Mrs. McGriff's Reading Blog

Happy reading!

September 20, 2012
by Mrs. McGriff
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Cover Reveal!

I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for Elana Johnson’s third book in the Possession trilogy:  Abandon.  I first “met” Elana Johnson through her blog where she gives insider information on being a writer, raves over good books, and shares a peek into her life as she balances writing with teaching and family. I don’t know how she does it all.  She also contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers, the blog for all things dystopian. This cover reveal is hosted by AToMR Blog Tours.

I have not had a chance to read Possession, the first book yet, but I loved Surrender, the second book.  Now there’s going to be a third book published by Simon and Schuster in June 2013.  Are you ready for the cover?  No, I think you should read the chilling description first:

seduced by power,
broken by control,

and consumed by love…


Vi has made her choice between Jag and Zenn, and the Resistance may have suffered for it. But with the Thinkers as strong as ever, the rebels still have a job to do. Vi knows better than anyone that there’s more at stake than a few broken hearts. 

But there is a traitor among them…and the choices he makes could lead to the total destruction of everything Vi has fought for.

Vi, Jag, and Zenn must set their problems aside for the Resistance to have any hope of ending the Thinkers’ reign. Their success means everything…and their failure means death.
Now, it that doesn’t make you want to read it, here’s the cover:
That’s not all:  There’s more!  I have not yet made the move to Pinterest (I’m afraid of one more thing to suck me into the Internet), but this might tempt me to join the dark side.

ALSO:
Elana is running a Pinterest contest for the cover. She wants to get 500 pins (or repins) over the next two days. If we can get that many, she’ll pick someone who pinned the cover to win a $50 Amazon gift card. 

It’s so easy to do this. All you have to do is click this PIN IT button and select one of your boards to pin the cover to. Elana has done everything else!

Don’t have a Pinterest board yet? Put it on your Tumblr page. Your Facebook page. Your twitter stream. Elana will count those too! Just be sure to tag her (@ElanaJ on twitter, Possession by Elana Johnson on Facebook).

October 3, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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College Go Week Essay Contest

Here is your chance to earn extra credit and be entered in a contest to possibly win $529 towards an Indiana College-Choice 529 Savings Plan and an an Indiana College sweatshirt of your choice.   What do you have to do?

It’s easy.  Take your essay from last Monday (What are you doing to get ready for college?).  Revise and type it.  It needs to fit on one page.  Create a one page poster or collage (on 8 1/2 x 11 paper).  Turn in your typed essay and poster to me.  Every student who does so will earn extra credit.  I will choose the top 10 from my students to submit to the state contest.

Typed essay and poster due by October 19!

July 5, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Book Tour and Prizes

Several fabulous YA authors are going on tour together, and to celebrate they are giving away seven signed copies of books.  I’ve read one (Beth Revis’s Across the Universe) and the others are on my list of want-to-read books.  If your vacation plans take you near the right place at the right time, you can meet them for yourself.  Other wise read all about it and find a copy of the books you want to read.  You can even enter to win here.


June 2, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer & Ellen Potter

spilling inkAnne Mazer and Ellen Potter spill all in their handbook for young writers, Spilling Ink (Scholastic 2010).  It’s not just a book full of wise and funny advice for writers, but it’s also a website where you can follow the blog (What is the strangest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?), join the writer’s club (Everything you need to start your own chapter), ask questions, and enter contests.

As a writing teacher, I feel confirmed that I’m doing a few things right.  How many times have a reassured my students that’s it’s perfectly okay to have a bad first draft?  Just don’t leave it that way.  How many times do I encourage students to get feedback from each other and me? Best of all, there are many right ways to write.  Find your voice and your technique, and then write.

Reading this book is like sitting down with a couple of friends (who happen to be experts) and having them share all their secrets and tips.  Their encouraging laughter points out both the perks and pitfalls of this writing life.

April 1, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Do you iClue?

Here is your chance to win an iPod Touch loaded with six books or six autographed copies of the books. Click on the banner above learn more and enter.

Basically, to be entered in a drawing to win the books, you have to publicize the contest–tell a friend, tweet, blog, or Facebook the news.  Click over to Beth Revis’s blog to enter for the books. 

To win the iPod Touch, you need to

  • Starting on April 4th a new author will be featured on the iClue Site each week.
  • The author will post their mystery on the site on Monday.
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will post links to The Reading Room and two book bloggers who will be posting a special clue to help you solve the mystery.
  • Once you’ve solved the mystery you send us the correct solution using a form on the website.
  • If you enter the correct solution you get one entry into the contest.
    Solve all 6 mysteries you get 6 entries to win the iTouch.

Click on the banner above for links and more details.

March 29, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Congratulations! Let your Voice Be Heard

Congratulations to the following students who submitted their editorials to the essay contest Sponsored by Creative Communications!  Their essays were selected for publication in an anthology (book of short writings by  different authors).  Click on the links below to read their editorials. 

Carleesa B, Ashton B, Blake C, Dylan D, Adam Do, Monica E, Ryan H, Devin K, Emily S, Brianna S, and Audrey W 

The editorials are posted.  See what your classmates think.  Be sure to drop by and let your voice be heard as well. 

 Congratulations to Keenan C, whose editorial on serving soda in the cafeteria was published as a letter to the editor. 

Other students who wrote about improving nutrition in schools are Megan M, Baylee W, and Mistina H.  While we’re on the topic of nutrition, should fast food restaurants include toys in their kids’ meals?  Check out what Emily R And Adam Dr have to say. 

Quite a few students have something to say about the dress code, from facial piercings to hair color to short length:  Charity A, Andy S, Shania Si, Taylor W, Adi G, Patience E, Michelle F, Kayla M

Would allowing cell phones in school engage more students in learning, or would they cause more distractions?  These students may not all agree, but they do have something to say:  Dalton C, Kyle H, Justin W, Shanai Sp, Alicia H, Emma W, and Austin MaBrittany H says that schools should make better use of technology such as iPads.  I’ll volunteer to give one a test run!

Alan D and Anthony E argue in favor of fewer restrictions on PDA.  Sara V would like to have a few more chances before experiencing this year’s new Accountability Lunch.  Alyssa D would like to see more prayer in school. 

Zach T and Baylee K have suggestions for school schedules, from year round school to block 8 scheduling at the high school.

Vyran P and Wyatt D think schools should offer more PE classes.  Katelyn P and Dariyn C would like to see some changes to the swimming unit.  Wyatt C would like to see boxing offered in the county. 

Sports offered many topics for editorials, from making sports safer to making them fairer.  Check out what these students have to say: Harrison F, Adam G, Ali B, Hunter S, Kate E, Sydney K, Courtney H, Blake C.

Abortion was the most popular choice of topics:  Brooklyn M, Dakota R, Scarlett S, Shelbi N, Mickey B, Cheynne H, Shelby G, Maia K, Emily S, Ashton B, Monica E, Amber D, and Carleesa B

These students tackle the topic of teen pregnancy:  Audrey W, Brooke S, Brianna S, Emily P, Tequila L

Karlie R, Maddy H, and Jessi R give their views on gay marriage and gay rights. 

Courtney B and Marissa W offer suggestions for dealing with teen suicide.

Are you worried about the environment?  Check out what Devin K and Adam Do have to say.

Kassidy F and Mike C both write about animal rights.  Lexi E writes about legalizing marijuana.  Tara T reconsiders the driving age.  Cole  B writes about the effects of illegal immigration.  Austin Mu would like to see less government control.  Evan P wants to keep 2-stroke engines around. 

You did a great job expressing your opinion.  Now, if our political leaders could learn to disagree this respectfully!

February 2, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Visit the Merry Sisters of Fate

If you are looking for an eerie collection of short stories to entertain your spare moments and haunt your dreams, head over to the Merry Sisters of Fate, where Maggie Steifvator, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff post a new short story every week.  Well, almost every week.  Some weeks they have guests, round table discussions, and CONTESTS!

If you head over this week, you can enter to win an ARC of Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton.  I’ve been eyeing this book ever since I first found Tessa’s blog.  It’s already on my amazon wish list, but I wouldn’t mind reading it early!  All you have to do is blog about your favorite short story on the site and leave your link in the comments.

Of course, my favorite story is by Tessa.  Sorry Maggie and Brenna, but you just can’t top a slightly evil fairy.  Who wants a sweet Barbie fairy when you can encounter something much more interesting.  Go now and read “Thomas and the Fairy Door.”  Is Thomas good or not?  Can’t make up your mind?  Then you can read more Thomas stories here.

January 13, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
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Congratulations!

Way back when we were writing poetry, some of you got brave and entered the poetry contest sponsored by Creative Communication.  For four students, it paid off!  These guys will all have their poems published in the next anthology. 

Check them out for yourself–

Way to go, guys!  Now it’s your turn.  Get over to Creative Communication and enter a contest for poetry or essays (either memoir or editorial).

January 11, 2011
by Mrs. McGriff
4 Comments

Across the Universe

I am so excited.  Today you–and I–can finally get my hands on Across the Universe by Beth Revis.  Beth is from my home state of NC, and I have been hooked and waiting to read this book every since I read the first chapter posted on the official website. And now I get to help usher this book into the world!  But first, you need to check out the website where you can explore the spaceship Godspeed.  I had to borrow my daughter’s new laptop because our home computer was not playing nice this morning. Not only can you explore different levels of the ship, you can download wallpapers (not on the schoool computers, please) and upload cool avatars (you know, for your blogs).  You never know, something might show up on this blog from it. This ship is like an entire world.  Did you know they even raise animals on it?  The crew lives and dies and raises children to replace them–all enclosed within the walls of the ship.  I’m not sure I’d like that.  They are travelling, but never get to leave. 

You can check out this excusive interview with Beth as she tells a little about the book and herself (hey, she used to be a teacher, too!):

 

If you missed the trailer for Across the Universe the last time I posted it, here it is again:

Doesn’t it sound good?  I know I can’t wait to read it. 

If you are a part of Facebook, join the Facebook fan page.  You can enter a contest with very cool prizes over there. Just send a picture of you with the book. 

I know you want more.  Follw Beth and her adventures as a writer in all the following locations:

Now, go, find a copy of Across the Universe, and READ!  If you can’t get out to a bookstore today, explore the Godspeed at http://www.acrosstheuniversebook.com

OR you can read a 111 page exerpt at io9′s website.  Don’t delay!  These 111 pages will only be up from 11:11 am – 11:11 pm today, 1-11-11. 

What would you do?  Would you go ahead and be frozen for 300 years as you join your parents on a spaceship hurtling across the universe?  Or would you walk right back out the door into life on Earth with other people in your family who love you?