Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

From Cressida Cowell's website..."Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an awesome sword-fighter, a dragon-whisperer and the greatest Viking Hero who ever lived. But it wasn't always like that.

In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you'd ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet... It's time for Hiccup to learn how to be a Hero."

How to Train Your Dragon is the first in a series of eight books. And now...a movie! It is being released on March 26. Click HERE to go to the movie's website and view the trailer.

Click HERE to visit the author's website (and read her thoughts on the new movie). LOTS of cool stuff can be found there!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Can't Wait!

, the sequel to Savvy, is being released August 24. What a great 'Welcome Back to School' reward! Here is a blurb about the book from Ingrid Law's website:

"Nine years after Mibs’s Savvy journey, her cousin Ledge has just turned thirteen...

Ledger Kale’s savvy is a total dud—all he does is make little things fall apart. So his parents decide it’s safe to head to Wyoming for a family wedding, where it’s soon revealed that Ledge’s savvy is much more powerful than anyone thought. Worse, his savvy disaster has an outside witness: Sarah Jane Cabot, reporter wannabe and daughter of a local business man. Just like that, Ledge’s beloved normal life is over. Now, he has to keep Sarah from turning family secrets into headlines, stop her father from foreclosing on Uncle Autry’s ranch, and scumble his savvy into control so that, someday, he can go home.

Starring a cast both fresh and familiar, Scumble melds heart and humor with the legendary Wild West."

The paperback version of Savvy is coming out on March 23. In the back of this paperback edition, Ingrid Law will provide the first chapter of Scumble for interested readers.

I can't wait!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Woods Runner

My mind is still reeling from this book. My breath is shallow, and I feel as though every sense in me is heightened. I am wired. I have just finished reading Gary Paulsen's new book Woods Runner. It has been a while since I have read a book so real, so heartbreaking, so disturbing. I have chosen to post the following blurb from Amazon as I tried and tried myself to put words to this story. However, I either found myself at a loss for words--still feeling the story--or found myself wanting to tell you the entire story of Samuel.

"Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.

But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City."

I was enthralled by Samuel's story. I could not put this book down even for a second! I know that this book will be loved by readers who like the outdoors, who like to hunt, who have knowledge of firearms, who have an interest in historical fiction and war stories.

Gary Paulsen writes this novel alternating the fiction with historical segments that he feels are essential for the reader to know. For example, before the chapter when Samuel's family is visited by a man carrying a slip of paper with news about the war, Paulsen gives a page of information about 'Communication' in the year of 1776. There are other historical segments such as 'Frontier Life', 'Weapons', 'War Orphans', and 'Civilian Intelligence'.

Don't pass this one up if you are looking for a riveting book that will keep you turning the pages and which will most certainly leave you haunted with the horrific realities of war.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Odd and the Frost Giants

Here is a quick fun read! Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman is a story about a boy named Odd. Odd is unlucky. His dad died while on a Viking expedition, and one of Odd's legs is shattered while trying to take his father's place as a woodcutter. His mother has remarried to an awful man who mistreats Odd. Still, Odd keeps smiling.

Odd strikes out on his own to his father's old woodcutting hut where he meets a fox, a bear, and an eagle--three animals that have a very 'odd' story of their own to tell.

Odd sets off with the fox, the bear, and the eagle to save Asgard, city of the gods. Odd must outwit the Frost Giants to help the gods reclaim what is rightfully theirs and to restore the season of spring since winter has taken hold of the world that Odd knows.

With only 117 pages, this is a story that will be over before you know it. I enjoyed the beginning and middle of this book but found the ending particularly satisfying. I appreciated Odd's wit and wisdom as he talked to the Frost Giant, and I felt happy for Odd in the ending...which of course, I cannot give away!

You will enjoy reading this if you like mythology and folklore with a good bit of adventure. It is a fast-paced book that will keep you reading until the end.

Click HERE for the book trailer that I showed you in class.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Boys Are Dogs

Boys Are Dogs. What a title, huh? It was the title that piqued my interest in reading this book.

It is about a sixth grader named Annabelle. While at summer camp, her mother moves in with her boyfriend. That means a move about thirty miles away from an apartment in the city to a house in the suburbs. It also means a move from her all-girls school to a new middle school with girls AND boys. And that means problems...

One good thing...her mom gets her a new puppy. Annabelle begins to train her new puppy by reading a How To manual that her mom purchased for her. While she is trying to train her new puppy, Annabelle realizes that many of the training rules might also apply to the boy problems she is having at her new school. The manual might just be the thing Annabelle needs to tame the wildest beast of all: the teenage boy!!

This is a cute novel that I think girls will relate to. It speaks to the girls about just how obnoxious boys can be sometimes (I said 'sometimes'!!!). From name-calling to mean pranks, I think author Leslie Margolis was realistic in how she wrote about girls and their feelings towards middle school boys...or not? Perhaps some of you girls should read this one and then let me know! (And you just might pick up on some tips on how to deal with obnoxious boys!!)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ways to Live Forever

Sam likes to write lists:
My name is Sam.
I am eleven years old.
I collect stories and fantastic facts.
I have leukemia.
By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.”
Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls is “written” by eleven year-old Sam. He is living through the last stages of leukemia. He is determined to find answers to all of the questions nobody ever answers. Sam's story is a collection of journal entries, lists, questions, and pictures.

This book is definitely a Kleenex book—not filled with action but one that you will need at least one (or two) Kleenex to read.

Click HERE for a 'taste' of the book. Click HERE to visit the book's website
AND...A movie has been made of this fantastic book. Look for it coming out sometime 2010!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!