Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let's Get Ready for Love (or Not)! Booklists for displays

Link to Supernatural Romance for YA:

Links to YA Dystopia Romance:

Okay, I removed the embedded list because it was taking SO LONG to download.  I'll provide a printed list if anyone wants it.  The link is still good though :) 
GRRRRR....I think is slow today!    

This is the third update to this post and I apologize.  I put my list on 22books and didn't save a hardcopy!  But I made one and here it is :)  Just in time for V-day!
PS - I did NOT include supernatural, just real life romance.  Just an FYI :)

The Good

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler
Chopsticks by Jessia Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
24 Girls in Seven Days by
Friend is Not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenhaft
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught
Just Listen by Deb Caletti
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement Moore
The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Short Story Collection
Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Niki Burnham, ed. (story collection of both good and bad)
Who Am I Without Him by Sharon Flake
Let It Snow by John Green and Maureen Johnson
Love is Hell by Melissa Marr, ed.

The Bad and Ugly
Played by Dana Davidson
Stay by Deb Caletti
Things Change by Patrick Jones
Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder
A Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
Honey Baby Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz
Audition by Stasia Kehoe
Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher
Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
Something Life Fate by Susane Colasanti
In Too Deep by Amanda Grace
The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
Destroy all Cars  by Blake Nelson
Exposed by Susan Vaught
Dark Song by Gail Giles

He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt
It’s Called a Break-up Because It’s Broken by Greg Behrendt
Relationships Smarts: how to navigate dating, friendships, family relationships and more by Joyce Markovics
Boyology:  a teen girl’s crash course in all things boys by Saray O’Leary Burningham

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Infects by Sean Boudoin

2012 Candlewick Press

Nick's life isn't all that sweet. His mother is gone, his father, whom Nick refers to as the Dude, has decided to retire into a life of continuous tanning (really...he's that retired), and his sister, who has a condition, hides under furniture playing video games. Income? None, except for Nick's paycheck.

Nick makes ends meet working at probably one of the worst jobs in the world...a chicken factory.  His job is to take the processed chicken and make sure they're cut up.  And they go through a LOT of chicken.  Fresh Bukket is THE chicken place everyone goes to for tasty treats like Chixx Nuggest, Neck Hunklets, and Larder fries.  On the  bright side, Nick gets a a creepy, unused, secret part of the processing factory.  This is when his life changes - literally.

When Nick accidently ruins the expensive machinery (due to a cut and bleeding all over the chicken), he is assigned to Inward Trek boot camp, along with several other miscreants of society.  He is Nick no more, but rather Nero.  Happily, or unhappily enough, there is an Inward Trek for girls as well, and Nero spies the love of his life, Petal, on the bus for girls.  But why?

After they put up tents, morning arises for another day.  And Nero sees the unbelievable:

     Jack Oh looked up and grinned.  His knife jutted out of the meat of his shoulder
     sunk to the handle.  It didn't seem to be bothering him much.
     "You need some help?"
     Jack Oh didn't answer.  His teeth were red and wet, his eyes yellow and pinned.  He was
     stubbornly chewing something, probably a wad of Skoal.
     Nero took a step close.  Didn't want to, but had to.
     Had it see.
     If it was.
     Another step.
     Wasn't tobacco at all.
     Matter of fact, Counselor Jack Oh was eating chunks of Counselor Bruce Leroy.
     Okay, that's gross.

Let the Zombie Revolution begin!

If you like guts and gore (or know someone who loves zombie books), then this is a must and if you want to chuckle while cringing, you've come to the right place.  Beaudoin's writing is terrifyingly funny, from the horrors of running from a horde of zombies to the Zombrules that Nero makes up. What makes this book so unique is that it is served with a side of tongue-in-cheek humor.  Beaudoin also tosses in a dash of romance and a liberal pinch of a secret ingredient you'll be surprised about when it comes to fruition at the end of the book.  Unlike other zombie books, Beaudoin creates a real zinger of how the whole zombie revolution begins in his novel.  Gross, raw (no pun intended...okay maybe), fast-paced, funny.  I like this new take on dead people.  Book trailer on Youtube:
Recommended for high school.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The List Goes On....Recommended Web Tools

I'll be presenting at a state conference (TCEA: Five (not 500) Sites You Can Use NOW!) and these two mindmaps will be a part of the presentation. The ones highlighted in yellow are the ones I've found independently or collaboratively and found them worthwhile. Interestingly, while going through my Google Doc list, I had to delete four websites that are now defunct. It's always a wise thing to update lists :) You can go directly to the map on the web with this link: Hope you find this helpful!
Make your own mind maps with Mindomo.

Recommended Apps for iPad

Through the past year I've had my iPad, I've gone through so many apps it's crazy! Okay, some of them are for fun, but I tried to keep my head in the educational field, so here's a Mindomo of the apps you can find on my device. If you know of any I'm missing, please comment with your favorite(s)! Click this link to go there directly:
Make your own mind maps with Mindomo.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Little Brown, 2012

Evie wants more...more excitement, more fun, more adventure, and she definitely doesn't find it in Ohio.  One accident, though, will change her life....

After accusing a high society man of a situation he denies, Evie's parents decide the best way to calm down in the social faux pas is send her to New York City to live with her Uncle Will, owner of the Musem of Creepy Crawlies (according to the locals).

So onto NYC Evie of the speakeasies, Ziegfield Follies, flapper girl fashion paradise, and NO parents.  What could get better than living in the biggest city in the U.S. during the 1920's prohibition?  The sky's the limit, for everyone, including Naughty John, supposedly a local legend based on fact, but he isn't just a story...
With Evie's arrival, a mass murderer has taken over the city, and when the police ask Uncle Will to help, Evie and her gift (or curse) become more important than ever.  She's not the only one with a gift though.  There are others, and the ones that are more sensitive can feel the battle coming on between good and evil.  Those hiding their gifts, afraid of being called out or hunted down, aren't sure what they're supposed to do or even why.  Until Naughty John gets bigger, stronger, and starts hunting for the one who can make that final transformation for him....

"Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. 
Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones."

Initial reaction to the book:  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!  Not only does Libba Bray encompass the era of Prohibition so well, but she ties in the supernatural and mystery, creating a "tri-genre," if you will, that is sure to blur the edges for those teens who like to stay in one genre.  
Bray's novel also shows the hard work and research put into this book, which she writes in an afterword that is quite interesting.  The late 1800's and early 1900's were rife with supernaturalists and the belief in the otherworld, especially in small communities in New York state.  Bray not only incorporates this eerie part of history into her novel, but more as well.  She includes different parts of the NYC that were birthplaces of amazing talent, popular pastimes for the young and idle, and the slang of the era that give this novel such an authentic feel.  One of the best I've read this school year.  Cannot WAIT for this sequel!  Highly recommended

Common Core Pair:  Devil in the White City:  Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson, Crown Publishers, 2003

Friday, January 11, 2013

REVISED: A typical Friday in the life of a librarian....or my day today

I guess this post is not only about what I'm doing on this fine Friday before finals (dead week is also dead library one comes in because they're all reviewing.  I also prefer zombie week as an alternative title) but also with the fact that there are too many people who stereotype the librarian (need I say more?  We all know how we  are stereotyped!  grrrrrr!!!!)
So here we go in time stamp, to the best of my abilities:

7:00-8:30 am: Get to work and start warming up all of the peripherals, including the teacher workroom located here.  Greet my wonderful library assistant (aka WLA), and catch up about each other's night as well as what's going on here.  Start making ID's, printing jobs for students, checking in and out books, showing students how to upload papers, answering questions about other school related activities, talk about what the Destiny Quest app can do, promote them to students.... I also got to read the Texas Monthly Bum Steer Awards feature between all the circ work.  Love this annual feature!

8:30-10:00 am:  Go through the stacks and pull books that need to be put into specific genres.  Our campus instructional technologist comes in and we confer about techno-expo projects from students, what we've done this past semester, what our goals are together and apart for our campus, how to integrate new Macbook Pros into student and teacher projects.

10:00-10:30 am:  Label the books I pulled from the genres, ask my WLA to re-label them, go to my office to start original cataloging anime books (ACK!  MY WORST GENRE TO ORIGINAL CATALOG!!!) and decide to blog my day on blogger.  Time to go back to those stinkin' anime...wish me luck.  I'll blog more after be continued...

10:30-11:15 catalog.  Nuff  said.

11:15-12:00  lunch!  During lunch I quickly scanned through emails and read only the ones I thought were important from campus.  You gotta love smart phones!

12:00-12:30  I only had about 4 left, so I finished cataloging.  19 manga in all :) 

12:30-1:15  Did a first revision for Texas Library Association's Strong Libraries Strong Scores conference for administrators.  The revisions were for letters to be sent out to admin and librarians who nominated them.  I'm sure this is the first of many...

1:15-2:00  Time to go through all the email I missed out on for the day.  Replied to some, read others, and deleted, foldered (is that a word?), and starred.  When you're subscribed to three listservs as well as campus/district email, it can be a whole lotta enchilada!!  But there is nothing like virtual collaboration and learning because of these valuable vehicles!

2:00-2:15 phone conference with my lead librarian.  Looking forward and what is on the list for this semester for our district and my campus

2:15-3:00  Time to finish up this blog post and READ!!!!!  I promised a student I'd finish Infects by Sean Beaudoin so he can have it.  Also over halfway done with Andrew Jenks: My Adventures as a Young Filmmaker and can't wait to dive into Lisa's Schroeder's Falling for You.

Yes, and this would be the time someone comes through the library and says, "I wish I had your job and just get to read all day!" uh-huh....riiiiight....

Happy weekend!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Hyperion, 2012.

Maddie and Julie's lives would never have intersected if there was never a war.  But wars bring people together, and together this is their story....

Maddie has longed to become something grander that a girl selling and repairing motorbikes in England in the 1940s and her dream begins to become reality when she meets her first woman pilot.  And it's this small relational ripple effect that changes her job as a woman wireless operator to a full-fledged civilian pilot in the RAF, fighting for England.  She skill and mechanical know how before the war makes her a prime candidate, but as a woman, she can't quite fill the requirements as an RAF pilot.  Her potential is seen and spotted, thanks her her doggedness, and Maddie's dreams are realized.

Julie is blond, beautiful and regal.  People call her Queenie for a reason, and it's because of the confidence she exudes and the way she holds herself.  Working in the same place as Maddie, her skills are called upon when she helps the RAF take in a Luftwaffe pilot, using her proficiency in German.  While she speaks, Maddie gives the coordinates - and the two girls become fast and life-long friends.  Maddie never thought a friendship would blossom, until they started spending more time together, telling each other their top ten fears, going on adventures, and realizing that cultural differences only make them more interesting. 

But one night will change airplane crash into Nazi-riddled France.  One girl caught as a supposed spy, the other one trapped until she can find her way back to England.  And it's this friendship that continues unflappable in the face of death and destruction that makes all the difference.  It doesn't matter that Maddie and Julie are separated...their loyalty and deep loving friendship keeps their hope alive. 

This is a book of a story within a story....two tales told and seen from two different perspectives of the same situation. And it's this style of writing that makes this novel a standout in young adult literature.  Sectioned into two parts (one for each main character), that author reveals their deep abiding friendship together and apart through flashbacks in diary/transcription style.  But even more interesting, is that this book is told by the same person in both first and third person, but is done purposefully to support the narrative. 

It's not only the style that is unique, but the characters that play secondary roles to each girl.  Not until the middle of the book does the reader realize why one of them is writing such a long story.  Like it or not, I had to sympathize with the enemy just a little in order to understand his relationship with one of the girls. And this book is all about relationships; good, bad and ugly, but mostly about the beautiful friendship between two amazing young women. 

If there is a caveat to this book, it's that it took off slowly and didn't build up until I was truly invested in it, which was about a third of the way in.  At first, it was more of an inquisitive nature (what's going to happen?) It wasn't until the second part that everything fit together and the story was fully understood did I fly through the novel.  This is not for every reader, but more for one that enjoys style and literary devices and can see the beauty of the written word, not just the story in and of itself.  I wouldn't necessarily say this is just another YA books...I can definitely see this as an adult novel also.  So with that, I'd recommend it for high school...and for English teachers :)

Common Core Pair:  In the Garden of Beasts:  Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson