Monday, March 12, 2012

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen

A: She has a crazy sense of humor and a mad talent for hula hooping.

Q: Who is author Donna Gephart?

A: This new book about a trivia obsessed girl arrives in bookstores Tuesday, March 13.

Q: What is Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen?

RUN! Don't walk. RUN to your nearest bookstore on Tuesday, March 13, and pick up a copy of Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen by Donna Gephart.

Why? Because it's Donna Gephart's new book, for goodness sake! You've read How to Survive Middle School. You've checked off As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President! on your TBR list. Now it's time to read another Gephart gem! It's Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen.

"Olivia Bean knows trivia. She watches Jeopardy! every night and usually beats at least one of the contestants. If she were better at geography, she would try out for the show's kids' week. Not only would she win bundles of money, she'd get to go to the taping in California, where her dad, who left two years ago and who Olivia misses like crazy, lives with his new family.

"One day Olivia's friend-turned-nemesis, Tucker, offers to help her bulk up her geography knowledge. Before Olivia knows it, she's getting help from all sorts of unexpected sources: her almost-stepdad, superannoying Neil; her genius little brother, Charlie; even her stressed-out mom."

Will Olivia's dream to appear on Jeopardy! come true? Will Olivia be supported by all the members of her family? Or will one family member disappoint her yet again?

I LOVED Olivia! I have so many students, boys and girls, who will love Olivia and her not-so-trivial story! I not only loved Olivia, I loved Olivia's younger brother, Charlie; he was such a sweetie. I loved his hankering for gross trivia. (Did you know there are 516,000 bacteria in each square inch of armpit? Charlie does!)

Even though it took Olivia some time to warm up to Neil, her mom's boyfriend, I knew from the moment that he belted out Aretha (not to mention the fact that he's a librarian) that he was going to be one of the good guys in the story.

I was impressed by Tucker and enjoyed him immensely. What a super 'frenemy'.

Donna wove pieces of herself into Olivia, and I loved loved loved what she did with the Hula-Hoop incident. I knew I had to keep reading to find out what that was all about and why it tortured Olivia. And then I read about the fifth grade talent show and how Tucker was waiting offstage and what he said and how he said it and how Olivia finally realized HOW he said it....Oh my! No spoilers here! You must read this one for yourself!

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen is a keeper! It has found a special place in my classroom library and has already been read by several students. Everyone who has read Olivia has loved their time spent with this special young lady.

Do yourself a favor and pick this one up off the bookshelf and take it home with you!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

World Read Aloud Day 2012

Celebrate the Power of Words and Stories and Take Action for Global Literacy with LitWorld.

At least 793 million people in the world cannot read or write. Imagine your world without words.

On March 7th, 2012, LitWorld, a global literacy organization based in New York City, will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day. World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

To learn more about LitWorld and to sign up to participate in World Read Aloud Day, click HERE.

We will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day in the classroom with Skype author visits! Wonderful, generous authors have agreed to spend time with my students on Wednesday: NAN MARINO, DONNA GEPHART, ALAN SILBERBERG, LINDA URBAN, SARAH PRINEAS, KATE MESSNER, and GREG VAN EEKHOUT.

Sixth graders will also be pairing with first graders and reading aloud! What fun!

Happy Reading (Aloud)!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!