in my classroom or to recommend it as independent reading to a student.  I think that this book is appropriate for grades 8-12.

Awards:

A 2000 Printz Honor Book
A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist
Winner of the Golden Kite Award
An ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 1999
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
An SLJ Best Book of the year
A Horn Book Fanfare Title
2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award (for this and other novels)

how i live now- Meg Rosoff

I don’t know why I waited so long to write my review of how i live now by Meg Rosoff, but here it is.

I went into reading this book knowing very little about it.  I knew that it was a Printz award winner, and that was it.  I enjoyed the book overall.  It follows an American teen girl to England where she stays with cousins.  While there a war breaks out and the rest of the story deals with that.  I liked that the war is very generic- there is no explanation as to who is involved or why.  Instead the book focuses on the effect the war has on the characters.  My one major complaint was the incestuous relationship that evolves.  I don’t want to spoil much so I won’t mention who its between etc- but it just seemed strange and unnecessary to me.

I see this book appealing more to females than males but it is not overly feminine.  I will include it in my classroom library but don’t think I will ever use it as a whole class assignment.  It is appropriate for 9-12th grades.

Awards:

WINNER 2005 – Michael L. Printz Award Winner
NOMINEE – Los Angeles Times Book Prize
WINNER – Boston Authors Club Julia Ward Howe Prize
WINNER – Branford Boase Award
WINNER 2005 – ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER – Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author
WINNER – Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice
WINNER – Kirkus Reviews Editor Choice Award
WINNER – Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year
WINNER – Horn Book Fanfare
NOMINEE 2005 – Orange Prize for New Writers

What I’m Reading: How I Live Now- Meg Rosoff

The next book I will be reading this summer is Printz winner- How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.  This will help me work on my Printz challenge.  I bought this book months ago and forgot about it in the back of my car, so now that I have it back in my hands I will get to it.  I hope to finish it by next Monday.  I will keep you posted as usual!

May Recap

May wasn’t my greatest month for reading.  But, I did get some good books read. So in case you missed it- here’s what I read:(Numbers correspond to their placement on my list of books read so far for the entire year.)

24. Being Nikki– Meg Cabot 
25. The Chocolate War– Robert Cormier 
26. Dead is the New Black– Marlene Perez
27. Jellicoe Road– Melina Marchetta
28. Tears of A Tiger– Sharon Draper
29. The House on Mango Street-Sandra Cisneros 

Total YA Books in May: 5

Total Adult Books in May: 1

Total Books in May: 6

Total Books for Year: 29

Oh and I still haven’t finished 1984… I just need to sit down and power through the rest of it I think.  I am over half way through!

 

Reading The House on Mango Street officially started my summer reading.  You can see my ever growing “to be read” summer list here.

Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta


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This Printz winner took me a while to get into. I’d say I was a third, to half of the way into it before I really became intrigued, but then I didn’t put it down.  There are numerous interesting characters whom I loved, but at the same time had some difficulty keeping everything straight.  There is mystery involved in the story- and I reached the end I felt like I needed to go back and re-read because I had to have missed some things along the way.  The main character, Taylor, is finishing up her Junior year and attends a boarding school in rural Australia.  There are two mentions of sexual activity within the book but they are not overly explicit.  There is a bit of violence at times in the novel as well.  I think this book could be used potentially in a classroom.  I would recommend it to teen girls and boys as there are strong characters from each gender.   I think this book is appropriate for high school students.

 

Awards:

ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Michael L. Printz Award
Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book