Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who should star in the movie version of The Hunger Games?

I've made my picks (although I couldn't think of anyone for Cinna), now you make yours. If you send me a vid like mine below, I'll post it and give you a (small but delightful) prize.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Moon Premiere Party

Come party in the library to celebrate the realease of the film New Moon!

When: Friday, November 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: In the Melissa High School Library Media Center
What: Food, music, games, prizes, dancing, and general craziness

Let me know if you plan to attend

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Maze Runner

If I had to predict which of our books will be the "next big thing', this one would be it. If you like dystopian future books like The Hunger Games, Unwind, or the Uglies series, you're gonna love The Maze Runner.

The book's action explodes from the start with main character Thomas trapped in some sort of elevator, unable to remember much beyond his own name. When the doors clank open, he is faced with a staring mob of boys standing in an enormous courtyard, surrounded by high stone walls.

Welcome to the Glade.

Thomas learns that all the boys arrived in this strange place the same way and that a new boy comes out of the elevator every 30 days. All of the boys have had their minds wiped. The Glade is the safe center of a dangerous maze whose walls reform each day. If Thomas can unlock the riddle of the maze, perhaps he can unlock the secrets he knows are buried inside his mind. That is, if he lives long enough. Each night, horrible machine-monsters creatures called grievers come a-calling.

It's kind of Lord of the Flies meets Hunger Games, part mystery, part thriller, part survival story. You keep turning the pages because you need to know what the heck is happening to these kids and why!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Favorite Fictional Characters Who Died

This discussion was suggested to me by awesome library aide Kelly Evans. Beware of spoilers! So... here is my RIP list. feel free to add your own. P.S.- I don't count vampires cuz they are undead not dead! Ditto for characters in an afterlife like Liz in Elsewhere.


Albus Dumbledore from HP
Sirius Black from HP
Fred Weasley from HP
Hedwig from HP
Remus and Tonks Lupin from HP
(Lots of dying in the last Harry Potter!)
Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings
Dallas Winston from The Outsiders
Johnny Cade from The Outsiders
The Tarleton Twins in Gone With the Wind
Alaska Young in Looking for Alaska
Will Keller from The Luxe
Mr. Crepsley in Cirque du Freak
Brom in Eragon
Coyotito in The Pearl
Buster Kilrain in Killer Angels
Ruth Jamison from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Toomer from The Great Santini
Rue from The Hunger Games
and.....even though I didn't like him......Roland from Unwind

Post your own characters. Hey...maybe we could have a "Day of the Dead Character" funeral?!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Teen Read Week Read-In, Ice Cream Party, Award Winners

Wow, it's been quite a week here in the LMC. First of all, congrats to the prize winners.And, click here to see pictures from the Read-In (pajama party!), the book fair, and the Ice Cream blast. Finally, look on the top left of the blog to see the books we chose for the first annual Talon Awards . Big, big thanks to Mrs. Reyes for all her contributions to the ice cream party. She donated paper goods and toppings and got ice cream donated by Blue Bell. You rock!

Prize Drawing Winners (book fair gift certificates):
Sky Terry
Mariah Craig
Brittany Teifert
Heather Benton
Steven Flowers
Danielle Bradford
Lacey Gidney

Character Costume Contest (as voted on by the MHS staff)
Honorable Mention: McKenzie Birkhead as Vivian from Blood and Chocolate
Second Place: Caitlyn Fahey as Harry Potter
First place: Kelly Evans as Ryuk from Death Note

Poster Contest (as voted on by the MHS staff)
Honorable Mention: Heather Benton, 1984
Second place: Juan Espinosa, Cirque du Freak
First Place: Kelly Evans, Host Club

Teen Read Week Poster Contest

We had some awesome entries. MHS has a talented group or artist-readers! TRW queen Kelly Evans had the winning entry (left). Click here to see the others.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Commercial Videos Are Up!

One of our Teen Read Week activities was videotaping students who wanted to promote a favorite book or series. With the help of Mrs. Smith, editor extraordinaire, we created these cool vids.

I'm not even done editing and uploading yet!  Check back for more videos later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teen Read Week Happenings

Teen read week is in full swing here at MHS. The book fair opened Monday. Today was "Come dressed as a character from a book" day. Check out the pictures here.

Tomorrow is the judging of the poster contest. Thursday is the return of the Great Read-In! Bring your pajamas, your pillow, and something juicy to read as MHS settles in for a nice chunk of uninterrupted pleasure reading time.

Friday is the ice cream party for those who blogged about books and/or filmed book commercials. I'll take extra hot fudge, please.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Teen Read Week Contest

Hey Cardinals! This is the place to post your Teen Read Week book blurbs and reviews. remember, to earn a ticket to the ice cream party, you must successfully write about at least six books you've read during the past year. For an example of how to do it, check out my post about the book Peak right here on this blog. You'll have to go back to the older posts.

Tell a little bit about the book (enough to entice the reader but not so much that you give away the plot). Tell what you noticed/thought/felt, what you liked and didn't. when you're done, tell me so that I can read it and give you a ticket.

All you have to do is click on "comments" below and start writing. Submit each book as its own comments post please. Where it says "comment as", select "name/url". Put your first name and last initial only! No URL is needed.

Once I approve your comments, you'll see them here on the blog.

The deadline for finishing blogging is next Wednesday, October 21st by the end of the school day.

Mrs. Rowe, We Love You so!

Mrs. Rowe, one of our amazing English teachers, had a birthday last Friday. Here's our tribute to her:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Banned Books Week Vid

We got a new Flip video camera in the LMC yesterday and decided to shoot some footage. It started off as pure nonsense but it morphed into a piece on defending the right to read. Check out our Banned Books Week video.

Thanks to Cody and Junior for helping! Now we need a name for the little super hero guy...Clyde? I need suggestions!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Profundity of John Green

When I was in middle school and high school, I had a great, good friend named Kathryn. She died, way too young, and I've always had a hard time dealing with it. You see, we'd had a bit of a falling out. Nothing major, just two young people who were at different life stages, just out of sync. I thought we'd have time to fix it but as it turns out, we didn't. I lost her and learned a bitter lesson.

Now, along comes John Green with his Tayshas Award-winning novel, Looking for Alaska. There's a lot to admire in this novel but for me the line that resonates is this:

"We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations....So I know that she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison's last words were: 'It's very beautiful over there.' I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful."

Hig, wherever you are, I hope it's beautiful over there.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books to Movies

I just watched the trailer for the upcoming Cirque Du Freak movie and I've gotta say it....I'm concerned. Not for the reasons I thought, either. Darren as an American didn't bother me. The actor who plays him has a nice Darren essence. Nope, what bothered me was the dude playing Mr. Crepsley. He is totally miscast! As I see it, Mr. Crepsley is truly sinister and elegant, exuding power and danger. Actor John C. Reilly, best known for Stepbrothers and Walkhard, comes across as goofy and nonthreatening. He plays Crepsley for laughs. Bah! It's dosen't really matther, though. I'll be in line for tickets when it comes out October 23rd. See the trailer for yourself here.

Another book coming to film soon looks much better. The Lightning Thief , out this February 12th, has a high budget for special effects and a fabulous cast. Uma Thurman plays Medusa, Pierce Brosnan is Chiron, and Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord of the Rings) is Zeus! The kid playing Percy doesn't say anything in the trailer, so it's hard to have an opinion about him. He looks like a Percy, though :) Check out the trailer here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

MHS is crazy for Shusterman's Unwind

I thought 8 copies of Unwind would be enough to keep everybody happy but I was wrong. Everyone is loving this story or a future world gone wrong. I'm up to sixteen copies and they are all checked out!

In this crazy-but-believable future, doctors and scientists have perfected organ transplant technology. Anything that goes wrong with your body is easily solved by plugging in a new part. Losing your eyesight? No biggie! Plug in new eyeballs. Injure your hand? Just get a new one grafted on. Freaky, huh?

This means that full-size, low-mileage parts are at a premium. Can you guess where they come from? Teenagers. Bad teens whose parents have had enough. Orphaned teens who society decides have no special talent. "Special" teens who have been conceived for the express purpose of having their organs tithed. To be "unwound" is to have your parts harvested for reuse by others.

Bad boy Connor, orphaned Risa, and tithed Lev are all scheduled to be unwound. If they can survive until they turn 18, they will no longer be eligible for the process. Their story is disturbing and incredibly suspenseful. The characters are complex and Shusterman's premise will really make you think.

The climactic scene with Sometimes a piece of fiction sticks in your heart and brain long after you put the book down. That scene wrecked me when I read it and it's still (still!) with me now.

It's not all that often a book is thrillingly suspenseful and intellectually challenging at the same time but Unwind certainly is.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sequel to the Hunger Games is On Fire

When Catching Fire hit the book stores a few weeks ago, I was first in line to snap it up. I'd waited more than a year to get my hands on Suzanne Collins' eagerly anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games. It did not disappoint! Picking up pretty much where THG left off, the book catapulted me back into Katniss and Peeta’s dystopian future world. Things are getting even more grim….the government is not pleased with Katniss’ stunt that ended the games.
Peeta is back, still sweet and thoroughly nice. When is Katniss ever gonna get a clue about him? We get to know Gale a little bit better this time around. I started to feel sorry for the guy. He must have been devastated to see Katniss and Peeta’s romance play out on national TV. Collins doesn’t wait long to ramp up the action. Katniss needs that bow and arrow of hers pretty quickly! Since this is the middle book of a planned trilogy, you won’t find a resolution at the end…it leaves you hanging once more. Gah! Another year-long wait to find out what happens!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Peak by Roland Smith

I finally finished Peak this weekend. Why did it take me so long? You all have kept it checked out constantly so I could never get my hands on it!

After finishing, I totally understand why. The main character is in a life and death situation for much of the book so the reader is constantly wondering if he's going to make it or not.

Peak Marcello is the son of a famous mountain climbing dad and mom. Unfortunately, Dad is off in the Himalayas and Mom's remarried, leaving Peak and his younger sisters living in NY city with step dad. Peak loves to climb, but is busted by the police when he's caught scaling a skyscraper. To avoid jail, he's sent to live with his dad who promptly whisks him off to Mount Everest! The story centers around Peak's attempt to become the youngest person to ever climb it.

I was fascinated by how hard it is to climb Everest and how much is involved in getting acclimated to that elevation. The story also weaves in the current troubles between Tibet and China. This is central to how the story ends up but I'm not telling any more about it!

You will love Peak, the character. He's tough, vulnerable, and big-hearted. I think you'll like Peak, the book. too. It's got a kicker ending I'd love to discuss with you. Come talk to me when you're done.