Saturday, July 30, 2011

Action, Adventure, & Espionage

        Do you love to read stories that are filled with action, adventure, crazy gadgets, and spying?  If you do, NERDS:  National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley is a book that you will not want to miss!  This book is about a boy named Jackson whose life is drastically changed the day he gets braces.  He goes from Mr. Popularity to the school pariah.  After Jackson's exile from the "cool kids" he finds out that there is much more to school, especially his, than playing sports and being popular when he spots several interesting coincidences by a group of nerds. After following the nerds into their secret headquarters he accidentally becomes one of them.  But can this group of kids ever learn to get over the terrible things that Jackson did to them when he was popular and accept him?  You will be on the edge of your seat as you read to find out if a group of nerds at Nathan Hale Elementary can save the world from an evil mad scientist. 
        ***A fun feature of this book is that at various intervals you (the reader) will actually have to pass certain tests to earn the security clearance necessary to continue reading-they will be grueling, but well worth the effort!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dragon's Egg

        I recently completed my fourteenth SSYRA book, Dragon's Egg by Sarah L. Thomson.  This book is about a young dragon keeper named Mella.  Mella lives a simple life of helping her family with the small country inn that they own and taking care of their small herd of tamed dragons.  Everything changes the day that Mella stumbles upon a large warm black stone.  She quickly finds out that the large warm black stone is actually a wild dragon's egg.  Mella makes a promise to deliver the wild dragon egg to the hatching grounds.  Mella encounters lots of complications during her journey to deliver the egg.  The ups and downs of Mella's adventure make for an interesting read.  If you like dragons then this is a book that I think you will enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

If you like mysteries . . .

        If you like mysteries then you will enjoy The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett.  This is the first book in Tracy Barrett's Sherlock Files Cases:  Unsolved seriesThis book is about a brother and sister named Xander and Xena Holmes who love playing detective games.  These games become even more important after they move to London and find out that they are related to the very famous detective Sherlock Holmes.   After meeting members of the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives Xena and Xander decide to try and solve some of the unsolved mysteries that Sherlock Holmes worked on more than one hundred years earlier.  Their first mystery involves a missing painting called The Girl in the Purple Hat.  Will there be enough clues for to solve this cold case?  You will have to read and find out for yourself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What scares you?

       A few examples of things that people are afraid of include heights, snakes, and speaking in front of large crowds, etc . . . But Alvin Ho, the main character of Alvin Ho:  Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things is afraid of so much more!!!  This book tells the story of a boy (just about to begin 2nd grade) and how his fears control his whole life.  He is afraid of everything, including but not limited to elevators, trains, bridges, substitute teachers, shots, school, etc . . . Throughout this book you will see how Alvin tries to use his PDK (Personal Disaster Kit) to help him deal with all of the scary situations he encounters, which according to Alvin is almost everything in his whole entire life.  This is a really fun book and will make anyone feel much braver, at least in comparison to Alvin!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Out of my Mind

       Wow!  I just finished Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper and it was a really great book.  The story is centered on the main character Melody Brooks and the every day trials that she faces as an eleven-year-old girl with spastic bilateral quadriplegia, also known as cerebral palsy.  Through each page we can see how Melody's disability limits only her body and not her mind.  This story was incredibly moving and I found myself cheering Melody on as she faced each and every obstacle in the book.
        Mrs. Shannon (one of Melody's teachers) reminded me of several wonderful teachers at my own school.  My hat goes to off to Mrs. Merricks-Collins, Ms. Wassmuth, Mrs. Tieben, and Ms. Williams.  I admire you and your dedication to your students!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away

        Today has been a rainy summer day, which is absolutely perfect for reading.  The only problem is I don't have my next SSYRA book . . . yet.  I have requested the five other titles from the public library, but so many other people are also interested in reading these great books.  I am pretty far down on the list.  This is why on Monday I will head over to Chamblin's Bookmine and/or Barnes and Noble and try to pick up my next book-wish me luck!
        The five SSYRA books I have left are Alvin Ho:  Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Stuff, Out of my Mind, Dragon's Egg, The 100-year-old Secret, and NERDS:  National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society.  I have read the blurb on the back of all five of the remaining books and I am really looking forward to reading Out of my Mind next.  I will be sure to keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Not Just for Boys : )

        The next two SSYRA books that I have read are How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills and Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee.  In both of these books the main characters are boys, but believe me these books are not just for boys!
       How Oliver Olson Changed the World is a book about a 3rd grade boy who has extremely overprotective parents!  So much so that they hover over everything that he does.  When his teacher Mrs. O'Neill assigns a project Oliver may just find a way to convince his parents that he is growing up and may not need the amount of help that they think they need to provide for him.  This project may even change the     world . . . you will have to read to find out for yourself.
       Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) is a story about a boy named Bobby and how his life is changed at the beginning of fourth grade.  One event after another will accidentally pit Bobby against all of the girls in his class.  This book is very entertaining and you will laugh page after page!