Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Recently Added to My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

There are currently 1,384 books on my Goodreads to-read shelf. I know I’ll probably never read all of them, but that’s okay because I’m always adding to that list! Today’s post focuses on the ten books I’m most excited about that have recently been added to my ever growing list.

Which books have you recently added to your TBR?


Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People I Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

The YA book community is pretty darn fantastic, and over the past couple years I’ve come across some wonderful authors/teachers/librarians/bloggers who I would love to meet!  This post is all about them and my list is in no particular order.

Matthew Quick–I’ve only read his most recent book, Boy21, but it continues to make me happy every time I read it aloud to my students.  If an author has written a book that I want to read and share with my students over and over again, then he/she is worth meeting.

Gae Polisner–I’ve done everything short of meeting Gae in person since I “met” her a couple years ago.  We’ve emailed, we’ve Facebooked, we’ve Twitter(ed?), and we’ve even Skyped.  I even teach her debut novel, The Pull of Gravity.  Can I meet you in person already, Gae?! 😉

Amy Fellner Dominy–Her books make me smile.  OyMG and Audition & Subtraction are both adorable and so worth reading.  I love chatting with Amy on Twitter and Facebook, so it’s about time I get to meet her! 🙂

Geoff Herbach–Are you sensing a trend here?  I kind of love the Class of 2K11.  Stupid Fast has turned so many of my male students into readers.  I want to meet him in person so I can thank him for his book and what it does for my students.

Courtney Summers–She’s another author who hooks my students within the first few pages of her books.  Her writing is engrossing and her stories are heart-wrenching.  I really hope I get to meet her one day.

Lisa Schroeder–I’ve loved every single one of her verse novels.  They’re engrossing, beautifully written, and almost always hook my reluctant female readers.  Plus, she lives in one of my favorite areas, the Pacific Northwest, so it would be super cool to meet her out there.  If you haven’t read I Heart You, You Haunt Me or Chasing Brooklyn or any of her other books, then you’re really missing out.

Allison R (@reader4evr)–I can’t remember how Allison and I started chatting on Twitter, but I love talking books with her.  She’s one of my go-to people when I need a good book recommendation, so I know we’d have fun if we met in person.

Jennifer Fountain (@jennann516)–Jenn and I would be super good friends if we could get together in real life.  I just know it 🙂  She and I have so many similar teaching/reading tastes that it would be amazing if we could one day teach at the same school.  It probably won’t happen, but I often dream of the “super school” made up of the fabulous teachers and librarians I follow on Twitter.  You can also keep up with Jenn through her blog, Fountain Reflections.

Crys Hodgens (@thehodgenator)–Crys is another super teacher.  She is full of awesome teaching ideas, she reads great books, and she pins all kinds of cool things on Pinterest.  Plus she blogs about almost all of those things I just listed.  Crys is another teacher I’d want at my dream “super school.”

Kyle (@BookPensieve)–Kyle is a fellow Michigan teacher so there’s actually a pretty good chance we could meet in person.  I love chatting with her on Twitter about books and teaching since we have so much in common and share lots of ideas.  She’s also a blogger at A Reader’s Pensieve.

Review: Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy

Title: Audition & Subtraction

Author: Amy Fellner Dominy

Publisher: Walker & Company

Release Date: September 4th, 2012

Interest: Author / Contemporary

Source: ARC received as a gift from a friend

Summary (From Goodreads):

For as long as Tatum can remember it’s been:

Tatum + Lori = Best friends

They do everything together, including a yearly clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But when a new boy transfers to their middle school and their band, the equation suddenly changes to:

Lori + Michael – Tatum = One happy couple

With her best friend slipping away and her parents recently separated, Tatum’s life has turned upside down. Plus her good friend Aaron thinks that they are secretly boyfriend and girlfriend, all because of one little lie Tatum told. Accepting change isn’t easy for Tatum, but just how much is she willing to give up to hold on to her friendship with Lori and life as she knows it? For Tatum, the best way to move forward may require a whole new formula . . .

Audition & Subtraction is positively adorable.  Plain and simple.  I read and adored Amy Fellner Dominy’s debut, OyMG, so I knew I wanted to read her sophomore release.  As expected, I loved it!

Audition & Subtraction will probably be categorized by most as middle grade since Tatum is in 8th grade, but I think high school students will enjoy it as well.  It is a perfect middle grade novel though.  The romance is light and sweet, and the conflicts Tatum faces are accurate for middle school and high school as well.  I really like how divorce is handled in the story.  It doesn’t overshadow the main conflict, but it does add an extra element of stress to Tatum’s life which affects her thoughts and actions.  I’ve also noticed that a number of YA novels feature absent parents or parents who are the main cause of conflict in the story.  That’s an understandable focus for YA, but it’s a breath of fresh air to read a story where the parents are really supportive.  I especially love Tatum’s mom; she’s struggling to be on her own, but she’s there for Tatum with support and great advice.

Has anyone noticed that whenever school bands are the focus, the kids are always band geeks?  I really like that Amy Fellner Dominy wrote this story without making the kids geeky.  I wasn’t in band after middle school, so I’m not overly biased about the band geek label, but it is nice to see someone stray from that stereotype.  Tatum and her friends are bright and talented.  They make some mistakes, as we all do, but they’re characters that teens and pre-teens can look up to.

I related to Tatum and how conflicted she was about what was happening to her friendship with Lori.  I remember feeling similar to Tatum when I was her age and one of my friends got a boyfriend.  It’s awkward when that happens because it’s so unfamiliar and middle school is awkward enough as it is.  Tatum’s circumstance is worse since Lori falls for Michael, Tatum’s big competition.  The strain on their friendship plays into a big conflict; Tatum needs to learn to stand on her own and not rely on others so much, especially Lori.  Dominy did a fantastic job tying these two pieces together.  The conflicts work together seamlessly, it never felt choppy or forced.  I hear about these types of fights (new boyfriends getting in the way) all the time in my classroom which is one of the reasons I think high school students will enjoy Audition & Subtraction.

Amy Fellner Dominy is a talented writer who has written a thoroughly enjoyable new novel.  I love the characters, the writing, the conflict, everything.  If you work with pre-teens or teens, make sure you get a copy of Audition & Subtraction when it releases September 4th!

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