The author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy has come up with another novel that will pull readers into the world of Internment. The world of Internment floats above the Earth and is a safe place where the King takes care of all the citizens. Before babies are even born, they are matched with someone they will eventually marry. Trains run around the perimeter of Internment stopping every ten minutes for people to get on and off. Life is predictable and Morgan and her best friend Pen ride the trains to school every day until the unthinkable happens - a body of one of their classmates in found on the train tracks. This is the first murder in a generation and it changes everything. Read this first book in the Internment series- it's a mystery, dystopian novel, and romance - it has something for everyone!
Friday, November 22, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
When I was in elementary school we had emergency drills in case of nuclear war. All students would duck under their desks and stay there until the drill was over. I guess I was too young to really understand the danger, but I never thought we would have a nuclear war; I probably didn't even know what a nuclear war was.
In Fallout, Strasser imagines what would happen if the United States was really attacked with nuclear weapons.
In 1962, Scott's father is the only one on his block to build a bomb shelter and to supply it with water, food, and other items that may be needed if his family must survive for days or weeks underground.
People in the neighborhood laugh at Scott's family until, in the middle of the night, sirens go off and the bomb shelter is the only way for people to survive.
The only problem is Mr. Porter stocked the bomb shelter for four and now his neighbors are clamoring to get in. How can ten people survive for weeks with food and water intended for four?
While reading, I wondered how I would treat my neighbors. Would I let them in even if it might mean that my family's survival might be compromised?
Fallout was a fast, riveting read that I think both middle school boys and girls will enjoy.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
We decided to have a Catching Fire book party early in the year to capitalize on the enthusiasm for the book and the upcoming movie.
Seventy-five students signed up! As they came in to the media center, they reached into a bag and choose a pin to see which district they would be in.Each district received an arena "clock" with their schedule for the afternoon. Districts competed in trivia, a cornucopia challenge, and physical competitions.
On to the Cornucopia Challenge where districts must choose items that will help them in the arena.
We've reserved a movie theater on opening day so we can all experience the movie together!
A big thank you to all the teachers who helped plan and execute the party. We had 12 teachers and a few staff members who took their time to plan and supervise the activities. I really can't thank you enough!
Monday, October 28, 2013
Nora has practically been raised in her father's barbecue restaurant. She can braise ribs and baste pulled pork with the best. But when she is accepted to the reality show and competition Taste Test, she suddenly begins to question her cooking skills. A lot is at stake - a full scholarship to ISC-Paris which would take Nora out of her small hometown and provide an experience she could never afford on her own.
However, when Nora arrives at the North American Culinary Academy, she seems to make enemies from the beginning. She must room with self-absorbed Joy who won't even speak to her. And super-cute contestant Christian and Joy seem to have an unfair advantage over the other contestants.
Nora and Christian seem evenly matched when the cooking competition begins - they each win quick challenges. But then strange, dangerous things begin to happen. A faucet explodes injuring one of the contestants. As other potentially fatal "accidents" happen, besides competing in a cooking competition, Nora needs to find out who is behind all these incidents.
There's a mystery in this book, some romance, and lots and lots of great recipes! If you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes on a reality show, read this book. Very light, enjoyable read.
Friday, October 25, 2013
When the Taliban took control of Pakistan, they didn't think girls should get an education. Women couldn't go outside without a male to accompany her. Many women accepted that their role was to serve men.
But Malala didn't agree with this. She thought it was important for women to get an education. She wanted more for both herself and other girls in Pakistan.
This is Malala's story. I found all the background information on Pakistan fascinating. I knew what was going on in Pakistan from the news, but reading this first hand account made it come alive for me. It's hard to believe that people are living like this in 2013.
Malala also paints a beautiful picture of her country. She loved living in Pakistan, a land with waterfalls, mountains, and streams. But when Malala was ten, the Taliban came to her valley. People had to get rid of their cell phones, CDs, DVDs, and televisions. Life changed for everyone.
This can be an emotionally difficult book to read, but Malala's spirit shines through every page. I will always remember her.
Monday, October 7, 2013
But what happens when two of the sisters become interested in different boys and want to begin dating? And why does their mom insist on adhering to this schedule? Readers will be guessing at the reason why these sisters are never allowed to be together outside of their house.
The Originals has an interesting plot that has adventure, romance and intrigue. The climax felt a little forced to me when the "Elizabeths" must ask for help from a character that was barely mentioned. But all-in-all, I think middle and high school girls will really like this book.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I don't want to spoil The Compound for anyone who hasn't yet read it, but this book deals with Eli and his family after they have escaped from the underground compound where Eli's father had isolated and kept his family captive.
Eli, his mother, and his siblings haven't seen daylight or interacted with other people for six years and find that adjusting to everyday life isn't easy. His father, who died in the compound explosion, is now notorious and in the news for his heinous act. Everyone wants to meet the family that underwent this horrible ordeal. Eli can't even go outside without being followed. All he wants to do is be a normal teenager
This book is almost as captivating as its predecessor. I think what made The Compound so memorable to me was seeing just how evil Eli's father was. There are some surprising moments in The Fallout, but since the reader has the background information from the first book, the plot and characters are already known.
So while I didn't devour The Fallout as quickly as The Compound, it did keep me reading. If you read The Compound, you need to read this sequel; if you didn't read The Compound, what are you waiting for?