Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last StrawThe story of Greg Heffley continues as The Last Straw, book #3 in the Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney.  This time around we begin with a New Year- where Greg and his emo rule his New Year's resolution (to help others improve).  Dad has a big presence this time, continually trying to make Greg into a tougher kid.  Sports, miltary school, scouts?.. something has to make Greg less of a wimpy kid.  Rowley, Rodrick and the rest of the crew are also present in this diary.  Greg's ego gets him into trouble, Rowley continues to get on his nerves and Rodrick keeps on being that typical teenage boy.  Not to mention that Dad is trying to make Greg more of a man (like his boss' kids) and Mom keeps trying to be cool.  And girls are a bit more on the radar this time- Holly Hills ihas an active role in this diary... as Greg attempts to persue her!  Oh the moments of adolescent adoration.
Another great addition in the line of Wimpy Kids!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2

Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2)
Jeff Kinney's second Wimpy Kid book is Rodrick Rules, and boy does he.  This time around, Greg writes about home and school but with a particular emphasis on his brother and embarrassing moments.  This diary holds everything from avoiding embarrassing moments to keeping them from Rodrick to trying to avoid being blackmailed by Rodrick when he does find out. Greg's little brother Manny also seems to be getting in on things more- and by "things" we mean anything of Greg's and anything that can be a disaster.  But don't let his mom & dad know- Manny can still do no wrong.   Greg also continues to struggle with the ups and downs of middle school- girls, talent shows and best friends.
Rowley and Greg continue to have their own ups and downs- mainly because Rowley is a little bit of a big baby and Greg takes advantage where he sees fit.  This seems to be an emerging theme which I am sure will continue throughout the Diary series.  Another theme that continues to show up is Greg and his ability to rationalize every little thing he does- good or bad.  Being a bully, lying or struggling with his academics... well, Greg has a great excuse.  It is interesting because the excuses are totally middle school boy- and sometimes make sense and seem quite convincing.
Another excellent read as Greg continues his journey through middle school...

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
This weekend I spent some quality time with Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.  Pegged "a novel in cartoons", this kid-friendly young adult novel s excellent!  Filled with the ups and downs of middle school, this easy to read and highly entertaining "novel in cartoons" is a crowd pleaser.
The main character, Greg has received a diary from his mom.  Quick to claim it is NOT a diary, but a journal of his life, in case he makes it famous, Greg details his first year in middle school.  With a rock-star wannabe older brother always out to get him and a tattle tale wo can do no wrong for a younger brother, Greg has his share of comical stories that revolve around his time at home.  Greg is also pretty scrawny and isn't exactly high on the popular list, so he also has plenty of stories to share about floating in the grey area of middle school.  His best friend Rowley is a nerd and a baby, but they get along great... until things turn sour.  Greg is anice kid, but his "jokes" aren't always taken as such.  Sometimes Greg is a bully (even though he HATES bullies who dare to bully and humiliate him).  The reader follows Greg as he learns lessons the hard way, realizes his mom isn't always so out of touch, messes up, fights with his brothers and tries to climb his way to the top- not without casulaties.
With plently of lessons and teachable moments, Diary of a Wimpy Kid chronicles the tough stuff that is middle school, fitting in and finding your way.  Told is true adolescent boy fashion (I should know- I read journal entries every day!) with comical cartoons to go along, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great novel for young readers.  Whether read alone, with a parent or sibling, friend or teacher, this novel runs along quick and leaves the reader waiting to hear what happens next year in Greg's life.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


The Lightning Thief

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)
A couple of months ago I purchased The Lightning Thief {graphic novel} by Rick Riordan for my classroom.  The kids have thumbed through it and a few read it and really enjoyed it.  I figured it was about time I pick it up as well, so I brought it home and read it the night before last.  It was okay... not bad, but not overwhelmingly amazing.
I didn't know much about the novel {or the fact that it was a series} so I asked the kids who gave me a little run down and told me it was only book 1.  In this book, Percy begins to uncover the truth of who he is and embarks on a mission to save his family.
The books concept is interesting... the idea that the Greek Gods we learn about in mythology class are very much real and living among us is pretty cool.  The Lightning Thief seems to be the very beginning, so I will need to go get the rest to figure out how the story plays out.  I also want to add that the illustrations were cool too- nothing spectacular, but definitely worthy of artistic credibility.
I wouldn't suggest getting this unless you plan on purchasing a few at a time.  It was a real quick read and isn't a novel that holds the reader enough to want to run out an grab the next in line... I fear that I may forget what happens before I finally get around to getting the next in the series.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow



Well, its been a while.  After getting sick with pneumonia and the craze of after holidays, another wonderful adventure fell upon me: my computer crashed.  It failed and wouldn't start up.  Major virus attack, so I brought it to a local computer repair place and paid $125 to have them retrieve my files and tell me what was wrong.  They JUST called me last week, and I have to decide whether or not to pay big bucks to get it fixed.  Fortunately we had some extra cash from the holidays, so we got a cute little net book by Acer.  I love this thing!  Now that we have this I'm back in action!  I haven't been reading as much though- work has been insane and I've been stressed.  I didn't go to books this time around, I felt like I needed to work with my hands so I have been crafting a lot again.  I created some sweet jewelry and I've been painting.  It feels great to get creative again, although I feel like I never have enough hours in to day to teach, grade papers, cook, clean, create and read.  So, books fell to the back burner for a bit.  Plus, I just couldn't get in to Rat Girl.  I swapped it out and I'll try again later.

WintergirlsFor those of you in upstate New York, or who watch the weather channel and see the dumping we got would be correct to assume the past 2 days have been snow days!  I don't get snow days off because we're inpatient so I was up at work yesterday.  But, on snow days the kids sleep in late giving me about an hour to read while they're waking up.  I brought Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson with me, knowing it'd be a quickie read.  I've had Wintergirls floating around for a while, but haven't grabbed it off the shelf because I know her books are those that I want to read in one or two sessions.  Fortunately for me, I asked my boss if we had a snow day I could use a personal day today and avoid a {normally} 20 minute drive in on a sheet of pure ice.  She said yes, so I stayed up late last night and read the rest of the book through.
I gotta say, I have always been in LOVE with Speak and thought nothing would ever come close to the power of that novel.  Wintergirls did.  It blew me away.  The writing was pure genius- typical of Halse Anderson- it was like reading heart wrenching poetry.  Written in a journal-type style, the story follows Lia in the months that follow the death of her former best friend, Cassie.  Both girls were friends for years, and both carried each others dark secrets.  They were to be the skinniest girls in school.  While Cassie binged and purged, Lia restricted food.  Both were dangerously sick- playing with fire for years.  After Lia passed out and crashed Cassie's car, her parents forced her into treatment and Cassie 'dumped' her and found her own way out.  Or so everyone thinks.  Both girls continue to play with fire, although this time they're doing it alone.
When Cassie winds up dead and alone in a motel room as a senior in high school, Lia falls into a deeper hole than ever before.  Her eating disorder progresses into the danger zone and her life begins to fall {even more} apart.  Lia has struggled with her family for years and has always felt alone.  Now seemingly without a soul in the world to talk to, Lia begins to regress.  In need of help but unwilling to accept the hands offered to her, Lia succumbs to the demons and attempts to rip herself open- more than once.
What becomes of Lia?  Does she reunite with Cassie as her Wintergirl status progresses into the deep hole of death?  Or does she fight her demons and make it out alive- unlike Cassie?
Wintergirls is powerful.  Just like Speak moved me to tears, so did Wintergirls.  It is a lesson to every woman out there, from little girls growing up in a world where beauty and size 0 is more important than an A to the adults who look in the mirror in disgust at the 10lbs of holiday weight.  We are not a number.  I suggest that every mother, daughter and professional read this book.  Not only does it portray the very real struggle of body dysmorphic disorder, it also shows that there is hope.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow