Monthly Archives: April 2013

Screen Free Week Day 1

I’ve been inspired by the Random Acts of Reading posts about Screen Free Week. I decided that it wasn’t realistic to go screen free during work hours, but wondered whether I could manage it during personal ones. In a fit of enthusiasm, I turned off my computer at 5 pm yesterday and decided to go on a walk. The walk went something like this: I’d check my back pocket to make sure my phone was still there, freak out because it wasn’t, remember that I had intentionally left my phone at home, relax, and then repeat every 5 to 10 minutes. The walk was lovely, which is to be expected. This area is always beautiful, but spring has definitely sprung and all the soft greens and flowers are amazing. My biggest problem was that I wanted to take pictures of everything! I was so annoyed that I didn’t have my phone. I figure that’s a good excuse to go on another walk today. Normally I work for a few hours after dinner and then read for maybe an hour or so. Reading for 5 hours was such a luxury. I finished The Miseducation of Cameron Post, one of this year’s ALA Morris Debut Award Finalists, by Emily Danforth. I had a slow start with this book, but then I couldn’t put it down and was most impressed with Danforth’s writing. I’m starting to get excited about all the books I could read this week. I still have a pile to finish before the BEA conference at the end of May. I admit I did check my phone messages one time before I went to bed, but managed to avoid email and all the assorted social media sites. So far so good. If nothing else, Screen Free Week is reminding me to stop work from bleeding in to my evening, and I’m already looking forward to tonight’s walk.

~ sara

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Morse Pond Review: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

9780375870897Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Chris Grabenstein

Random House Books for Young Readers

9780375870897

$16.99

available June 25, 2013

This is a fabulous book! In fact it was so good, I sat down and read it in 2 hours! Meet Kyle Keeley, the youngest of three boys, and always outshined. So when he hears that his favorite game maker, (he is also the most famous one I might add) is having a lock in at the new library he built, Kyle knows he has to be there. But what he doesn’t know is that he will have escape, and be the first one to, if he wants to win the prize. Can he win, or will the backstabbing, good-for-nothing Charles beat him? I love this book and you will too!

Celia, grade 6

Eight Cousins Note: Here’s one more review for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. If you’re wondering whether this book is worth all the fuss, I’m telling you now: it is! Read our other 6th grade review here.

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Morse Pond Review: The Ability

9781442452008

The Ability

M. M Vaughan

Margaret K. McElderry Books

9781442452008

$15.99

available now

This was a great book, but I have to admit, it was not one of my favorites. It was a little confusing in the beginning, and only later in the book did I understand why the author included it. But overall, it was a great book. In the book a child by the name of Christopher Lane, who by the way, does not do well in school, gets accepted into a esteemed academy, everybody is shocked. But at this academy it is not smarts they look for, it is Ability, which is the power to enter people’s minds. Now Chris, and the other five children accepted have to learn to use it, and save the world from twin brothers Ernest and Mortimer and their mother, who wants revenge. But can they do it? This is a great book, though sadly not one of my favorites, but I still would recommend it. Read it!

Celia, grade 6

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Morse Pond Reviews: To Be a Cat

9781442454057

To Be a Cat

Matt Haig

Stacy Curtis, illustrator

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

June 2013

$16.99

This is now one of my all-time favorite books! This book is a perfect twist on Freaky Friday! It is relatable to and easy to understand, as well as being funny and a little creepy. The main character Barney wishes he was a cat because he thinks it would be so much easer to be one. He thinks that he wouldn’t have to deal with his mean Principal Mrs. Whimpire and the school bully Gavin Needle. Little does he know, Mrs. Whimpire is a cat who turned into a human, and hates all humans especially little boys. Barney turns into a cat, and is soon being hunted down by Mrs. Whimpire’s minions (A.K.A. The Swipers), who have orders to destroy him. Will he turn back into a human, or will he get caught by The Swipers? This is a fantastic book! Read to find out!

Celia, 6th grade

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Morse Pond Review: Loki’s Wolves

9780316204965Loki’s Wolves

K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

$17.00

May 2013

I thought this book was amazing! I loved how the author stuck to one topic and didn’t jump around with the topics. I also like how the author made all the topics discussed clear. For example, the myths were clearly explained by Matt, and detailed how they were linked to all people. Another part of the book I enjoyed was the powers that people possess. In the part of the story where Laurie could open the portals, it brought the book to life. When reading the book I enjoyed feeling the anticipation about not knowing what was going to happen next. I experienced many emotions, sadness, confusion, and surprise, to name a few. Finally, the author’s descriptive techniques were so clear that I could see the battles and fights so well in my mind. Please finish the next book in the series! I will be waiting for it!

Maddy, 6th grade

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Staff Reviews: The Fault in our Stars and Who Could That Be at This Hour?

9780525478812I was reluctant to put down The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The main characters, Hazel and August, captured my heart from the beginning, and I could not wait to see how they developed. John Green’s love for the dramatic shattered my heart in the end, but it was worth the pain I endured to finally discover what became of the characters that I had grown so fond of. (Note: The Fault in our Stars was a staff pick for 2012 and is also reviewed here.)

9780316123082I have enjoyed Lemony Snicket’s books since I was a young child, and his newest did not disappoint. With its never ending plot twists and fast paced action, Who Could That Be at This Hour? compelled me to keep reading. Snicket knows how to tailor his writing to his intended audience, and even though he uses long words he never fails to work in a clever definition. If you enjoy his newest mystery but haven’t yet read A Series of Unfortunate Events, then they are a must read as well.

~ Sam, 16

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