Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Normally I write out reasons why I’m including each book on this list, but I’ve reviewed these books and mentioned them on so many lists that I feel like it’s not really necessary at this point. But believe me, creating this list was HARD. At the end of every year I feel like I haven’t read enough books, nor enough books that really wowed me. Do any of you feel that way at this time of year? I guess I’m not reading to be wowed, but I certainly like discovering new favorites. The books on this list are here because they’ve stayed with me this year (characters, plot, writing style, twists, etc.). I’d love to know which books are you favorites this year!

My favorite books of 2013 in no particular order…

1. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (My review)

2. Winger by Andrew Smith (My review)

3. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (My review)

4. Golden by Jessi Kirby (My review)

5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (My review)

6. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler (My review)

7. I’m With Stupid by Geoff Herbach (My review)

8. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (My review)

9. The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine (My review)

10. Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting (My review)

My favorite backlist titles read in 2013 (I couldn’t help but cheat)…

1. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (My review)

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (My review)

3. Recovery Road by Blake Nelson

4. Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Stock Your Shelves: Class Library Must-Have Titles

The start of a new school year is just around the corner, although for many of you it’s already started.  Whenever this time of year approaches I’m always making a list of books I need to buy for my classroom library.  I figured I’m not the only one, so I decided to make a list of books that I want to buy and that I recommend for a classroom library.  If you’d like additional title recommendations feel free to leave a comment.

Summer/Fall Releases:

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle (Goodreads)–This releases on August 20th August 27th (edited on 8/20, sorry for the mistake!), so I’ll have a review up shortly. Basically, this is all-around wonderful.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (Goodreads)–This releases on Sept. 24th. I’ll have a review up on the Nerdy Book Club blog before the release and that same review will post here on the release date.  Trish Doller writes magic, people.

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon (Goodreads)–Think The Fault in Our Stars from a funny guy’s point of view, yet totally standing apart from John Green’s hit. I know that might be confusing. This releases on Sept. 3rd.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (Goodreads)–It’s an awful lot like Looking for Alaska, but not as sad (or at least I didn’t think so). Still, it has a different kind of voice and will appeal to teens.  This releases on August 27th.

Books with Guy Appeal:

Winger by Andrew Smith (Goodreads)–I want to buy multiple copies of this.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame (Goodreads)–A lot of my boys really like this book and the companion books. It’s a really funny, quick read.

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (Goodreads)–I’ve been raving about this book since before it was released in 2011.

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker (Goodreads)–I still haven’t read this, but I have multiple copies because my boys in class LOVE it.

Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman (Goodreads)–This is a fantastic and realistic book about a boy in juvie.

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (Goodreads)–This is mysterious, funny, and features the son of a serial killer trying to help the police find a serial killer. Yep, it’s a hit with all of my students.

Verse Novels:

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder (Goodreads)–I recommend buying all of her books. This and Chasing Brooklyn are two of the most popular books in my room.

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones (Goodreads)–This title has been around for a while. Every year it becomes a new favorite for many of my students.

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams (Goodreads)–This is a great title to recommend to your Ellen Hopkins fans.

Ellen Hopkins–ALL of her books are huge hits with my students.

Oldies by Goodies:

Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Goodreads)–This released in 2007 and became popular again when its sequel Unwholly released last fall. The final book in the trilogy, UnSouled, releases on November 7th.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Goodreads)–Every time this releases with a new cover I buy it. It should be in every library.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (Goodreads)–This originally published in 1974 and I hook some pretty reluctant readers with it.

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (Goodreads)–This was my first Sara Zarr book and my favorite until I read How to Save a Life. Sara Zarr writes wonderfully realistic stories.

Forever by Judy Blume (Goodreads)–For many of my girls, this is the book that turns them into readers.

Sci-Fi/Dystopian:

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman (Goodreads)–Time travel, ghosts, and so much more. This is science fiction at its best.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Goodreads)–I recommend this every year, multiple times a year. It’s amazing.

Legend by Marie Lu (Goodreads)–I love that this has two points of view and appeals to guys and girls. I’m planning on reading it to my seniors while we read 1984.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid (Goodreads)–Gamers will love this.

“Quiet” YA:

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner (Goodreads)–This wonderful book may not have received a lot of hype from its publishers, but so many of its readers love it. Plus it pairs perfectly with Of Mice and Men.

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia (Goodreads)–The main character is pregnant, but it’s more than a book about a pregnant teenager.

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard (Goodreads)–This book will resonate with so many teenage girls. It’s fantastic.

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson (Goodreads)–All it took was one of my girls to read this and rave about it for it to become an instant hit in my classroom.

So. Much. Hype!:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Goodreads): I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to like this. But I really did and my students adore it. My students who didn’t like Looking for Alaska at all loved this.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Goodreads): I’ve replaced this book multiple times because it’s gone “missing” so often.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Goodreads)–One of my boys in class read this and loved it; one of my girls who reads “edgy” books read this and loved it. It’s an all-around winner.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Goodreads)–I haven’t finished reading this yet, but it went around my room a couple times before the school year ended. The boys who read it said it’s awesome.

Review: Winger by Andrew Smith

WingerTitle: Winger

Author: Andrew Smith

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release Date: May 14th, 2013

Interest: Contemp / Guy appeal / Humor / Illustrated

Source: Borrowed from the library

Summary (From Goodreads):

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Right now I’m having a difficult time figuring out what I want to say about Winger because Andrew Smith left me heartbroken and hopeful at the same time.  I can say that Ryan Dean West is now one of my favorite characters and Winger is now one of my favorite books.

I absolutely love finding books with guy appeal.  Winger falls into this category perfectly.  Ryan Dean’s voice struck true from the first to the last page.  He’s a fourteen-year-old boy and he talks, thinks, and acts like one.  Believe me, I’ve taught freshmen boys for the past six years.  There’s bathroom humor and humor from things that probably aren’t supposed to be funny, but Ryan Dean’s reactions and thoughts make this a laugh out loud book.  For the first 4oo pages I was constantly laughing and smiling.  Andrew Smith’s writing in this book made me think of Geoff Herbach’s writing in Stupid Fast.  Both stories are funny, include sports, and will get guys reading, but they also delve into a deeper story.

When I read that this is heartbreaking, I kept waiting for something heartbreaking to happen and wondering what it would be.  I was both prepared and unprepared for the moment.  I’m not going to go into too much detail because I don’t want to take away from that experience for you when you read Winger.  I read the page and sighed because I expected something like that to happen.  I turned the page, let the moment and scene hit me, and then I cried.  Not long after I finished reading this I still had to keep taking deep breaths.  I wasn’t sobbing or anything, but I had to let myself digest what I read.  I spent so much time loving this book and getting to know the characters that this moment felt like a punch in the face.  And I mean that in the best possible way.  I have mixed feelings about where this scene is placed, but I understand the reasoning for it.  When you read it, which I hope you will, we should discuss it.

Now, on to the whole John Green thing.  I can already see the comparisons to John Green’s writing and one of his books in particular.  I get it.  BUT, Winger is not that book and Andrew Smith is not John Green.  I love John Green and all, but I don’t think I’ve ever read one of his books and thought, “Yeah, my kids are just like (insert character name).”  I’ve read his books and thought of students who would like reading them, but I’ve never been able to picture one of my students as a character.  The characters in Winger are REAL.  I pictured a number of former students and others when I was reading this.  I’m confident that my students will appreciate this when they read it.

The copy of Winger I read belongs to my local library, but you can be sure that I plan on buying at least two copies of this book for my classroom library.  It’s that kind of book.  Andrew Smith has written something special.

Similar Reads: Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach, Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

Highlight at the end of this for a title rec if you’re okay with a spoiler: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman

Unleashing Readers Blog Hop–Reading Favorites

Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsberg created a new blog called Unleashing Readers.  It’s designed to help teachers find the resources they need when teaching reading and various types of literature.  A group of us (teachers) have been asked to participate in a blog hop and share a few of our favorite books that we use for different types of reading.

Unleashing Readers LaunchWeek2

1. My favorite read aloud–This is a tough one because I’ve read so many books aloud and I always get a different reaction from every class.  Right now Boy 21 by Matthew Quick and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate are tied.  They couldn’t be more different in terms of audience, plot, and characters, but my students have loved both for many reasons.  And I love reading them aloud and how I feel while reading them.

Boy21The One and Only Ivan

2. My favorite close read/analysis book–I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days now, and I’m still not sure.  My YA Lit students read Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn and almost every time I teach that class, my students find something different to discuss or analyze.  We spend a lot of time comparing Nick in the past (based on his journals) and Nick in the present (after the restraining order).  We also discuss his future, his family background, how society reacts to stories like his, and so on.

If I’m choosing a classic, I think I’d go with Lord of the Flies and Hamlet.

Breathing Underwater Original Cover

3. My favorite lit circle/book club book–I’m honestly still navigating lit circles because I never feel like I get them right.  A lit circle book works best when there’s plenty to discuss.  According to my students, it can’t drag on and be too slow either. ;)  My YA Lit II students appeared to really enjoy discussing Unwind by Neal Shusterman in their lit circles.    There are multiple points of view, plenty of big issues, lots of action, diverse characters, etc.

unwind-cover

4. My favorite book for my classroom library–I had to pack up all of my books this summer because many of us are switching classrooms, myself included.  I counted up my books and I think the final total ended up around 1,300.  So this is a tough one to decide on because I have so many books to choose from!  I’m cheating, again, and choosing more than one.  My favorite book for girls who want to read something edgy even though they don’t like reading would be Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.  It hooks them almost every single time, but this is a TOUGH read. I’ve had more than one student put it back, but almost all of those girls want to read another book after they finish it.  For my boys who need something funny to hold their attention, I am choosing Swim the Fly by Don Calame and Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach.  Both are funny books that hook my reluctant guys, but there’s also something more than humor in each book.

livingdeadgirlStupid FastSwim the Fly audio

5. My favorite book in general–I don’t have kids yet, but that is like asking me to choose a favorite child. Oh my goodness.  Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was one of the books I read for my college YA Lit class and it struck a cord with me.  I remember being so disappointed that I wasn’t going to be in class the day we discussed this one because I had so much to say about it.  After finishing it, I wanted to read more books like it.  I’ve read it aloud multiple times to my freshmen classes.  Laurie Halse Anderson was the first author I’ve Skyped with.  Whenever a new edition of Speak comes out, I buy it.  I don’t connect with it on a personal level, but it stayed with me.

Speak

My Favorite Books of 2013 (So Far)

toptentuesday-New

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

For today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, we’re supposed to compose a list of our favorite books of 2013 (so far).  This was a harder list to create than I thought it would be; it would probably be easier to create at the end of the summer after I’ve been able to catch up on my reading.  Some of these titles will remain on the list at the end of the year, but I know many will be replaced by even better titles.  It will be fun to find discover those books!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Goodreads) (My mini review)–This will remain a favorite at the end of the year.  I hope many of my students will read this in the future.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Goodreads) (My review)–Not only will this definitely be a favorite at the end of the year, Rainbow Rowell is a new favorite author.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseEleanor & Park

I’m With Stupid by Geoff Herbach (Goodreads) (My review)–What a way to end a truly wonderful trilogy.

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Goodreads) (Review posts on Friday)–I just finished reading this and can’t stop thinking about Carley and the Murphys.  Plus, I’m still sniffling.

I'm With Stupid new coverOne for the Murphys

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (Goodreads) (My review)–I love the characters in this 2013 debut, but I think the writing is what really won me over.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Goodreads)–So I’m definitely cheating here because I haven’t finished this yet, but I’m loving the audio and the story way too much not to include it on this list.  It’s fabulous.

Wild AwakeThe Help

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (Goodreads) (My review)–I liked this more than Between Shades of Gray.

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (Goodreads)–This is another fantastic audiobook that I thoroughly enjoyed.  It’s middle grade, historical fiction, and full of well-developed characters.  Listening to the audio meant I missed out on seeing the different birds from Audobon’s Birds of America, however.

Out of the EasyOkay for Now

Game by Barry Lyga (Goodreads) (My review)–This was even better than I Hunt Killers and it has a crazy cliffhanger!

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting (Goodreads) (My review)–This is one of my absolute favorite series, and even though I haven’t heard of a fifth book in the series, I’m still holding out hope that this isn’t the last book!

GameDead Silence

Audiobook Review: Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Front and Center audioTitle: Front and Center

Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Narrator: Natalie Moore

Publisher: Listening Library (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Graphia)

Release Date: April 4th, 2011 (paperback), February 9th, 2010 (audiobook)

Interest: Trilogy continuation

Source: Purchased via Audible

Summary (From Goodreads): After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I’m always in the background—it’s a family joke, actually, that us Schwenk kids could go to school naked on picture day, we’re all so crazy tall. But I mean I was returning to the background of life. Where no one would really notice me or talk about me or even talk to me much except to say things like “Nice shot,” and I could just hang out without too many worries at all.

But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who’s keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway . . .

What’s going to happen if she lets these people down? What’s going to happen when she does? Because let’s face it: there’s no way, on the court or off, that awkward, tongue-tied D.J. Schwenk can manage all this attention. No way at all. Not without a brain transplant. Not without breaking her heart.

Audiobook Review:

I’ve reviewed and mentioned this trilogy before because Natalie Moore *is* D.J.  Any time I think about the Dairy Queen trilogy I can hear Natalie Moore’s voice and I can see D.J. clearly.  Her Wisconsin accent is perfect and her differentiation between characters is great.  I read Dairy Queen to my sophomores, and many of them liked it, but I wonder if more of them would have enjoyed it if I could have used a Wisconsin accent like Moore uses.  Now that I’ve read Dairy Queen in the traditional way, I definitely recommend reading this series by audio.  I can’t say enough positive things about it.

Book Review:

Since Front and Center is the final book in this trilogy, I don’t want to say too much.  D.J. has become one of my favorite characters because she’s so honest and real.  She’s more confident in this final installment, but she’s still unsure of herself as an athlete and a young woman.  Watching her grow into herself was so enjoyable in this book.  This might sound odd, but I’m really proud of her.

I loved D.J.’s and Win’s relationship in Front and Center.  It’s obvious what an impact she made on her brother in The Off Season.  Win and D.J. need support from each other even though neither really wants to admit it.  Win plays a big part at the end of the book and it really warmed my heart.  I’d love to read something from Win’s point of view.

If you enjoy the Stupid Fast trilogy by Geoff Herbach then you’ll enjoy the Dairy Queen trilogy.  After finishing it I’ve decided that Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s trilogy is the female equivalent to Geoff Herbach’s.  D.J. and Felton’s lives parallel each other in terms of family, friends, sports, and relationships.

Review: I’m With Stupid by Geoff Herbach

I'm With Stupid new coverTitle: I’m With Stupid

Author: Geoff Herbach

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Interest: Series / Author

Source: ARC received from the author

Summary (From the publisher):

It’s nerd-turned-jock Felton Reinstein’s last year before college, and the choices he makes now will affect the rest of his life. That’s a lot of pressure. So, he’s going to make a list. What would he be if he weren’t a jock? He’ll try everything—comedian, partier, super student—and which ever identity he likes best he’ll stick with. Poof. Stress gone.

Except not… Because the list leads to:

1. The whole state of Wisconsin hating him.
2. His track coach suspending him.
3. His mom moving out.

Before leaving home forever, Felton will have to figure out just who he is, even if, sometimes, it sucks to be him.

I’m so sad to write this review because it means I’m done reading Felton’s story.  I’m also extremely excited to write this review because I absolutely love how Felton’s story ended.  If you haven’t read Stupid Fast, or if you have read Stupid Fast and haven’t read Nothing Special yet, I really hope you amend that.  Felton Reinstein is one of my absolute favorite characters.  If you’re a reader, you really need to meet Felton.

Geoff Herbach is simply a talented author.  While I was reading I’m With Stupid, I was laughing on one page and crying on the other.  His writing is perfectly balanced so the reader experiences everything fully.  Felton is dealing with tons of anxiety in I’m With Stupid, and I felt that anxiety while I was reading.  When Felton was happy, I was happy.  When Felton was beside himself, I was beside myself.  It’s not often that I so fully experience the same emotions as the characters I’m reading.  Stupid Fast and Nothing Special made me feel the same way, but I’m With Stupid packs a more emotional punch, at least it did for me.  I know this final installment of Felton’s story will really speak to teen readers, especially the teens who feel the pressure to succeed in anything, not just sports.

After reading Nothing Special, I’m really happy that Andrew and their grandpa play a bigger role in I’m With Stupid.  They’re both interesting and smart characters that add a whole new layer to Felton’s personality and character.  I love how insightful they both are and the way they guide Felton from afar.  Felton desperately needs guidance in this book.  At the same time though, we get to see Felton mature and want to become a guide for others.  His character arc is wonderful and commendable.

Geoff Herbach has written an utterly sincere trilogy that is  perfectly paced.  Before I even received the ARC of I’m With Stupid, I had a list of guys in class who wanted to read it.  When I received my copy, I handed it off to one of my students before I read it myself.  He finished it in two days and couldn’t wait to discuss it.  Geoff’s writing and stories really connect with teens, especially teen boys.

Skyping with Geoff Herbach

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you should know that I’m a huge Felton Reinstein fan.  Of all the books I’ve read, Felton is absolutely one of my favorite characters.  Every chance I get, I spread the Felton love and recommend Stupid Fast to readers/non-readers.  So it makes sense that I’m also a huge Geoff Herbach fan since he created Felton.

My Sophomore Seminar students have been writing and reading up a storm this school year, so I approached a few authors about sharing some of their advice on revision.  I approached Geoff about it, and he gave me three revised versions of the first page of I’m With Stupid, his final book in the Felton series.  Besides the fact that it’s awesome to be connected with such talented and generous authors, being provided with the opportunity to see the revision that took place just on that one page was really eye-opening for my students.  Thankfully Geoff accepted my request to Skype with my two Sophomore Seminar classes so we could discuss this.

First, I have to give Geoff major kudos.  He’s an hour behind us, and it was 8am our time when we started, but he woke up extra early so he could talk with my first and second hours.  And he was dealing with a malfunctioning furnace; I think he said it was around 52 degrees in his house at the moment. In February. In Minnesota.  He’s a trooper!

Anyway, both hours had a fantastic time talking with Geoff.  It was the perfect mix of serious questions about his books, his writing, revision, his life, funny stories, etc.  A couple students asked him questions about his covers which sparked an interesting discussion, and we also discussed how he came up with his titles.  Some of my aspiring authors asked him questions about getting started and how he works with his editor.  My students were really engaged and left class telling me that they want to read his books.  Mission accomplished.  Plus, each class ended on a goofy note.  My 1st hour was showing me some funny music video clips with goats while we waited to start our chat, so we had to show him the videos too.  One of my students has an iPad, so she put it in front of the camera and played it for him.  My second hour mentioned the Promethean board during our chat (it’s a long story how we reached that point), and one way or another it was decided to draw goofy faces around his face.  Geoff cracked us up while we did this; we even turned the camera around so he could see what my student was drawing.  We sent him pictures of course :)

Skype with Geoff 1 Skype with Geoff 2

I felt a little guilty using a class period to Skype with Geoff after having so many short weeks due to snow days, but this was an experience that many of my students absolutely loved and will probably remember long after this school year ends.  This is why I wish  more teachers embraced young adult literature.  Students can connect with YA authors online, through email, via Skype, etc.  My students can’t Skype with William Golding and ask him questions about Lord of the Flies.  My student isn’t going to receive a personalized bookmark with research help for a project from Harper Lee (in reference to the very awesome Sarah Darer Littman who sent a bookmark to one of my students who read Want to Go Private? for her research project about online predators).  I’m not saying we should abandon the classics, but including YA literature in our curriculum opens up a lot of doors for our students that the classics can’t.  If you ever get the opportunity to Skype with an author, I highly recommend you do so.  I’ve Skyped with a few authors and each experience has been rewarding for my students.

3rd Hour Book Love

I’ve posted the results from both of my Honors Sophomore Seminar classes and today I’m posting the results from my English 10 class.  Almost all of the students I have in this class I had last year when they were freshman, so it’s fun having them again and seeing their list of favorite books read in 2012.  Quite a bit of discussion, surprise, and debate was created when I shared the list.  Some of them were very passionate about their favorites and the recognition they feel those books deserve.

As a reminder, the titles my students chose are titles they read in 2012 and feel are award-worthy.

1st Hour Book Love / 2nd Hour Book Love

Top Choice: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
**I’m slightly surprised to see this as a top choice again.**

The Hunger Games

What students said about The Hunger Games trilogy (Goodreads):

“It’s very gripping.” -Nathan
“I like that it’s different.” -Ciara
“I loved all the action.” -Todd

Honorary Titles:

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (Goodreads)
**I have more guys than girls in class, many of which play football, so I’m not surprised to see this title on the list :)**

Stupid Fast

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (Goodreads)
**I’m surprised this is on the list because my copies of the series have been collecting dust and taking up space.**

Breaking Dawn

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner (Goodreads)

“It’s an overall great story because you can actually feel the emotions.” –I wish I remembered which student said this…

The Pull of Gravity paperback

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles (Goodreads)
**Not as many students in class knew about Jumping Off Swings, so a few students took time to book talk it which sparked some new interest.**

Jumping Off Swings

Nightshade trilogy by Andrea Cremer (Goodreads)
**So many of the girls in this class are sharing and loving this series.**

Nightshade

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker (Goodreads)
**The guys in my classes request this book the most, especially my sports players. They love Carl Deuker’s books.”

“I like it because of all the expectations the main character faces and how he reacts to them.” -Jake

Gym Candy

The Duff by Kody Keplinger (Goodreads)
**There was some shock that Shut Out didn’t make the list.**

The DUFF

Paranormalcy trilogy by Kiersten White (Goodreads)

paranormalcy1

Boy21 by Matthew Quick (Goodreads)
*At first this wasn’t on the list, but I found out that’s because they didn’t think they could include a read aloud book. I was told to add it to the list because it’s a great book.**

Boy21

1st Hour Book Love

After reading Cindy’s blog post about the ALA awards, I came up with the idea to ask my students which books are their favorites and deserve awards.  I asked my 1st-3rd hour to list books they read and loved in 2012.  I expressed that it’s great if they’re 2012 releases, but it’s okay if they’re not.  With the help of my fabulous cadet teacher (senior class student who plans on becoming a teacher), Tristan, I have the top books listed for each class.  I’m posting the 1st hour results today, and I’ll post the next two class results over the next two days.

Top Choice: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
**Side note–A few students cheered when I told them this was the top choice 1st hour**

If I Lie

What students said about If I Lie (Goodreads):

“I listed this book because she stayed true to her friend no matter how badly it affected her.” -Trista

“It’s touching and super cute.” -Kaelyn

Honorary Titles:

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (Goodreads)

I Hunt Killers final

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (Goodreads)
“It’s just good all-around” -Joe (a very to the point answer :))

Stupid Fast

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Goodreads)
“I love how she slowly uncovers everything.” -Katie

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (Goodreads)

Embrace

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Goodreads)
**Side note–This class is very excited about the third book releasing & this being made into a movie.**

Divergent

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Goodreads)
“It’s different and not predictable at all.” -Kara

Miss-Peregrines-Home-for-Peculiar-Children

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (Goodreads)

Shut Out

Crank by Ellen Hopkins (Goodreads)

crank

Looking for Alaska by John Green (Goodreads)
**Side note–Announcing this title sparked a lot of debate because some loved it and others didn’t like it at all.**

“I love the Before and After because it allows us to see how Pudge handles everything **avoiding spoiler** after.” -Hannah B.

cover-of-looking-for-alaska

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