Monday, 29 September 2014

The 5 best September reads

This summer I tackled over 40 YA books and I'm hoping not to slow down too much during the school year. Here are the highlights from this past month's reading:

Everyday Kitchen for Kids by Jennifer Low
I really do like this cookbook and think it is a wonderful addition to a collection. There is no need to use sharp knives, do any stove top cooking or use any motorized appliances with any of the recipes. I love the big photos that accompany each recipe. My 6 year old gravitated to the cookbook and quickly flipped through every recipe and told me what he wanted to try and make.  Our first recipe was the Seven Seas Salmon and it was a hit. My son liked making everything himself and liked the recipe as well.  I currently have Jennifer Low's other cookbook for kids on hold at the public library. My only negative thought about this book is that it is too full of recipes for sweets: cookies, cakes and pies. I have found that my picky eater tends to eat more of the food if he has prepared it himself.

Gasp by Lisa McMann
I have been waiting for this book for ages! Gasp is the third and last book in McMann's Visions series and she finishes the series nicely.  Once again a vision is central to the story and figuring out the when and what of the vision is imperative.  The main character, Jules, has quite of crew of people helping her unravel the vision's meaning but things aren't going quite as planned.  I am a big fan of all of McMann's works: the Unwanted series, the Gone series and Dead to You.  All of her books are delicious reads and great reads for middle school students.

Take Me On by Katie McGarry
If you want some romance reading that you are going to devour, you need not look any further than any of McGarry's work. In Take Me On, McGarry picks up the story of the youngest of the Young siblings, West. Bad boy West defends Haley and promptly lands himself in an organized fight. both West and Haley need to work through their issues in order to find the love that is right in front of them.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
I actually read two Rainbow Rowell books this month, The Attachments and Landline, both of which are written for an adult audience.  I enjoyed both but I think upon reflection, I preferred Landline.  I like the main character's questioning of how her marriage got to this point and how much she takes her marriage for granted.  Such a realistic character as all of Rowell's characters are.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
I adore this series and was ecstatic to get my hands on the third book of the Throne of Glass series.  Maas did not disappoint.  Celaena is battling with her inner demons and travels to Wendlyn where she hopes to find answers.  I'm looking forward to the next book where I hope Celaena will find her inner strength and become the great queen she is destined to be.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Goals for the new year

I don't think I'm alone on this one.  I always feel like September is the new year and the time to make resolutions and set goals.  I find the countdown to the beginning of the school year exciting because the year has the potential of being the best one yet.  This year, the start of the school year has been delayed by 3 weeks because of our province's labour dispute with the teachers. The strike now over, this weekend has become the last weekend before school starts.  As I have done in previous school years, I've set some goals.

1. Blogging. I plan to blog all year. I know this sounds like an easy one, but I really see this as being a personal goal and we all know that personal goals seem to drop off before any others.

2. Twitter. I love Twitter. I love learning via Twitter and the power of my PLN.  I would really like to participate in more chats and be more active in those chats.

3. PBL project. I am a huge fan of PBL. This year I would like to collaborate with a colleague to create a stunning project that challenges me immensely and makes me grin at the end product.

4. Library space. Last year the library had many major updates and I am so pleased with the results. This year I would love to continue changing the library space and incorporate more games (I have lego and chess and checkers) and more comfortable, teen-friendly furniture.

Along with these 4 major goals I have many little goals, ranging from updating the sports section in the non fiction collection to book talking in more classes. I know that I am full of hope for the year.  Here's hoping I am not overwhelmed by Wednesday of next week.

What's your number one goal for the school year?