Mrs. McGriff's Reading Blog

Happy reading!

October 19, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Teen’s Top 10

We are in the middle of Teen Read Week, and there are lots of exciting things going on!  First up, here is the list of the top 10 books of 2010 for teens, chosen by teens, and shared by YALSA:

Which of these books have you read?  Which are your favorites?  Which do you want to read?  I was not disappointed with Suzanne Collin’s Mockingjay, but the rest are on my TBR pile.  I loved The Immortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, but I haven’t gotten to Clockwork Angel yet.  Below is a video from Cassandra Clare, accepting this honor: 

Now, go find some good books to read!

February 19, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Oh. My. Word.  If you dare to pick up this book and read, hang on for the ride of your life.  Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi is packed with action and adventure, danger and violence, friendship and betrayl from the very first page. 

Nailor works as part of a light crew on the ravaged Gulf Coast.  He struggles to meet quota every day as he scavenges copper wiring from the wreckd ships that litter the coastline.  It is brutal work in a brutal world where it is hard to know who to trust.  Certainly not his father, whose violence escalates whenever he is sliding high on liquor and drugs.  Certainly not the weather with its regular “city killer” hurricanes that wipe clean Bright Sands Beach.

It is one of these hurricanes, though, that brings Nailer his lucky break.  A clipper ship, one of the sleek ships of the wealthy, crashes off an island.  Will Nailer kill the sole survivor–a swank girl–who is wearing more wealth that he has ever seen, or will he gamble to rescue her and return her to her people in hopes of even more reward?  Once Nailer makes his decision, the danger in his life increases ten-fold.  He must make instant decisions about who to trust and where to go.  Any mistake will lead to sure death–if he’s lucky.  Along the way he learns that the “civilized” wealthy are just as brutal as the gangs that roam the ship breaker’s beaches. 

I love how Bacigalupi slowly reveals the devestation caused by global warming in this future dystopia.  The ramifications of rising seas–cities sunk beneath the waves, New Orleans completely swamped, the desperate hunt for scrap metal and oil–become dangers that haunt this world.  Rather than slowing down the pace, these details egg it on even faster. 

Ship Breaker is one of the Top 10 books for Best Fiction for Young Adults 2011 (by the YASLA).  Check out the rest of the list, too.  It is also named as a National Book Award Finalist, the 2011 Michael J Prinz Award winner, and a 2011 Notable Children’s book.

Run to your nearest bookstore or library and get you hands on this book–if you dare.

January 12, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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ALA Top 10 Quick Picks

This is just for those of you who say you hate to read.  Trust me, there is a book out there for you–you just haven’t met it yet.  Maybe one of these titles will be the book for you.  ALA (American Library Association) picked these books as the best for reluctant readers.  (I think I like Walter Dean Myers’ new term–uninspired readers–you know who you are.)  Check out the list.  Which ones sound like something you would like to read?

ALA Top 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers

Which books have you met that you just couldn’t put down?

September 1, 2010
by Mrs. McGriff
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It’s time to vote…

What?  You didn’t know?  It’s not too late to cast your vote for the Teen’s Top Ten 2010.  This list is where teens nominate and vote for the top Young Adult books of the year.  I’ve read five of the books on this year’s list–all were excellent–and have been eyeing several more.  Head on over and check out the list.  Voting is open from August 23 – September 17.  That means if you haven’t read any of the titles, it’s not too late.  Vote for up to three (yes, you need to have read the book before voting for it) and then answer a few short questions.  Winners will be announced in a webcast at www.ala.org/teenstopten during Teen Read Week (October 17 -23).  Let your voice be heard!

Which books did I read?  Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Hate List by Jennifer Brown, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Shiver by Maggie Steifvator.  All are deserving.  Which ones do I want to read?  All the rest of them, of course!