Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Books and New Years (*and a give-away*)

*The give-away is now closed.  Congratulations to the winner...Abby!  I will message you with more information!  Thanks for the great recommendations.*

Christmas break so far has been a lovely respite from teaching and grading.  While I've enjoyed time with family most of all, I've also enjoyed time with Ida B. Applewood.  I highly recommend Ida B by Katherine Hannigan.  It's a charming narrative with loveable characters--perfect for snuggling up with coffee and my Christmas tree. 

My favorite scene is when Ida's teacher "tricks" her into opening up to the class by having her read a story aloud.  Ida can hardly contain herself because she loves the book so much.  After the read-aloud Ida says, "Nothing was different except the warm glow that was in my belly and my arms and my legs and my head and wouldn't go away.  Even on the long, cruddy bus ride home."  Don't you love a book that makes you feel that way?

I'm even more delighted to start another book by Katherine Hannigan soon.  In a happy coincidence, my cousin gave me True as a Christmas gift.  I think both of these would make excellent books on tape, by the way.

What have you been reading?  In the spirit of the season (and paying it forward from a give-away I just won from Liz at My Life in Projects), I will send a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader who leaves a comment with a recommendation and mini-review of a recent read.  It doesn't even have to be teaching-related.  You have until Tuesday 1/1 at noon to enter!
*This contest now closed!*

In other news, have you made any 2013 resolutions yet?  I have decided to pay off a large library overdue fee...long story, but the gist is that my teacher account with automatic renewal privileges doesn't apply to DVDs!  Anyway, because I was so mortified at my fine I've been avoiding the library, which is just plain silly.  I have resolved to make 2013 the year of the library for me!

I'm also looking forward to some blogging plans in the works.  Coming up, a multi-part tour of my classroom.  I'm also trying to line up some guest bloggers soon.  My best wishes to you for 2013!


  1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio...August is born with a facial deformity and has been homeschooled until 5th grade. He enters school under the glaring eye of middle schoolers. The majority of the story is told through Auggie's eyes, but some chapters are told through different characters' points of view. The book took me back to the movie Mask which I watched over and over when I was young. Wonder is a powerful story and a must-read.

  2. "Birds of Bethlehem," by Tomie dePaola. Just wrote a review about it on by blog:
    Tomie dePaola's illustrations are beautiful and tell the nativity story with beauty and simplicity. While many books about the Nativity of Jesus try and tell the whole story (often using words like "frankincense"), this one gives more of an overview which allows kids to fill in the details of the story.

  3. I may be disqualified for being late, but I'll go ahead and share my book recommendation!:). I'm a chick lit kinda girl and I love Beth Harbison's "Shoe Addicts Anonymous". It's a great beach read about 4 women brought together by their love of shoes.