Image located at www.goodreads.com/book/photo/28763485-the-sun-is-also-a-star
High school seniors Jamaican Natasha and Korean American Daniel meet each other by chance at pivotal points in their lives. On this day, Natasha makes a last ditch effort to save her family from deportation. With a successful interview, Daniel will help his family prevail over the humiliation of his brother Charlie's failure at Harvard. Sparks immediately fly through their encounter. Through their brief interaction, Natasha and Daniel confront their family issues and cultural identities.
Image located at www.goodreads.com/book/photo/28763485-the-sun-is-also-a-star
Take a look at Things we know by heart Prezi
Image by https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/17571215-things-we-know-by-heart
My colleague shared a link for free access to an amazing book series. The Blueford High series addresses important issues many high school students, especially African Americans teens experience. Each print copy can also be purchased for $2 a piece.
Image from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/69/The_20_books_in_the_Bluford_Series.jpg
Elise's classmates have dismissed her as the outcast throughout her school years. As a high school freshmen, Elise reveals her suicide attempt to a nice girl who she recently met. Now, Elise returns for her sophomore year hoping to put the past behind her without success--until she goes to an underground party. There, Elise uncovers her talent as a up & coming DJ and finds notoriety & friendships unimaginable. However, blog postings on Elise's cries for help threaten to undermine the new life she is carving for herself.
Image located at https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/15777621-this-song-will-save-your-life
Does a mass murderer deserve absolution for his crimes? Sage finds comfort from the loneliness of her parents' deaths and secret affair through a friendship with an elderly man Josef in her grief support group. Sage's feelings turn to rage and disgust when Josef asks her to do the unthinkable: participate in an assisted suicide to relieve him from his Nazi war crimes-even against her own grandmother Minka.
Picoult weaves Sage, Josef, Minka, former Catholic nun Mary, lover Adam, and Nazi war hunter Leo's stories into a tale of betrayal and redemption.
Book Cover image from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15753740-the-storyteller
A hope in the unseen: An American odyssey from the inner city to the Ivy League: Black History Month Recommendation
Ron Suskind chronicles Cedric Jennings' journey in urban Washington D.C. neighborhood through his sophomore year at Brown University. As a young African American man, Cedric overcame incredible odds to earn a college degree from an Ivy League College. Suskind opens up discussions on the ways poverty, incarceration, violent neighborhoods, and dysfunctional schools hinder the possibilities for many African Americans. Take a look at my indepth Capzle trailer on this thought provoking non fiction work. http://www.capzles.com/5340a471-7199-4e71-b26a-4ee33f3c2689
Image located at http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/69559.A_Hope_in_the_Unseen
What would America be like if our basic Constitutional rights were lost? Radley returns home from serving in a children's home from Haiti when all hell breaks loose following the assassination of the new president of the American People's Party. Radley can't access money since credit cards are seized. Her parents are no where to found. Since the police are imprisoning political opponents like them, Radley fears the worst. Radley must depend on survival skills she never knew she had when fleeing to Canada. Her chances improve after meeting a runaway Celia on the road. If only they can make across the border and find her parents, everything will be okay.
Hesse shapes fantasy close to reality is this suspenseful & tear jerking journey.
Image located http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/13493462-safekeeping
Take a look at Robin LaFever's Grave Mercy since it's under consideration for CHS book of the year. The trailers & book cover summary of Grave Mercy only scratch the surface. The plot thickens beyond the assassinations & forbidden love story. Be prepared for regional turmoil, spiritual conflict, and betrayal. It's a time consuming, yet worthwhile endeavor to uncover LaFever's intricate characterizations of the main players of an epic political struggle.
Image located at http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/9565548-grave-mercy
In lieu of normal library programming for Black & Women's History due to counseling appointments, I am posting my book recommendations for both occasions.
Coe Booth chronicles the struggles of many African American male teenagers through Tyrell's story. With a father in jail and a mother unwilling to work, current high school dropout Tyrell must find ways to support his family, who reside at a homeless shelter. As a result, Tyrell's two year relationship with his Catholic school girlfriend Noovisha becomes strained. This is further compounded as Tyrell becomes attracted to his next door neighbor Jasmine.
Teenaged pregnancy impacts not only impacts the lives of the young mother, but those around her. Sara Zarr gives sympathetic portrayals of the three main characters affected by one girl's choice. Seventeen year old Mandy decides to give her baby for adoption to 50 year old Robin after a brief correspondance on an online social network. Robin's daughter Jill must deal with the fall out of this decision while grieving the recent death of her father. The situation intensifies when Robin allows Mandy to stay in their home weeks prior to the birth of the child.
Images from Good Reads.com
In this short & gripping tale, sixth grade Conor endures many sleepless nights as a monster across from his home torments him. However, Conor isn't intimidated by the creature; instead, he confronts his over his mother's continuing losing battle over cancer. In the monster' s astonishment, he begins sharing tales with underlining important messages for the young boy. The parallel between this stories & Conor's situation are undeniable.
Image located at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8621462-a-monster-calls
The overwhelming majority of people who view this site are well aware of Hitler's brutality towards the Jews in World War II. However, Joesph Stalin was just as despised by just as many, particularly those in the Baltic regions and countries near the former Soviet Union. Ruta Sepetys brings Stalin's crimes to light in a gripping YA historical fiction account titled Between the shades of gray
Many will see connections to Septety's main character to the Holocaust. The conditions of the Siberian prisons resemble those of Aushwitz. Sepety's characterization of main character Lina strongly resemble Anne Frank.
For me, I gained a better appreciation of the perspective of my own Finnish relatives through this harrowing tale. Many Finns, like those from Estonia, Lativia, and Lithuania also suffered under Stalin's reign of terror.
Watch the following clip of Ruta Septetys' interview for greater understanding.
Would the U.S government be run any differently if a woman was elected President? Nicole Wallace, former communications director for George W. Bush & campaign advisor to the McCain/Palin 2008 Presidential campaign explores that possibility in Eighteen Acres. Wallace weaves the stories of Charlotte, first female U.S President, Melanie, President's Chief of Staff, and Dale, a rising television news anchor in a tale of intrigue, scandal, and hard ball politics. Get an insider's view of the intimate details of events at the White House and the Presidential campaign trail. Wallace's historical fiction account is an ideal read for political junkies. Ms. Wallace's website http://www.nicollewallace.com/ provides more insight.
Image located at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7804338-eighteen-acres
Each of my library TAS completed a multimedia project on a award winning book for their first semester project I defined "award winning" as receiving a literary award (ie. National Book Award, Newberry, Printz, etc.) or critical acclaim. These students and I created either an Animoto or Glog for their respective choices. Peruse these works at your convenience.
* Monster Animoto Video by Aaron M.
*Dead and the gone Glog by Adan R.
*Feed Glog by Lonnie W. (will be available)
*Monster Glog by Romel S.
*Hunger games Animoto Video by Claudia B.
*Dante's inferno Glog by Brandon J.
*Eyes of the world Animoto Video by Matthew O.
*Candy Animoto Video by Alex M.
*Enrique's journey Glog by Ms. Geltch
CHS students may vote on their top book choice from the ALA Teen's Top Ten list during the CHS Teen Read Week festivities from Wednesday October 19-Thursday October 27, 2011. Here are the book selections with trailer links for your perusal with an Animoto overview of the Top 10 from ALA. An attached ballot is included below.
* Clare, Cassandra-Clockwork angel
* Collins, Suzanne-Mockingjay
* Condie, Ally-Matched
* Cremer, Andrea- Nightshade
* Fitzpatrick, Becca-Crescendo
* Kagawa, Julie-The iron king
* Lore, Pittacus- I am number four
* Oliver, Lauren-Before I fall
* Patterson, James-Angel: Maximum Ride
http://www.max-dan-wiz.com/video/maximum-ride-the-angel-9 (overview of series)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzNDMDej5kw (Angel book)
* White, Kiersten-Paranormalcy
Image from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teenreading/teenstopten/TeensTopTen_logo_web.gif
To better grasp the message of Red Ribbon Week, consider reading books on the subject. Fortunately, many children & YA authors have tackled the issue of drug & alcohol abuse from various perspectives in their respected writings. I highly recommend the following works:
*Alexie, Sherman-The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian
*Mazer, Norma Fox- When we first met
*Sparks, Beatrice (editor)-Go ask Alice
Image located ate
I drafted a Word document of additional titles here.
After hearing quite a few people wave about both the movie and book The help, I snatched the one available copy during a recent visit to a local public library. When many works are hyped so much, it's usually a set up for disappointment. Not only was the book worth the time, it's one of the best books I have read this year.
Stockett fleshes out all the characters in a way I intimately knew each of them--the good, the ugly, the human nature... She weaves idealistic reporter Skeeter's interviews with the African American help in context of life in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights period. The ramifications of these meetings become all too apparent after a book is published.
If the book is available at the upcoming Scholastic Book Fairs, I will make sure to get copies for each of the schools. For sneek peaks, look at The Help book and movie websites.
The Help Movie Website http://thehelpmovie.com/us/
Kathryn Stockett Website http://www.kathrynstockett.com/
Image located at http://www.prattlibrary.org/uploadedImages/www/locations/northwood/Northwood_Branch_Blog/the%20help%20book%20cover.jpeg
Dark secrets?? Forbidden romance?? Life?? Death?? How did Victor Frankstein acquire the knowledge to later create a hideous & live monster?
Kenneth Oppel writes a prequel to Mary Shelley's Frankstein titled This dark endeavor: the apprenticeship of Victor Frankstein In this account, 16 year old Victor Frankstein lives with parents, his twin brother Konrad, distant cousin Elizabeth Laveza, and younger brothers at Chateau Frankstein in Geneva, Switerzland. His best friend Henry Cleval also stays with the family on a regular basis. Victor struggles with his conflicting feelings towards Konrad. As his twin, Konrad is interconnected to Victor like no other. Victor hides his animosity towards his brother who is gifted with far more intelligence, atheticism, and charm. One day, the four teenagers stumble across a secret library filled with mysterious books. When Mr. Frankstein catches them, he forbids the teens to ever step foot in the room.
In a short period of time, Victor, along with Elizabeth & Henry, disobey their father's order, after Konrad becomes gravely ill with a mysterious illness no respected doctor can treat. As the three teens search for answers through less than reputable sources, they uncover a way to create a permanent cure. However, they must enlist the help of a Polidori, an alchemist admired for medical discoveries, yet banished
by their own father after of the concoctions kills a respected member of the community.
During Victor's quest to save his brother, he falls passionately in love with Elizabeth, a girl who had always thought of as a sister. When Victor discovers she is bequeathed to Konrad, a rage & passion burns inside him. Victor vows to cure Konrad and have the girl he wants at any cost.
Take a look at Kenneth Oppel's discussion & book trailer at http://www.kennethoppel.ca/pages/darkendeavor_videos.shtml
Image located at http://www.beyondhollywood.com/uploads/2011/05/This-Dark-Endeavor-Book-Cover.jpg
Luis Rodriguez chronicles overcoming poverty as first generation Mexican immigrant and Los Angeles gang member in his gripping autobiography. He dedicates the book to his son who experienced a similar fate.
Rodriguez's raw and honest accounts are not for the faint of heart. Despite my discomfort , I gained an awareness & perspective I didn't previously have--particularly since I taught near his neighborhood. Even though CHS students reside 50 miles away, many have had similar experiences. This book circulates well, especially among reluctant readers. I took these factors into account when selecting Always running as the September 2011 Yellowjacket Literate Book of the month.
Image located at http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171655988l/112148.jpg
Besides humor/funny stories, I often get asked for mystery & horror fiction book recommendations. Since I generally don't gravitate towards these types of books, it's a challenge. However, I am making more of an effort to be more helpful to students. In fact, I am currently perusing through possible selections for October/Horror Fiction month. I also included Books for Twilight Lovers link on YA Literature website page at Ms. Geltch's YA Literature. Below is a list of my top four recent favorite reads in this genre. Feel free to concur or disagree... The more input the merrier...
1. Gaiman, Neil- The graveyard: Baby Nobody escapes to the graveyard as a man named Jack murders his parents & siblings. The spirits protect and raise Nobody away from Jack, who must finish murderous contract. I appreciate the few gruesome scenes as I rooted for Nobody to escape Jack's clutches
2. Fitzpatrick, Becca-Hush, hush : Initially, Nora fights her attraction to her Biology lab partner Patch. As she spends more time with him, terrifying events begin occurring. Yet, she becomes more drawn to him at the same time. I find myself drawn into the intense forbidden love story. I will read the remaining books when an opportunity arises.
3. McCann, Lisa-Wake-Janie has battled with nightmares which she has done her best to keep from others throughout her childhood. Now, her dreams are becoming more real, dangerous, and impossible to hide. I remained glued to this action packed tale. Janie's abilities become even more important throughout the Wake trilogy.
4. Mead, Richelle-Vampire academy series- As Rose Hathaway prepares to become her best friend Moroi Princess Lisa's protector at Vampire Academy, she confronts danger and forbidden love throughout her journey. I admired Rose's spirit as she matures through her struggles during the six part account.
Image located at http://www.mysteryandimagination.com/home/rolling%20darkness.gif
As I have given seventh grade library orientations, many students have asked for funny books. They only know of Diary of the Wimpy Kid books, which have been checked out. I created a complete Word document of current titles in the humor genre titled "If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid". You will find it at the Children's Website tab of Ms. Geltch's YA Literature http://gelyalit.yolasite.com/
Here are my top five recommendations based on positive book critic and student reviews. I will also get cracking & begin reading these hilarious works.
Make sure to support the CHS Redlands Barnes & Noble Book Fair on Saturday September 24, 2011 and the CHS/CMS Scholastic sales from Monday October 10-Friday October 14, 2011 so more copies will be available at each of the school libraries.
1. Patterson, James- Middle school, the worst years of my life
2. Peirce, Lincoln- Big Nate series http://bignatebooks.com/
3. Russell, Rachel Renee- Dork diaries series http://www.dorkdiaries.com/
4. Benton, Jim- Dear dumb diaries series http://jimbenton.com/
5. Various Authors- Tales from the crypt: Diary of a stinky dead kid
Image from http://www.musicandmischief.com/content/wp-content/uploads/Diary-Of-A-Wimpy-Kid.jpg
I am Ms. April Geltch, CJUSD Librarian & advisor of the Yellowjacket Literate Book Club.
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