Monday, January 21, 2013

The False Prince

I first "met" Jennifer Nielsen when she graciously created a video for our middle school promoting our book fair and The False Prince.

"The False Prince is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end. In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

"An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats."

It took me ONE day over Christmas break to read this book, and I told my students about Sage's story immediately upon returning to the classroom.  There are now two copies of The False Prince circulating in the classroom, and several students have read the book and are recommending it to their friends. We are anxiously awaiting the second book in the series.  Some of us just can't wait. So here is some incredible "can't wait" news...

#1 - Jennifer Nielsen is holding a giveaway of THE RUNAWAY KING on her blog.  Click HERE to enter.

#2 - Sorry to further tempt you, but a MOVIE is in the works.  Click HERE to read the exciting news.

This is a MUST read book that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Just when you think you have this story figured out, twists and turns will make you gasp in wonder!

Read this one. Seriously.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Tree 2012

Last year I showed my students a picture of a book tree I had seen on the Internet.  It didn't take long before we had our own book tree built in our classroom.  We did the same this year.

Each holiday season our awesome local library has businesses and organizations decorate themed Christmas trees for patrons to enjoy. Christmas trees dot the floor of the library decked out with ornamental splendor.  What better contribution to themed Christmas trees in a library than a book Christmas tree!

Worch Library was very welcoming of the idea, so on our December visit to the library, my students not only treated themselves to checking out their monthly cache of books, they also built a book tree.  The students thought they were privileged individuals when they were escorted into the basement and given free reign in the discarded book stacks to choose and bring up to the main floor the texts they would need.  Here is what resulted from their efforts...

Fantastic, right?  What made this tree even more special?  My students made bookmark ornaments for the tree.  Listed on each bookmark was their favorite book or a book recommendation.


And just when we thought this book tree couldn't get any better, the wonderful librarians placed these signs on top of the book tree...

Worch Library held a contest to see if patrons could guess how many books were in the book tree! Great idea! How fun!  How many books did it take to build this tree?  We don't know until we take it down on Wednesday this week!  We'll have to count the books then!  (Leave a comment if you'd like to guess, and I'll let you know the number later this week.)

Happy Holidays! Happy Reading!
Mrs. T  :)

P.S.  Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stephen McCranie Skype Visit

My students have gobbled up the first and second books in the Mal and Chad series by Stephen McCranie.  We are awaiting the third book, Belly Flop, as I type.  We should get the newest book in the series next week, so what better way to continue the BESTEST excitement ever than to relive our Skype visit with the author.

Stephen illustrated using his Screen Share program.  We loved this!

Look at our sixth graders! They were mesmerized! (It was their first Skype with a graphic novelist.)


He also demonstrated how drawings begin with simple shapes...a circle, a square, and a triangle. Some very familiar characters appeared on the screen.

Stephen connected with students when he presented ideas on how to create a story...Who is your character? What does your character want?  What is preventing your character from getting what he or she wants?  (Hmm...where have my students heard this before?)  :)

Stephen even led the students through a brainstorming session which resulted in this one-of-a-kind drawing! Amazing!

THANK YOU, Stephen McCranie, for taking time to meet with us and show us your amazing talent.  We cannot wait to see what other works you create for us.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T  :)

P.S.  Reading is like breathing chocolate air!