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A-to-Z Extra: Ender’s Game

30 Apr

My final A-to-Z Extra (and post for April 2015) is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  There is so much goodness in this book.  At the very heart of it lies empathy, a quality that I’ve always admired in others and that I hope I can develop in the students who pass in and out of my classes.  Ender is a kind person, and though so much of his life could have made him otherwise, because kindness is at his very core, he homes in on it even in the darkest times.  He’s also wicked awesome at defeating kids that are bigger than he is.


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Have you read Ender’s Game?  Which of the supporting cast is your favourite?


A-to-Z Extra: Endgame: The Calling

29 Apr

My third A-to-Z Extra is Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton.  It’s perfect for those who love cracking codes and ciphers, those who enjoy mysteries and clue hunts that take you all around the world, and those who like multiple narrators within one story.  I’ve got a review of this book very nearly written, but let me just say that the Endgame world has quickly become an obsession for me.  I just adore stories that go on outside of the novels themselves, and Frey has created a complicated, real-life treasure hunt in the real world, which really has me on edge (in the very best of ways).


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Which ancient line do you hail from?

A-to-Z Extra: Anne of Green Gables

28 Apr

A-to-Z Extra #2 is Anne of Green Gables and the rest of the Anne stories by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  The first-ever novel I read was Anne of Green Gables – a gift for my 10th birthday from my godmother.  I loved it right away, and I’ve read it over and over again through the years.  Since that first book was an abridged version (the cover of which is the left-most picture below), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the full story.  Now, I’ve got a small but growing collection of various Anne editions that I treasure.

Anne was my first friend, and Gilbert Blythe was my first book boyfriend.  When I fortuitously stumbled upon Kevin Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea TV movies, I was ecstatic!  (I didn’t even know they existed – pre-Internet days, you know.)  Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie portrayed Anne and Gilbert  in ways that were so much better than my imagination.  I fell in love with them both.  And I was heartbroken upon the news of Crombie’s unexpected and untimely death last week.


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What are your favourite Anne quotes?  Mine is: “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

A-to-Z Extra: The 39 Clues Series

27 Apr

Since there are four more days left in April, I decided to include four more A-to-Zs to round off what’s been a pretty successful month of posting for me.  Let me tell you: I didn’t have terribly high hopes for managing to post every single day, let alone being able to come up with a little rhyme for each of the highlighted novels.  I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve been able to juggle all of this along with lesson planning, test scoring, and all the general delights that greet me on a regular basis.

If you stumbled upon this blog thanks to one of my A-to-Zs, I hope you found a little something of interest to you.  Thanks to those who’ve liked these pages and for everyone who’s stopped me in the hallways to say a kind word or two about a particular post you enjoyed.  More importantly, I hope you’ve found a few suggestions about books to add to your TBR lists!

And now, without further ado, here’s the first of my A-to-Z extras …

Extra #1 is the utterly fantastic the 39 Clues series.  When I first stumbled upon these books, I decided NOT to read them.  I saw the first title, The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan, admired the cover, and moved on.  With the second book, One False Note by a favourite childhood author, Gordon Korman, I once again praised the cover, memorized the blurb, and walked away.  I did this up until the seventh installment, The Viper’s Nest by Peter Lerangis, when I could take it no more.  I bought all the titles in one fell swoop and pre-ordered the remaining three.  You see, I knew from the get-go that I was going to love this series, and since I’m a very fast reader, I didn’t want to be left hanging at the end of the books.  I, therefore, decided to wait until all the books had come out before I dove into the series.  Well, the best-laid plans … It was an interminable wait until the tenth book finally came – Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix.


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Which of the first set of books (there are two spin-off series now!) are your favourites?  I’ve got a particular fondness for Books 4 and 5 – Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson, and The Black Circle by Patrick Carman, respectively.  I’ve always enjoyed reading about Egypt and Russia.

More importantly, however, which branch are you in?  I used to be an Ekat, but no spoilers here …

A to Z: Z is for Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

26 Apr

Z is for Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler.  I’ve always loved stories about strong women.  I’m not sure how I was lucky enough to be introduced to so many growing up (Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennett, my mom), but there’s something about reading about what goes on behind the scenes that I really love.  It’s not about snooping … it’s about understanding.  This take on Zelda’s life is just one in a long list of books about women who are much more instrumental than history has willingly shown.  In short, Zelda is another woman who rocks.


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What other titles have you read with strong historical heroines?

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