Sunday, January 22, 2017

Walking and Listening to Slacker

Slacker by Gordon Korman
Recorded Books
5 hours and 34 minutes

To say that Cameron Boxer is obsessed with video games is a total and complete understatement. His obsession is so great that he doesn't even realize that fireman have broken down the front door to gain access to a smoke filled house. Given an ultimatum to find another interest by the end of the month or lose his video games permanently, Cam freaks out. Luckily for him he stumbles upon an idea. With the help of his friends, he forms a fake group, The Positive Action Group, complete with fake webpage on the school's website. Unfortunately for Cam, Daphne sees the webpage and is convinced that this is the only way to save Elvis, a displaced beaver. Cam tries as hard as he can to put Daphne off, but when she gets Mr. Fanshaw involved, it's virtually impossible. During the P.A.G.'s first volunteer activity at the senior citizen garden project, Cam hides in an adjacent building to play video games. Seeing water dripping from a light, Cam follows it and discovers an injured woman. This discovery lands the P.A.G and Cam in the local paper. Membership in the P.A.G. explodes and all the unwanted attention is more than Cam can handle.

I'm a sucker for audiobooks with multiple narrators, each one telling their own part/side of the story. This audiobook does just that. The story was well paced and vocalizations matched the characters personalities quite well. You could sense Cam's exasperation over the P.A.G. throughout the story. Poor guy just wanted to be left alone to do what he loves, don't we all feel that way sometimes?

Vog can make the sunrise quite spectacular.

Monday, January 16, 2017

January Bulletin Boards

While we've been back in school for quite sometime, it has taken me forever to share what our bulletin boards look like this month. Oops.

"Where will the New Year take you?" I am glad that I took a picture of this bulletin board when I did as the books have been flying off of it.
"There's Snow-Thing Better Than Reading". While we don't get snow on our island, I like to feature snow books on our bulletin boards in January.
Poor Greg, his New Year is off to a rocky start.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Walking and Listening to "Furthermore"

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Listening Library
8 hours and 12 minutes

Reader: Bronson Pinchot

You would think that living in Ferenwood would be every child's dream since everyone and everything has a bit of magic in it. Alexis did love it, but that was before her father, who she loves dearly went missing. Since then, her mother has treated her differently and all Alexis wants to do is find her father and have the life that she knew and loved back. She soon realizes that Oliver Newbanks is her only hope and together they head off on an adventure to Furthermore. 

I enjoyed going on this adventure into Furthermore with Alexis and Oliver, discovering the various parts of it and meeting the interesting characters along the way. I also like the lead- ins into the different chapters, they added a bit of humor to the book. Book talking this book has been easy and the kids snatch it out of my hands before I can even finish talking about it.

Bronson Pinchot's narration of this book was slow-paced and even keeled. Sorry to say, but this did bother me. There were fast paced, exciting and a tad frightening situations that felt just there and were lacking that bit of "oomph" that the characters were experiencing. I would recommend the physical book to students vs. the audio book.

Sunrise during winter vacation.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Walking and Listening to "Grayling's Song"

Grayling's Song  by Karen Cushman
Recorded Books
5 hours 6 minutes

Narrator: Katherine Kellgren

As Grayling is out collecting herbs she hears her mother screaming her name and sees smoke coming from the house. When she arrives back home she is relieved to see that her mother has escaped the fire, but their home is destroyed. Deciding to go into the home to retrieve the grimoire, a book of spells, Grayling discovers that her mother is rooted to the ground! Not only that her legs have turned to bark and she is unable to budge. Hannah, Grayling's mother, tells Grayling that she must head out to warn other wise-women/conjurers/enchantresses of what is happening and try to stop the evil forces behind this. Having no idea how to find them, Hannah instructs her to head to town squares and sing a specific song that will draw the others. Slowly but surely, other wise-women/conjurers/enchantresses come to Grayling and tell her how they are the only ones of their kind left, the others have already been turned into trees and their grimoires stolen. Deciding to work together, they head out to stop whoever or whatever is behind this.

I truly enjoyed listening to this book. Katherine Hellgren does an amazing job narrating this book. There was great excitement, urgency, fear, terror and exasperation in her voice. This really helped bring the story to life and move the story along quickly. Her vocalizations of all the characters matched their personalities beautifully. I loved that she sang Hannah and Grayling's songs throughout the story.

My neighborhood sounds like a war zone during New Year's with people lighting fireworks all night line. Red firecracker paper litters the streets. I stumbled upon these child friendly remnants while I was walking on New Year's Day