Tag Archives: books

Authors…I would love to review your books!

Not only do I like reading YA books along with ALL other books, but I love to read and share with students, friends, anyone!  So, if you are an author and you would like me to read and review your book on my blog, please do NOT hesitate to contact me.  This will benefit me, I can build my classroom library as well as give my students great new books to read and share with others! And this will benefit you because I will be sharing my thoughts with the world, which could get you some great press!

Here’s what you can expect after you send me a book:  It can take me anywhere from 1 week to 3 months to review a book.  This means I may not finish a book by its publication date.  Between my family, lesson planning, and teaching full-time things can get busy. But I always try to read each book within the month that I get it.  Please keep this in mind when you ask me for a review.

So help me and I will help you! Thanks for your support keeping students on the right path, with a book in hand! 🙂



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Classroom Library…suggestions welcome!

So it is Saturday night. I am sitting in my quiet house as my children and husband are all fast asleep. No, it’s not late, they all were in bed at 8 pm. I am too old to be a night owl! Anyways, I am halfway through reading Notebook Connections by Aimee Buckner, which has a lot of great ideas! I am alternating between reading and hoping and praying that I hear back from a school I interviewed at on Friday. I am in LOVE with the school and I really, really want to get the position!  I just want Monday to get here! Not only will I hear back from the school (one way or the other), my dad will be here!

Back to my point…

I was also sitting here thinking about how important it is for students to read. Free read. Read what ever catches their eye. I am a huge believer that every English classroom ( as well as all other classrooms, no matter the subject) should have a good library.  I have picked up books here and there lately, when I can find them  for $3 and under. I am working on getting a good library, but also being a first year teacher I need to spend money on other things for organization and whatnot.  So needless to say my classroom library is starting out very sparse. So this is where you, my awesome readers come in.

How do you stock your classroom library?

What hints, tips, suggestions do you have to acquire books for cheap, like really cheap…or free. Free is good.

Also…I take donations 🙂


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Book Review: Beloved & Just Write!

I finished two books this week.  The first one I would like to talk about is Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Book review from Amazon.com:

Book Description

Publication Date: July 24, 2007
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
My thoughts:
Again, this is one of those books that I should have read years before and have not. I guess since it was not a required reading at my school or many colleges I had not picked it up, until this past week.  This book is one of those books that, for one you cannot put down and two, you often have to stop and think about the characters a little more deeply.  There were some parts that I read over a few times just so the information could sink in.  I rarely do this.  But this book has so much going on, so many issues that you often have to re-read a passage to grasp all that Morrison is trying to tell you as the reader.  I would definitely recommend this book to any and all readers.
Just Write: Here’s How! By Walter Dean Myers

Book Description from amazon.com

Publication Date: April 24, 2012

Practice, practice, practice. Now Walter Dean Myers, the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, walks you through the writing process.


  • Examples from his writing and reading experiences
  • Walter’s six-box and four-box outlines for writing fiction and nonfiction
  • Excerpted pages from Walter’s own notebooks
  • An afterword by Ross Workman, Walter’s teen coauthor of kick
  • Writing tips from both Walter and Ross

Anyone can be a writer, with a little help from Walter Dean Myers!

My thoughts:

This is a great book for middle and high school students who have an interest in writing and even for those beyond school.  But it is written to the school age person.  Myers makes it a little more personal with stories from his own life and actual pages from his journals he used as he was writing one of his many different stories.  As a teacher I found some ideas in the book that I could use in the classroom for brainstorming.  I like how he breaks down his method and show you how simple it is to come up with a story outline.  This book could make those students who are leery about taking on writing a book more excited to do so.  This is a book that I plan on keeping in my classroom library, that way I can easily share with those who are interested in writing something longer than an essay!


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Food for thought!

AdLit.org always has a lot of interesting articles and blogs. Here are a few that I found thoughtful and useful in my reading today and thought I would share! Happy reading!

Summer Loss

A Beach Bag Full of Summer Learning Resources

Featured Booklists: Summer Reading

Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA)

Scholastic Summer Challenge

Teen Book Finder App


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We were published!!

Thanks for helping put all of this together!  I really love the 6 word memoir and am extremely glad that you introduced it to me! I plan on using this activity again and again!


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An Evening With Tim O’Brien!!

One thing on my bucket list has always been to go to an author reading/book signing. I have seen many events that I have wanted to go to over the years, but when you are working or strapped with kids it is hard to do. But I am lucky and my dad is staying with me right now and I am going to see Tim O’Brien at the Jacksonville Public Library (main library) this Thursday!  I was at the book store with friends last night (yes, we are lame, we have a girls night and end up at the bookstore) and I saw O’Brien’s book on the shelf and that made me remember that he was coming to the library. So I mentioned it to my friend Sarah and she said that he was a great writer, so I purchased his book and I plan on reading it today so I am ready for Thursday! One of my tenth grade students has been reading it for awhile now so I plan on mentioning it to him on Monday! I am so excited!

Event Type: Library Event
Age Group(s): Adult, Teen, All Ages
Date: 4/26/2012
Start Time: 6:30 PM
End Time: 8:00 PM

 The Jacksonville Public Library and WJCT bring author Tim O’Brien to the Main Library for an evening to discuss “The Things They Carried.” This free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library.

Library: Main Library
Location: Hicks Auditorium
Contact: Lisa Buggs
Contact Number: (904) 630-4655
Presenter: Tim O’Brien

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Book Review: Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands

Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands by Susan Carol McCarthy

Author’s website/reviews/summary found Here.

 “[A] noteworthy debut…[and] richly detailed portrait of life in the racist South. McCarthy gives voice to the individuals whose ‘time in the fire’ was Florida in the early 50’s… appropriate for all who wish to reexamine this dark chapter in American history.” 


 In the orange-blossom scented spring of 1951, Reesa McMahon is awakened at dawn to learn that the local Klan has brutally murdered her closest friend and mentor, nineteen-year-old Marvin Cully. The killing of this gentle black man, who worked in the McMahons’ orange grove, will turn the genteel town of Mayflower, Florida, into a battleground. 

As violence erupts across the state, and Thurgood Marshall and Harry T. Moore of the NAACP join the McMahons to unmask Marvin’s killers, Reesa’s younger brother becomes the target of a Klansman’s bullet. Reesa’s search to make sense of her town’s soul-killing bigotry will pave the way for our country’s painful steps toward justice, equality, and guaranteed civil rights.
This book was something that I most likely would not have found on my own. There are millions of books out there, I am sure that I miss tons and tons that I should read every year! My mentor teacher is going to start reading this with her tenth grade class this coming week, so I went and picked it up so I could read ahead.  It is a story based around events that had actually happened here in Florida and is a great read along with a mini history lesson about what life was like here in FL in the early fifties.  I am really hoping that the students read along with this book, it is not as action packed as they like, but it is a great story that all should know.  This book has been compared to To Kill A Mockingbird and I can say that it is very comparable.  

I give this book ****

* Wish I never read this book.

** Okay read.

***This was  a good book

****Great book, recommend to all!

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