Monday, February 24, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2-24-14

Visit our hosts Jen & Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their reviews as well as links to all the other bloggers participating in the book sharing fun!  There are so many new books to discover, and so many great conversations to be a part of!
Get your library cards out!

Books I Read this Week:

The Path of Names by Ari Goelman
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013
Fantasy
344 pages
Recommended for grades 6-8

Talk about a unique storyline!  I was fascinated by the double plot in this book.  In the forefront we have Dahlia, a girl that only agreed to go to a Jewish sleep-away so that her parents would consent to her going to magic camp later in the summer.
Once Dahlia gets to camp she begins seeing the spirits of two young girls, and one ominous man.  Around the same time Dahlia begins having strange dreams and visions where she glimpses the past of a man named David.  
Somehow David, the young girls, and the ominous man are all connected to the camp Dahlia is staying at.  And she is there just in time to help stop more children from disappearing in the mysterious juniper hedge maze in the woods near camp.

I think that kids in 4th and 5th grade will be drawn to this awesome cover, but there were some reasons I pegged this book as being one for older readers.  First off, the plot would be very confusing for a 4th grader.  The many Hebrew words might also bog them down at times.  The second reason would be due to some of the content.  When Dahlia sees her visions of David's past there are some rather scary scenes (like, a murder).  There are also mentions of drinking, making out, and female body parts.  

Poison by Bridget Zinn
Hyperion, 2013
Fantasy
280 pages
Recommended for grades 6+

I read this book in about the span of a day.  With a fast paced plot and a main character that you immediately want to know more about, it was easy to get lost in this book!
Kyra is a 16-year-old Master Potioner...or at least she used to be, before she tried to assassinate her best friend, the Princess.
So we meet Kyra on the run.  Running from all the parties out to stop her, and running also to find the Princess in hopes of finishing the job she started.
Readers will be curious about Kyra's past and will be anxious to find out why she is after her former best friend.  And of course, a budding-maybe-romance always keeps things fun.


Numbed by David Lubar
Millbrook Press, 2013
Science Fiction
144 pages
Recommended for grades 3-6

This is a perfect read for on level 3rd graders, and readers in 4th through 6th that are still growing their skills.  Nice white space between lines, short in length, and a storyline that is easy to keep straight.

I will be adding this book to my classroom library because it is a book that might draw in my reluctant boy readers, giving them a chapter book to be successful with.

Now, is the story that amazing, well no.  The characters are underdeveloped, maybe because it is a stand alone sequel, I'm not sure.  The premise is that two boys go on a field trip to a math museum, get zapped by a robot and have their brains numbed, removing their ability to do any math.  The book is definitely cool for getting kids to think about all the math around them.  The scene in the mall where the boys realize they can't tell time, and therefor won't be able to meet their ride on time, was pretty funny.
The boys must make several trips back to the museum to try to get their math abilities back.


Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell
Top Shelf Productions, 2013
Fantasy/Graphic Novel
192 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

Sweet, funny, and at times down right witty.  
Every town has a monster. The monster comes down from his lair, scares the townspeople, and retreats to his lair.  The monster is idolized by the townspeople because he is fearsome and exhilarating, and also because the people know that as long as they have a dangerous monster their town is protected from the threat of invasion by another monster.  Only one per town you know.
But...the monster you're looking at above is not doing his job.  He is depressed and hasn't attacked his village in seven years.  And turns out that attack was really just a misunderstanding...he only wanted a pack of gum.
Anywho, the monster needs to get whipped back into shape, and an experimenting doctor with his license revoked can practice again if he can turn the monster's mood around.  Add in one small stow-away and you've got a fun read ahead!

I'm Currently Reading:

(Listening to)

On Deck:


Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful reading week!

14 comments:

  1. Poison sounds so intriguing! I am definitely going to have to pick that up from my library.

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  2. Monster on the Hill looks fantastic. I definitely need to read that one soon!

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  3. These look like great books - I'm especially intrigued by The Path of Names and Poison. Thank you for the grade recommendations - they're helpful!

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    1. Thanks Holly, glad you found something of interest! The Path of Names and Poison were enjoyable reads :)

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  4. We really liked Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled. My boys looked at it several times before it had to be returned to the library. Thanks for the David Lubar recommendation. I am constantly on the lookout for books that will engage my struggling 5th-grade reader, and this seems like a good fit. Monster on the Hill looks excellent as well.

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    1. I am so excited about reading Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled, especially after someone told me that some of the things we grew up knowing about dinosaurs were being disproved!

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  5. I appreciate your detailed review of The Path of Names - I have it but haven't read it yet. Poison looks like an ideal title for my daughter. She is always wanting to read YA titles - but not all are 11 year old friendly.This looks like something I would let her read. Hope you are well! Looks like you are getting lots of reading in!

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    1. Thanks Carrie, all is well, and I did enjoy a good amount of reading time over vacation! On the news last night it showed the blanket of freezing air sweeping down through Canada...hope you're staying somewhat warm!

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  6. Hi Nicole, your books look great! Thanks for sharing Numbed, have not seen this one, but I can imagine several students liking it.

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    1. Thanks Gigi, Numbed is a follow-up book to the titled Punished, which I haven't read. I am going to be adding both to my classroom library because it does seem like a good fit for many 4th graders.

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  7. Hi there Nicole, Monster on the Hill caught my eye, love stories about monsters. I had to smile at your description of Numbed - it's always important to find books that reluctant readers might pick up, regardless of how we as adults feel about the plot or character development and such. The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe also looks very interesting and the Path of names sounds magical. Thanks for sharing all these titles! Have a great reading week.

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    1. Hi Myra,
      Glad I got a smile for that one ;) I just finished Haunting of Gabriel Ashe last night...I turned to my husband and just had to tell him the twist in the end (not that he cared much, but it shocked me!).

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