Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Alex Rider Book

Where have I been? I didn't know that a new Alex Rider book was coming out Nov. 17 until I got notice of the video interview with Anthony Horowitz from Penguin,

Here is the blurb from Amazon: It's just another day in the life of an average kid. If you're Alex Rider, that is. A con artist has realized there is big money in charity-- the bigger the disaster, the greater the money flow! So that is what he will produce: the biggest disaster known to man, all thanks to genetically modified wheat that can release a virus so potent it can knock out an entire country in one windy day. But Alex Rider will face whatever it takes--gunfire, explosions, hand-to-hand combat with mercenaries-- to bring down his most dangerous adversary yet.

Often imitated, never equaled, the series that triggered a reading phenomenon is back, exhilarating and addictive as ever.

Here is the interview:

Anthony Horowitz also has a web site with more information about the Alex Rider series so that new readers and real fans can catch up or keep up.

This sounds like something my middle school adventure lovers will enjoy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Next Book on My Reading List

Flesh and Fire is the next book on my reading list. It is the newest one by Laura Ann Gilman.

She has written a number of books in my personal library. I have read and enjoyed her Retrievers series which is urban fantasy. I have read her Grail Quest series which is for children and is an Arthurian fantasy. This new one looks interesting to me even though I have no interest in wine or winemaking. I'm eager to give it a try.

Here's a brief blurb from the jacket: Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines, and selfishly used them to increase their own wealth and influence. But their abuse of power caused a demigod to break the Vine, shattering the power of the mages. Now, fourteen centuries later, it is the humble Vinearts who hold the secret of crafting spells from wines, the source of magic, and they are prohibited from holding power.

But now rumors come of a new darkness rising in the vineyards. Strange, terrifying creatures, sudden plagues, and mysterious disappearances threaten the land. Only one Vineart senses the danger, and he has only one weapon to use against it: a young slave. His name is Jerzy, and his origins are unknown, even to him. Yet his uncanny sense of the Vinearts' craft offers a hint of greater magics within -- magics that his Master, the Vineart Malech, must cultivate and grow. But time is running out. If Malech cannot teach his new apprentice the secrets of the spellwines, and if Jerzy cannot master his own untapped powers, the Vin Lands shall surely be destroyed.

In Flesh and Fire, first in a spellbinding new trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman conjures a story as powerful as magic itself, as intoxicating as the finest of wines, and as timeless as the greatest legends ever told.

Interesting Idea for Student Technology

Alice Mercer who blogs at Reflections on Teaching posted about an interesting project that she had done with her fifth graders. They used Big Huge Labs Motivator to create posters. This look like it could be a fun project for my classes. It could incorporate using Creative Commons photos from Flickr and writing. It could also incorporate the use of digital cameras and saving and uploading pictures. There are lots of possibilities here.

Here are her fifth graders results:

I'll have to see if I can fit this project in. It looks like it could be fun and teach a lot of technology skills too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teen Read Week 2009

It is Teen Read week and YALSA has announced the top ten books for the year as chosen by teens. John Green is number one on the list with his novel Paper Towns. Here is a video where he talks about the honor.

Here are the rest of the top 10.

2. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer
3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
4. City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare
5. Identical, Ellen Hopkins
6. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
7. Wake, Lisa McMann
8. Untamed, P.C. and Kristin Cast
10. Graceling, Kristin Cashore

Check out the links on each title to find out more about the book or the author. Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coming Soon -- Tempted by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Finally, the next book in the House of Night series by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast is on the near horizon. It is supposed to hit the bookshelves on Oct. 27. I just pre-ordered my copy. While waiting, check out this web site and listen to the first chapter. You can also read the first chapter.

The brief description I read sounds like life is getting even more complicated for Zoe.

So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul? Find out in the next spectacular installment in the House of Night series, TEMPTED.

There is also this teaser/trailer on YouTube:

Here is an interview with P. C. and Kristin from the time of the release of Untamed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Next up on my reading list is Fire by Kristin Cashore. It is a "companion novel" to Graceling whatever that means, I think it is in the same world but with totally different characters.

Here is the blurb from Amazon: She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.
Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.

Here is the trailer:

Kristin Cashore also has a blog where, she says, "she shares randon thoughts."

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle

I began reading this one last evening. It is the sequel to The Bewitching Season. I have only read a little bit but I am already interested in the world and interested in Pen and her magical studies.

Here is a brief summary of the story from Amazon: Penelope (Pen) Leland has come to Ireland to study magic and prove to herself that she is as good a witch as her twin sister, Persy. But when the dashing Niall Keating begins to pay her court, she can’t help being distracted from her studies.

Little does Pen know, Niall is acting upon orders from his sorceress mother. And although it starts as a sham, Niall actually falls deeply in love with Pen, and she with him. But even if he halts his mother’s evil plan, will Pen be able to forgive him for trying to seduce her into a plot? And what of Pen’s magic, which seems to be increasingly powerful?

Here is a creative book trailer:

Marissa Doyle also has a web site and a blog. Check them out to extend your reading pleasure.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

I just started this one today. It fits into my current reading theme of YA paranormals.

Here is the Amazon blurb: Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Here is a really cool YouTube book trailer:

Here is a web site devoted to the book. And here is a link to the author's blog.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater

I just began reading this YA werewolf book today (Saturday). I was intrigued by the buzz this title got on many of the blogs I read. I like werewolves and other paranormal creatures. I know my students also like the paranormal. I hope that they will enjoy this one when I add to it my HS Media Center collection.

Sunday: I finished this one last night. I really enjoyed the different take on werewolves. I also enjoyed the romance between Grace and Sam.  I was sad for both Grace and Sam. Both were abused by their parents but in different ways. Sam's try to kill him; Grace's abandon her emotionally. I liked the rich, visual language. I liked that Sam read a lot and wrote music. I liked that Grace was a good student who did her homework. This one will appeal to my older students.

Here is the summary from Publisher's Weekly: "For years, Grace has been fascinated by the yellow-eyed wolf that saved her from its pack when she was a child. Sam, bitten by a wolf as a boy, is that wolf. Long obsessed with each other at a distance, they finally meet after a wolf hunt (inspired by the apparent death of a local teen) sends a wounded and temporarily human Sam into Grace's arms. Their young love is facilitated by Grace's hands-off parents (Once upon a time, I would've leaped at the rare opportunity of curling up with Mom on the couch. But now, it sort of felt like too little, too late, Grace muses), but threatened by two linked crises: the fact that Sam will soon lose the ability to become human and the instability of a new lycanthrope. Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face."

Here is a movie trailer for the book:

Here is also a fan-made trailer for the book:

Maggie Steifvater has a blog. She has interesting things to say about her writing and her life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October Movie of Interest to My Vampire Fans

I am waiting with some anticipation for the new movie based on Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series. I have had the books in the Media Centers for years. I expect resurgence in popularity when the movie comes out on October 23. The movie looks a little dark. It also looks interesting. This one seems to be skewed to the boys.

I just found out that this is based on the first three books in the Cirque du Freak series.

Here is a link to a booktalk about the first book in the series -- A Living Nightmare.

And here is the movie trailer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Here is a book that I am really looking forward to. After reading about it on other blogs and seeing this trailer, I had to order it from today even though I don't need to add anything to my TBR pile.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Internet Safety Quiz

Here is a quiz for my sixth grade students.