Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kids Who Are Changing the World by Anne Jankeliowitch and Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Ages: 9-12
E-ARC: Netgalley

From Goodreads: 

"The inspiring stories of 45 young heroes who have made an impact on our planet.

Forty-five young people from around the world (including twelve from the U.S. and four from Canada) are doing something every day to make the world a better place. They discovered issues that concerned them and did something about it. With skills ranging from singing, drawing, and painting to fund-raising, public demonstrations, and events, they have fought climate change and pollution, and worked to protect animals and their natural habitats. This inspiring book also includes reference materials and suggestions on how readers can get involved."

Faces of the Dead by Suzanne Weyn

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
ARC: Scholastic

How cool would it be to have a friend who looks so much like you she could be your twin? In Suzanne Weyn's Faces of the Dead, Marie-Therese has that opportunity. She is the princess of France, the daughter of Marie Antoinette, and her chambermaid, Ernestine looks so much like Marie-Therese that many who work in the palace confuse them constantly.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Maze Runner (Film) Review

Release Date: September 19, 2014

I am not a film critic; in fact, I leave that to my husband who is (you can check out his website here or visit him on efilmcritic). However, there are those films that come along that are based off young adult books, which I do review, so I feel as though I can provide some commentary here, albeit pretty negative commentary.

Red Band Society Premiere Review

Season Premiere: September 17, 2014 on Fox

With the success of The Fault in our Stars in both print and film formats, it's an easy decision to premiere a show about teens with cancer. And if there's one thing about teenagers, they are stubborn, but in the case of Red Band Society, their obstinacy means survival.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys by Barbara Dee

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Aladdin
E-Galley: Edelweiss

Middle school is perhaps the most awkward set of years in a person's lifetime. For girls, this is the age where boys are either still gross or becoming attractive. For Finley and Maya, boys are categorized three ways at Fulton Middle School: Croakers, Tadpoles, and Frogs.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Mockingjay Part I Images from The Hunger Games Exclusive



The Maze Runner a Modern Day Lord of the Flies

There's no denying the power of a classic, and William Golding's 1954 Lord of the Flies is a timeless tale of boys being boys, before dystopias were a "thing." On an island with no possible rescue, Golding's boys have to learn how to govern themselves, and that is no easy task; in fact, Flies is a warning of what could happen when kids must create their own sense of justice. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Disney Releases New Into the Woods Poster

Synopsis from IMDB:
A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.

A star-studded cast ranges from the indomitable Meryl Streep, to The Devil Wears Prada's Emily Blunt, to Pitch Perfect's Anna Kendrick, to Star Trek's Chris Pine, and last, but certainly not least, the chameleon Johnny Depp. Disney has a hit on its hands with this one!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Full Length Mockingjay Trailer Now Online

While some fans of The Hunger Games Series view Mockingjay as the weakest of the trilogy, it is definitely the most action packed and emotional. Lionsgate has now released the first full-length trailer of Mockingjay Part One which hits theaters on November 21st.

(Middle Grades) Superstars of History by Simon Basher and R.J. Grant

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9789545680240
ARC: Netgalley

If we don't understand our history, we cannot prepare for our future. In Basher and Grant's new book, history is laid out in a clean, simple format with all of the important information children need to know. Heck, I could honestly see me using this with some of my lessons in my high school English class.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

(Children's) Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

Release Date: September 28, 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Over the summer, I visited Austin, Texas, and every evening at dusk, people gather at a bridge near downtown to watch the bats fly out all at once. It is quite a spectacle, and among the ooos and ahhhs, you hear some children scream. Not the blood curdling, run-for-your-life scream, but the kind that is a mix of surprise and excitement. That is what Brian Lies brings with this book, a reprint of the 2010 edition.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763662677
ARC: Candlewick 

With a new school year underway, I have the privilege of working with a variety of students, and while I appreciate diversity, there are many who do not. Special Education students, specifically, do not receive the credit and respect that they deserve for being independent learners. Gail Giles, whose What Happened to Cass McBride has fascinated my students for years now, gives a voice to those who are silenced by stereotypes. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Conversion by Katherine Howe

Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

As we crawl ever so close to October, the month of witches is near. With film favorites like Hocus Pocus, television shows like Salem, and books on nice witches, evil witches, and every witch in between, the bewitching hour is soon upon us.

There's no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by reading Katherine Howe's mysterious Conversion. Playing off of The Crucible, the classic play that every American literature teacher includes in her syllabus, Howe's story takes us back and forth from Salem Village's Ann to 2012s Colleen. 

Senior year for any student is challenging: rigorous classes, scholarships, and college applications, SATs, etc. There' s no wonder students get senioritis by December. For Colleen at St. Joan's Academy, the premiere, exclusive, Catholic high school, getting into Harvard is her #1 priority. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Frosty the Snowman Board Book by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson

Release Date: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Candy Cane Press
Galley: Candy Cane Press

So it's only September, but soon the classic Christmas televsion shows will run throughout many homes, bringing to life the characters we love and grew up with. Perhaps the most recognizable Christmas character is Frosty the Snowman, and everyone knows the lyrics to the famous song: "Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul." Memories....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Am #12: Lebron James by Grace Norwich

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-73249-9
Ages: 8-10
Grades 3-5
E-ARC: Netgalley

From Goodreads:

I am basketball's biggest superstar--I am LeBron James.

LeBron James was the MVP of the 2013 basketball season and he is one of the best basketball players of all time. His accomplishments on and off the court will appeal to a wide audience-especially boys. He's the perfect person to lead with as the I AM series expands to include more current subjects.

The updated I AM series features full-color illustrated covers, and a mix of photos and illustrations throughout the interiors. A timeline, an introduction to the people you'll meet in the book, maps, sidebars, and a top ten list of important things to know help young readers understand the text and align the series with Common Core State Standards.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card courtesy of Embers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


From Goodreads:
There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evil rises.
Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.
Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War. Read an excerpt at the jump.