Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Halse Anderson’

Well, it’s official, today is my last day of summer vacation. I start training (which I’ve already done, last year, but don’t let me get started on that tangent) tomorrow for two weeks and then I have a week of workdays and then the kids come back on the 27th. Those three weeks of preparing for the little darlings means that I will be worn out even before the kids arrive and it also means a lot less time for me to read which I really hate to part with. Oh well, I’m thankful to even have a job in this economy and at least I will be back into a routine.
Since tomorrow is technically my “first day of school” I have decided that this weeks TTT will be books set in or around a school.

10. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities by Alexandra Robbins
I was never in a sorority in college, but I was always fascinated by the girls who wore matching shirts with Greek letters on them and who seemed to only socialize with each other. I only knew what sororities were like from TV shows like Beverly Hills: 90210 and movies like The House Bunny. This book isn’t that much different than those televised portrayls. Robbins goes undercover and rushes a sorority, gaining the trust of the girls in the house and gives us all the gory details of body image troubles and hazing horrors. It made me pretty glad I never decided to seek out one of those matching t-shirts.


9. The Magic Schoolbus Series by Joanna Cole and Illustrated by Bruce Degen 
Let’s be honest here, who didn’t want to be in Ms. Frizzle’s class and get to go on these slammin’ field trips? The Magic Schoolbus books were non-fiction fun escapes that taught me (and countless other youngins) about topics like the solar system, the water cycle, and, my personal favorite, what it’s like inside of a hurricane.


8. Villette by Charlotte Bronte 
Okay, this one probably made the list because I just finished reading (and loving) this one. However, there is always something so romantic and exotic about a European boarding school that I just love.

 7. Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter

Okay, this book was written in the 1950’s- when kids were still “good”!!! If you thought that they were bad then, I double-dog dare you to attempt to set foot in a school today. Seriously, folks, nothing can prepare you for what happens inside a school. It would blow your mind. It does mine on a daily basis.

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl
I loved Roald Dahl, and I especially loved Matilda. Matilda was a relatable character for me since she was reading well before going to school. I hated that mean old Ms. Trunchbull for her and I equally loved Ms. Honey. This is a charming story that I can’t wait to share with my daughter one day!


5. Christy by Catherine Marshall
Christy is the story of a 19-year old girl who goes to teach in the Smoky Mountains of NC (yes! I love a NC Mountains book!) and discovers hardships both from the townspeople and from her reluctant students but eventually comes to love them all. There was also a CBS-produced mini-series staring Kellie Martin that came out which is equally enjoyable!


4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Frequently chalanged and often seen on the ALA’s Top 100 Banned/Challenged Book List this social-commentary book has it all- sex, secret socities, refusal to sell chocolate for those stupid school mandated fundraisers (ever year I end up with a stack of straight-up CRAP that I have felt like I had to buy from the students. The book is pretty intense and it raises up some thought-provoking concepts.



3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Front Cover
I read this book in one sitting while I myself was in high school. It’s got some pretty tough issues in it, but one of my good friends did a unit on this book with her eighth grade  honors class last year, and it must have gone pretty well. The kids seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of them come into the library asking for more books like it and more by Anderson. There was also a Lifetime TV movie staring Bella Swan that came out a few years ago.

2. I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe.
My aunt sent me a copy of this book for my birthday the year before I left for college. Like the protagonist, I, too, am from a small, rural, North Carolina town. After reading this book I wasn’t sure if I was excited or nervous to go to college. This was a fun read and I felt really smart reading a Tom Wolfe novel (and one that was so thick, too!). This is one I remember immensly enjoying and one that I will need to revisit soon.



1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts– enough said! (PS, I think that I would be a Hufflepuff, but that kind of thing is best left up to the sorting hat).


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I met this sweet little buddy at Park Road Books today. I forgot her name, but she was a delighful employee and she made my visit all the more better! For my haul I got Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (I’m gonna put it on the shelves at work when I get finished reading it) and I finally got me a copy of The Disappearing Spoon!

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Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart? -The Lovin’ Spoonful

Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can. -Alice Hoffman Practical Magic

So here it is again, almost another month has gone by and no updates from me. We still do not have Internet here, but I am hoping to change that tomorrow as I got a brand new computer at Best Buy yesterday. When I went to college I got a laptop and then when I started grad school my dad bought me a new laptop. That second laptop was on it’s last leg so Saturday G and I went to look at computers at Best Buy. I was all set on getting a new laptop, but after talking to the guy that worked there and looking at the desktops, I decided to go for a touch screen all-in-one desktop! So far, I love it. Now, if I could just get some Internet!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my next post and what I wanted to write about. I’m still reading a lot of the Battle of the Books books and so far I loved Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson is one of my favorite YA authors and sometime soon I hope to do a post just on YA lit. Perhaps after I have finished my BOB reading list. I am in the midst of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. Last week at school my co-coach told me that she got the questions for this book from another teacher which made me so happy. I am loving the story but I kept getting caught up in having to stop to write questions. I am happy to get to just read the book and enjoy the flow of the story.

My favorite season is upon us. I love Autumn. I love apples and pumpkins and leaves crunching under my feet and cooler air and sweaters and jackets and warm comfort food. To me Autumn is a time to curl up on the couch under a blanket on a grey day and read while enjoying a warm cup of apple cider. I started thinking about some of my favorite Fall comfort reads and I was having trouble coming up with books. I easily called to mind some authors whose books I must have read for the first time in the Fall or they just have such strong Fall themes that I can actually feel the chill in them.

My first Autumn Author is one of my all around favorite authors Alice Hoffman. Everything about Hoffman screams autumn. I started off my list with her book Practical Magic. Thinking about Practical Magic (which is definitely in my top ten books of all time) led me on a tangent about witchcraft and Halloween and I decided that next month I would write a post regarding my favorite Halloween-y books. Practical Magic isn’t very Halloween-y. It’s about family and traditions with magic sprinkled in. I rented the video when it first came out and I hated it. I didn’t watch it again until years later when there was a re-run on ABC Family. I got so into it and forgot why I ever hated it so. (Perhaps it was the fact that a 8 year old just can’t understand everything that occurs in the film). After that second viewing I rushed out to grab the novel. At that time I was very interested in reading all of Jodi Picoult’s books and I had been reading a lot of comparisons to Hoffman so I knew that this was perfect timing. I read the book in about 1 day and I adored it. It differs quite a bit from the movie, but they both have such an Autumn feel to them that I love them both independent of one another and I make a point to watch the movie and read the book (if I have time) each Autumn.

Another great Hoffman Autumn book is a collection of short stories that all revolve around one house in Massachusetts called Blackbird House. Honestly is there anything more Autumn and more magical than a blackbird!? I’m not normally a huge fan of straight short stories, but this book reads in a novel way since all the stories have that common element and you get glimpses of what became of the other characters in past stories. This book reads like a secret society and it is a great Autumn read. Honestly, any Hoffman books work well in this category, but these two books are just may favorite.

My second AA is Sarah Addison Allen. A native of the great state of North Carolina (and she sets all of her books here too!) Allen is a surprising pick for me. The first book I read of hers was Garden Spells and I honestly read it because it was cheap on the Nook and it was my first Nook purchase and I was desperate to read something on my brand new Nook. This book is also filled with magic but instead of the beautiful Autumn setting, we get it set in the middle of a hot summer. Magic always calls to mind Autumn for me. I think because I find the season such a magical time for myself I always crave books with magic in them. The most autumn-y Allen book that I can think of is really The Sugar Queen (which I will honestly tell you I have not read yet). This book takes place during the middle of winter instead of Autumn, but I know I can count on that magic to be there. At this current moment I have Allen’s newest book The Peach Keeper checked out from the library and I am anxious to start it.

Side note: Along with The Peach Keeper I also checked out The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag the second in the Flavia de Luce mystery series by Alan Bradley and I can not rave enough about these books. The fourth book in the series I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is due to come out in November and I jus can’t wait. I will need to read the third one in that time, but that should not be a problem at all. This winter look for a post on the Flavia series!

I elected to read Flavia first because I wanted to start Peach Keeper when the days are a little cooler, the air a little crisper, the leaves a little crunchier. This fall I am aiming to read only “magical” books. Books with witches and families and magic and spells. Of course in October I will also read about goblins and ghouls and all those scary things that I wait all year to read about.

So my last Autumn Author is actually an autumn book and it was one that I did not care for. A Discovery of Witches had such potential for a great Autumn read. So much so that I cheated and read it in the summer. I tried to convince myself that was why I detested the book so, but no, it was just not a book for me. I won’t continue on my rant about this book, you can find that here, in my previous post. However though, it is a magical family book and you may love it. I hope you do!

I am always looking for magical Autumn books so please send me any recommendations that you have! Happy Autumn and Happy Reading!


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