Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gabcast Clues

Hey everyone!
I added a new Gabcast to the Cafe Library Blog. I'm going to give you several clues in the next couple of weeks to our mystery discussion leader for April. I have a bulletin board with the clues listed by Mr. Schuenke's room. But, I'll reveal the mystery discussion leader here first!

Click on the blue Gabcast icon to the right that says, "click to play", then click on "play" on the next screen.

Sorry this first episode sounds like there is a thumping rabbit in the background. I hope to resolve this problem!

Mrs. Bade

The Moon is Down

I just reread The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck, which is one of the selections the English 9 students can choose from for their 4th quarter Literature Circles. It's about a small town occupied by foreign soldiers during a war.

Every time I read this book, I like it a little more. I love the way Steinbeck creates complex characters who are believable, and how even the "villains" are not flat characters. I also enjoy reading about the history of this novel, which Steinbeck originally wrote as anti-Nazi propaganda. I think it's interesting to read about the controversial reviews, its success in Europe, and to think about how its ideas are still very relevant today.

Friday, January 25, 2008

February's Cafe Library Selection!

January's Cafe Library discussion will center around 5 different books. Members picked one book to read (actually several members read more than 1 or 2!).

The choices were:

My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Can You Keep a Scecret? by Sophie Kinsella
Tongue in Chic by Christina Dodd
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Discussion will be more of a book talk about the book(s) people chose to read. Of course, there will be a yummy dessert (healthy) served.

OK, for February: We're going to read, The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon. This is a non-fiction piece about a 14-year-old boy who tried to commit suicide by burning himself. The book is about how he deals with this after the fact.
The book is was reviewed very well! It was also a Starred choice from School Library Journal.

Hope you see many people at that discussion!!

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green was a pretty good read.

I think most high school students would agree.

This book takes place at a boarding school in Alabama. Sixteen-year-old Miles and his good friends pull some awesome pranks but they also search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tongue in Chic

I'm about half way through Tongue in Chic for this month's Cafe Library. I have to admit, when I read the first 50 or so pages, I wasn't convinced this was a book I was interested in, but decided to keep reading. Carina blogged about the book here:

Now that I'm farther into the book, I have to agree with Carina. It does have intrigue. Good choice! I can't wait to find out how it ends.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Stoner & Spaz

Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge is a story about a teen aged boy with cerebral palsy who is trying to find himself and fit in. He reaches self-acceptance with the help of a drug addict girl from his high school.

I thought of using this book for Cafe Library but after reading it, I decided against it. I thought it didn't have enough substance for my seasoned readers. It's a really fast read. I would recommend it.

The Pillars Of The Earth

I started reading The Pillars Of the Earth. Its kind of hard to summarize effectively without giving anything away though. Its also 973 pages. Kind of long but VERY good.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

White Oleander

I read White Oleander by Janet Fitch over break. I read it a number of years ago but I thought I'd read it again because it is one of the selections for Cafe Library for January.

It is quite an intense book. Astrid's disturbed mother murders her boyfriend and is sent to prison. This leaves Astrid to the foster care system. She is abused physically and mentally at several placements. The one placement that seemed perfect came crashing down when the foster mother committed suicide. This is a book about survival and forgiveness.