Using Voicethread for student projects:
Here’s my 2nd semester media center student worker’s Voicethread project on Favorite Books in the Media Center –
Using Voicethread for student projects:
Here’s my 2nd semester media center student worker’s Voicethread project on Favorite Books in the Media Center –
Lucy has spent her entire life keeping secrets. Growing up, she never could have friends over. If only her mom were normal, and their house wasn’t so disgusting and so out-of-control. Now that Lucy is becoming more popular at school, and she has a hot guy interested in her for the first time, she knows she won’t be able to keep hiding her lifestyle from her friends much longer. Her mom was a hoarder. She kept buying more and more junk, letting everything pile up – while important bills were left unpaid. Living without her mom might just be Lucy’s solution….right? When tragedy strikes, Lucy finds herself in the position of covering everything up – including her mother’s sudden death….
Auggie knew he was different. Born with severe facial deformities, he was used to the stares, the pointing, and the looks of horror and disgust from others. At least Auggie had the love, support, and protection of his family.
Now things are changing. Auggie will be attending a public school for the first time. For the most part, the students at Beecher Prep treat Auggie like an outcast and a freak. Can Auggie show his classmates that he is a regular kid just like them? Or should he just give up on ever having a “normal” life?
Trouble-maker, prankster Donovan Curtis only wanted to pull a cool prank. He never meant to destroy the school’s treasured statue. Now the Superintendent is determined to find the perpetrator! Donovan knows he needs to disappear quickly.
By freak accident, that is exactly what Donovan manages to do. Due to a computer error, Donovan’s name is included amongst the students who have been tested and are eligible to attend the prestigious Academy of Scholastic Distinction. Despite Donovan making below average grades, he finds himself attending classes with the brightest students in the state and taking accelerated courses with a difficulty level way above Donovan’s capabilities. A school for nerds! How will Donovan – the world’s biggest goof – manage to fool everyone into thinking he is actually gifted?
To Donovan’s surprise, though his reason for being at the Academy was to avoid getting busted by the school district Superintendent, he finds himself actually wanting to be there. The nerdy kids weren’t too bad. Robotics class was cool and that Chloe chick was geeky chic and cute. Being at the Academy wasn’t so bad after all…until the teachers being to question how Donovan EVER qualified to attend their gifted school. Will Donovan be able to convince everyone this is where he now belongs?
Benson thought he had finally hit the jackpot. Now was his chance to leave his latest foster home and actually stay in one place long enough to make friends. He would be the popular football quarterback and finally find a great girlfriend. The world seemed nearly perfect since Benson had learned he was the recipient of a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Maxfield Academy. The campus was beautiful. Instead of cafeteria meals, students chose entrees that rivaled five star restaurants. Physical education included paint ball wars. The hot redhead Jane already seemed to like him.
What first seemed like the perfect dream to Benson, however, quickly turned into a nightmare. Where are the teachers? The adults?
Students must always wear monitoring devices. Once there, students can never leave. There are no adults to punish the students who break the rules – it’s the other students who dole out the punishments. Students teach the classes, cook all the meals, clean the facilities, and run the entire school. Students also make sure everyone follows their rules or else they will pay.
Detention doesn’t mean staying after school. Detention means death. Benson knew he must do the impossible – gain the students’ trust, prepare an escape plan, and stay alive.
All Star Book Reviews
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Criminal or kid? Murderer or misunderstood?
In this graphic novel based on a true story, eleven-year-old Roger tells about the life of his classmate Robert, a young boy nicknamed Yummy. Yummy, like many other kids in the inner city, never had a real childhood. He was taken away from his abusive drug addict mother at a young age and lived with his elderly grandmother. His grandmother loved Yummy, but with 19 others living with her, she had little money or time to give him. Yummy could come and go as he pleased and often did – leaving his home for days at a time. Before long Yummy found a place he could belong – where he would be taken care of if he just followed their orders and proved his worth. Yummy joined the Black Disciples, the same gang the narrator’s brother, Gary, belonged to.
Yummy begins his venture as a member of one of Chicago’s toughest gangs with a petty crime spree – shoplifting, fighting, breaking and entering, and stealing cars. Yummy never planned on killing anyone – despite having been given a gun by his gang. He only meant to scare away a few rival gang members hanging in their ‘hood. When Yummy fires his gun as a warning to others, the stray bullet hits and kills a sweet, innocent young girl who was only sitting outside her apartment.
Suddenly, Yummy is on the run – an 11 year old boy now wanted for murder. Yummy trusted his gang to take care for him, and he couldn’t understand why everyone now hated him and wanted him captured. He wasn’t a killer. It was just a mistake. Yummy would give anything to take it back and give the pretty young girl, Shavon, her life back…
Roger thinks he knows his classmate Yummy, but he suddenly realizes life is not white and black. Yummy could be ruthless and mean, but he also was still just a lonely little kid who never had a chance for a good life. When Yummy is captured and killed – not by the police but by his own gang family-Roger realizes the young girl Shavon is not the only victim in this tragic turn of events.
A Long Walk to Water tells the true story of a young girl named Nya and a young boy named Salva, one of the lost boys of Sudan. The reader learns about life in war-torn Sudan – the fear, famine and dehydration, the desperation of the Sudanese as they are forced to flee their homes and walk thousands of miles through the hot desert in order to locate one the the refugee camps – where living conditions were also deplorable.
With the belief that his family has been killed, Salva is left alone and must fend for himself. Though he walks with the others, he is not shown much mercy by the adults. Silva loses his one friend to a lion who drags the young boy away at night. Silva knows no matter how difficult things become, he must keep walking or die. Despite his never-ending thirst, the blistering sand underneath his bare feet, and the gnawing, deep hunger which never goes away, Salva is determined to survive.
Eventually, Salva is chosen by American missionaries to come to America and be sponsored by an American family. Salva is amazed by the luxuries America can afford him and decides he must return to Sudan in order to share his good fortune and to help his people. It is during his first trip home where Salva learns his family is still alive, and his life intersects with the young Nya.
Ella was used to being the outsider. All the students at her school were white, and some teased her for her discolored facial skin, calling her “Camo.” Z was the only friend she could count on. Sure Z was strange. He usually wouldn’t respond unless you called him Agent Z, and he frequently lived in a fantasy world. Z was always a little different, but he really began acting strange after his father left his family. Ella didn’t care, though. Z was always there for her and accepted Ella just as she was. Ella didn’t think anything would ever change until the new boy moved into town.
Bailey was the new goodlooking African-American boy who transferred to Ella’s middle school. Everyone wanted to be his friend. Bailey, though, seemed most interested in becoming good friends with Ella. Suddenly Ella belonged. She sat at the cool table during lunch and started getting invitations to parties. Though Ella never turned her back on Z, he suddenly seemed threatened by Ella’s new relationship.
Ella feels torn. She enjoys feeling good about herself again but cannot forget Z’s loyalty and friendship. Ella knew she would have to make a choice – choosing the friend she could always count on or the life she has always dreamed about…
Michael Vey knew he was different. He was always teased and made fun of for his small size and the way he blinked his eyes when he was nervous. Michael had Tourettes Syndrome. That wasn’t the only thing that set him apart, though. Michael also had special powers – a unusual but powerful gift that he had to keep hidden from others.
Michael tries to keep his power a secret until he finally breaks and just can’t stand the abuse anymore. After yet another beating by Jake and Wade, the school bullies, Michael unleashes a powerful electric shock at his tormentors. Leaving them stunned and helpless as they lie on the ground in the front of their high school, Michael’s hands release strong electrical currents throughout their bodies like a tazer. Michael knew they would never bother him or beat him up again.
Michael wasn’t alone with this happened. Taylor, the impossibly beautiful and popular high school cheerleader, sees what happens. Suddenly she wants to be Michael’s friend. She, too, has a secret.
Both Taylor and Michael have secret powers which set them apart from the other teens. Together, they soon discover that they are part of an elite group of 17. Seventeen teens who have unique abilities which give them the power to both save and destroy.
Tayor and Michael are being hunted. Someone knows about their talents. He won’t stop until he captures them so he can ruthlessly use the electric teens in order to gain control – control of the 17 “Glows” and control of the entire world.
Nonstop action and excitement in this new series!
Retta Lee Jones knew she couldn’t stay in Starling. She was a small town girl with big dreams. Just like all the famous country stars who made it big before her, Retta knew she had what it took to be a singing sensation. Leaving her best friend Brenda and her secret crush Bobby behind would be tough, but Retta was determined to live in Nashville and become a country signing legend.
After high school graduation, Retta borrows her great-aunt’s car along with the money she had saved working all year, $500, and leaves her family and small town behind. Music City isn’t kind to, Retta, though. She gets mugged and beat up soon after arriving and finds herself homeless without any money or real friends there for support.
Retta’s luck finally takes a turn when she finds a job and begins getting recognition for her singing talent. When Retta’s Daddy calls her, though, to tell her that her mother has left him, Retta must make a choice. Should she move back home to help her family and to be with the people she loved and trusted – or keep fighting to fulfill her dreams?
Feldon knew he was weird. His younger brother Andrew was obsessed with playing classical music on the piano. His hippie mother, Jerri, insisted her children call her by her first name. Feldon’s father had committed suicide when Feldon was only five years’ old. Most of the kids at Feldon’s school teased him for being scrawny and for being different. To make matters worse, Feldon’s best friend Gus was leaving for the summer and Jerri was making him take over his newspaper route. Life wasn’t looking too great for the fifteen year old.
Most of the kids at Feldon’s school teased him for being scrawny and for being different. To make matters worse, Feldon’s best friend Gus was now leaving for the summer and Jerri was making him take over his newspaper route. Life wasn’t looking too great for the fifteen-year-old.
What starts out being a lame summer, however, turns out to be the best and worst summer of Feldon’s life. Feldon discovers he does have a talent. He’s fast. He’s not just quick on his feet and a strong runner – he’s stupid fast. It doesn’t take long for others to notice. Coach Johnson wants him to play Varsity Football. Though Feldon has never played in his life, his speed and agility make him a force to contend with. No longer scrawny, Feldon has a huge growth spurt and is now over 6 feet tall. Once he begins lifting weight, he becomes even bigger and much stronger than many of the other players on the team.
Suddenly, Feldon finds himself in a different world. Several of the town’s popular high school athletes are now his best friends. The most beautiful girl in the world, Aleah, has moved into his friend Gus’s house for the summer. Despite Feldon’s goofiness, she wants to be his girlfriend.
Everything is close to being perfect until Jerri loses it. She begins drinking, hiding in her room, refusing to take care of herself or her family. Andrew has even stopped playing the piano and starts dressing in black – acting as loony as their mother. Felton just has to keep going. He lies to himself that things will get better.
“It should have been me….”
Some would say 15 year old June lived a privileged life. Though her parents had passed away, she and her brother Metias had done well for themselves. They were both selected as members of the Republic’s prestigious military faction. Though June frequently got in trouble for being rebellious at her exclusive, private school, it was often overlooked – she was gifted, a prodigy, and her invaluable gifts destined June for great success and wealth.
When her brother Metias is suddenly killed, however, June finds herself alone and frightened for the first time in her life. Her best friend, the one she could count on, and her only family was suddenly ripped away from her. There was only one person to blame – the vigilante outcast named Day. Day had ruthlessly murdered her brother. Before, June had found this dissenter’s antics slightly amusing. Angry and in shock, June makes it her personal mission to hunt Day, find him, and see that justice was served for Day’s crime. The Republic agreed. June has permission to disguise herself and to track Day until she can find and capture him.
Ironically, it is Day that finds June. June, while hunting Day, becomes seriously injured in a fight with one of the locals. Imagine June’s shock when it is Day, her arch enemy, who saves her life. Suddenly, June finds herself very close to Day, spending time with him while she reuperated from her injuries. June finds herself learning about Day as a man – his habits and his thoughts and begins fighting her growing attraction to him.
Instead of being elated that she has captured the man who took away her brother, June finds herself captured by Day. Though Metias’s death must be avenged, June begins to wonder if Day was actually capable of murdering another person. What if the Republic was wrong?
June finds herself asking questions. The Republic doesn’t like to be questioned. If June doesn’t turn over the man she has begun falling in love with soon, she will be the one hunted, captured, and executed.
Winner of the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say, act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’d done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself-she wants to take Rosa with her.
From Publisher: Seventh-grader Timothy July and his new friend Abigail try to break a curse that is causing them and others to be tormented by their greatest fears brought to life.
Lina knew things were tense….her father was worried about their future in Lithuania. Who should they fear the most – Stalin or Hitler? Despite her parents’ fears, Lina continued to live a normal teenage girl’s life….until the Soviet Secret Police bang violently on their door. From this moment on Lina finds herself fighting to survive, protect her mother and brother, and how to deal with the one who, amongst the fear and the pain, has still captured her heart….a young man she may never even get the chance to love.
“After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman’s athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he is becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.”
From School Library Journal:
“Beginning with King Tut and moving chronologically through to Albert Einstein, Bragg explains in a conversational style what maladies brought 19 of the great ones down. Listeners will be clued in to Henry VIII’s gluttony, George Washington’s little mouth of horrors, and James Garfield’s oh-so-slow death by ignorance. Narrator L.J. Ganser uses sarcasm, timing, pauses, and tone to wring out every last ounce of disgusting, gross misery from the deaths of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Christopher Columbus, Napoleon, Mozart, and others.”
Early dismissal! You could practically hear the cheers and high fives as the announcement blared over Tattawa Regional High School’s intercom. The winter storm wasn’t going away, and the snow was falling quickly. Despite that, sophomores Scotty, Pete, and Jason decide to stick around for a little while and work on the go-kart Jason had been building in the school’s shop.
Jason’s dad would be there soon to pick them up, and he did have a four-wheel drive truck, after all….
At the time, the 3 friends didn’t realize the winter storm was actually a blizzard – the worse blizzard ever to hit the United States.
The boys, along with four other high school students, found themselves stranded. Luckily one adult, Coach Gossell, did still remain in the building.
The remaining group began to feel hopeful when they saw lights – what appeared to be emergency lights – flashing beyond the school parking lot. Coach Gossell decided to weather the storm and let the emergency workers know they were still there – stranded inside the high school.
All of them quickly realized how serious the situation had become. Coach Gossell began slowly walking, battling the wind and the snow, before suddenly sinking waist deep. When he fought to move forward, Coach disappeared from their sight altogether – never to return to the school.
Now they only had each other. The beautiful, popular girl and her best friend, the intimidating school bully, the goth freak, and the jocks. The conditions will only worsen as they are left without water and heat….and the school roof begins to collapse. Will anyone ever come for them? Do they have what it takes to continue the fight for survival?
Trapped keeps the reader in suspense and is brief enough to hold the attention of even the most reluctant readers. I only wish the author had developed the story more because I wasn’t ready for it to end!
What was he thinking? Did Quince actually think he could trick her into kissing him, and she’d just fall madly in love with him based on his kissing performance? Seriously? Sure…he was hot….in an annoying, killer-bod kinda way…. Quince, though, drove Lily mad. He did everything possible to get under her fins. Quince knew her true love was Brody. Now thanks to that one unsuspecting kiss, everything was ruined. Lily was bonded to Quince for life.
Now she had to tell him the truth – the truth about being half-human and half-mermaid. Lily’s only hope was to leave the land and return to her underwater home, Thalassinia. Lily’s father ruled their underwater paradise, and only he could perform the separation ritual to free Lily and Quince.
Despite her family and friend’s affection for Quince, Lily is finally able to convince her father that it’s Brody, not Quince, who Lily is destined to be with. Finally they are separated…and Brody even asks Lily out! Things could not be more perfect for this fish out of water….why, then, can Lily not stop thinking about Quince?
Very sweet love story about a mermaid teen girl and a human teen boy falling in love. The charming descriptions of Thalassinia make the underwater palatial city seem real to the reader. The epilogue promises more excitement and conflict to come in the sequel, Fins Are Forever.
I wanted to like this book…After reading numerous reviews comparing Enclave to Hunger Games and Divergent, I couldn’t wait to devour another exciting novel. Unfortunately, though, this book fell flat. The top reasons I won’t be including Enclave on the Top Tiger Book List:
1. The characters are not well-developed. I never really bonded with Deuce – no specific information concerning her former family, the lack of any real detailed interactions with those she considered her close friends, very few flashbacks in the plot revealing her life growing up as a Brat in the Enclave, etc. made me feel as if I never really knew enough about her to ultimately care much about her fate. In Hunger Games, Collins was able to take a relatively minor character, Rue, and create someone haunting and memorable despite her relatively brief role in Book One of the Hunger Games trilogy.
2. The plot in Enclave has its moments of excitement but as a whole, it seems pretty unoriginal. There’s been a trend to write dystopia fiction where the futuristic setting actually mimics primitive surroundings, humans are reduced to an uncivilized state in order to survive, there’s a strong heroine who is skillyfully capable of defending herself and others, most of the society is being controlled by a communist-type government which strives to keep their citizens complacent and obedient by using control, fear tactics, etc. and the government typically hiding any signs or relics from the past in order to lie or confuse their citizens about what the world used to be like.
In order to stand out, there must be something unique within the story. Divergent implemented intensive battles, fights, and conflicts. The intiation tests of the Dauntless faction differed greatly throughout the novel – increasing the excitement and anticipation of what would be next for the reader. The characters were forced to participate in terrifying scenarios which reflected their deepest, secret fears….The threat was not only physical – but tapped into one’s deepest psychological fears…
In Enclave, Deuce and Fade are frequently attacked by Freaks…smarter Freaks….hungry Freaks….a large number of Freaks…Freaks with the ability to reason…again and again. There’s no real creativity in the conflict Deuce, Fade, and the Enclave face beyond attacks from this mutant species. Even the names given to different groups in the novel, such as Breeders, Brats, and Freaks, lack originality.
3. Love/Betrayal is just one of the enticing elements in the Hunger Games and Divergent series. The budding romance between Fade and Deuce seems artificial, undeveloped, and pale in comparison to Katniss/Peeta and Tris/Four. I did appreciate, however, the surprising love traingle which appears to be emerging at the end of the novel between Deuce and Slash…
4. The glorified violence was a big turn-off for me as a reader. Many of the young adult novels in this genre do have frequent epsiodes of violence interwoven throughout the plot – reflecting how society has become dangerous, apathetic to others, etc.
Enclave, however, goes over and beyond the inclusion of violent acts by including very graphic, explicit detail – bones splitting, guts spilling out, the gouge and subsequent hiss of a stabbed eyeball, the appearance of Freaks engaging in a feeding frenzy when they trap an injured person, kill a human – or even after the death of one of their own. Though the main character Deuce claims she doesn’t believe in violence except in self-defese, she clearly enjoys inflicting pain and death upon her enemies….enjoying the power, pain, and even the appearance of blood – making her at times appear sadistic and to me, unlikeable as a character, much less a heroine.
Sooooo….despite all the accolades and comparisons of Enclave to two of my favorite books (and previous Top Tiger Book Award contenders) Hunger Games and Divergent, Enclave does have a little flash here and there, but overall the story lacks any real substance.