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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Seventh Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin

Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 4.1
Lexile: 560L
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Dillon wants to be a dancer. His did wants him to play football. Dillon and his friends have a YouTube channel on which they post videos of them dancing. Dillon has never had a formal dance lesson but the girl in his crew that he has a crush on hates dance studios. When Dillon finds out about a dance competition for free dance lessons at a locate studio, he must decide between the girl and his dream to dance.

Another ORCA nominee (& OBOB book), I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I liked it but not as much as "Wolf Hollow".

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Interest Level: 3-6Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): 4.6
Genre: Historical Fiction 

Lexile: 800L

I choose to read this book because it is a nominee for the 2019 Oregon Readers Choice Award. I simply loved it. I carried this book everywhere. I did not play games on my phone when I went to bed. I read instead. I highly recommend this book.

Set in 1943 in rural Pennsylvania, 11 year old Annabelle has a kind heart. Although World War II has everyone on the edge. Annabelle befriends Toby, a World War I vet, who others in her community think is dangerous. But Toby help Annabelle with the bully whose malice grows each day. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: Science Fiction Novella

Binti, a teenage girl, is the first of the Himba people to attend the most prestigious university in the galaxy. While on her journey to the university, her ship encounters the Meduse, a warring alien race. She must use the gifts of her people to make sure she survives. 

I heard about this book from the podcast "Levar Burton Reads". It appealed to me because the Himba people find numbers and mathematics to be a harmonizing, mediating thing. Math and numbers are a religion to them. I very much enjoyed this book and plan on reading the other two novellas in the trilogy. I will share this book with my youngest daughter who is a gifted mathematician.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Booked by Kwame Alexander

Interest Level: 5-8
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): 3.9
Lexile: 660L
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Novel in Verse

Another ORCA 2019 nominee, this novel in verse is a captivating read. Nick is twelve years old who loves soccer but hates books. His father is a college professor and an author of a dictionary. Through some trials, which include a bully, Nick discovers the power of words. He uses a book recommended by his school librarian to try to impress a girl and a new knowledge of words to communicate with his parents. Booked is a story that grabs you right away. A quick read, it has taken the #1 spot for my choice for the 2019 ORCA.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): 4.0
Lexile: 680L
Genre: Historical Fiction/Novel in Verse

This book was given to me by a friend and colleague. This book was a quick read. I read it in 3 days. The story is set in the late 1870's. Twelve year old May is sent to work for a couple who lives 15 miles west of her family's farm in the Kansas prairie. When the young bride takes off and her husband follows, May is left alone. The book chronicles her attempt to survive the winter. Written in verse, this book is a page turner. You want to find out if May survives and is reunited with her family.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Nameless City 1 by Faith Erin Hiccks

Interest Level: 5-8
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): 3.0
Lexile: GN390L
Genre: Fantasy Graphic Novel

The city is called The Nameless City because everyone that conquers it changes it name. Kaidu is a member of the current nation to occupy the city. He meet Rat who is a native of the city. Their friendship brings them to where the future of their city lies in their hands.

I am not a big graphic novel reader but chose to read this because it is a 2019 Oregon Readers Choice Award nominee. It is the first of the eight nominees that I have read. I read it in one sitting and very much enjoyed it.

Popular: How a Geek in Pearls Discovered the Secret to Confidence by Maya Van Wagenen

Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): 4.5
Lexile: 730L
Genre: Memoir

Maya's father finds a 1950's popularity guide written by teen model Betty Cornell. Maya's mother suggests that Maya follow the guide and write about. This book is the of a girl, Maya,  who on the social ladder is “pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here." Maya journals her eight grade year and her attempt to become popular.

The book has a great message. "Popularity is more than looks. ... Real popularity is kindness and acceptance. It is about who you are, and how you treat others."

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): 4.7
Lexile: 650HL
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Jessica and her track teammates get into a bus accident on the way home from a track meet. Jessica loses her leg below the knee. She urns to run again. The track team want to buy her a running prosthetic limb but her parents can hardly pay for her hospital bills.

I loved Van Draanen's book Flipped and I must say I liked this book as well. I will have to remember to add more of Van Draanen's novels to my must-read list.

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

Interest Level: Adult
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): NR
Lexile: NL
Genre: Historical Fiction

Twelve year old Hannah Rosenthal has had a charmed life. Then in 1939, the Nazi party arrives. Her family loses all their possessions and are no longer safe in their Berlin home. The transatlantic liner, the S.S. Louis, offers the Jews safe passage out of Germany. However, their overseas asylum turns out to be an illusion.

At times the story slows down but I was so invested in the characters that I hung in there to see if Hannah and her best friend, Leo, would be reunited and if she would ever see her father again. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard by David A. Goodman

Interest Level: Adult
Reading Level (Reading Counts Level): NR
Lexile: NL
Genre: Science Fiction

I love Star Trek Next Generation the television show; and I loved this book. Now
I want to read "The Autobiography of James T. Kirk".