Friday, May 17, 2013

Connecting with the real world: Booktalking notes for spring 2013

I had my last booktalk of the year in April, strategically before state testing so the students would have something really good to read.  Here are the notes for the books I talked for 9-12th grade:

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott (real life read):  Final Destination, the movie.  PTSD
Leading question:  Other than war, what are some other instances where people can suffer from PTSD?

Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price (real life read):  famous journals in history
Leading question: Why do people keep journals?  How would you react if someone read yours?

Legend by Marie Lu (dystopia): current hot topic issues Americans face today that deals with government (gun control)
Leading question: Do you trust the government 100%?  Why or why not? 

Darkwater by Catherine Fisher (fantasy): stories about the Devil throughout history (Devil and Daniel Webster, Faust
Leading question:  how many of you have ever heard this song?  Do a little Charlie Daniels.  Explain how this is recurrent theme throughout literature.

The Diviners by Libba Bray (supernatural): haunted places in our area
Leading question:  Anyone ever heard of la Llorna?  How about Chupacabra?  Regional legend ghost stories.  Are they true or not?

Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Catherine Applegate (science fiction): protein folds mystery and the gamers who helped solve it.
Leading question: What would the perfect teen look like (in your mind?)  Is it ethical or not to "play" with genetics?

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (fantasy): Talk about Kony or Saddam Hussein
Leading question:  What causes people to become refugees?  How can they start over again?

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder (girl reads; novel in verse): signs of an obsessive person (taking up all of your time, needing you in his life in order to live, constant contact, telling you what to wear/look like)
Leading question:  Where is the fine line between a relationship and obsession?  Has anyone ever heard of a crime of passion?

Fateful by Claudia Gray (historial supernatural): Titanic exhibit in Ft. Worth; the 2015 launch of the replicated Titanic
Leading question: How long have werewolves been around?  How did they get from Europe to America?

Scandalous: 50 shocking events you should know about (so you can impress your friends) by Hallie Fryd (non-fiction): Look at cover and talk about two events: Elvis and his shocking antics: Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.  How the impacted history.  Yes, history does have a dark and dirty side, and this book has the stories the textbooks leave out.

Infects by Sean Beaudoin (supernatural tongue-in-cheek):Zombie talk  (fast, slow, what infected them, how to kill/evade them)
Leading question:  Have you ever had a case of food poisoning? 

Trinity: a graphic history of the first atomic bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (non-fiction): How many times was the A-bomb detonated?  Where?  One of the best kept government secrets of its time.  Oppenheimer was the creator, but how did he feel about this thing he created?  Why did the U.S. choose Nagasaki or Hiroshima?

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen (real life read; thriller): Life of Pi; the effects of dehydration
Leading question:  Besides food and water, what would be the most important thing to have on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean?

Breathe by Sarah Crossen: air quality alerts; the most polluted cities in the world
Leading question: Do all people need the same amount of oxygen to survive?  What about those that live in mountains vs. prairies dwellers?  Athletes or sendentary people?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (supernatural): Different ways of divination (tea leaves, magic ball, tarot cards)
Leading question: Do psychics have the abilities they claim or not?  Ever watched Long Island Medium or Psychic Detective on television?

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (girl reads): hindsight; spending your entire summer with your parents and siblings
Leading question:  Ever had one of those moments when you know you screwed up but didn't do anything about it?  Ever wished for a do-over?

Zoo by James Patterson (adult fiction): story about the chimpanzee that turned on its owner and caused substantial facial damage
Leading question: If you had a pet you loved and it turned on you, what would you do?

Ten by Gretchen McNeill (mystery): movie the Elevator; Agatha Christie
Leading question: What's the best thing about being on an island?  The worse?

The Turning by Francine Prose (psychological mystery): long-distance relationships
Leading question:  If you were offered a summer job that paid big time, would you give up all phone and internet access the entire summer? 

Before You Go by James Preller (real life read): Three things guys think about (food, girls, hanging out) and the nothing box they are all equipped with
Leading question: What is the best summer job for a teen?  Are they different for guys and girls?

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: and other adventures in the world's most polluted places by Andrew Blackwell (non-fiction):  brief history of the infamy of Chernobyl; current disasters that pollute the earth (Fukishima).  Talk briefly about one other place in the book (India river) and end with the fact the Texas made the top five list of the most polluted places on earth. 

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (non-fiction): Which is more difficult, elementary or junior high?  How about junior high or high school?  Talk about Jeffrey's history in school and the demons he had to battle.  Describe his social life and his relationship with his friend Derf.  Then talk about what happened 10 years later, when Derf saw him on television...

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