Tag Archives: Young Adult

Homeschool Coop Book Club–Unit 1

My family belongs to a homeschool coop that meets once a week, and I am so happy to be the book club teacher for our 4th/5th graders and our middle schoolers. We read poetry, do writing prompts, learn about literary devices, and have amazing discussions of books. I just finished reading the first books for each class and I’m so excited to start talking about them with the kids. The 4th/5th graders are reading a book that’s new to me called Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb.…

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Candace Bushnell and Stephen King Together at Last, Laurie Halse Anderson

Because this week I read Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell and Finders Keepers by Stephen King. The former could’ve used more scary parts, and the latter needed a lot more sex appeal. And it’s pretty clear to me that a mashup of these two authors would make for a pretty fabulous book. On their own? Two pretty mediocre reading experiences. In Killing Monica, a bestselling author decides the only way to self-actualize is to kill off her most famous creation. Or at least that’s the…

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Uglies Trilogy and Detectives in Togas

I had mad love for Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy back when I first read it. Imagine a dystopia where until age 16, you are “ugly.” Then you get a whole bunch of surgery to become beautiful, and then live in paradise until you die. All parties, no war. Everything is beautiful, and Tally Youngblood can’t wait until her birthday–until she meets Shay, who tells her about the world outside, and asks Tally to escape with her. Tally is a great character–I think she’s more awesome…

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Kid Stuff (Not Just for Kids)

I originally bought Abby Hanlon’s Dory Fantasmagory for my older daughter, who liked it at first then lost interest. My younger daughter (turned 5 today) picked it up and had me read the whole thing to her over 2 reading sessions. It’s an absolutely adorable tale of a little girl with a big imagination, and the illustrations are a lot of fun. She has all these imaginary friends and enemies who tend to take over her life and make her do things that her family…

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YA and True Crime Together At Last

More like I am indulging in a pet genre while researching books to use in homeschool coop next year. I’ll start with YA, and two by Karen Hesse. Letters from Rifka is about a teenage girl emigrating from Russia to NYC in 1919. Great character, wonderful historical detail, and lots of emotion made it a great read. I’d love to read it with the 4th/5th graders but it’ll have to wait because last year we read When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and there’s too much…

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More Courtney Summers, Crazy Moms

Just in time for Mother’s Day I finally picked up Her by Harriet Lane, about an exhausted mom of a newborn and a toddler who’s befriended by a chic artist who seems to save the day over and over again. Of course this lady (a perfectly normal seeming woman with a high school age daughter) has an ulterior motive that comes to light in a suspenseful way. It reminded me a lot of Notes on a Scandal. I’m also continuing my Courtney Summers love fest.…

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New Favorite Author, More Lloyd Alexander, True Crime, Hatchet

I had a great week in reads, after a miserable stretch of books that weren’t worth my time at all. And then I read All The Rage and the world is a better place because Courtney Summers is writing books. My love for Laurie Halse Anderson‘s Speak is epic and legendary, and Summers mines a similar vein (rape victim turned outcast) and makes it completely her own. So of course I completely freaked when I saw that they were interviewed together. YA authors can be…

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Laura Lippman, Lauren Oliver, Lloyd Alexander + more

Oh, I have had so many disappointments lately when trying to read Important Books by Important Authors that I needed to spend my spring break immersed in good genre. And even though not every book I read was entirely successful, my plan worked–consider my palate cleansed and my love for reading restored. The best of them was Hush Hush by Laura Lippman. It’s “A Tess Monaghan Novel” which should put me off, because I generally do not like series fiction with a recurring character. For…

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The Fever by Megan Abbott

Synopsis: When her best friend has a mysterious seizure and ends up in a coma in the hospital, a high school girl begins questioning everything she knows about her friends and family–and then another one of her friends falls victim, too. Review: I wasn’t sure if I would love or hate The Fever, but imagined I wouldn’t fall in the middle the way that I did. There were enough intriguing elements to keep me interested, along with some good surprises, but the emotional payoff just…

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Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Synopsis: Aspiring ballerina Theo’s best friend was kidnapped four years ago, and his miraculous return and the arrest of his abductor triggers Theo’s eating disorder because of a secret she’s keeping that may have been responsible for what happened. Review: Pointe is really, really powerful, not so much because of the issues it deals with (eating disorders, sex crimes against children), but because it has a plot independent of Theo’s inner journey. We’re not just watching Theo suffer, we’re caught up in the suspense over…

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