Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Reading

One of the best things about Thanksgiving break week was the chance to settle in on the couch for a nice, long reading session each day. Here's what I read and thought:

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
   I really took my time with this one, not because I didn't like it but because the story was complex, with rich word choice and alternating points of view. It's sort of like The Maze Runner in that the main characters don't know what's going on in their world. Their confusion is your confusion and that's....confusing!

   Incarceron is this seemingly vast prison controlled by some sort of computer? superhuman? consciousness. More than a century ago, all of the society's misbehavers were sealed inside in what was supposed to be a Utopian environment, designed to rehabilitate them. Something went badly wrong though, because Incarceron is a hell. Teen protagonist Finn is trapped inside, his mind wiped of any early memories, but he just knows he comes from the mythical "outside". Only one man has ever escaped Incarceron, the legendary and perhaps fictional Sapphique. The prison warden's daughter Claudia is outside, equally trapped by a pending arranged marriage to a slimy weasel of a guy she doesn't love. In her world, everybody lives according to the "protocol", which means pretending like it' electronic technology at all. It's a Disneyesque steampunk version of society where the privileged class uses technology in secret while everyone else rides around on horses and does laundry in a tub.

   Finn finds a key, Claudia finds a key and they realize they can communicate with each other. There are enough plot twists for three novels but it's really the well-drawn characters that kept me turning pages, wanting more. The sequel, Sapphique, comes out December 28th and I'm counting on getting it as a post-Christmas gift.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
   I can't begin to tell you how much better I like this book than The Red Pyramid. It restored my faith in Rick Riordan as a great storyteller, not just a sellout looking to cash in on previous success. Yeah, I was thinking that. The new kids at Camp Half Blood are terrific characters. Leo was my favorite. He's a wisecracking guy from Houston who will make you laugh yet break your heart with his back story about losing his mother. Many Percy Jackson characters return, including Thalia and Annabeth. Percy himself is missing and you won't believe where he's suspected to be!
   The action is fast and not at all predictable (unlike Red Pyramid which made me think, "been there, done that"). The new baddies are either terrifying, hilarious, or both (King Midas, I'm talkin' to you!). The ending is a complete surprise, setting up next fall's sequel.

   Come in to the library and we can argue about Piper. I can't decide if she embodies female empowerment or female stereotypes. Thalia invites her to join the Hunters of Artemis so that counts for a lot!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Heather Reviews Vampire Kisses

Naomi Reviews My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Teen Read Week Pix

TRW 2010 has been happening all week here at MHS and it's been a blast. Here are some pics from various events. You can see more at the library's flckr page:
The LMC's Flckr photo page

Monday, November 15, 2010

Teen Read Week Begins

Students sported their Teen Read Week shirts today and participated in Quote graffiti....they chalked favorite quotes from books outside on the side walk. Tomorrow is the "dress like a character from a book" event.
More pictures will be up shortly on the library Flckr page. So many good quotes today!   

Monday, November 8, 2010

Teen Read Week is Next Week at MHS!

Get your Teen Read Week T-shirt for just $10 and get a ticket to the banana split party, too!

*Quote Graffiti- Pick your favorite line from a book to graffiti on the sidewalk or the cafeteria walls
*Film a Book Trailer- Come in any time this week to film a short commercial for a book. Vids go on our YouTube and TeacherTube channel.

*Character Costume Day- Dress like a character from a book. Stop by the library to be photographed in your costume.

*Make a poster to celebrate your favorite book, author, or series.Posters must be turned in by the end of 5th period to count.

*The Read-In! During second and third periods. Come dressed in appropriate pajamas, bring your blanket, your pillow, and something good to read.

*The Ice Cream Party, during lunch for those who've earned tickets (poster contest, video, character costume, bought a t-shirt)
*The Talon Awards announced
*Costume, video, and poster contest award winners announced.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Soundtrack in your head? I Adore Paramore for the Hunger Games

Did reading a book ever make you think of a song? In my case, some books make a whole soundtrack play in my brain. Take the Hunger Games, for example. There are so many suspenseful, dramatic moments that deserve a song! Here's my mental soundtrack:

Let the Flames Begin by Paramore
Bodies  by Drowning Pool
Quiet in My Town by Civil Twilight (I stole this idea from Shelby H!)
Bomb by Band of Skulls
This Is War by Thirty Seconds to Mars (assist to Shelby)
The Collector by Nine Inch Nails (Uh, Shelby again!)
Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace (S....because he's better at this than I am!!!)
I Stand Alone by Godsmack
The Times are a Changing by Bob Dylan (Yes, this was S, not me even though it's old)
She Is by The Fray (Good Katniss tune)
Cut by Plumb (Katniss and Peeta)
Die by the Drop by The Dead Weather
Long Way Down by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Haymitch)

Add your own ideas in comments below...