Monday, June 20, 2011

Can't get enough utopia books!

Specials (Uglies, #3)Specials by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a fan of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. Specials is the last in a trilogy that features the main character Tally Youngblood. I love that his protagonist is a girl and yet the plot is exciting and action packed enough to keep boys interested. I have had just as many guys as girls check this series out of the library!
He touches on all the hot button topics of our day but from a futuristic perspective that makes you question what our society truly values--plastic surgery, the quest for beauty, our hunger for better, faster, smaller technology, wasting/saving natural resources, and, of course, utopia building. Yet all of this is written in a way that is accessible to young people (meaning, it ain't boring or preachy!).

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ah, Summer!

Finally!! One thing I love in life is making lists at the start of something new. New year, new season, new stage of life, etc. I always make a list. I think the endless possibilities at the beginning of something new are half the fun! The summer reading list is no exception! What will make the list? How many books can I finish before school starts again? Should I include the one that's been on my list since junior year of high school? These are the "pressing" questions that I consider as I compile my list.

In high school, I used to make summer reading lists that were a couple of pages long (I can think of a couple of students who do this too!). I'd like to think I'm more realistic now, but I don't think I am. Oh, well. Like my list of New Year's resolutions, I may make goals too lofty to ever attain but at least I have something I'm shooting for!

So, here's the goal for this summer: 20 books by August 1st. And in no particular order, here is the list of books to read. I've tried to include a variety of teen reads, middle school reads, contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. We'll see how it goes!

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; nonfiction
2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen; contemporary fiction
3. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson; nonfiction
4. The Lifting Dress by Lauren Berry; collection of poetry by a YES teacher
5. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy; classic
6. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova; contemporary fiction
7. The Rower's Code by Marilyn Krichko; business book for school (required)
8. The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen; middle school read
9. The Specials by Scott Westerfeld; YA dystopia
10. Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier; historical fiction
11. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner; another YA dystopia, 2nd in trilogy
12. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen; YA novel
13. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer; nonfiction, my husband highly recommends
14. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis; nonfiction sports book
15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; fictional Holocaust story
16. Scumble by Ingrid Law; middle school read
17. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray; funny YA novel
18. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett; loved Bel Canto!
19. Matilda by Roald Dahl; children's book I have never read
20. The House on Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne; children's book I've read but not yet with my children

And of course, I love to know what other people have put on their lists! Do tell!