Monthly Archives: January 2013

Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume – Retro Review by Cindy Beggs

When you hear, “Judy Blume,” I think many of us think Superfudge, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, or Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.   When Judy Blume’s name comes up in conversation I ask people if they’ve read Just As Long as We’re Together and often many never heard of or read this […]

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – Review by Teresa Bunner

Forgive Me,Leonard Peacock (Little Brown and Company, August 2013) is a powerfully rendered story by Matthew Quick. We’ve been conditioned to hate those students who become school shooters. Leonard is on his way to becoming just that. At times he is rather unlikeable. But then his story unfolds piece by piece and Quick takes us […]

Celebrating Books

No matter who wins the ALA Youth Media Awards, the whole event is about celebrating the best titles. And celebrate we did. Many of us were watching from home (on unexpected inclement weather days off from school) or watching at school with our students. The cheers and gasps – and even the nail-biting – could […]

Reading and Where It All Began by Michelle Haseltine

In my sixth grade classes we are writing narrative poems about our lives and memories, about where we come from that have been inspired by George Ella Lyon’s poem Where I’m From. Inspired by this format, here is my reading life in the form of a free verse poem…     Reading and Where It […]

Top Ten Things You May Not Know About the Newbery Award by Monica Edinger

Right now in Seattle there are fifteen exhausted, excited, and inscrutable folk, members of the 2013 Newbery Committee, who, after a year of intensive reading and examining of all eligible books, spent the last few days in seclusion to debate, discuss, listen, consider, vote, and decide on the 2013 Newbery Medal and Honor books. Having […]

Top 10 Urban Fiction Books by Jennifer Fountain

I teach freshman English at an alternative school just outside of Houston, Texas. My students are all at-risk academically, and most come from unstable home lives. Many of them come from homes where friends or family members are in gangs, are “locked up,” are drug abusers, or are never home because they’re working two jobs […]

Music Is Love by Justin Stygles

I think about where I learned from reading. Honestly, I started to learn from reading when I was roughly ninth or tenth grade – when I started to read the lyrics to songs in the liner notes that came with the cassette tape. This was the best thing ever! Never was I so engaged. My […]

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – Review by Mandee Wyrick

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (young adult, contemporary)  Published: March 2010 Publisher: Harper Collins Hardcover: 496 pages Purchase: Amazon ($7.99 at time of post) 5 butterflies Synopsis What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own […]

The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey – Review by Barb Middleton

Generations of klutzes run in my family. Grandma is infamous for throwing chicken grease into the furnace and causing an explosion that fried off her eyebrows, eyelashes, and bangs. I am not sure my infamy. Maybe when I set 16 boxes of cereal on fire preheating the oven as a teenager (mom quit storing them […]

A Love Story by Brenda A. Ferber

Like most girls who grew up in the seventies and eighties, I fell hard for Judy Blume. Her books gave me clarity about myself and my life in a way my parents couldn’t, for no matter how wonderful my parents were, they were old (over thirty!), and they loved me blindly. How could I trust […]