Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Max the Mighty - Rodman Philbrick

I absolutely loved Freak the Mighty. So much so, that when I saw our library had Max the Mighty, I knew I needed to get it.

Max seems lonely, once again. He's still being teased for being tall and looking like his dad (the felon that killed his mother) and once again, he's not feeling smart.

One day, Max is just walking, minding his own business, when he hears a girl scream. This is when he meets Rachel, also known as Worm (named this for being a bookworm).

Later, Max meets Worm and her mother, and learns the "Undertaker" is her step-father. The Undertaker is a large, mean man, who drives a hearse and "threatens" people using the bible as his defence. Feeling uneasy about it all, Max finds his way to Worm's house where he sees her mom, crouched down, beaten, and he hears the screaming. Max bursts in, grabs Worms, and runs off.

Max believes he can take Worm home, and his grandparents will help, but when he gets there, he finds the Undertaker has called the police and have accused Max of hitting his wife and kidnapping his step-daughter.

Thus begins the adventures of Max the Mighty and Worm. Worm believes her father can help, and not wanting to leave her alone, Max accompanies her on their adventure, hitchhiking, riding a train, and meeting people, good and bad, along the way.

This is another one of those awesome, feel good, easy reads.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Freak the Mighty - Rodman Philbrick

I recently joined a book club. I'm terribly excited, as it's been years since I've been part of one. We shall meet the last Wednesday of every month, and the hostess gets to choose the book.

September's book is Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. It's a YA book, so I got a copy from our school library, but hadn't gotten a chance to read it. On Friday, I covered a G7 class, and students had 30 minutes of reading their assigned books. I figured, if the students were reading, so should I. And wouldn't you know it, there was a copy of the book in the classroom.

So I started reading. And then I was upset that the 30 minutes had gone by so quickly, as I was really enjoying it, so of course, I had to come home and finish it.

Freak the Mighty, is the story of best friends, Kevin and Max. Kevin walks with leg braces but is super intelligent. He reminded me a little of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. Max is on learning support, and a very large boy. He looks like his father, who is currently in jail for killing his mother. He's being raised by his grandparents, who seem to be a little afraid of him. These two boys are as opposite as they come. And yet, they become the best of friends. Max often carried Kevin on his shoulders, and together they are Freak the Mighty. Together they go on quests and fight dragons. As a team, they are unstoppable.

This is a book for every Middle Schooler. Just make sure you have tissue handy.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

How to Eat a Cupcake

So how do you eat a cupcake?

Are you the kind that peels off the wrapper, and takes a huge bite? If you are, I hate to break it to you, but you're wrong!

Maybe you are a neat cupcake eater. You have a plate and cut it half and eat it with a fork or spoon. Yeah...I'd hate to say it, but that's really wrong!

You might be the kind who does not think they can eat a whole cupcake, so you portion it out, and then eat one piece. And then another. And then another. Well, despite the fact that you misleading yourself into believing you won't eat the whole cupcake, you're still eating it wrong!

You may be the kind that loves creamy frosting, so you choose to eat the bottom first, make your way up, and devour the frosting bit. Well, asides from sounding a little crazy, it's also not the right way to eat a cupcake.

So now you're probably wondering how does one eat a cupcake correctly? Well let me tell you. You sandwich it! Yup that's right. You twist off the bottom part, place it on top and smush it together!

Confused, well Ethan and my cousin are here to help;

Saturday, July 29, 2017

milk and honey - rupi kaur

During my first day at Project Zero, our study group looked at a poem for a text rendering protocol. Here's the poem we read;

For the protocol, the poem is read silently. Then, 3-4 people are asked to read it out loud. We are then split into 3 groups. One group creates a musical interpretation, one group a dramatic interpretation and one group a visual artistic interpretation. At the end of the study group, our fellow mentioned she chose this poem because most of her 8th graders carry around a copy of the book.

Needless to say, I had to look this girl up.

milk and honey is a collection of poems split into 4 sections/chapters;  the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. Each poem deals with some aspect of love, femininity, abuse and violence. Some poems are sweet. Some are harsh. But they all connect in some way to what a lot of teenagers are going through.

Our fellow mentioned all her eighth graders loved this book. While I did too, I'm not sure all those poems are appropriate for 13 year olds. But then again, am I trying to shelter them?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

TLOS6 Worlds Collide - Chris Colfer

Chris Colfer's The Land of Stories has come to an end. And while it's sad, the conclusion was fabulous.

When we last saw our beloved twins, Alex had been placed under an evil spell and was wrecking havoc. So now it's time for Connor and his army to try to save Alex, fight the witches AND beat the Grand Army. Phew!

Chris Colfer does an amazing job of tying up all, and any loose ends. All our characters are revisited. Any questions you may have had are answered. Characters you may have wondered about, or forgotten about, are back. And we even get a glimpse into the future.

The Land of Stories has been amazing for a couple reasons.
1) I absolutely loved the series. I would mark down the date for the next books' release and anxiously wait for it.
2) Ethan discovered the series last summer. We spent many days discussing it, making predictions and sharing our favourite moments. This time around, we argued over who got to read it first, and then shared our favourite moments.

What will we do now?

Blood Betrayal - Tessa Dawn

I love the Blood Curse Series. Every book has been wonderful. I dive into them, and gobble them up.

But Blood Betrayal was the first book I cautiously read. Not because it wasn't any good, cos it was awesome, but it also made my heart race and my palms sweaty. Yes, it was that good!

This is the story of the Sentinel Warrior, Saxon Olaru. He finally gets his Blood Moon, but as all other books, things don't go smoothly. Kiera is his Destiny. However, unbeknown, to her, her twin sister, Kyla,  is a vampire hunter who knows all about the curse and the Blood Moon.

When the Blood Moon appears, Kyla realizes that her sister is the new Destiny, and this is also her chance to take out the clan. She arranges for Kiera to be kidnapped, and had the celestial constellation tattooed on her arm.

So, while Kyla tries to infiltrate the house of Jadon, Kiera is being tortured by the vampire hunters. you get why I had to read cautiously?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Spelled - Betsy Schow

"Girl of Emerald, no man can tame. Burn down the world, consumed by flames."

This is the curse placed on Dorthea's family. And because of this curse, our dear princess has never left her castle. And this has also probably been the reason she's turned into an incredibly self-centred brat!!!!

Like all fairytales, Dorothea's parents would like to see her married. They arrange a marriage between her and a prince, she's met once and thought he was the gardener. Needless to say, she's furious!

Wanting to escape this nightmare, Dorothea makes a wish from some orb thingy that was given to her by the Grey-Witch-disguised-as-a-child. Have you ever heard, "be careful what you wish for?" Yeah well, that's an understatement. The wish causes her parents to disappear, protective barriers to be broken and her would-be-husband into a chimera. 

So now Dorothea, Kato (the dog-groom) and Rexi (think she was the cook) are on a quest to fight the evil witch.

For a YA book, it was ok. The best parts were the cute references to modern day things (flitter for twitter, Hans Christian Louboutin shoes instead of Christian Louboutins). Each chapter also starts with a quote from another (made up) book which was quite amusing. 

But Dorothea was a brat. And I really struggled to find any redeeming qualities in her. Yes, she does grow up, but it comes really late, and suddenly. Even as fun as Rexi was, she irritated me. Actually, come to think of it, when Dorothea got on my good side, Rexi not so much. Hmmm.....