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Showing posts from March, 2011

My Current Obsession

OK.  I will admit it.  I'm currently obsessed with dystopian and postapocalyptic literature (YA Lit. primarily).  It all started two years ago when I readLife as We Knew Itby Susan Beth Pfeffer.  The idea of an asteroid hitting the moon and causing various natural disasters to ripple across the world was fascinating.  I found myself trying to figure out what I would do if I was in such a situation.  Would I be as whiny as Miranda?  Would I be as resourceful as Miranda?  Would I be as heroic as Miranda? To top it off, gas prices were on the upswing around that time (just as they are now) and I started thinking...what if?  What if there was a shortage of water?   What if there was a shortage of food? What if I needed to work with my neighbors to make it through the ordeal?  Needless to say, I started keeping some bottles of water handy and got to know at least one of my neighbors.
After reading the book, I baited my students with some of the same questions; I introduced the book duri…

Flygirl Soars

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There are two well-known criteria for a good piece of historical fiction (HF).   1.  The HF should teach you something about the time period. 2. The HF should accurately present the time period through dialogue, setting and accurate facts.

I'd like to add a third.  HF should be so good you forget you’re learning something and just be entertained. The third requirement, I fear, would be a statement that would be met with some resistance (especially if you love historical fiction).  For that reason, I will stick with the two.
For these two reasons, Flygirl by sherri l. smith is a great novel.  This is the story of Ida Mae Jones, a teenager growing up in Louisiana during the early forties.  She and her family live a meager life as they deal with the loss of her father, a former pilot. Ida Mae's chances of becoming pilot are lessened by the fact she is woman; however, the door is completely closed when she realizes that only Caucasian women are allowed join the Women Air Force Service…

Pop Packs Quite a Wallop

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Pop by Gordan Korman took me by surprise.  Typically, I don't go for his books.  I know. I know. He's a popular author; he's written popular books.  For some reason, I wasn't his biggest fan. Until now.  Whether your a football fan, a fan of realistic fiction or you just love books with teenagers who have issues, this book is for you.

The book opens with Marcus, the new kid who hopes his dreams of joining his new school football team as the quaterback will be realized...just as soon as he works on his passing.  It's only after he meets a kooky, old man during one of his solo practices that he realizes he also needs to work on his ability to pass under pressure, as well as his ability to pass without fear of being hit.  This fear of the "pop" is lessened with each impromptu practice with the old man who seems to have the strength of a stallion.

It's only after he goes to football try outs, that he realizes his dreams of being a quarterback on a previo…