Day 11 – Poetry Month (Limerick)

Med Head: My Knock-down, Drag-out, Drugged-up Battle with My Brain by James Patterson


There once was a young man named Cory,

Who had a triumphant story –

Tourette’s, OCD,

Mixed with anxiety-

Tough love (not the meds) brought him glory.


Poetry Month – Day 8

This is a Kyrielle poem in response to Sharon Draper’s most recent book Panic (which I began and completed today).



Though people tell of the danger,

Say “Never talk to a stranger”,

It was in public – light of day,

So She went with him anyway.


He was professionally dressed,

His intentions kept full at bay,

He portrayed a family-man (blessed)

So She went with him anyway.


She didn’t have nary a clue

Of the nasty things he would do,

Or the way the acts he’d display,

So She went with him anyway.


He claimed a daughter and a wife,

His evil plan not on display.

She wasn’t concerned for her life,

So She went with him anyway.



Poetry Month – Day 6

This is a “Found Poem” which is like a word-collage.  I pulled some words and phrases from pages 98-100 of

The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History, and arranged them into this:


Whig on a penny


Grew up to be

on the  five-dollar bill.

Hated by some

Abraham Lincoln

Crippling anxiety

“Good Guys” and “Bad Guys” on both sides

States’ rights

Not all Southerners favored

Articles of Secession

Tariff disputes

Stovepipe Hat

End slavery



Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip (Pantoum)

Curveball: The Year I lost my Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick is Pete’s story.  Pete is a freshman in high school, dealing with an injury to his arm that permanently impacts his ability to play his favorite sport – baseball.  While Pete deals with teachers, girls, parents, and how to tell his best buddy AJ about his baseball issue, he is also hiding a secret.  His grandfather is slowly losing his independence as Alzheimer’s takes over his memory and mind.  Of course, all of these painful, awkward threads through the story are written Sonnenblick-style, meaning that you feel like you have a best friend with you, keeping you safe and laughing through the painful moments.


Pantoum Poem


Because memories matter,

Grandpa taught me to watch-

His love of photography,

His love of life.


Grandpa taught me to watch-

He gave me everything-

His love of life,

To see and to remember.


He gave me everything-

His love of photography-

To see and to remember,

Because memories matter.

Some Historical Fiction

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Ages 10 and up

Delphine, and her younger sisters Vonetta and Fern, visit their estranged mother in Oakland, California during the summer of ’68.  When Delphine and her sisters go to a summer camp, run by the Black Panther Party, their eyes are opened to new ways of thinking about things:  some scary, some reasonable.  Through all of this, Delphine and her sisters also struggle to come to terms with their mother, her nonchalance about their existence, and who they are regardless.

My Rating: 4 stars

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Ages 10 and up

Moose and his family have just moved to Alcatraz Island, where his dad will be working as a guard.  Set in the 1930s, Moose is worried about the prisoners on the island, including Al Capone.  Moose meets Piper, the outgoing, overbearing, and very cute daughter of the warden. Piper is very talented at breaking the rules, while she has her dad convinced that she is blameless.  Moose has to deal with Piper,  his own sister who is autistic, a dad who is so busy keeping the Island safe that he isn’t around to keep his own family safe.

My Rating: 5 stars




   Feed by M. T. Anderson

Ages 13 and up

Titus is a typical, teenage boy living in a future world that involves space travel and major media involvement.  Computers are no longer an external device that people carry around, but are internal devices, feeding directly into the brain.  The “feed” can be used to broadcast, chat, send messages, receive mass amounts of advertisements, and for shopping. Kind of like Facebook in your head! Titus and his friends go spend a weekend on the moon, seeking the ultimate party, and meet Violet.  While at a party, Titus, Violet, and several of their friends are hacked.  After a few days of hospitalization, and reprogramming, they are all up and running again- except for Violet.  Violet’s feed is malfunctioning.  As Titus continues to get to know Violet, he is forced to think about things form a perspective he had never considered.

My Rating:  5 Stars

Hello world!

This blog will cover books that I have completed reading, and my rating of such.  My intention is to enable students to find books they may enjoy.  My other purpose is to remember some details about the books after I have read them, given that I am reading so many, so rapidly.  When I list ages or grade ranges for the books, these are not reading levels.  Reading levels do not account for interests and appropriateness for a given reader.  For example, a ten-year-old who can read at a 12th grade reading level, should not be reading about affairs and politics just because he/she can.  Likewise, and adult with a lower reading level is probably not interested in reading about a child’s kindergarten class.