Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book News: NaNoWriMo

This is not so much book news as it is writing news.

Today is November 1 which means the start of NaNoWriMo!

What is NaNoWriMo you may ask?  It's short for National Novel Writing Month.  The goal here is to write a novel this month or at the very least 50,000 words of a novel.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo for the past four years.  Last year I didn't make the goal.  I lost inspiration the first or second week into the month.  But, the other years 2008, 2009, and 2010 I have made goal and won.

This year I want to write 75,000 words.  I'm sort of cheating in that I am not writing a novel.  I'm going to be working on a bunch of stories at once.  I feel this is okay, because I have not really been writing, except for my blog, lately, and I feel this will be a great exercise in getting me back on track.  I want to get back to being creative. 

If you love to write I hope you join and participate.  You lose nothing if you don't make the goal so don't worry about that.  Who knows what you can gain if you just try.   A novel?  Better writing skills?  Fun?  Buddies?  I believe it's worth it.

For more info and to join check out the official website:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday


Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

1. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)
She takes care of her family now that her dad is gone.  She volunteers as a tribute to take her sister's place in the Games.  She partners with Rue and then Peeta more to keep them alive than to help herself, though she does want to get herself through the games.  She uses her brains to aid her brawn.  Well, okay, not brawn, but she is wickedly awesome with a bow and arrow.  She risks herself for her and other districts, for other people.  She puts her life on the line for the greater good (and in this sense the greater good is a good term).

2. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Without her the trio would be dead.  She is the smartest witch of her age and without her brain Harry would not be able to defeat Voldemort.  She puts her life on the line to help the Wizarding World.  She didn't have to.  Voldemort and the Death Eaters would not have cared much about her if she was not friends with Harry and defied them.  Well, that is until Voldemort takes control of the Ministry and aims to get rid of the Muggle-borns.  Hermione fights for what is right not what is easy.  She stands openly for the light.

3. Lucy Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia) - Queen of Narnia, the Valiant
She leads her brothers and sister into Narnia.  She is brave and as Aslan has dubbed, she is valiant (I guess that says the same thing!).  She fights to protect a world she is not a part of.  She is not afraid.  She does it out of love and the kindess of her heart.  She believes the strongest in Aslan.  

4. Susan Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia) - Queen of Narnia, the Gentle
In the end she loses her heroine status, but in the Pevensies' main stories she is a heroine.  I focus on that.  She believes her sister when she talks of this place called Narnia.  She is a good sibling, getting along with her brothers and sister.  Like Lucy, she fights to protect a world she's not a part of. She's great with a bow and arrow.  She's a great older sister.  It's important for her to be there when their mother and father cannot. She's taken over the motherly role for her siblings.

5. Jill Pole (Chronicles of Narnia)
She was bullied at school.  Narnia taught a valuable lesson that she is able to use when she arrives home.  Her task in Narnia is to retrieve a person she does not know for another person she does not know.  But, she knows she has to do it.  This task allows her to face the taunting and her fears in her life.  I think Jill Pole is more of an ordinary girl than Lucy and Susan.  She shows that even ordinary people can do extraordinary things and overcome their adversaries.  

6. Lily Potter (Harry Potter)
The love of a mother cannot be matched.  She gave her life for her son.  She put herself in harm's way so her son would not die.  She defied Voldemort three times.  She fought for good.  She didn't just sit back and let someone else do it.  This was before the prophecy, before she got pregnant.  She was just a young witch who knew Voldemort was wrong and needed to be defeated.  She did this by joining the Order of the Phoenix, an active group in defeating the dark.  

7. Beatrice "Tris" Prior (Divergent)
I'm over halfway done with book 1 and she hasn't done anything overly heroic like the others listed here, but I still find her to be a heroine in her own right.  When the decision times comes she picks Dauntless over her family's faction, Abnegation.  It is brave, but not heroic, to choose a different faction, especially the one that honors bravery.  Like the others listed here, she doesn't sit back and let others do all the work.  Partly, she can't because that would have her kicked out of initiation and end up factionless.  She does care for her friends, the ones she makes during initiation.  She takes Al's place when Eric does things to him (I think this happens twice).  She cares enough to take care of Edward after he is attacked by Peter.  That's a sign, for me, of things to come.  I do believe there is heroic deeds coming her way as there is a reason she was named Divergent in her testing!  (If you have finished this book don't spoil me!)

8. Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter)
Every Weasley is brave, even Percy.  Ginny is no exception.  She wasn't placed into Gryffindor for nothing.  Her most heroic actions are joining Dumbledore's Army, fighting the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries in book 5, and openly defying Voldemort and the Death Eaters in book 7.  In book 7 while the trio is missing from school, she steps up with Neville and Luna to lead Dumbledore's Army.  She puts her life in her hands by doing such things as trying to steal the Sword of Gryffindor.  At the end, she defies her parents' wishes and stays to fight even though she's underage.  We are to obey our parents, but in this case disobeying them is the right move.  One more able body to help fight.

9. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
In my opinion, she's the ultimate bad-ass housewife and stay-at-home mother.  She's a member of the Order of the Phoenix.  She fights at Hogwarts in book 7.  She doesn't just raise her children.  Molly wants the world to be safe for her children and her future grandchildren.  When she believes in something she fights for it.  It's not just that that makes her a heroine.  She is one of the most loving mothers we see.  She takes in Harry and Hermione as if they were her own children.  She's not a mother to 7.  She's a mother to 9.  For an orphan like Harry, she's very important. 

10. Matilda Wormwood (Matilda)
She stands up to her parents and her wicked awful headmistress.  She could have just gone through school not making any noise.  She could make herself unnoticeable to Miss Trunchbull and be fine.  That's not her way.  Miss Trunchbull is a bully.  She bullies students and Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey.  Matilda sticks up for those who can't stick up for themselves, not to make them sound weak.  She has reached her ultimate brain power to do something others can't.  This ability allows her to stand up to Miss Trunchbull.  Matilda has a heart to guide her to stand up against the bullying.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Combining drawing and the written word, Brian Selznick paints two stories becoming one.

Ben's story starts in Gunflint, Minnesota in 1977.  His mother is gone and he is living down the road from his childhood home with relatives.  He misses his mom and hates sharing a room with his cousin. In an attempt to escape he goes back to his home, bringing back the memory of what his mother planned to do for his upcoming birthday.  This leads him to New York City and the American Museum of Natural History while in search of his father.

October 1927 in Hoboken, New Jersey finds a young girl's a passion for a silent movie actress, Lillian Mayhew.  The girl loves silent films.  They are just like her life, silent, for she is deaf.  With her mother out of town, she lives with relatives, but she is unhappy.  She runs away to her mother and to New York City.

Selznick does an absolutely amazing job of using two different forms to tell a story.  He shows the true meaning of a picture representing a thousand words.  With just his illustrations the girl's story comes to life sometimes even more so than Ben's.

How the stories connect is a bit of a surprise.  I thought I knew, but I didn't know what was to come.  I like the ending.  It's ties together two wonderful stories in a neat way.

Brian Selznick is the Caldecott Medal Winner for his book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and he shows with Wonderstruck the award was just.

I won this book in a giveaway and read it for pleasure.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book News: Divergent Movie Casting

This usually goes out on Thursdays, but this week I am a day late (and a dollar short).

This week we're discussing the Divergent film.  I am currently reading the first book in this series, so I'm afraid to look up this information, but I will do it because it came out this week.  I think it's important to talk about this when it's new.  I could save this for after I finish the book, but I've decided not to.
So far, the only person cast is Shailene Woodley as Tris/Beatrice.  She is best known for her role as Amy Juergens in The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  I used to watch that show, seasons ago.  I'm not too fond of her acting, but maybe she's had time to grow.  She was in that movie, The Descendants, with George Clooney, and according to her page she's playing Mary Jane in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  I'm not sure how I feel about her playing Tris.  Tris is a different character than Amy.  I've not seen her in any other roles so I don't know how well she can depart from that type.  She is breaking out so she must have something going for her.  Physically she does look a lot like how I picture Tris, so that works in her favor.  As I think about it, though, I just see her as this soft, innocent girl.  I don't think that works in Tris's favor.

The rumor going around this week is that Alexander Ludwig will be cast as Four.  He played Cato in The Hunger Games, Seth in Race to Witch Mountain, and Will Stanton in The Seeker: The Dark is Rising among others.  I've only seen him as Cato so I really don't know much about his acting.  Four's character is more complex than Tris's.  One reason is Tris is the narrator, so we know her better.  Four is an enigma.  We'll have to see if he can pull that off, if he really does get cast.  I don't recall a direct description of Four, but I pictured him with dark hair.  I think it's just easier for me to picture guys with dark hair.  If they leave Ludwig's hair blond that's fine.  Hair color is not a big deal unless it's something whacky, which I do not recall Four having.

The rumor about Ludwig is that he spoken to the producers about playing Four.  This doesn't necessarily mean he'll be Four or even that he'll be considered.  He could get another role.  I actually could see him playing someone like Peter.  I think that would work out very well.  I don't follow him on Twitter and it doesn't appear to be a verified source, but there is this tweet sent out October 20th.

We'll see where this goes.

When it comes to a popular book series the casting is extremely important.  They don't have to be famous names (look at Harry Potter), but they need to be able to represent the characters.  Plus, fans love to scrutinize anything and everything related to the book, which a movie definitely is.

The release date for the movie was announced back in September by Lion's Gate Films as March 2014.  That's a little under a year and a half away.  If you haven't read the books yet I say get started.  I'm only halfway through the first one and I find it's very good.  I'm excited to see this on the big screen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

  • I think of the motto I read in my Faction History textbook: Faction before blood.  More than family, our factions are where we belong.  Can that possibly be right?
    P. 43 Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

    Top Ten Tuesday


    Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

    Top Ten Books to Get into the Halloween Spirit
    I don't read paranormal fiction which I think would fit this very well, but I'll try to come up with ten books I think will get one in the mood that I either have enjoyed or know to be good literature.

    1. Clifford's Halloween by Norman Bridwell
    One of my sister's favorite children's series growing up was Clifford the Big Red Dog. To commemorate Halloween is his and Emily's story of celebrating the holiday.

    2. Georgie by Robert Bright
    A story of the cutest, sweetest ghost ever.  Better than Casper.  Georgie haunts the Whittaker house until they make repairs that make it not what it used to be.  This is the story of his search for a new place to haunt.  I loved this book as a child and I'm glad to hear it's in reprint.

    3. Bunnicula by James Howe
    Vampire bunny.  One of the things I remember about this story is that he eats vegetables until they are vegetables, you know like sucking the blood out of a vegetable.

    4. The Legend of Sleepy Hallow by Washington Irving
    The ultimate Halloween story.  The story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.  There's not much I need to say as I think most people are familiar with at least some aspect of the story.

    5. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
    Once there were two mice who fell in love with the same pumpkin.  They took care of it in the same ways.  This pumpkin got twice the love and end up growing monstrously big.

    6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
    It could have been any one in the series, but I pick this one because it's got a party, a deathday party but a party nonetheless, on Halloween.

    7. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (and its sequels) by Alvin Schwartz
    Very popular when I was in upper elementary school were the Scary Stories trilogy.  I'm not big into scary stories like this, but I did enjoy reading this book.  The stories are creepy, the kind that stay with you afterwards.  You get a little feeling, like oooh.  Like one person said in a review on the illustrations really are the scary part!  They are really what stayed with me after reading the book.

    8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spear
    A story of a puritan being accused a witch, like the Salem Trials in Salem, Massachussetts.  Kit is new to the area of Connecticut Colony and becomes friends with a suspected witch.  This causes the town to suspect she's guilty of witchcraft herself.

    9. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    This is the story of a monster.  Dr. Jekyll creates a potion unleashing his inner personality, the monster Mr. Hyde.  I feel this book sets the mood for Halloween because it is a classic horror story.

    10. Dracula by Bram Stoker
    The ultimate vampire story.  Dracula rolls over in his coffin at the mere sight of what vampire literature and other vampire media have become today.

    Honorable Mention: Night of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine
    I don't believe dolls can come to life but for some reason this book really got me.  I think it was the cover.

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Book Review: The George Washington Constellation by Edward Correia

    The accidental senator is David Buckthorn.  It was never his intention to become a Senator or have any role in government, although at one point he was mayor of the small town he lived in.  Small feat, really, because it happens to most who live there and there isn't much governing to do.

    Being a lawyer and a Good Samaritan has attracted the attention of the Wyoming Republican Party.  They want Buckthorn to run against the longstanding incumbant for one of their Senate seats.  David believes they don't think he has a chance of winning.

    Buckthorn does win and this story is about his time in office.   It's not peaches and cream, but it's not the pits, either.  Correia does a good job of exploring a man who is not built for Congress.    I'd say Buck, as his fellow Senators call him, comes out pretty good.

    The story is not just about David Buckthorn, but about his family as well.  He chronicles how he met his wife and the way his family grows during his time in office.  He cares about being a senator,  but he also cares about his family.

    What happens when David is up for re-election?  Will he seek another term?  How does this effect his wife? What happens when a man who has caused trouble for David in the past seeks to run as well?

    Edward Correia is a Washington DC Attorney, President of Correia and Associates, and an Adjunct Professor at American University's Washington College of Law.  He has worked as a senior lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Commitee, serving as Chief Counsel for Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio and Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee.  He served in the Clinton Administration as Special Counsel to the President for Civil Rights in the White House.  In 2012 he was given a Distinguised Alumni Award by the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.

    Correia is the author of The Uncertain Believer: Reconciling God and Science (2009, 2011) and the novel: The George Washington Constellation (2012).  His third piece, Teaching Your Child about God in a Scientific World will be released in 2012 and a sequel to his novel, Elysia, will be released in 2013.

    He currently lives with his wife in Bethseda, Maryland.  They have three children.

    I read this book as a review request using the Kindle app on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Book News: Man Booker Prize

    The winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize, awarded Tuesday October 16, is Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  This win makes Mantel the third author to win the prize twice.  She previously won in 2009 with Wolf Hall, the book to which Bring up the Bodies is the sequel.

    First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize rewards the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland.  It was originally known as the Booker-McConnell Prize after the company sponsoring the award.  The title became Man Booker when the Man Group took over sponsorship.

    The advisary committee includes an author, two publishers, a literary agent, a bookseller, a librarian, and a chairperson selected by the Booker Prize Foundation.  The committee picks a judging panel.  Most of the members on the panel are new.

    Other works nominated for the 2012 award:
    The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
    Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
    The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
    Umbrella by Will Self
    Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

    Previous winners can be found here.
    For more information on the Man Booker Prize check out their website and the Wikipedia page.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Top Ten Tuesday


    Top Ten (Eight) Favorite Christian Authors
    (this includes contemporary, historical, Amish, anything in the Christian literary genre)

    I have read Christian fiction written by males, but it seems that most of my journey in this genre has come at the aide of female writers.

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Teaser Tuesday

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

  • The mysterious quote from his mom's bulletin board echoed again in his mind.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    P. 27 Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Book Review: Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp

    This book is for any fan of Quidditch, the casual and the deeply invested.  Kennilworthy Whisp explores the history of the greatest sport known to Wizarding kind.  He also explains the rules of the game along with some of the most popular of the over 700 fouls out there.

    Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore has graciously allowed this copy from the school's library to be reprinted for Muggle consumption.  Yes, we, too, can finally learn about this noble sport.  

    In 2001, JK Rowling put together two books, one a text book and the other a library book, from Potterverse with the 20% of the proceeds going to her favorite charity, Comic Relief.    Quidditch Through the Ages allows us to learn more about the sport of Wizards, especially our favorite, Harry Potter.   Rowling really put her mind to it to create such a wide and diverse history for this sport.  It's cool to see how much she put into it.  She created a history that goes back thousands of years through different stages of the broomstick game.  It's amazing to see how intricate everything is.  

    I read this book for pure pleasure.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Top Ten Tuesday

    As of the writing of this post I still do not have my laptop.  I have been told by the guy fixing it that according to IBM the part should arrive today (Monday), but I wonder because today is Columbus Day.  So, tomorrow (which is today, the day I post this), maybe?  Anyway, onto today's top 10.

    Top Ten Rewind: Books I'll Never Read
    This is one I didn't participate in for I didn't join this meme until a few weeks ago.

    1. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
    I'm not going to read or show any kind of support for something and someone so blatantly anti-Christian.  He's admitted that's what the series is, so I'll never touch it.

    2. Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
    Do I have to explain this?  It's badly written.  It's cheesy beyond belief.  It's a mockery of all other succesful series out there, especially vampire ones which I don't read and any popular series that has come out around the same time as Twilight.  It's a joke.

    3. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
    Another book by Stephenie Meyer that's getting turned into a movie.  I roll my eyes.

    4. The Da Vinci Code, it's sequel and prequel by Dan Brown
    No.  I did for a while want to read Angels and Demons after this girl in a college class showed it to me, but that quickly passed.  I feel The Da Vinci Code is making a mockery of Christianity with the idea that Jesus could have been married to Mary Magdalene.  I'm not going to put myself through reading something that will just make me madder and madder with each turning of the page.

    5. 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy by E. L. James
    Pure smut.  Call me a prude.  I don't care.  From what I've read on the internet this series is like Twilight without the vampires and a lot more sex.  I won't read Twilight so why would I want to read it with more sex?  The male protagonist should not be anyone's ideal mate.  It's horrible.  I don't see anything romantic in the relationship at all.

    6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
    Maybe I am just falling in with the anti-hype with this one.  I should be careful of that.  I've heard this book and series are badly written by a boy who only got published because of who he was related to.  That rubbed me the wrong way, so I don't want to pick this book up.

    7. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
    I don't know.  All I hear is that this book helped me, it saved my life, blah, blah, blah.  It seems like one of those fad self help books. What's the secret?  Being positive. The hype and popularity over this book gets to me.  I don't want to fall into the trap that this book is the greatest thing in the world and I have the answers to life.  If you read it and enjoyed it that's great.  That's you.  That's fine.

    8. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
    It just seems like one of those books people read because everyone else is reading it.  That doesn't make it good literature.  The cynic in me sees this book as being written just to get a free trip (the trip she writes about is financed by a book deal).  I will admit that when I first heard the title of this book (actually, when I first saw it on a store shelf) I though it was a cookbook.  I was confused how a cookbook could be so popular.  

    9. The Odyssey by Homer
    I was assigned to read this at the end of the ninth grade.  I love to read.  Of course, that's why I have this blog.  I could not for the life of me get into this story.  I put it down and haven't wanted to finish the story since.  It's been about 15 years.  I know it's popular and supposed to be really good.  I just can't get into it.

    10. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    Another story along the lines of Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.  So not interested. Also not interested in the author.  Actually, I take that back.  I am interested in her internet melt down.  Her attitude makes me want to stay away from her work.   

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Older Books I Don't Want People Forgetting
    There are a lot of books I don't want anyone to forget, but this list is just for the older ones, the ones that have been around for a while, that may not be as popular today as they once were, or are just older and should never be forgotten.
    1. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
    It's a very imaginative story.  The toy comes to life right in front of the kid's eyes!  A magical cupboard brings to life a plastic Indian (Native American).  We read this as a class in second grade.  We listened to the book on tape in sixth grade.  I think kids today should read this book, see the movie, and read the rest of the series. 
    2. The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
    This was my favorite series growing up.  These girls were awesome.  I wanted to be a babysitter, too!  I hear they've reprinted these books in an updated form.  I'm not sure I quite like that. There's something about the 80s and 90s feel to the series that I don't want taken away.  I wanted these girls as my friends and I want girls to experience all their adventures.  They did so much on top of running a succesful babysitting business at the ages between 11-13.  There were so many characters to either love or hate.  There's someone for everyone.  That's the big connection.  It's easy to find the character you connect with.
    3. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    The original 19, forget the rest.  Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Ben.  The Boxcar Children.  They ran away from the orphanage and survived in a boxcar in the woods.  I wish I still had my copies of the series.  I would love to go back and enjoy their time in the boxcar and then the mysteries that they encountered in the books after.  They were a fun group to read.  As a 7 and 8 year old my neighborhood friend and I would play Boxcar Children.  The series was an important part of my growing up years.
    4. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Don't judge this by the Little House on the Prairie TV series which I don't particularly like.  Judge it by the books, which I do like.  They do give insight into life on the fronteer.  Laura wrote the historical fiction about her family's life as pioneers.  They were pioneers.  They helped set up towns and move to uncharted places in the US.  They're easy and fun to read. 
    5. Nancy Drew by Carolyne Keene  & The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
    I only read one Hardy Boys book and a few Nancy Drews growing up.  But, no one should forget our teen sleuths.  There's  nothing to compare them to in today's literature.  Nancy Drew could solve almost anything.  So could the Hardy Boys.  They're not like the characters of today that whine and cry about not being able to get with the hundred year old vampire.  They went out and did things.  They solved mysteries.  They were productive.  They were and are awesome.  They inspire children to do something, to be something.
    6. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
    I loved this book so much!  I never had my own copy, but whenever I went to a new school I would check a copy out of the library.  The mother and daughter switch places.  It starts out because of a fight the two have, but the reasons and implications extending from needs to be read.  Don't judge it by its movies.  The book is a thousand, a bazillion times better.  Also, lets not forget the sequel A Billion for Boris.
    7. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
    Another book not to be judged by its movie.  I wanted to own penguins as pets after reading this book.  Of course, it's not feasible, but the way Mr. Popper and his wife take care of them made them seem adorable.
    8. Ramona Quimby Series by Beverly Cleary
    There was a movie out recently starring Jamie King and Selena Gomez as Ramona and Beezus so maybe the series is far from being forgotten.  Ramona was the annoying little sister.  It wasn't her fault.  She didn't mean to be!  She's just being Ramona!  I loved reading about her first day in kindergarten where she sits where the teacher wants "for the present." Waiting and waiting because she thought of the wrong meaning for the word present.  Wanting her dad to stop smoking she makes a sign which reads "Nosmo King."  Who is Nosmo king?  Her first day in her new bedroom, the extention built on because Ramona and Beezus are too old to share a room any longer, scares her because she's never been alone like that before.  Beverly Cleary created an awesome little girl in Ramona Quimby.
    9. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
    One thing I learned from this book is how to spell friend.  OK, so I knew how to spell it before, but the pnemonic device Leigh uses is something that sticks with me: end at the end.  Leigh writes to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw, because of a class project.  This is more than just about a kid writing to his favorite author.  It's about being the new kid in school and learning from what an author has to say.
    10. My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville
    My brother owned this book for some reason I can't imagine since he didn't particularly like reading.  I would sneak into his room when he wasn't home and look at the small amount of books on his shelf.  Slowly, I ended up reading this book from beginning to end.  I didn't mean to, honestly.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and think of it as a classic in children's literature.  It's not to say that it's the best thing ever written or needs to be placed up there with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but it is a good piece for children, especially those that think their teacher could be an alien.

    Teaser Tuesday

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

    "There's a woman in the restroom who needs help.  She asked me to find mall security."
    P. 1 The Witness by Dee Henderson
    I'm not sure if that's a great teaser, but anything else just seemed to give something away that I didn't want given away if you plan on reading this book. It is a good book.