We're Middle School Students Writing about Reading!

Welcome to our blog--we're always in the middle of a good book here!

Our posts may include book reviews, original fiction, interviews with authors and bloggers, fan-fiction, fan art, and more, so join us in our journey to explore great books and learn about book blogging!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, Book Five, by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson, his friends, and the Olympians fight in a war resembling the original war between the Greek gods and the Titans. Prometheus notes during a parley between him and Percy that the battle for Manhattan is like the Battle of Troy, except that now Olympus is Troy an the titans are athens
In order to try to head off Kronos's approach by sea, Percy and beckendorf attack the ship and one dies I have to read to find out


I would rate this 5.5-5 choclate bars

Percy Jackson: The Battle of the Labyrinth, Book Four, by Rick Riordan

OPercy and riptide of anaklusamos and kronos coffin
After being attacked by empousai cheerleaders at his new school, Percy returns to Camp Half-Blood and learns about the Labyrinth, part of the palace of King Minos in Crete that, according to Greek mythology, was designed by Daedalus. He also meets the camp's new sword master, Quintus, who is later revealed to be Daedalus. During a game against giant scorpions at the camp, Annabeth and Percy accidentally find an entrance into the Labyrinth. Percy soon learns that Luke had used this entrance before and will try and lead his army through the Labyrinth straight in to the heart of Camp Half-Blood. i would rate it 5/5 choclate bars

Heroes of Olympus,The lost hero, Book One, by Rick Riordan

Book cover
 Jason is a boy who suffers from amnesia. He wakes up on a bus, sitting next to Piper, a girl claiming to be his girlfriend, and a boy, Leo Valdez, who claims to be his best friend. In a field trip to the Grand Canyon, storm spirits attack the three while their supervising teacher, Coach Gleeson Hedge, reveals himself to be a satyr, and fights for their lives. Jason surprises himself by using a sword disguised as a coin to fight off the spirits, and Coach Hedge is captured while defending them. At the height of the battle, two pegasi land next to them carrying strangers: Annabeth and a boy with a tattoo of a rainbow named Butch, a son of Iris. Annabeth is angry because Percy is missing.

  • It will be  good series i gave it  perfect score but anyway it was strong when we see 3 demigods but one is roman 
  • we MEET A NEW DIRECTOR LUPA
  •   one Is KIDNAPPED
  • more cabins
  • different gods
  • Olympus is closed
  • no more new york for now
  • new enemy
  • no titans
  • new monsters
  • romans
  • 2 camp half bloods 
    Well i am saying good bye for now here is a link to the site for fun  password is newhero .
    here is a site about ithttp://disney.go.com/disneybooks/heroes-of-olympus/ check out this also percy jackson

    Percy Jackson: The Titans Curse, Book Three, by Rick Riordan

    The cover percy with blackjack
     Hello this is zues100022 and this is the 3rd book of percy Jackson


    During an assignment to rescue Nico and Bianca di Angelo, Annabeth Chase and Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, go missing. Percy and his friends must look for Artemis before the winter solstice meeting of the Olympian council, when the goddess's influence could change an important vote on the war with the Titans. Thalia, Zoƫ Nightshade, Bianca di Angelo, and Grover join Percy on this dangerous quest. They also are searching for a rare monster that Artemis was trying to hunt down when she went missing; it is so strong that it can obliterate Olympus. Percy is called by a hippocampus (mythological sea-horse) to rescue a marine cow-like creature called the Ophiotaurus, whom Percy names Bessie, not knowing it is male. one thing i thought was strong was see in the prphecy
    . I rate this 5/5 chocolate bars.

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Back in the New Year!

    WE'RE SORRY, THE "IN THE MIDDLE" BLOGGERS WILL BE GONE FOR A WHILE ON OUR WINTER BREAK. TO KEEP YOU HAPPY HERE ARE A FEW INTERESTING QUOTES.

    Happy Holidays, and We'll Read You in the New Year!








    WOLFBOY409: " If you can't read, eat , play or watch it, it's junk. "

    IOPLL98: " People who think they know everything just bug us who actually do know everything"

    HARRYPOTTERLOVER7698: " Don't you just hate it when someone pokes you when you're reading and isn't it fun to just look up and give them the evil eye"

    FREAKYNINJALOGAN: " Follow you're dreams. YEAH RIGHT! Live life like you're dying!"

    ZUES100022: " Don't stop reading!"
    HOCKEYSTAR88: " Books can be your best friend or worst enemy."

    STEV: " Don't you hate it when books end? Especially if it's the last book in a series. That's just AWFUL!!!"

    ELISSA HOOLE : " Books always make great gifts for everyone."
    Zues100022: " Why play if you have Books"
    ZUES100022: "Why watch if you could read."
    IOPLL98:“ I am a puppet you see all of us are we have to do what were told, all adults have to do is pull the strings…

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Artemis Fowl: The Darkness Rune


    SHAZAM!!!

    FHGUJHSJKHDFJGHURJKAYGUIERYTUIHRJKHUJHRHJGL

    WOLFBOY409


    I am writing a fan fiction on Artemis Fowl. It will be called Artemis Fowl: The Darkness Rune by Eoin Colfer. OK!! HERE WE GO!!!!!!!

    CHAPTER 1

    One morning Artemis Fowl, age 17 was on his afternoon stroll through Dublin. Butler, Artemis' tall, shaved crowned, Kevlar chested Bodyguard rode in the Bentley not too far away. Artemis and Butler had been through more criminal feats in a few years than most daring criminal masterminds did in their lifetimes. Artemis pulled out his Fairy Tech phone and opened his and Butler's private line...

    "Butler, we are probably the most successful criminals in all the world. Remind me why we are stealing from a toy store?" Artemis asked for the umpteenth time. Butler sighed. He knew Artemis was growing to be a skeptical boy.

    "Artemis there is a military chip hidden inside a toy in that store. That chip has crucial information for the White House heist." Said Butler impatiently. Artemis sighed. most likely they would need the help of dwarf criminal Mulch Diggums.
    ......................................................................................................................................................................

    Above, Lep Recon officer Holly Short was listening to the whole conversation in a recon shuttle.


    " Hey Mulch ya hear that? You're gonna rob the White House!" She shouted.


    " Great, old Artemis needs me again. What's new?" said Mulch.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................


    STAY TUNED FOR MORE INSTALLMENTS OF ARTEMIS FOWL: THE DARKNESS RUNE





    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Interview with Kate Messner, Author of Sugar and Ice


    This is a interview by iopll98 and watergirl444 with Kate Messner on her new book Sugar and Ice.  This book is about a figure skater, and that's exciting to me because I've been a skater since I was two years old.

    It says on her website that Kate grew up in Medina (a small town in Western New York), and she has been a teacher of middle school English. In 2006 she won the National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts award.She is now an author and a teacher. 

    We're honored to have this opportunity to ask her some questions about being an author!

    1. Can you tell us a bit about your new book Sugar and Ice?
    Sugar and Ice is about a girl from a small-town maple farm who earns a figure skating scholarship to train with the elite in Lake Placid. I started writing it during a Lake Placid skating camp my daughter signed up for a couple summers ago because I was fascinated by the sports psychologist who spoke to the parent group about the pressures of competitive skating.


    2. Do you base any of your characters off of yourself or people you know?

    Oh sure! My kids accuse me of “stealing from their lives” all the time, and I do use bits and pieces of real people in many of my characters.  Claire, for example, shares my son’s love for Math and my daughter’s love of skating – but not competing.   And the game their family plays -- “Who’s that Guy?” -- is one that my family has been known to play, too!

    3. Is being a teacher and a writer hard? Why or why not?

    It’s only hard in the sense that it makes it more of a challenge to find time for writing.  But in other ways, it’s wonderful.  I have middle school voices in my ears all day long, so it’s much easier for me to make my characters sound like real kids.  And I think my writing makes me a better teachers, too, because I completely understand the feeling of getting a paper back with “You can do better” scrawled across the top.  My editor does that all the time.


    4. I have skated since I was 2 and really enjoy it.  Have you skated before?  Do you think your book will be most appealing to kids who like to skate?  Was there any event from the book that is inspired by real life events involving skating?

    I never learned to ice skate until I was an adult, but when I moved to Northern NY, I decided it was time.  I’m pretty good now, though I can’t do anything too fancy.  Backwards crossovers are about as daring as I get out on the ice.  Many of the events from the book — Claire’s MATHCOUNTS team, the pancake breakfasts, and the local skating shows with junior coaches helping younger kids — are inspired by things in my own community.  Other parts of the book are based on interviews I did with people involved in the more competitive side of skating.


    5. Who is your favorite author?

    Hmm...how about if I choose three?  JK Rowling wrote my favorite series of all time — the Harry Potter books.  But those books weren’t around when I was a kid.  Back then, my favorite authors were Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, both of whom have really inspired me and shaped my writing life, too.


    6. What advice to you give your middle school students most about writing?

    Read. Read. Read.  Reading lots of books will help you be a stronger writer.   And write.  If you want to write, don’t let anybody tell you that you have messy handwriting or you can’t spell or anything else negative.  That yearning to tell stories — to write them down and share them — is what makes you a writer. So just do it.


    7. What is your favorite kind of chocolate?

    Lake Champlain Chocolates are amazing, especially these sea-salt caramels they make.  (That question made me hungry!)


    Thanks for the fun questions!  Hope you all have a great vacation!

    All the best,

    ~Kate

    And thanks to Kate Messner, whose book Sugar and Ice is now available, along with her other books, such as The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. 


    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Guest Review: Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers

    A review by Lil Miss Perfect

    The book that I read was called Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. This book was really good, but it made me sad at the same time. It is a terrific book. Let me tell you about it.
               
    The sad part of the book is that the main character, Regina, is blamed for sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend when he actually he raped her. It gets around the whole school but no one believes her side of it. All of them believe the rumor that is going around school instead of believing the real truth of what happened.
    However, the happy part of the book is that there is this kid named Michael that believes her. He is the only one in the whole school that will actually talk to her. He is sticking with her because he knows what it is like to have everyone hate you. I won't spoil the ending, but I'll just say that things get a lot worse for Regina before they get any better.

    I really liked this book and I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. It is definitely in my top five books. I would absolutely recommend this book to others. It is super good, but super sad at the same time. This book will get you angry at some of the characters. Read this book. Go do it, people. Do it now!!

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Review: The Cleric Quintet: Book II, The Sylvan Shadows

    THE CLERIC QUINTET


    THE SYLVAN SHADOWS

    I am doing a reveiw on The Cleric Quintet: The Sylvan Shadows, by R.A. Salvatore. This is the second book in a series.

    Cadderly, a young scribe/priest is journeying to the elven forest of Shilmista with Elbereth the elf prince and Danica the battle hardened monk who is his lover. He was sent on this mission by headmaster Avery. Once there, he notices that Shilmista is under attack from the goblin army of Castle Trinity. Danica, Cadderly, Elbereth and Shayleigh the elf maiden must help awaken the ancient trees to stop the invasion. afterwards, Cadderly sets of for the city of Carradoon trying to figure out the secrets of his life..................................................

    The strengths of this book are there are good details about the feelings between the characters.  The characters are very easy to relate to.  The details are exquisite; it's amazing how he wrote the book.  It has a very good pace.  The book is upbeat, and you never really get bored while you're reading it.  I like it because it's one of the longer books I've read, and I'm always in need of a good book. 

    I've read all of the books in this series, but I picked this one to review because I really liked the whole war going on in the Shilmista, which is the Elven forest. 

    I rate it five chocolate bars! 
    Appropriateness is half fairy princess and half vampire because there is a lot of violent details about the slicing of heads off and the bashing of skulls, that kind of thing, especially where Ivan and Pikel, the dwarven brothers, are concerned.

    --Wolfboy409 out.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Review of Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink


    At age 11, Caddie Woodlawn is the despair of her mother and the pride of her father: a clock-fixing tomboy running wild in the woods of Wisconsin. In 1864, this is a bit much for her Boston-bred mother to bear, but Caddie and her brothers are happy with the status quo. Written in 1935 about Carol Ryrie Brink's grandmother's childhood, the adventures of Caddie and her brothers are still exciting over 60 years later. With each chapter comes another ever-more exciting adventure: a midnight gallop on her horse across a frozen river to warn her American Indian friends of the white men's plan to attack; a prairie fire approaching the school house; and a letter from England that may change the family's life forever. This Newbery Medal-winning book bursts at the seams with Caddie's irrepressible spirit. In spite of her mother's misgivings, Caddie is a perfect role model for any girl--or boy, for that matter. She's big-hearted, she's brave, and she's mechanically inclined! (Summary from Amazon.com)

    Caddie is a girl of 11 and, for her day, she is very independent. Instead of sitting inside and knitting or sewing, she is outside, right at her brothers’ side, meeting Indians and having the time of her life. The more days that pass by, the closer she is to being stuck inside all day with her sisters. This is also the story of all the things she goes through when she is 11.

    When you read this, you can tell that most girls aren’t like her. She loves to go outside and see the world around her. You can read about how she got a bad cold and how she and her family face a big decision. It’s fun to see how she has changed from the beginning of the book.

    I love this book because it’s very well written .You feel as if you’re watching this as it happens. It is a bit less amazing because it kind of drags on about some things, but all in all it is a good book.

    I rate this book 4 out of 5 chocolate bars!!

    --HarryPotterLover7698

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Fanfiction: Unwinding in My Eyes

    Hi Hi! It’s me, LocoCoco, and I’m going to try to make a fanfiction about this book I was reading, Unwind, by Neal Shusterman. I just thought this book was AMAZING! So here ya go!
    *                                                          *                                                                    *
    Unwind: The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive.

    Someone like me, that’s all I want. I’m Ume Nephthys, age 15, and an Unwind.

    My parents both wanted me to be with them, but not with the other, so they fought over me. And I eventually got tired of it, so I ran. When I had got back, I found out that they signed the papers for me to be Unwound.

    Now, I’m running again, but not from my parents feud, from the Juvey-cops. Juvey-cops are the ones who bring the Unwinds to the harvest camps. The places where your… Unwound.

    I had a friend named Cletis. We would always sneak off in the middle of the night and vandalize houses near by. But his father signed him over just to save himself money. I still try to convince myself that he’s still alive, but…

    Now whenever I’m running, I’m always thinking about him. My parents are still trying to find me, but I think they’ve given up already. Just after two months of me hiding.

    But now, I think that I will be able to live the rest of my remaining three years in safe keeping.
    I was walking along a freeway out in the middle of nowhere and this truck was stopped by, “Oh, crap.” There were Juvey-cops  everywhere and I saw the truck-driver being arrested. I also saw a boy around 16. Brown eyes and hair. He looks over at me and I could see the depression swimming in his eyes. An Unwind.

    Then he did something that no Unwind should do. He ran. He ran towards me. And when he got close enough, I saw he was saying something to me. “Run! To the woods!” Was he actually trying to help me? Helping me or not, I took his advice and ran.

    When I got deep enough I stopped to catch my breath.

    I heard the bushes rattling and I hid behind a tree. A girl around my age with brown hair and green eyes rushed out. I could tell she was an Unwind too.

    Then behind her a voice called out, “Wait!” I look behind her and see that same boy, except he was carrying another boy. He had light blond hair and his eyes were closed.

    “What? Who are you?” The girl asked.

    I stepped out from behind the tree to listen more. “I’m Connor. But you have to help me or we’re both dead.”

    He noticed me. “Who are you?”

    Should I tell them my real name? “Ume.” I find myself saying it before I could stop myself.

    “Ume huh? Well, would you like to help save our lives?” I nod.

    When I heard the foot steps of the Juvey-cop, I started crying for help. “Help! I-I think I broke my arm!”

    The cop ran over to me. “What happened?” I looked around. Both Connor and that girl were in place in the tree above the cop.

    “It was that Unwind, he needed a hostage, so he-”

    “I see, hold on and I’ll get him.” I smiled. He looked at me strangely.

    “What?” I looked up.

    “NOW!” Connor and the girl jumped down off the tree on top of the cop.

    When we got away, we stopped to rest. I found out the girl’s name was Risa. Nice name. The other boy that Connor brought into the woods woke up, he said he was a tithe. Tithes are the special Unwinds that think there’re ‘chosen’. His name is Lev. I don’t really trust this guy, so I don’t let my guard down around him.
    Once we’ve rested for a little, we continue to walk towards, what we thought, was a safe place to hide. I knew we were getting closer to civilization because of the rusted electrical tower and food wrappers.

    “What are we going to do for food?” I look around at Connor.

    “I’ve been on the run for two months. I think I can get us some food.”

    When we get to a house by the edge of the woods, I walk up to the door and ring the doorbell. A tired looking 30 year-old women answers the door. “What is it?”

    I disguised my voice as best I could. “Hello. I’m Sparrow and I am collecting food for my school. Could you spare some for me?”

    She looked me up and down. Then she went back into her house. “I told you it won’t-” Connor shouted at me.


    “Sh.” She came back out carrying a bag full of food.


    “Thank you.” I walked away from the house and put the bag on the ground. “You told me what now?”


    Connor stayed quiet. I looked out at the street. There was a cop car sitting there. But there was also a group of kids waiting for a bus. “Hey guys. Let pretend that we’re with that group until the cop goes away.” Risa smiled.


    “You're good with this street smart stuff, aren’t ‘ya?”


    I nodded. “Ya, but lets get over there first so we won’t look suspicious.”


    Connor, Risa, Lev, and I walked across the street to the group of people. But before the cop could go, the bus pulled up and flashed the ‘illegal-to-cross-while-red-lights-are-flashing’ lights.


    “Crap. We have to get on this bus.”


    “What?” They said at the same time.


    I shook my head. “The cop can’t leave and if we don’t get on the bus, he’ll know some thing’s up.”


    “She’s right.” Lev said. Wow, he can talk.


    “Get on.” We got on the bus and sat in the back.


    “Now, we have to stay together.” I said, just above a whisper. “If just one of us gets caught, we’re all dead.” I looked out the window. “Keep your eyes peeled.”


    When the bus stopped at the school we all got out and looked around. Teachers were blocking all ways to leave the grounds. “Ok, we need a plan.” I looked at Risa. “You got one?” She shook her head. I sighed.


    “How about you?”


    Connor smiled. “I was hoping you’d ask. This is the plan. We’ll all hide in the bathroom until the lunch period. Then maybe we can get out with the crowd.”


    I nodded. “That’s good. Ok, any questions? No, ok. Lets go.”


    In the bathroom, Connor was in one stall, Risa was in the one beside it, I was next to her, and Lev was in the last one. “We have to talk quietly. And only if there’s no one here. Understood?”


    “Yes.”


    “Mmm hmm.”


    “Sure.”


    The door opened. Just some girly-girls checking their hair probably. When they left Risa spoke up. “Where will we go?”


    I sighed again. “I haven’t gotten that far in the plan yet.” The door opened again. “Wow, wear something better next time.” “Hey, how was that test?” “Aug, horrible.” The door opened and closed. Then finally, the bell rang. “We should switch stalls. Just in case some of the same people come in.”


    “Good idea, Risa.” I was starting to trust that girl. We got out of our stalls and I went over to Lev’s. “Ok tithe. Out.” I opened the stall door…No Lev. My eyes widened. “Guys where’s-” The fire alarm cut me off. “We have to go!” I shouted over the screech of the alarm. They nodded. We ran outside the bathroom and I scanned the crowd. There were Juvey-cops. Everywhere.
    *                                                                  *                                                            *
    Wells? Do you like? I hope so.*Sigh* Me so glad that THAT’S over. Me try to make other one soon. BYES!XD

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Guest Review of Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata



    kira-kira (kee' ra kee' ra): glittering; shining
    Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future.  (Summary from Amazon.com)


    This quarter (of the school year) I read a book called Kira, Kira by Cynthia Kadohata about a girl named Katie and her relationship with her sister Lynn. In this book, I made some connections, things I like, and more.

    One thing I can connect to is how the author described changes, not only in the character, but in her surroundings, like where she lives, who she talks to, and her family.

    Some things I liked were how Katie made progress and how much the character improved her knowledge and her actions.

    I would recommend this book to people who can handle an emotional book and who love surprise. I think this book earned its reward, and I think that Cynthia Kadohata knew what she was doing.


    Not rated

    --Stelena27 (Book Report)

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Guest Post on Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini



    Jeremy Heere is your average high school dork. Day after day he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way -- until the day he is told about the "squip." A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life. By instructing him on everything from what to wear to how to talk and walk, the squip transforms Jeremy from a supergeek to one of the most popular guys in class. Soon he has made friends and has the attention of the hottest girls in school. But his real dream, Christine, remains out of his reach. Jeremy eventually finds out that there is also a dark side to having a computer inside your brain -- and it can lead to disastrous consequences. (Summary from Amazon.com

    Jeremy is the main character. At first he is not cool, and the girl that he likes doesn't like him...

    Then someone tells him about a squip, a computer chip that they put in your brain that tells you what to do to be cool. He has to steal beanie animals from his aunt's collection so that he can buy it. Then, with the leftover money he earned, Jeremy gets an Eminem T-shirt and sweatshirt. Then the squip makes him cool. (No spoilers!)


    I think that Be More Chill was a very good book, but it cuts out some of the end where I think we should know what happens. At some points it gave a little more detail than I think was needed. And at the end it felt like it was skipping things that should have been there. Like the part from a week before the play to all the way to the play.

    I liked how at one point Jeremy wasn't even cool, even with the squip. My favorite part was when Jeremy got high and then had to run from a football player who got mad at him for kissing his girlfriend.

    I rate this book 4 out of 5 chocolate bars!



    Spikez

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, Book One, by Rick Riordan

    This is a review on...a squirrel!  I do this a lot, sorry, but I just lost my train of thought.  Where was I?

    Oh, well, this is a story of an adventure and also love. This is the first book in The Olympians series, by Rick Riordan.  I've read all five of the books in the series, but to tell you the truth, I didn't have a choice to read the first book.  It was completely by accident--I got it as a gift at the end of my summer camp session.  I was sucked in, and anyway I was bored because we were in the middle of a storm.  Well, actually it was more like a tornado.  So.  This book was fantastic, but in the beginning it really didn't tie down because he said he was seeing things, like a teacher disappearing. 

    I liked it because we find out who Percy's father is, and there was a lot of water mentioned in the book.  I like water.  When I was in second grade, my teacher, Ms. K, told us a lot about Greek myths, so I was stuck on Greek myths--any kind of mythology--and this book was amazing because it mentioned a lot of monsters I never knew of, so I could learn more about their legends.

    Some things I thought were interesting about Percy Jackson:
    • He has ADHD
    • He is a demigod
    • We find who he is
    • He is dyslexic
    • This is a good book
    • He is guy from a prophecy
    • He is the son of a mortal
    • His dad is a god
    • He has a Camp Half-Blood Cabin In Montak
    • He is elevn 
     My rating on Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief (Book One) is 4 1/2 out of 5 chocolate bars.
    There is a little bit of mild violence, but it's okay for children.  I read it when I was nine. 
    check this outpercyjackson

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    fan art

    Hello this is Ren here. As I promised I drew fan art of the book I read. This one is fan art of The Last Apprentice: Revenge Of The Witch. The book is about a boy named Tom who was sent to work as an apprentice of a spook. A spook is some one who travels from village to village defending them of witches, boggarts, and ghosts--yes, ghosts. I drew one of my favorite characters: the Spook.

    He has a name, but I think that would be kind of giving away spoilers. In the picture there are things that are mentioned in the book. On the left are the iron bars that are on the ground with a hand coming out.  In the book that's what you need to do to bind a witch. The rock on the right is a reference of how the apprentice before Tom, Billy, who was mentioned in the book, died. It's also the way of how to bind boggarts. They didn't mentioned how to bind ghosts but if they did I would of drawn that too.
    --Ren


    This picture is based on the manga xxxHolic. The woman's name is Yuko, and the boy's name is Watanuki. The little black thing on the rope that Watanuki is pulling is named Mokona. In this scene, Yuko is forcing Watanuki to move a bunch of boxes with some rope. In all honesty, I doubt Watanuki will ever move them. Yuko probably knows he won't be able to move them, which is why she asked Watanuki to do it. The reason Watanuki is in an apron is because that's his "work uniform" Yuko makes him put on everyday. Mokona is trying to help Watanuki by cheering him on, but it's obvious the only thing Mokona is doing is adding more weight to what Watanuki is pulling.
    --YamiHeart



    This fan art is from the book A Great And Terrible Beauty. The drawing is of Gemma Doyle, the main character. I drew it because, well, I like to draw, and I was bored one day.  --Up North Girl





    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Review of Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

    Emily was a selfish, willful, hateful child who died before her thirteenth birthday. But that was a long time ago. Jane is nine years old and an orphan when she and her young Aunt Louisa come to spend the summer at Jane's grandmother's house, a large, mysterious mansion in Massachusetts. Then one day . . . Jane stares into a reflecting ball in the garden - and the face that looks back at her is not her own.Many years earlier, a child of rage and malevolence lived in this place. And she never left. Now Emily has dark plans for little Jane - a blood-chilling purpose that Louisa, just a girl herself, must battle with all her heart, soul, and spirit . . . or she will lose her innocent, helpless niece forever. (summary from librarything.com)

    Jane Emily is about a girl named Jane whose parents just died and starts living with her aunt and grandparents on her mother's side. After that, she is invited to her grandmother's house (from her father's side) along with her aunt, Louisa, and her aunt is not happy about that. When they arrive, her aunt doesn't mind it so much any more but strange things are happening with Jane. But what is the cause? Jane seems to think it's Emily, a girl who lived there a long time ago but she also died there. Her aunt is more than skeptical.

    As things play out over the summer, things get difficult for Jane's aunt. First, she is away from her boyfriend. Second, she may have a little crush on a young doctor that may like her back.

    But with her niece thinking Emily is still here, the aunt may not have time for romance.

    I liked this book because it gives you a reason to keep reading. Its writing style, the way she is describing the places, you think you know right where you are. I think one weakness is that there's a bit too much romance and not enough of the actual main story line.


    When reading the story, if you choose to, then just remember this is placed back in the past.


    :) :) :)

    I rate this book 4 out of 5 chocolate bars!


    HarryPotterlover7698

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Favorite places to read!

    Hey! Twistar here, and I'm going to talk about your favorite place to read.

    So I went around and talked to a bunch of teachers and students and got a bunch of different answers. One person that I talked to was Mr.Achartz.  He said that he likes reading in his hammock or something like that. Mrs.Heins said that she liked reading by the lake. Finally Ms.Hoole said she liked reading in her bathtub. :)

    I also talked to a bunch of students, and for a lot of them, their favorite places were in their rooms away from drama and their siblings. One person who I talked to said that they liked reading in their car. They also said that it was one of the only chances that they had to read because their life was just that busy. I think that those people either need a little more time to themselves or they need help finding a good books.

    There are lots of books that are out there--go to your local library and just let your mind wander! You never know what you will find!

    I also had some people say that they hate reading! One person said that any time they look at a book they get sick, (that sounds fake but trust me, it's been said!) That really makes no sense to me! How can a book make you wanna throw up? But anyways, those people must not have found a good book for them.

    My word of advice is to again let your mind go, and stop thinking about books making you throw up!

    Now...I'm off to my favorite place to read...how about you?  Where do you go when you want to get lost in the middle of a good book?

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

    'He holds the secret that can end the world.


    The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.The records show that he died in 1418.But his tomb is empty.The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late.And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.Sometimes legends are true.And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.' Summary from Amazon.com

    I read the series Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. The author, Michael Scott, has written four books of the series:  The Alchemist, The Magician, The Sorceress, and The Necromancer. I've read all of them so far and absolutely love them.

    These books are about two twins, Josh and Sophie Newman, who suddenly get mixed up in a whole new world. They find out that all of their parents' work (archeology) was for nothing. Then when the completely normal Parry and Nick Flemming turn out to be the famous Perenelle and Nicholas Flamel, and that Sophie and Josh are the twins of a legend with silver and gold auras, the Evil Dr. John Dee steals the Flamels' key to immortality, except for the last two pages. Then he must kidnap the twins, which leads on to a wild goose chase to Paris, then to London, and back to the Americas. This story has a twisting and turning plot with many close calls and a great bit of tension.

    I think this book has a good plot and amazing characters.

    I rate this 5 whole chocolate bars!

    -Watergirl444

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen


    Jacob Jankowski is left without money and family when his parents are killed suddenly in an automobile accident. He leaves veterinarian school right before he finishes his final exam and accidentally becomes the veterinarian for the Benzini Brothers Circus. There he meets Rosie the Elephant and Marlena, a beautiful (and married) performer in the circus.

    (Summary from Librarything.com)

    As most of you know, I recently interviewed author Sara Gruen about her new book, Ape House. My father knew Sara Gruen before she became an author, and I've always been meaning to read Water for Elephants. Well, I finally got around to it a few days ago.

    This book has quickly become one of my favorites. I thought it was very interesting that she put authentic circus pictures at the beginning of each chapter, since she got the actual idea for the book from a circus photo. I enjoyed looking at the pictures from that time period; it really made me feel like I was in the book. The book is woven so seamlessly and perfectly together. I was amazed! The ending made me want to cry, in a good way. In a happy way.

    I really, really, REALLY did not like August, though. I would have hated to be Jacob, the way August would be charming and kind one minute and then screaming and throwing things the next. I would definitely recommend this book, but NOT to middle school students. Many parts are EXTREMELY inappropriate, as is one of the pictures. If you really want to read this book, have your parents read it first and approve it. But for adults, this book is amazing, and is a must-read.

    Kudos for Sara Gruen!!


    I give this book five chocolate bars. Death rating for appropriateness.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Interview With Anne Greenwood Brown

    HI people! =D It's me, dusty! I intervewd up-and-coming author Anne Greenwood Brown. I e-mailed her these questions about what it's like to get a literary agent and be on submission to editors!


    Hi, Dusty! Thanks for your questions. Well, let's see...


    #1. What is an agent?


    Anne:  An agent is someone who KNOWS people! They know what publishers/editors like certain kinds of books, stories, "voices," styles, etc. so they know who might like your story and who is most inclined to want to publish it. If they like your work, they might ask to represent it and try to sell it for you to an editor/publisher. Because most writers don't know publishers on a personal level, writers might seek an agent to help them get their book into the right hands.


    #2. Is it fun doing what you do?

    What I do? If you're referring to writing stories, YES, very fun! Although sometimes it's also frustrating and emotionally gut-wrenching...If you're referring to being a lawyer, YES--most of the time that's fun, too.If you're referring to being a mom, YES--almost always a ton of fun.If you're referring to washing dishes....not so much.See, most writers can't live off of what they make writing. Most have another job, too.


    #3. What is your agent like? Is she a great person?

    She is a hockey mom and she lives in New Jersey. She's exciting and busy and friendly. I've only met her once in person--at a writers' conference in Wisconsin.


    #4. Is she good at her job?

    Time will tell! She's trying to sell my book to a publishing house as we speak. Of course, the better I am at my job (writing) the easier it will be for her to do her job.


    #5.What book projects are you working on?

    Right now, I'm writing a story about mermaid assassins on Lake Superior.


    #6. Do you think being an agent is hard?

    I don't know. I've never been one. I don't think it's something I personally would be good at. I hate "selling" things. I couldn't even sell Girl Scout cookies when I was younger.


    #7.Was it hard to hire her? How did you do it? How should a writer start?

    I guess technically I did "hire" her in that I'll end up paying her, but it's not easy to find an agent. In a way, agents resist being "hired." They will only agree to work for someone whose story they like. So I tried to "hire" a number of agents before one said she liked my work. That's pretty typical. If you want to find an agent, you write something called a Query Letter, giving them an idea of what your story is about. It's kinda like what you'd read on the back cover of a book--just a glimpse of the story. If they like the "hook" they might agree to read the whole story, and if they read the whole story and like it, you've got yourself an agent!

    *bonus dusty's q's*!!!!!!!
    do you like waffles?


    Love them.

    do you like pancakes?

    Yes, but I like waffles more. But somehow I make pancakes more often than waffles. I wonder why that is?.... Now I'm in the mood for waffles.

    do you like french toast?

    I make a great baked french toast for Christmas morning, but that's about the only time I eat it.


    *final signature q for our blog interviews!*
    whats your favorite kind of chocolate?



    DARK WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING INSIDE IT (they can keep their stinkin' raspberry cream filling)

    Anne

    Well, time to say thank you and bye-bye to Anne Greenwood Brown!

    well...thats all! see ya!-dustycalebroblox (dusty)

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Septimus Heap: Physik, by Angie Sage

    Hey people! ityryueryuiyuivhuiehajkhdjkrtuireeyuiseydjkfyefyuihdsjhfjsduifgh!

    If you haven't guessed who I am then you need to visit this blog more often.

    I am Chuck Norris! Yeah, right. I'm WolfBoy409! I just finished reading Septimus Heap: Physik a few days ago. I've read it before, but I was bored so I read it again. Ok, enough chat. Here's the reveiw.

    Septimus Heap has been the apprentice the Extraordinary Wizard Marcia Overstand for a long time now. He's had as normal a life as a magykal boy with a dragon can have. But one day a ghost queen of the castle's past returns to destroy Jenna Heap and reclaim her place at the throne. Her plan--have her son Marcellus Pye capture Septimus to bait Jenna, SO when Jenna illegally brings Septimus into the Queen's Room, Marcellus will grab him and bring him back in time. This is the thrilling sequal to Flyte, and Magyk is one of my favorites in the series.

    I rate it 4 1/2 chocolate bars.

    wolf boy out!

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Marley And Me A Dog Like No Other

    By: John Grogen


    This is such a good book. It's one I will never forget!! This is a heart-warming, tissue-needing, friend-sharing book. I think all that because well, I think it's heart-warming because when John and Jen go to pick out their puppy, John turns around, jumps back to scare the puppies and wants to see what puppy to pick. All the puppies jump back besides one. So it's the one they take home. They leave. John comes back without Jen. She is in Florida with her sisters. So they decide to name him Marley, after their favorite singer Bob Marley. So John makes him a box bed in the garage. Marley whines and whines so much, that John brings him in the bedroom. He is much bigger when Jenny gets back. They described him as a big pawed pup with a tail that hits EVERYTHING!!! So they have to keep everything up.

    It's a tissue-needing book because well, I can't SPOIL the book, so read it. And it's a friend-sharing book if you want to share the LOVE!!! :)

    I rate this book 4/5 chocolate bars!! Kookie says bye!!! (Leave comments!) (PLEASE!!!!)

















    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce Review

    Alianne - known as Aly - has a good life. Her father is second in command of Tortall's spies. Her mother is the most famous knight in the country. Aly spends her time helping her father decode messages and, to her mother's dismay, dyeing her hair blue. But everything changes when, on a solo boat ride, Aly is captured by pirates and ends up a slave to the Balitangs, a noble family on the Copper Isles. Summary from Amazon.com

    In Trickster's Choice, by Tamora Pierce, Aly is a brainy, pretty, sixteen year old girl living in a country called Tortall. Her father is the kingdom's spymaster, her mother is the famous Lady Knight, and her two brothers, Alan and Thom, are mages (wizards).

    First of all, let me say that this is a bit of a confusing book. I feel like you have to read the other series by Tamora Pierce before this one to understand everything (which I have). Also, (this is just a small thing but...) the beginning never told me that Aly and Alan were twins. In about the second chapter this was mentioned in passing and it totally threw me off. The whole gods and immortals concept is confusing without the older series.

    Otherwise, this is a magnificent book! I am on page 347 out of 403, and it just gets better! The Copper Isles have a culture and history of their own, and the beginning of the book is like an imaginary history lesson. The names throw me off, but that's just because I've always had issues with names. The story of Trickster's Choice is wonderful, with tons of little embellishing details. I think that Aly is charismatic and kind, so much that I sort of wish she was less perfect. She always makes all the right choices and says all the right things.

    I think that Nawat the crow-man is awesome! He is so funny around Aly...

    All in all, I really like Trickster's Choice! It is quite fantastic, and here are my ratings:


    4 out of 5 chocolate bars


    vampire appropriateness


    Happy Reading!! ~Stev

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    WRITER'S BLOCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




    Have you ever had writer's block? Of course, almost everyone has. I have. What I do when I have writer's block?


    • I eat a peanut butter sandwich.
    • I drink a glass of water.
    • I take a nap
    • I go for a walk with a clipboard and a pencil.
    • I watch T.V. for ideas.
    • If all else fails I play some games with my dogs.
    Tell me what you do when you have writer's block.

    JACOB

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Book Snapshots from Book Report Season...

    Students at our school were invited to write a brief snapshot of the books they are reading this quarter for their book reports.

    The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

    Epic.  Adventurous.  So intense that when you read The Hunger Games you will be on the edge of your seat.

    After North America was split up into twelve districts, a game was made.  A crucial, heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping game that means that a girl and a boy who were 12 to 18 years old would be chosen from each district and would be put head to head to fight to the death.  The last person who was alive was lucky enough to go back to their district and rejoin his or her family.....

    Friends against Friends, Sisters against Brothers, Enemies against Enemies, but it all comes down to who will survive this year.

    By: Quinn Manty

    Wanderer, by Sharon Creech

    I am reading the book Wanderer by Sharon Creech.  It is a great book about a girl named Sophie who loves to sail.  She, her two cousins, and her three uncles go on a sailing trip to England.

    I loved this book because it has a very exciting plot and very good descriptions.  This book has six main characters:  Sophie, Cody, Brian, Unclo Dock, Uncle Mo, and Uncle Stew.

    I rate this book 4 1/2 chocolate bars out of five.

    By: watergirl444

    Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

    In this book, Katniss Everdeen is the girl on fire.  It is the last book in the Hunger Games series.  Katniss is faced with many challenges that are life-threatening to her and to her loved ones.  The whole capital is against her now, and no place is safe.  She can't go back now because back was destroyed.  One wrong move and the game is over.  Loved ones are changing, and the capital is out for revenge--revenge on everyone.  Katniss is sure to die now.  Loved ones have been brainwashed, and others are obeying the capital to stay alive.  Living in fear, can Katniss still be the girl on fire?

    By: Sydney

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

    Hi, its meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! lol

    My 1st post is about the Animorphs series, by K.A. Applegate. To tell you the truth, I haven't read all of the series -.- but I like the ones I've read so far!

    The series is about five kids who stumble upon a dying alien. The alien tells the kids about yeerks: parasitic, slug-like creatures that can control your mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O-O

    dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!

    The alien also gives the kids an incredable powah!! The powah to morph into animals! Together the kids are fighting the yeerks and learning new facts about animals and how they think.

    Out of the books I've read, I rate them:



    4 out of 5 (chocolate or Lego) bricks!






    Bai nowz-dusty

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Interview with Sara Gruen, author of Ape House and Water for Elephants

    Less than a week ago, I had the immense honor of being able to interview author Sara Gruen, whose works include Riding Lessons, Water for Elephants, and her newest book which within a few weeks jumped to number six on the New York Times best seller list, Ape House.












    Q: How was your book tour?
    A: It was grueling, lots of time in airports….

    Q: What was your first book called, and was it ever published?

    A: My first book was not published, and hopefully never will be. My husband threatened if I get hit by a bus he will publish it… Well, now I’m looking both ways crossing the street! It is NOT publishable.

    Q: What was your first book about?

    A: Well, lots. I guess it was a kitchen sink book. It is mostly about a very stupid kleptomaniac that worked high finance, a patsy; she had dreams of being best seller. She plagiarized work but got caught in an Enron type thing…It’s fun, but I don’t want people to think of that as me or my work.

    Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

    A: I always wanted to write, that’s why I wrote tech. I got a degree in English literature and took creative writing but when I graduated, I needed a job. That’s how I fell into software.

    Q: How did you feel when your book became so famous?

    A: Well, with Water For Elephants, it’s funny, because it was really a slow burn, I didn’t know. I had no publisher for it when I wrote it, I just hoped someone would pick it up. Then it was, but at last minute. There was a very small print run, and the first edition copies were shorter than the real one. If you have first edition, keep it!  Like I said, it was a slow burn… I don’t know if there was a minute when I said OK. It was more a collection over two years, then I slowly realized it would be OK.

    Q: Tell us a little bit about your newest book, Ape House.

    A: It’s about well, lots, but family of bonobo apes, one of the four “great apes”. They are very egalitarian, very amorous. This book has a hard look at the culture of celebrity, twitter--instant communication, how it makes us feel like we know someone we’ve never met, at a distance, hiding behind a monitor as people make train wrecks of their life…

    Q: Are any characters in any of your books based off of people in real life?

    A: No...well, yes and no…some of the researchers on the great apes are in the book; I didn’t disguise names much, only as much to ensure that people know who they are. But characters, I don’t do that…very little is private in my life now, and I want to defend that the best I can. I use little details, like I used to eat Ramen noodles separately like some characters do. That’s not my character, but little things in life I used in the book.

    Q: Which of the characters in the books do you think is most like you, and how?

    A: Uhhm…I really haven’t written any like me, and I don’t plan to.

    Q: Are you planning on writing more books in the future?

    A: Yeah, this is my life now. I’m planning on starting a next book in three months, but I can’t write on airplanes at all, I can’t be that super human…the idea…Uhm, OK… [laughs] I do have an idea floating around my head for another book.

    Q: How did you come up with the ideas for Water For Elephants and Ape House?

    A: I opened paper one day and saw a vintage circus photo. It was taken by a home-made camera. It was huge! The camera weighed like 25 pounds, and it produced negatives up to 12 inches by 24 inches, and the camera caught an enormous amount of details. It seemed like anything could happen, and could because pictures proved it! I picked up a novel I abandoned a while ago, and it just turned into Water For Elephants.

    For Ape House, I got an email to a Great Ape website. I was fascinated; I’d never heard of bonobos, and I soon knew I wanted to write a book about them. But also knew I had to meet them, because wanted to do it authentically.

    Q: Now, you spent two years researching and communicating with the bonobo apes, correct?

    A: Three years, actually. The last time I saw them was September 8, and this is my third year with them…I will always go and visit them as long as I am invited; they are true friends.

    Q What was it like to meet the apes?

    A: Oh, it was incredible! I knew the science, and I did a crash course. Others do up to twenty years of classes before they can meet the apes, so I had to crash course. It was so amazing to have a real tea party in forest with the apes, who asked everything from who had eggs for breakfast to requesting us to bring back the Easter bunny!

    Thank you, Sarah Gruen, for agreeing to speak with us!

    By: Up North Girl

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan

    Stev's Review on The Sweet Terrible Glorious Year I Truly Completely Lost It, by Lisa Shanahan

    In my family, when anyone rides the wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett. When the emotion drives out all common sense, we say they're chucking a big one. The telltale signs are: flaming cheeks, shortness of breath, bulging eyes, and a prolonged illogical outburst.Gemma Stone is convinced that it's always unseemly to chuck a birkett and that it's actually insane to chuck one in front of a complete stranger. But that was before she fell for a boy who barely knows she exists, before she auditioned for the school play, before she met the family of freaks her sister Debbie is marrying into, before the unpredictable Raven De Head took an interest in her, and before she realized that at the right time and for the right reason, a birkett could be a beautiful thing. Summary from Amazon.com


    Every time my friend goes to the library, she gets at least one random book. I was over at her house one day and saw this at the top of the pile. I read the cover, and immediately decided I needed to read it. Now, after about three months, I finally did. I was not disappointeed! The Sweet Terrible Glorious Year I Truly Completely Lost It (or as i like to call it: STGYITCLI) is a magnificient story interspersed with snippets of Shakespeare. I was a little confused at first because I did not realize that it takes place in Australia! But that just shows how dumb I am.

    Lisa Shanahan had a stroke of genious when she wrote this. I like how everyone thinks of Raven as a really bad kid, but Gemma is the only person who knows him as a smart, kind person. he only has the 'bad kid' reputation because his dad and older brother have gotten into a lot of trouble. After everything , I think STGYITCLI is a marvelous book! I do wish it hadn't ended at such a good spot...