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Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 44: 45 Days of Summer

In the Bag by Kate Klise

I originally posted about this book a couple of years ago. You can read the review here.

But summer is winding down, and I haven't done enough books "for adults" so I thought I would highlight this perfect vacation read.

Travel, adventure, a little's all in the bag!

Perfect for: adults looking for the perfect "beach read." Would also make a decent mother/daughter book club read for moms with high school age daughters.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 43: 45 Days of Summer

Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

All summer long I've been making a list of "Road Trip" books so that I could do an entire post listing all of my favorites. 

Um, well, summer is almost over and I never really sat and wrote the post. But I have LOTS of great books for the list. Alas, I guess I will just save it for next summer? 

But I didn't want to let the entire summer go by without highlighting one or two. This is one of my favorite books from the past couple of years. And, even though the cover doesn't look like it, it is actually a great road trip story with a boy main character. (Sometimes I wonder about publishers...). So, if you're a fan of road trips, musicians, roadies, adventure, music, and maybe a little romance, this is an enjoyable book on so many levels!

Perfect for: high school and up...adults, too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 42: 45 Days of Summer

Shark Life by Peter Benchley

Already missing Shark Week????

I know, it's tough to go from sharks, sharks, sharks 24-7, to...nothing.

Read this book. You'll thank me.

Perfect for: grades 5-8. But younger shark fiends and high school readers will enjoy this just as much. This is the young adult adaptation of the author's adult title: Shark Trouble.

And yes, this is the same author that wrote Jaws. But these are the true stories of his life with sharks. That actually dispel many of the myths that he created in Jaws.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 41: 45 Days of Summer

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

This is the summer that many of my friends have been sending their kids off to college. And many more, like myself, have kids about to start senior year.

This is a great book for anyone about to go to college, or wondering what having a roommate will be like. Told in alternating perspectives, Roomies tells the story of two girls who are given their college roommate contact information well in advance of arriving on campus and the friendship that does (or doesn't) develop between the girls.

Perfect for: high school...and up.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 40: 45 Days of Summer

Bottom of the 33rd by Dan Barry

So, I haven't actually read this book, but today is my dad's birthday and this is the book that I got for him.

I'm hoping that he reads it fast because I do want to read it. The true story about a minor league game that went 33 innings back in 1981. FYI: It looks like Wade Boggs and Cal Ripkin played in this game.

I can't wait to read it. Fingers crossed it is as good as it looks. Have you read it? What did you think?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Day 39: 45 Days of Summer

The Secrets of Tree Taylor by Dandi Daley Mackall

Tree Taylor has two goals for summer: have her first real kiss; and become a writer. 

She desperately wants to become a reporter for the high school paper in the fall even though she will only be a freshman. When a gunshot is fired across the street, Tree knows this might be her opportunity to get the scoop before anyone else and write the investigative story that will make her famous.

But when she uncovers more than she intended to, she discovers perhaps that some secrets are not her's to tell.

A great tween mystery, but also a story of friendship and family. One of those books I call a "quiet gem."

Perfect for: grades 5-8. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 38: 45 Days of Summer

Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lews and Douglas Florian

Oh. My. Gosh. 

My two favorite poets for kids have teamed up on a book?!?!?!

Why, yes! I will read it. And, surprise! I do love it.

So. Much. Fun. That is all. Enjoy!

Perfect for: kindergarten-2nd grades.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 37: 45 Days of Summer

Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen

Okay, I cannot do justice to this book in a few sentences. But I will say that reading this book a few weeks ago was one of the most moving experiences I've ever had reading a book. This book completely resonated with me. I will never be the same.

I will be hosting the author on this blog in September, so I will save a lot of what I have to say for then.

Until then, READ THIS BOOK!

Perfect for: high school, and adults. Though, a sophisticated middle school reader that likes "romance" kind of stories would enjoy this also.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 36: 45 Days of Summer

Lulu's Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst

First, I want to say that I love this author. LOVE. Not afraid to gush about it either. She is the popular author of the Alexander books (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good...) and MANY others. But the Alexander books are where I first got to know her and her characters...and they saved more than one storytime for me!

This is the third book starring Lulu. I cannot get enough of them...or Lulu. In this book, Lulu's parents take a much needed vacation and bring in a mysterious babysitter to take charge. Lulu is DETERMINED to get rid of the babysitter, until she discovers that Ms. Sonia is a spy in disguise.

Go back and read all these books and enjoy Lulu's adventures.

Perfect for: students reading early chapter books; grades 1st-4th. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Day 35: 45 Days of Summer

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

It's not too late to read this book before the movie hits theaters this weekend!!!

And don't forget...there's a companion novel (Where She Went) that you can read after you finish/after you see the movie.

I truly love these books, and was moved to tears while reading If I Stay. I hope, hope, hope, the movie lives up to my expectations.

Have you read these books? Are you going to see the movie? Let me know what you think!

Perfect for: grades 7-12...and adults!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 34: 45 Days of Summer

Devoted by Dick Hoyt

Another of my favorite triathlete stories. You can read my original review here.

I know that you've probably heard of this amazing father/son duo, seen them on ESPN, and/or watched interviews with them at various stages of their athletic career.

No other words for this family and all that they have accomplished but AMAZING!

As I get ready for my own competition this weekend, which seems so minor by comparison, I definitely want to recommend this to anyone and everyone in 8th grade through adult.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 33: 45 Days of Summer

Iron Heart by Brian Boyle

I discovered this book about 4 years ago. It has been one of my "go to" titles to recommend widely for a variety of readers ever since then. You can see my original post about the book here.

This is an incredible survival story about a young man who went from "should have been dead" to Iron Man competitor.

I have great admiration for anyone that has trained/competed/completed an Iron Man. Several of my friends are these people. I cannot imagine even wanting to compete at this level, but I always watch the Iron Man Hawaii coverage on television each year. And I track my friends online when they are competing at various Iron Man events around the country.

Well, this coming weekend, I will be competing in Iron Girl (a sprint triathlon event) here in Seattle. I know that I will be writing about the experience on my cancer blog afterwards ( but this is an event that means a lot to me right now as it was a goal of mine to be able to cross the finish line after my cancer treatments were done. 

So, in honor of what I'll be doing this weekend, I thought I'd recommend some of my favorite triathlon stories and this is definitely one of them!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day 32: 45 Days of Summer

Whatever After #5: Bad Hair Day by Sarah Mlynowski

This is such a great series! There are many fractured fairy tale stories out there these days, but this is definitely at the top of the list of books you should read if you're a fan of that genre.

This is the latest, so if you haven't heard of these books before, you will have to start with book #1. But you won't be disappointed!

This is one series that my tween daughter counts down the days until the next book comes out. We definitely love them all in this household.

Perfect for: grades 3-7.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 31: 45 Days of Summer

The Tree House that Jack Built by Bonnie Verburg & Mark Teague

I love all things Mark Teague. 

From his "How Do Dinosaurs..." preschool storytime standards that got me through many a storytime in my public library days, to "Pigsty," to my absolute favorites "Dear Mrs. LaRue..." And "How I Spent my Summer Vacation" is a HOOT for back-to-school.

I was so happy to see his illustrations for this new twist on a classic tale.

What a great book for summer! Who hasn't wanted to have the perfect tree house in the back yard? And to hang out there throughout the lazy days of summer?

This book is perfect for kids in Kindergarten - 2nd grades.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 30: 45 Days of Summer

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

I love everything written by Jennifer E. Smith. EVERYTHING!

This is her latest, and fans of light-hearted romance will be excited to have the perfect book to read at the beach this summer.

If you've ever heard the phrase "meet-cute" you will know that this book defines the term in the best way when the two main characters get stuck in an elevator together during their first meeting.

And things only heat up from there. Sort of.

Can you ever get back the spark you felt the first time you met someone special? Can you make romance work long distance? What if you never see each other again? 

Following the journey of Owen and Lucy will have you rooting for love to conquer all.

Perfect for: 7th grade and up...adults too!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Day 29: 45 Days of Summer

The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin

They're baaaaaack.

Those cute chicks from the author's JJ Tully Mystery series.

And now they're solving their own crimes.

Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie try to help a frightened squirrel in their first "solo" adventure. Which just might get a little off-track.

Hilarity ensues, and JJ Tully comes out of retirement to help save the day.

This is the perfect beginning chapter book for young readers. Perfect for grades 1st-3rd.

I can't wait for the next book!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 28: 45 Days of Summer

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Well, I'm not going to say too much about this book, other than you must read it!

And if you've already read it, then you should read the companion novels and the "sequel" (Son) immediately.

All of these books are incredible, and I've been lobbying for The Giver to become an all-grade read for my 6th graders.

It's a "classic" (I actually hate that word to describe books), that everyone should read at some point in their life. And now you really need to read it because the movie will be coming out next week.

I will be honest that I don't know how I feel about the movie because the trailers I've seen don't seem to be in line with how I remember the tone of the book. 

If you've read the book and you see the movie, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day 27: 45 Days of Summer

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

I booktalked this one like crazy in June to my 6th grade students for summer reading.

I am a huge fan of Kenneth Oppel...Huge. Fan.

This book will literally take you on the adventure of a lifetime with Will, as he gets caught up in intrigue, mystery, and a train robbery aboard the Boundless, a larger than life train on an epic journey across country.

I hope that after reading this book, you will want to discover all of the author's other books, especially the Silverwing series (AMAZING! For upper elementary & middle school students), and his novels about teenage Victor Frankenstein (8th grade and up).

Heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat action!

Perfect for: grades 4-7.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day 26: 45 Days of Summer

The Cat with Seven Names by Tony Johnston, Illustrated by Christine Davenier.

Animal lovers of all ages, have I got a book for you.

A quiet gem about belonging, this is the story of one cat who is different things to different people. And how that cat brings a community together.

The cat's adventures are fun to follow throughout, and the illustrations add so much to the story elements.

While this is perfect for Kindergarten-3rd grades, this would be great for families of all ages to share together. I dare you not to get a little teary-eyed at the end.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 25: 45 Days of Summer

Breathe, Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Okay, I do gush over a lot of books. But I am not lying when I say that this is one of the most beautiful books I've read this year.  I've been waiting for it to finally be published so I could recommend it!

Grief and hope, love and healing. How do you honor the memory of someone you loved?

I can think of so many high school (and adult) readers who will devour this!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 24: 45 Days of Summer

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Okay, I had this book checked out from the public library forever and had to return it. I admit, I almost returned it without reading it. But then I decided to crack it open (ha, ha).

I am SO glad that I took the time to read it (and incur the late charge).

I can only describe this book by using the publisher's words: This is From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler meets Chasing Vermeer.

And to that I would add "meets Monuments Men."

4th grade me would have ADORED this book. And grown-up me is kind of in love with it too.

Best for: grades 4-7.

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