It snowed, which meant a walk into work this morning, and I haven't come up with a lesson for my 24 SSR classes this week. Since I have about two minutes to talk, it's difficult. Let's do... bias of sources. That was a difficult one for the 6th graders when we did the TRAILS Assessment.
So I did read this weekend, but my brain is frozen, so bear with my brief recaps.
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. Raised by Wolves.
Bryn has been raised by a werewolf pack ever since a rabid stray werewolf killed her parents, but finds it difficult to deal with the pack once a cute human, Chase, who has been attacked but survived, shows up and seems like a likely source to help her figure out the origin of the attack that fated her to a life on the periphery of a werewolf pack. Awesome!!! Really good stuff, and essential if you have a subset of students who like werewolf books rather than vampires. I adore this author (who also did Tattoo, Fate, Perfect Cover, and Killer Spirit ), but have found it hard to obtain some of her other titles, like Golden.
Frederick, Heather Vogel. Pies and Prejudice.
I have long had an ambivalence towards these books (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Much Ado About Anne, Dear Pen Pal) but found this one easier to follow and more likable. Emma heads off to England with her family for a year, Megan starts a blog, Cassidy plays a lot of hockey, and Jess is worried about her singing group at school. Romances develop. The girls who are left in Concord are worried about Emma so have a prolonged bake sale to bring her home for spring break (hence the pies). There's a lot going on, but this time I was able to keep everyone straight and enjoyed it.
Solow, Jennifer. The Aristobrats. Review copy provided by Sourcebooks.
From the publisher: "Parker Bell and her three best friends face a decline in their popularity at Wallingford Academy when they are assigned to produce a less-than-cool webcast and try to salvage what is left of their Facebook Friend count and their friendships with each other. "
If Harrison's The Clique books are constantly checked out of your library, go ahead and get this one. Having taught at a private school, I do not understand either of these books, and can't imagine the girls at my school paying this much attention to their clothing. Perhaps this sort of social rivalry occurs outside of Ohio and I just don't understand.
Connor, Ray. The Interdimensional Dumpster.
Nominated for the Cybils by Noreen Vigneault
Willie Ford was adopted after his father found him in a dumpster while chasing a criminal. Years later, Willie goes back through the dumpster and ends up in the kingdom of Placidia, which he recognizes from the video games that he likes to play. He and his friends must work to defeat an evil king with nefarious intentions.
Strengths: This will be an easy fantasy for struggling readers, and does not fall on the wrong side of the Pilkey line for middle school students. Easy to follow plot, likable characters, fun gimmick for interdimensional travel with the dumpster.
Weaknesses: This may prove difficult to find, and was not well edited. There were several grammar and punctuation errors, which students will not catch.