• May Reads and Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 5/31/2019

    I hope all of you readers had an amazing month of May! I got some good rading in during this long month. Here are my top 5 for the month. As always, titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com.  Leave any recommendations that you may have for me- I am building . my summer reading stack! 


    Shouting At The Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt - Delsie lives with her grandma while trying to navigate feelings of being abandoned...by her mother when she was a baby and now by her best friend, Brandy. Delsie is feeling fragile and insecure about her family and its missing pieces, as well as how she fits with her friend Brandy and Tressa, the new girl on the scene. This is a true heartprint book about love, loss, friendship and moving forward.


    Right As Rain by Lindsay Stoddard - "It’s been almost a year since Rain’s brother Guthrie died, and her parents still have no idea that it’s all Rain’s fault. In fact, no one does—Rain buried her secret deep, no matter how heavy it weighs on her heart. When her mom suggests moving the family from Vermont to New York City, Rain agrees to the plan. But she couldn’t have imagined how different life in the big city would be. With her mom and dad fighting more than ever and the anniversary of Guthrie’s death approaching, Rain is determined to keep her family together, and her big secret close to her heart."

    Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass - "Ally likes the simple things in life--labyrinths, star-gazing, and comet-hunting. Her home, the Moon Shadow campground, is a part of who she is, and she refuses to imagine it any other way. Popular and gorgeous (everybody says so), Bree is a future homecoming queen for sure. Bree wears her beauty like a suit of armor. But what is she trying to hide? Overweight and awkward, Jack is used to spending a lot of time alone. But when opportunity knocks, he finds himself in situations he never would have imagined and making friends in the most unexpected situations.Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one's place in the universe."


    House Arrest by K.A. Holt - After his dad left and his baby brother is exteremly ill, Timothy takes matters into his own hands a steal a credit card to pay for his brother's medication. When he is sentenced to one year of House Arrest and to write in a court mandated journal, which is this book. Through his journal we learn about Timothy's family, friends, and his path to redemption. 


    The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton - "In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful and Camilla wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision."


    *quoted summaries are taken from Gooreads.com

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  • April Reads and Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 4/28/2019

    Happy April Readers! I got some quality time with some amazing books while my kiddos swam in the pool in Florida over vacation. Here are my top 5 for the month. As always, titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com. What have you read that topped your book game? Leave any recommendations for me! 



    The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo- This book has won just about every award that it possibly could. I was surprised when it lived up to the hype! "Poet X" is a 14 year old girl living in Harlem, Ny who is dealing with maturity, fititng in, her highly religous family/ rebelling and acting out all through music and slam poetry. *Gr. 8+


    Tight by Torrey Maldonado- A super releveant story about Bryan, who is dealing with fitting in, peer pressure, friendship, boundaries, and autonomy all at the same time. When his father is released from jail, Bryan feels pressure to hang out with Mike, who is dad has picked for him to be friends with. But when Mike pressures Bryan to engage in risky behavior, Bryan has to decide who is living his life to please-- his father/ Mike or himself. 


    The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson- An engaging mystery that had me guessing at the ending the whole time. After Nate and his mother escape a dangerous situation at home, they seek shelter in an old, run down, abandoned cottage in the woods. When Nate's mom leaves for food and doesn't return, he is forced to take care of himself until his mom returns. Nate gets some help along the way but readers are left wondering where his mom is and if she will be coming back.


    Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrision- Two girls, Lauren and Sierra, are suddenly neighbors in Lauren's wealthy suburban neighborhood. After Lauren's brother is sent to a school for children with autism, Lauren is left angry, afraid and alone. She decides to raise funds for kids with Autsim to recieve the therapies that they need in some rather uncoventional ways. Sierra, who has been placed in a foster home due to her mother's struggles, befriends Lauren and assists her with her plans until Lauren pushes her a bit too far. 


    Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald- This book quickly became one of my top 5 of all time. Teddy, an incoming high school freshman, is in a coma after sustaining a concussion/ traumatic brain injury during preseason practice but no one is certain about the events leading up to his injury. Is this a typical football concussion or was something more sinister at play? The mystery of what happened to Teddy and how is friends and family deal with this tragic event is told exclusively  through text messages, chat room transcripts, doctor's reports, one sided dialogue (Teddy has inner thoughts but can not communicate as he is unconsious) as well as newspaper articles. For a book without any narrative writing, I was shocked at how badly I wanted to know what happened to Teddy! 

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  • March Reads & Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 3/31/2019

    March was a long month and I enjoyed reading my way throught it. Check out my top picks from the past month. As always, titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com.


    Sweep: The Story of A Girl And Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier- A moving adventure feauturing a Victorian London chimney sweep who almost burns to death on the job and lives on with the help of her monster/ golem. "We are saved by saving others."


    Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale Of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff-  This humorous retelling gives the back story of Borlen, a dwarve nicknamed "Grump" and how he ends up becoming one of Snow White's dwarves. Borlen befriends Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) (get it!?) and is quite pleased until she asks him to do an evil deed to her step daughter Snow White. This fractured fairy tale is entertaing for all ages.


    Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks- Ravi was a genius in India. He was at the top of his class, great at sports and had a ton of friends. Which is why he has such a hard time when his famiy moves and Ravi starts school in America where he is not understood because of his accent, put in extra support because of his different methods of doing math and struggles to make friends. How will Ravi cope with this sudden change in his life?


    Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram- Darius embarks on his first trip to Iran, where his family is from. Darius is dealing with clinical depression, a father who he feels he will never measure up to and the ever present problem of making friends. When Darius meets Sohrab, he learns many important lessons that he can hopefully take back home to America with him. 


    Gone by Michael Grant- A dystopian mystery (my fav genre) where everyone over the age of 15 suddenly dissapears. Children are left to fend for themselves, take care of each others without phones, televisions or communication. On top of everything else, kids are developing powers and asserting power in an effort to find out what is happening to their world and why. 


    Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard- Robbie Hart has a secret. Her Grandfather is rapidly loosing his memory. Robbie fears that everytime she acts up in school, the added stress that she places on her grandfather makes his memory worse. Robbie is impulsive and hesitant to ask for help because she fears being seperated from the only family that she has left. 

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  • February Reads and Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 3/1/2019

    February was a quick month and I enjoyed some time reading over February vacation. The time away from school gave me the chance to read some newly released (and older) books that I couldn't wait to recommend to you! Check them out :) As always, titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com.


    The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman A heartbreaking beautiful story that serves as a window to a world very different than ours. Two sisters embark on an adventure after deciding to run away from home. The sisters befriend two other homeless boys who become family and help each other to survive. When the children are forced to face the harsh reality of living on the streets, illness ,and loss, they bring us on the emotional journey with them.


    The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart A newly released book from the author of Scar Island, Good Dog, The Honest Truth, and Some Kind of Courage. After losing her mother and sisters in a tragic car accident five years ago, Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, set out to live life on the road (in a remodeled school bus to be exact.) When Coyote discovers that the last piece of her family that remains is in danger of being detsroyed, she must trick her dad into driving her back to her home town. Coyote and Rodeo meet many friends along the way, all that are dealing with their own troubles and truths. Will she make it back home in time to save all that she has left of her family?


    The Unteachables by Gordon Korman A humorous new book from the author of Restart introduces us to the "unteachable" students that get appointed a teacher who is trying to retire early to collect his pension. What happens when the worst kids are in class with the worst teacher? 


    One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. The brain, the beauty, the criminal, the athlete and the outcast. One of them, Simon, never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. Read along to find out who killed Simon. The author describes this book as "the breakfast club with a criminal twist."


    The Selection Series by Keira Cass The bachelor meets dystopian society. The Selection: 35 girls. 1 crown. The competition of a lifetime. When the world is divided into "casts" based on a family's wealth, everyone jumps at the chance to become the next princess. When America Singer enters the competition as a joke, she never thinks that she will actually get picked for The Selection. When she arrives at the palace, she is torn between her first love back at home and the prince who is being pursued by 34 ther girls. America also has to decide between the life she has known so well and the possibility of wealth and luxury.  

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  • January Reads and Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 2/1/2019

    Januray was a busy month and the start of a new year. One of my resolutions is to read more widely. I have tried to read books that are outside my "comfort zone" and learn about genres and authors that are new to me. I hope some of these books spark an interest in you to do the same! If you are interested in reading (or have already read) I Will Always Write Back, Check out the multi-gernerational book club that middle schoil and highschool students are invited to attend in March! 

    As always, titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com. Read on, Readers!


    Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood

    Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph by Travis Roy, E.M. Swift

    The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

    Lions and Liars by Kate Beasley

    I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, and Liz Welch

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  • December Reads and Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 12/26/2018

    As always, titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com and book covers are taken from Goodreads.com.  I hope you find something that interests you!


    The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez *NMS CHallenge/ March Book Madness Title

    The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

    Pax By Sarah Pennypacker *NMS Challenge Title

    Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

    You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly



    Other Titles That I Have Loved and Recommend:


    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

    Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson

    The False Prince by Jennifer Neilsen

    A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


    Come back and see what I have read and recommend in January. :)

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  • November Book Recommendations

    Posted by Jennifer Whitt on 11/1/2018

    Here are some of my top reads from the month of November. Titles are hyperlinked to summaries on Goodreads.com.

    The EpicFail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya *March Book Madness Title

    The Best Man by Richard Peck *March Book Madness Title

    Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

    Front Desk by Kelly Yang *March Book Madness Title



    Other books that I have read, loved and recommended:


    The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

    The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

    A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen *March Book Madness Title

    Amal Unbound by Aisha Seed *Book Challenge Title

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