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Project (Un)Popular by Kristen Tracy

June 19th, 2016 (03:43 pm)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: Orphan Black score music

Yearbooks are designed to capture a year in a life of a school as a whole - not an individual student. So some students might assess their yearbook as a good summary of the past year, covering a lot of activities they attended and people they know, filled with fond memories and good times, while others might not see themselves reflected in those pages, and/or they might not be too keen to remember some of the events of the year.

In Kristen Tracy's new book Project (Un)Popular, Perry and her best friend, Venice, are super excited to be photographers for their middle school yearbook. They soon find themselves under the command of Anya, an eighth grader who tells them they're supposed to take pictures of the popular kids. She even gives them a list of specific students to photograph. Perry is upset - not only by Anya's directions, but also by the fact that her buddy Venice is buddying up to a boy in yearbook that Perry doesn't really like.

Can Perry stay on Anya's good side while defying her orders, regain Venice's attention, AND get the yearbook to accurately capture the experience of all different kinds of kids? Plus there's homework and history projects and quizzes and tests and lunchroom horrors and fashion fiascos on top of all that. That's a lot of stuff for her to handle. No one said middle school was easy, but no one told her it would be this hard. If only life was as happy and easy as it looked in those photographs...

I recommend Project (Un)Popular to tweens, especially to sixth and seventh graders who will really get all that Perry's going through as she tries to navigate the social hierarchy of middle school. As with Kristen Tracy's other novels, there's a levity to the narrative and the dialogue while still being very true to what goes on in school hallways and homes.

This book is the first in a series. The release date and title for the second book hasn't been announced yet. Stay tuned.

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Just. One. Book.

June 19th, 2016 (11:35 am)
Tags: ,

Current Mood: sick
Current Song: Right Hand Man from the musical Hamilton

Margaret at the blog Throwing Chanclas recently shared the plight of a school in her neighborhood:

The local junior/senior high school has not been able to purchase new books since the 90s. Some of the "check outs" for old books are in the 1980s. There are no books by people of color in the library. Hardly any books by women are in the few book cases except your standard Austen and Lee. It's an uninviting place. There hasn't been a librarian for nearly a decade. And volunteers weren't allowed. The last eight years students couldn't even check out books.

But all that is changing now.

Margaret is now collecting books for the library. Let's help out! You can donate books via their Amazon wishlist or by sending books directly to the address below. For more informaion, please email Margaret and visit her blog.

Greenville High School/Indian Valley Academy
Library Project Attn: Margaret Garcia
117 Grand Street
Greenville, CA 95947

If sending during the month of July, when school is closed, please send to:

Library Project/Margaret Garcia
PO Box 585
Greenville, CA 95947

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: I Dream'd in a Dream by Walt Whitman

June 17th, 2016 (05:00 am)

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Song: A Chance to Dream by Sweet Talk Radio

I dream'd in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love - it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

- Walt Whitman

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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Poetry Friday: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

June 10th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Here by Alessia Cara

As I laid down my pen, a moment since, to think of it, the air from the sea came blowing in again, mixed with the perfume of the flowers; and I saw the old-fashioned furniture brightly rubbed and polished, my aunt's inviolable chair and table by the round green fan in the bow-window, the drugget-covered carpet, the cat, the kettle-holder, the two canaries, the old china, the punchbowl full of dried rose-leaves, the tall press guarding all sorts of bottles and pots, and, wonderfully out of keeping with the rest, my dusty self upon the sofa, taking note of everything.

- from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

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Poetry Friday: The Mystic Trumpeter by Walt Whitman

June 3rd, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: excited
Current Song: Stone by Alessia Cara

Hark! some wild trumpeter - some strange musician,
Hovering unseen in air, vibrates capricious tunes to-night.

I hear thee, trumpeter-listening, alert, I catch thy notes,
Now pouring, whirling like a tempest round me,
Now low, subdued - now in the distance lost.

- the opening lines of The Mystic Trumpeter by Walt Whitman

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

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Booklist: After Graduation

June 1st, 2016 (04:40 pm)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: I Wouldn't Mind by Duncan Sheik

Congratulations to all of my readers who have recently graduated from high school or college. You did it!

Times of transition can be difficult. The summer following the completion of high school is typically an interesting one as teens prepare for more changes in vocation, location, education, and life.

The following books follow characters as they live through that summer...

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
- After learning that they will be roommates, two college-bound girls exchange emails and become friends before meeting each other in person.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Two guys go on a road trip and end up in an interesting little town.
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
- One of my favorite Dessen novels, second only to The Truth About Forever.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
- Another Dessen novel that details one girl's summer between high school and college.
Cubanita by Gaby Triana
- A summer filled with family, culture, heartbreak, and art.
The Temptress Four by Gaby Triana
- Four best friends take a cruise together after high school graduation.
How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, and Sarah Mlynowski
- Three girls take a three-day road trip.
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
- Immediately after their high school graduation, four friends head out on tour.
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
- The protagonist's mother remarries, and two families merge into one.

...and/or that fall, as they make the transition between high school and college.

The Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
- There are ten books in this series. The main character, Jenna Blake, enters college in the first book, Body Bags. The first chapter begins with the line, "It was a beautiful day to grow up." Isn't that perfect?
Cupcake by Rachel Cohn
- The third in the CC trilogy, following Gingerbread and Shrimp.
Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
- Veronica (aka Very) has a difficult time balancing school and fun during her freshman year at Columbia University.
Rocky Road Trip (previously published as Wurst Case Scenario) by Catherine Clark
- Sequel to Banana Splitsville (previously published as Truth or Dairy).
It's Not About the Accent by Caridad Ferrer
- A girl reinvents herself upon entering college.
Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman
- A high school graduate becomes a sort of caretaker to a brain-damaged woman.
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
- Two guys go on a biking trip after high school, but only one starts college.
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
- Two of Scarlett's siblings consider college and work.

Related Booklists at Bildungsroman:
Set in School and Transition Times

Little Willow [userpic]

Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski

May 31st, 2016 (03:59 pm)

Current Mood: creative
Current Song: Once Should Be Enough by Jillian Edwards

Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Hot on the heels of his new series, The Demonists, as well as A Deafening Silence in Heaven, the latest book in the Remy Chandler series, there's a new stand-alone novel from Tom Sniegoski: Savage.

In this suspenseful thriller, Sidney and her friends must race to find the origin of a storm that has hit their small island home - turning every animal into savage weapons. This story brings new meaning to the expression "it's raining cats and dogs" - and it also would make an awesome movie!

Here's the official jacket flap summary:

The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore as she as she gets ready to leave the small island of Benediction behind for one of Boston's top veterinary schools. Only a few small bumps in the road to navigate before she can go - her father's recovery from a debilitating stroke, and her own guilt for ending her relationship with her high school sweetheart. But she's always been strong willed, and she's not about to let anything stop her from achieving her goals.

Now a storm is bearing down on Benediction, a hurricane that will bring devastating winds and rain, rising tides...and something else. Something deadly; something that will transform all the things that creep, crawl, and flutter into instruments of terror and death.

The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore...if only she can survive the storm.

Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski - Published May 31st, 2016 by Simon Pulse.

Little Willow [userpic]

Best Books of May 2016

May 31st, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Out of the Ocean by Bess Rogers

April was busy; May was busier. I managed to read 8 books and scripts this month. I'd like to turn your attention to Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski, a thriller which brings new meaning to the expression "it's raining cats and dogs" - Prepare yourself for the coming storm. It's awesome.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Just lost when I was saved by Emily Dickinson

May 27th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: Still Hurting from The Last Five Years sung by Laura Benanti

Just lost when I was saved!
Just felt the world go by!
Just girt me for the onset with eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

Therefore, as one returned, I feel,
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some sailor, skirting foreign shores,
Some pale reporter from the awful doors
Before the seal!

Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by eye.

Next time, to tarry,
While the ages steal,-
Slow tramp the centuries,
And the cycles wheel.

- Emily Dickinson

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Study by D.H. Lawrence

May 20th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Summer Thunder by Roo Panes

Somewhere the long mellow note of the blackbird
Quickens the unclasping hands of hazel,
Somewhere the wind-flowers fling their heads back,
Stirred by an impetuous wind. Some ways'll
All be sweet with white and blue violet.
    (Hush now, hush. Where am I?-Biuret-)


Somewhere the lamp hanging low from the ceiling
Lights the soft hair of a girl as she reads,
And the red firelight steadily wheeling
Weaves the hard hands of my friend in sleep.

- selected lines from Study by D.H. Lawrence

Read the entire poem here.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.