2016 RI Teen Book Award Nominee
This is a book that every teenage girl should read. Really, every teenager, but I can see why a boy may not want to be caught with a powder blue book with a paper doll on the front. The thing that I like the most about this book is that it was written by a middle school student for other middle school students about that age old desire to be Popular. Popular by Maya Van Wagenen is a memoir during which the author recounts her year in eighth grade when she decides to follow the advice of 1950's teen model Betty Cornell in an attempt to be popular. She discovers that the secret to popularity has nothing to do with her clothing, hair, or makeup. It has everything to do with how you treat other people. A great book to read to realize that you are not alone!
RI Teen Book Award Nominee 2016
Face recognition software is pretty fascinating. The fact that Google Pictures can recognize the seven-year old version of a seventeen year old is amazing.
Since I'm obviously interested in this particular computer function, I was definitely interested in the premise of Forget Me by K. A. Harrington. When Morgan's boyfriend dies in a hit and run, she decides to load his picture onto FriendShare (Facebook? Instagram?) as a way of saying goodbye. The website tags the picture as a boy who lives in another nearby town. I really wondered where the writer could go with this setup, and the mystery plot does not disappoint. There are many plot threads that the author manages to pull together in a very satisfying ending. A great story for those who like a good mystery with a little romance thrown in.
RITBA 2016 Award Nominee
Like stories of the paranormal? mysteries? historical fiction? war stories? medical dramas? romance? any of the above? How about a book that includes all of the above? In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters is a book that would appeal to many readers, and so far, it's my favorite book on this year's RITBA list. The novel is set during the World War I Spanish flu epidemic in California. Mary Shelley, named for the author of Frankenstein, is a scientist and skeptic of the Spiritualist movement that swept the United States during this difficult period of history. However, when she loses someone important to her, her contact with the afterworld shakes her analytical world.
2016 RI Teen Book Award Nominee
Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire is the story of two girls from the opposite ends of the social spectrum in Tsarist Russia who accidentally switch places. In an attempt to find their rightful place in the world, Elena and Ekaterina also have to find a way to save Russia from the weather catastrophe it is facing.
This young adult novel reminded me of the author's previous book Wicked in that it includes an element of fantasy. Elena and Ekaterina encounter some interesting Russian characters: Baba Yaga, an ice dragon, and matryoshka dolls.
Mrs. Carlino: librarian, technology teacher, intrepid reader, armchair (and real when I can swing it) traveler, vegetable gardener, and outdoor lover!
Some other sites where I have reviewed books:
Other lists of great reads:
A .pdf File from the MA Department of Eduction that outlines suggested reading for grade level. The authors that will help you be "well-read":
I found this nice list of classics for middle schoolers thanks to a teacher in New York. Thanks to Mr. Shapiro wherever you are!