MissTeacher's Grafton-less ABC Challenge!
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I am joining this challenge in honor of my best friend, who just yesterday at the Library Spring Sale went absolutely nuts with Sue Grafton books just because she had found "A". She's determined to read them all, in order.
I, on the other hand, will not be reading any Grafton novels, and will not be doing my ABCs in order. Yes, this is me, your faithful English teacher, bucking the system. :D
Articles don't count, of course.
A. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
B. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
C. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel
D. Devil's Toenail by Sally Prue
F. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
H. The Haunting of Hip Hop by Bertice Berry
I. Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
K. The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
M. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
O. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
P. Peony in Love by Lisa See
Q. Quest Atlantis: Two Worlds, One Fate by Kalynn Brower
T. Teaching With Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom by Jim Fay
U. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
W. What to Look for in a Classroom: And Other Essays by Alfie Kohn
Z. Zombie Blondes by Brian James
Link to my 75 Books Challenge: http://www.librarything.com/topic/88107
Link to my 10 10 10 Challenge: http://www.librarything.com/topic/88925
Link to my Books Off the Shelf Challenge: http://www.librarything.com/topic/88964
E. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
--Everything Twitter by Monica Jones
G. The Genesis Code by John Case
J. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
L. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
N. Native Son by Richard Wright
R. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
---Roots by Alex Haley
S. Shake the Devil Off by Ethan Brown
---Storyteller by G.R. Grove
Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel. Finished 4/24/10, ****.
This thick prehistorice saga did seem daunting at first, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I think, more than the story, I was actually interested in the interpretation of prehistoric life. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the work involved, the pictures painted of flora and fauna, and the geographic explanations. I liked trying to figure out what landmass they lived on, and exactly where they might be. I found it fun to think about the differences between the Clan people and the Others, knowing where evolution would take us. There were some fantastical elements in the story, but the only part that truly made me cringe was when Ayla had a glimpse of modern life--skyscrapers, cars, roads and airplanes. That was completely out of place, but it was soon over. Definitely a feminist book, but I believe there are sequels and I wouldn't mind seeing where they take me.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Finished 4/24, *****.
This was a re-read from last year, but it was still as great as ever. This time I was taking notes on it in preparations to read it with my 7th graders, and I still devoured it in one day. I only hope the kids like it as much as I do. They seemed excited the other day when I mentioned it, and asked for a "sneak preview". Here's the review from last year: http://www.librarything.com/work/9219228/reviews/50115594
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
Finished 4/27, ***
Alright... I was very excited about adding this book and then immediately seeing it at the library. I thought perhaps I could use it with my 6th grade class towards the beginning of the year when they study mythology. I wasn't really thinking about myself and my love of Arthurian legend and secret quests--and therein lies my problem. I approached this book in the mindset of a 6th grade ESL student just learning about mythology and the Dark Ages and the wider world out there... and I found it incredibly dull. There was hardly no action--only when they found a cave was my interest piqued, and even that was a pretty bland climax. And it seemed as if the entire book lead up to a step of the quest the characters probably could have completed halfway through the rising action. And I'm not sure how the dialect is written since I listened to the audio version, but that could be a major hazard to English Language Learners.
So in short, I hope with all my hopes that the next books in this series are more exciting and actually delve into the fantasy of Arthurian lore. As a stand-alone book, I couldn't even call Over Sea, Under Stone fantasy. Just a very slow mystery. There's promise there, for me at least. As far as my students are concerned, unfortunately, this is a big pass.
The Haunting of Hip Hop by Bertice Berry
Finished 5/9/10, ****
A beautiful, and yes, haunting, story of the power of love and music, The Haunting of Hip Hop draws the reader in for a journey from slave ships to Harlem nightclubs and stops to hear most of the stories in between. This is mostly a novel about listening to your heart and your history, and the supernatural element does not hinder this in any way. It isn't a spooky story...it's a love story. A story about the love between husband and wife, father and descendents, mothers and grandmothers and sons, playmates and grown professionals, spirits and their lives, a people and their music, a people and their history, the need for expression, and I could go on and on and on. This is a phenomenal read, sad yet hopeful. And quick. Do yourself a favor--take a few hours to lose yourself in this beat.
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