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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Unfinished Angel

The Unfinished Angel is Sharon Creech’s most recent novel. Readers at my school are currently reading Hate That Cat (companion book to Love That Dog) also by Sharon Creech…it is on our middle school reading list this year. Everyone will find the narrator, an angel who has yet to find her calling, extremely entertaining. She doesn’t understand “peoples” and their ways. She has been at the top of a tower in the Swiss Alps for as long as she can remember. Things change when she meets an odd girl named Zola. Zola is different from anyone she has observed. Zola reaches out to the angel and asks her many inquisitive questions that make the angel a bit uncomfortable. Zola believes she is an unfinished angel and wants help from the angel. This story made me laugh out loud. I especially loved the personalities of the orphaned children who live in the village. Will Zola and the angel be able to save them? I listened to this story in audiobook format – the narrator was excellent. Click on the video below to hear Sharon Creech read an excerpt from her book.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

I have multiple copies of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger and they have been flying off my shelves. No sooner do I shelve a copy, an eager patron snatches it off the shelf. I had to place a hold for myself to be able to read this entertaining, humorous book over the holidays. It is told in multiple stories by middle schoolers who are asking advice from an Origami Yoda. The nerdiest kid at school, Dwight, has created a finger puppet, Origami Yoda, who answers questions in Yoda-like dialogue. At first, the students are skeptical…it has to be Dwight giving the advice. Things start to change when the students realize that there are just some things that Dwight couldn’t have known. The text is easy to read and the book has illustrations as well. Instructions for creating your own Origami Yoda are at the end of this quick read. This is a good book recommendation for those readers who have read Jeff Kinney’s entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and haven’t found another “great” book to read. The video below is the author showing you how to make your own Origami Yoda. In addition, this is on the Texas Bluebonnet Reading List 2011-12.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Girlfriend Material

Girlfriend Material, by Melissa Kantor, is a great recommendation for those readers looking for a book that presents teen relationships and romance. Katie is looking forward to hanging out with her best friend in her hometown, Salt Lake City, for the summer. Her parents are having problems in their marriage once again and this time it looks like it may be a bit more permanent. Her mom has decided that she and Katie will spend the summer in Cape Cod with family friends. Unfortunately, things only get worse when Katie is shunned by Sarah, the gorgeous teenage daughter of her mother’s friends. Katie loves Ernest Hemingway’s, The Sun Also Rises, and dreams of being as carefree as the main character, Lady Brett Ashley. She believes she is destined to be just ordinary. Things start looking up when she runs into Adam at the country club AND at the local library. Adam has the same interests as Katie. Could he be her first real boyfriend? Adam is keeping something from Katie. Will she turn out to be girlfriend material after all? Readers will also want to check out Melissa Kantor’s Confessions of a Not It Girl.