Tuesday, August 28, 2012

55 Books in a Year: Book #43 Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading

Over the summer I went to Las Vegas for a JEA Advisers Institute. It was pretty awesome. Chris and I went a couple of days early and we played around and then when he left it was time for some learning.

One of the best sessions I attended was one about Systematic Grading presented by Sandra Coyer. If you are a teacher or know a teacher or read the news to learn about education you know that standards-based grading, common-core standards, holistic scoring, grading for learning, essential learning outcomes (ELOs), formative and summative assessments are just a few of the buzz words that have the education world in a tizzy. We're all (well save a few states, I hear) trying to move towards common-core as our common language and we're all trying to figure out how that will look in our classrooms. People seem to think that standards-based grading is the answer.

Hoping on this band-wagon is yours truly. I like that the ELOs that we've spent years, literally, perfecting become how and what we teach and we use this knowledge to grade our students, but I really didn't see how this would look in the classroom. Coyer's Prezi talks about several ideas that were swimming around in my head:

  • that holistic scoring and standard-grading focus learning and make the goals for everyone easier to attain
  • journalism classes are differentiated and prepare students for the 21st century better than most classes.

And, I wondered how that would look in my classroom.

There were so many thoughts and ideas and questions floating around that I had to find a way to focus. Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading is the perfect book for this.

Here's what his website says about the book

This comprehensive guide:
  • Identifies three types of formative classroom assessments that should be used in a comprehensive system and explains how to design them
  • Explains the difference between “standards-based” and “standards-referenced” systems
  • Explains why it is usually inappropriate to use the 100-point scale in conjunction with formative assessment
  • Describes a systematic approach to the design and use of rubrics
  • Presents four basic approaches to tracking student progress and provides reproducible grade sheets
  • Discusses the use of technology in tracking progress and generating reports
  • Addresses the issue of grades for teachers using formative approaches
  • Includes an appendix that clearly explains the concept of effect size
  • Provides exercises to help readers assess and reinforce their understanding of the new strategies

And, it has hand-outs that address all the mathy stuff! It's fantastic!

Here are the hand-outs we created for the students, and so far it's working like a dream!

Standards Based Grading Info
Standards Based Grading Scoring Guides

If you want more information about how we're doing standards-based grading in a school that does not feel free to email me for the details.

Links for more information:
21st Century Skills
Common Core Standards
Formative Assessments
Holistic Scoring
Standards-based Grading
Summative Assessments

Monday, August 27, 2012

55 Books in a Year: Book #42 The Garner Files

I have a wee bit of a confession (I love this blog for that reason) I love James Garner. I have loved James Garner for as long as I can remember. The Rockford Files used to come on after school, right before Scooby-Doo and I would walk home really fast so I wouldn't miss it. My first memory of him is in Rockford. He's lying on the grass with some chick (I don't really care who) and he's wearing a cream-colored cable-knit sweater. At the tender age of about 7, even I knew that not every man could pull off a cream colored cable-knit sweater.

I received The Garner Files for Christmas. Chris knew I wanted it...at least I hope he did. Every time we went to the bookstore I touched it or held it, I may have even said I wanted it...maybe. Anyway, I received it for Christmas, but I also received my Nook Tablet for Christmas--it was a miracle Christmas.

I read it a little and then, well, I read my Nook...it wasn't James Garner's fault by any means. His book is filled with all the wonderfulness of the stories of a gentleman who has lived a pretty glorious and awesome life. It was me. It was the darned light up screen and ease of travel. It was the fact that I didn't want to buy the book on my Nook.

And, then something marvelous happened, in hind-sight anyway, my Nook's cord broke and while waiting for a replacement I had to go on a trip to Chicago for a conference. On the way there I read a little James, in between sessions I read a little James and the 2nd night in I finished it.

Really, it's just that good.

It's hard for me to separate James Garner from Thomas Evans, my grandfather. Garner has a no nonsense approach to living. He sued the movie industry not to make money, but because it was the right thing to do. He punches liars and cheaters. He works just as hard as he plays. He loves cars and racing and golf and the out of doors. He loves his daughters and his wife and women. He values hard-work, honesty and ownership. And, he owns a lot in this book...he isn't perfect, but he is moral.

I love that he mentions Rob Lowe in this book because I couldn't help feeling that they both have a lot in common and, just like when I read Rob's book, I couldn't help but think about how cool it would be to meet James Garner and how awesome it would be just to talk with him about pretty much anything.

In his book we see a man that truly as lived life with no regrets. Many people talk about how this book has been narrated by a gentle curmudgeon. I don't disagree, however, James Garner's no nonsense attitude about his fame, his family, and his lot in life is something to be emulated and revered.

He would hate the praise, but he'd take it.

Sidenote: Several years ago James Garner and entourage came through our town. A student met him and the conversation about it went a little something like this.

Student: "There was some old guy who came in to get a cup of coffee at the store last night, my manager says he's famous."
Me: "Oh, really what has he been in?"
Student: "I dunno some show where he was a cowboy and another where he drove this really cool car. My manager was showing me pictures. He's names like Gardner or something."
Me: "Oh my gosh! You met James Garner and you don't even understand how awesome that is!?"
Student: "What, oh, I have his autograph on a receipt...that's cool, right!?"
Me: "What did he say to you?"
Student: "He just some plain coffee."
Me: "And...?"
Student: "That's it. I don't know. He was talking to my manager."
Me: "Gah, that's so unfair!"

I'm still whining about my not getting to meet James Garner. Sad day.

Link to a pretty cool review...I must say I'm a little jealous of her fan club card.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Infinite Summer #10: Topics of Discussion

Think of these Sunday posts as jumping off places...discuss what I've posted, post something yourself, answer questions, ask questions, add links...do whatever it takes to make this experience enjoyable and understandable for you!

These post will be CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS for the reading for that week (Just in case you didn't already know that!). I think knowing this will stop those of us that aren't at a certain place from reading on and will enable those of us who are writing to do so without worrying if someone knows that fact or not. If you are reading ahead and want to post about the pages ahead please wait and if you want to talk about other books, not Infinite Jest and are giving spoilers please indicate that in some fashion...even a *spoiler* before the comment would be nice.

And, finally, if there is anything I can do to make this run more smoothly please don't hesitate to message me on here, on twitter or on Goodreads and I'll see what I can do.

Let's begin the discussion...

Please pick one...write about it and let's get keep this party going!!!

And, person #2 has finished reading the book.

Congratulations Kate!!!

1] If you haven't signed up officially, please do so here.
2] Catch up on all of our IJ stuff and things here.
3] Come join in on the convo even if you haven't caught up with the reading. Just comment on the post for the weeks you have read. I miss the conversation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Classroom: A Walk-Through

Soooo...I've never introduced you to my classroom. I've had loads of fun in this room and this room holds loads of memories...a student had a seizure and hit a desk when he crashed to the floor, students created a rubber band chain that started in my classroom and went all the way through our commons and to the art hall (many, many feet away). The whole room had to be rearranged when I received my Promethean board. Yes, I have a Promethean board, a chalkboard and a whiteboard. I remember when I only had a chalkboard. We've hidden from intruders in my classroom. Children have shimmied out the window and shimmied in. During Publications we eat lunch in the classroom...when we've been overwhelmed and stressed we've also had group nap-time during lunch. I've made waffles, had "Soul Food" day and eaten many a cake (include my own birthday cake) in this classroom. I have tried to get my husband to kiss me in my classroom...he says he can't, it feels too weird...like a classroom.

All pictures were taken by my dear friend and personal photographer Amanda.

1. Chalkboard that is sometimes used as a corkboard
and my desk as clean as it's going to EVER be during the year.
2. Those are postcards that my niece and I put up about 7 years ago; I just add new places as I go.
Two bookshelves of 'choice read' books...all 731 on Classroom Booksource.
Pictures and magnets from various years of teaching. It's my cozy little area.
1. The bookshelf from behind my desk used to be in this area, now I have a cute little reading area.
I bought the pillows (one of a pig and one of a pineapple) at a garage sale...I only wash them once a year...
There's a  Beatles' poster given to me by a former student, a plagiarism poster, the American Flag for "The Pledge"
and my "Friends" poster I bought in London, England. I don't use the TV...ever.
Oh! and, I was teacher of the week one week last year, nice plaque, right!?
2. Here are the answers to my Monday post. My red lamp is for atmosphere.
On the whiteboard are my agendas for the day, notes from/to students (so I don't forget)
and there are Lila doodles from when we came into the building on Sunday...yes, on Sunday.
3.  If you look at my "We Can Do It" poster, you'll see that Rosie has a red mustache. One year a student used a permanent marker, although he thought it was a Expo marker, to decorate her.
1. Various movie posters (Becoming Jane, Elizabethtown, you can't see V for Vendetta), my homage to my hometown: a poster of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a Rolling Stone's poster of Bono from one of my student's last year and some desks.
2. American authors...Edgar Allen Poe is missing, but I have the raven...where is dear Edgar?
Several years ago I had a 'London pics' poster my college friend made me.
It got destroyed and the students who destroyed it made me a new one.
I also have a poster of Julius Caesar from the RSC, a poster of old Merry England and various pictures I took while in London, many are of The Globe.
1. "Sacred Cows make the tastiest hamburgers." ~Abbie Hoffman
You can't see them, but I have Mulder and Scully Barbie and Ken from a former student and there are various dolls, a moose, a stress Apple mutilated by one Publications staff, a Reese's Beanie Baby bear, The Green M&M and a Jane Austen Action Figure.
2. Globe lamp I got one Christmas from my mother, a picture of Lila when she was two months old, flamingos (read Jennifer Price's essay...it's hella good), a ceramic apple basket that at one time was full of cherry kool-aid--a Christmas present from a student--I love red kool-aid.
3. There are 30 lovely blue desk...these are the new ones, they are not as good as the old ones.
4. My Promethean Board...my pride and joy.

So, that's my room...I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Classroom Booksource...book organizing Heaven


Because of all the money we have been receiving to flood our classes with choice read books, we needed to find an easy way to keep track of everything. My colleague found this website (I believe via Pinterest...what did we do before Pinterest?) where you can upload existing lists, add books via an app on your phone and then allow your students to check those books out. While it took me a few days to upload and organize all of my books and while I had to hand-key the info on several, I look forward to using this system for all my book organizing needs.

Some plusses:
1. Digital organization...this means as long as I have access to the internet, I have access to my library.
2. I'm even checking out my classroom books through this site. Everything is digital.
3. Easy to manage. I can import my rosters into my secure site.

Areas that need improvement:
1. The book info for each book...I haven't quite figured out how to add information that is missing (like you can on GR), but there are several books that are missing images, Lexile or other information.
2. The time it takes to put in all the information.

Overall, truly the hours I spent all these books categorized is already paying off. I can easily export an Excel spreadsheet to give to my department head of every book in my classroom. Score!

Monday, August 20, 2012

What students want in a teacher...

I've been trying to find more purposeful ways to connect with my students and I found this idea on Pinterest. I can tell that the question is geared towards Elementary or Middle School, but I think that it works really well at high school (telling them to be appropriate and such, of course). Here are the answers that I received:

a challenge
a helper
Answers from my honors students...
doesn’t smoke pot
give and take
gives reasons for deadlines
good handwriting…please!
has good puns
knowledge and/or wisdom
not exacting
to have a good time

I've also put these up in my classroom, so we can look at them all year. I like how a lot of these work for the question: "What kind of student do I want?"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Infinite Summer #9: Endnotes

Think of these Sunday posts as jumping off places...discuss what I've posted, post something yourself, answer questions, ask questions, add links...do whatever it takes to make this experience enjoyable and understandable for you!

These post will be CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS for the reading for that week (Just in case you didn't already know that!). I think knowing this will stop those of us that aren't at a certain place from reading on and will enable those of us who are writing to do so without worrying if someone knows that fact or not. If you are reading ahead and want to post about the pages ahead please wait and if you want to talk about other books, not Infinite Jest and are giving spoilers please indicate that in some fashion...even a *spoiler* before the comment would be nice.

And, finally, if there is anything I can do to make this run more smoothly please don't hesitate to message me on here, on twitter or on Goodreads and I'll see what I can do.

Let's begin the discussion...

Watch it above.
Read about it here.
Comment about it below.

1] If you haven't signed up officially, please do so here.
2] Catch up on all of our IJ stuff and things here.
3] Come join in on the convo even if you haven't caught up with the reading. Just comment on the post for the weeks you have read. I miss the conversation.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School, Back to School...

School starts on Wednesday. I have to be back today and tomorrow for 100,000 meetings and such. So, I'm again going to have to part ways for a few days. I'll be back Sunday...even farther along in Infinite Jest (I'm on page 529, right now!) and, um, I'm sure I'll want to talk about something schoolish.

Until I return, here's an excellent playlist  (part of the songs were on this gnarly--yes, that word is appropriate right now--CD I received at a conference break-out session):

Saved By the Bell Theme  Silver Screen Symphony
I Missed the Bus Kris Kross
What is this you ask? Ah, come on...
7:00 AM Jacqueline Taieb
Fifteen Taylor Swift
Cool to Be Uncool The Jimmies
Another Brick in the Wall Pink Floyd
I Don't Wanna Go to School The Donnas
School Nirvana
Harper Valley P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
Hot for Teacher Van Halen
Campus Vampire Weekend
School's Out Alice Cooper
Ghost World Aimee Mann
Kodachrome Paul Simon
Teacher Teacher .38 Special
Let Me Die In My Footsteps Bob Dylan
To Sir, With Love (From "To Sir, With Love") Lulu

See you Sunday!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Infinite Summer #8: Was DFW a genius?

Think of these Sunday posts as jumping off places...discuss what I've posted, post something yourself, answer questions, ask questions, add links...do whatever it takes to make this experience enjoyable and understandable for you!

These post will be CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS for the reading for that week (Just in case you didn't already know that!). I think knowing this will stop those of us that aren't at a certain place from reading on and will enable those of us who are writing to do so without worrying if someone knows that fact or not. If you are reading ahead and want to post about the pages ahead please wait and if you want to talk about other books, not Infinite Jest and are giving spoilers please indicate that in some fashion...even a *spoiler* before the comment would be nice.

And, finally, if there is anything I can do to make this run more smoothly please don't hesitate to message me on here, on twitter or on Goodreads and I'll see what I can do.

Let's begin the discussion...
First, I know that many of us are behind or have quit to pick back up later/never again, but we have one person who has finished.

Congratulations Tamera!!!

Although she is finished and I'm am just now half-way, we have both read enough of the book to talk about DFW's genius and the myriad ways it presents itself in the novel and in the media with those that love to love his genius, those who think he was nuts and not so genius. There are even those who think he was a one-hit wonder so to speak.

If you've gotten far enough in the book to even read this post you can comment. Genius has so many meanings:


(dictionary.com) noun
  1. an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially asshown in creative and original work in science, artmusic,etc.: the genius of Mozart. intelligence, ingenuity,witbrains.
  2. a person having such capacity.
  3. a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating ona psychological test, as an IQ above 140. mental giant, master, expert; whiz, brain, brainiac.idiot, imbecile, half-wit, dope, moron; fool,simpleton, dunce, dullard, dolt; numskull, blockhead, nitwit,ninny.
  4. natural ability or capacity; strong inclination: a special geniusfor leadershipgift, talent, aptitude, faculty,endowment, predilection; penchant, knack, bent, flair,wizardry.


  1. Being both Intelligent, and being able to tap all one's intelligence at the right time. 
  2. something original that no one has thought of before
  3. One who is both blessed and cursed with superior intelligence. Most geniuses are pretty f***ed up, but a small few can rise from the failures of their peers and end up being accepted by society through some factor of conformity. There is no shame in this, for if you do not conform, you'll end up chasing street cars for the rest of your life. 

Does DFW and/or his works fall under any of these?

1] Many of you have messaged me about needing time to catch up. Do I need to add another week onto our schedule? Do I need to exempt a Sunday convo day?
2] If you haven't signed up officially, please do so here.
3] Catch up on all of our IJ stuff and things here.
4] Come join in on the convo even if you haven't caught up with the reading. Just comment on the post for the weeks you have read. I miss the conversation.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Young Adult Fiction: A Definition...maybe...

So, after thinking about the NPR poll yesterday and thinking more and more about a] our societies' current obsession with YA fiction and b] how NPR's reply to their poll just muddied the water considerably I thought I'd put in writing what makes YA fiction what it is. And, yes, for the sake of teacher's everywhere, it really does need to be a little more scientific than what NPR has given us.

First, how NPR classifies YA Lit
  1. We don't care if it's adult literature, if a teen reads it than we can call it YA fiction, unless we didn't want to...see #5.
  2. Young Adult means ages 12 to 18.
  3. A book where the publisher says it's for ages '8 and up' or '10 and up' is automatically Children's lit, except, um, see #4.
  4. If a book has won a Newbery Award it's too young...um, unless, our judges said it wasn't too young.
  5. Books we deem 'rites of passage' should be consider YA even if we deem them too young (The Last Unicorn) or not intended for young adults to begin with (The Lord of the Rings, Dune, The Catcher in the Rye. Did Salinger really mean for his book to be for adults? I'll have to Google that later.)
  6. If a book was meant for a teen audience and it has too many adult themes we didn't add it too the list (their examples: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Ender's Game...I guess they forgot all about how Tom Robinson was accused of rape, oh, not to mention the abuse aspect, in To Kill A Mockingbird and that The Hunger Games is set in a future society where 24 kids are forced to kill each other, in pretty gruesome fashion, until there is only one and the reason isn't survival, but domination in a post-apocalyptic/dystopic society)
Some NPR commenter highlights
(at the time of writing this blog post there are 54 comments)
  • There should be a list of Middle Grade books.
  • Where is Michael Cadnum, manga, Steampunk, Mark Twain, Scott O'Dell, Norma Klein, Cleavers, Jean Little, gender and ethnic diversity, All the Pretty Horses, Out of the Dust, Pride and Prejudice, Science Fiction like Heinlein, ERB, Moorcock, Baroness Orczy, Neil Gaiman, Alexander, McKillip?
  • Do kids really like Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, The Chocolate War, A Separate Peace, and other 'classics' anymore? Read my answer to what I feel teacher's should be doing about this here.
  • Why are some of the books so new?
  • NPR you're being a little contradictory: Yes to LotR as being a rite of passage, but no to Pride and Prejudice? Yes to Catcher in the Rye, but no to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Go Ask Alice isn't too mature? Yes to Twilight and The Hunger Games, but no to Ender's Game? If A Wrinkle in Time is too young so is Tuck Everlasting
  • Thanks for the variety of genre and age ranges within the YA spectrum and for accounting for all taste...(I think somebody even used the words 'precious gems'). Thanks for your efforts.
  • Remember this is a poll of readers.
  • The fundamental question was flawed: Was I supposed to be selecting books I read and loved as a young adult? Was I supposed to only be selecting YA books? What is YA? Was I supposed to select books that make you 'well-educated' or are deemed 'classics'? Did I have to actually have read them all or just the ones I voted for? How was I suppose to choose only 10? (I can tell you I picked 10 books that I definitely read that I know moved teenagers in some fashion)
  • How did Betsy-Tacy get in?
  • Judges shouldn't use personal feelings to determine readership.

A recap of a brief discussion in Young Adult Book-Content Advisory
  • Children's and YA should be separate
  • Why do bookstores, publishers and librarians get to say what is Children's, YA or Adult?
  • YA needs a rating system
  • YA should mean 17-25
  • An interview with Isaac Marion

My categories...based on Wikipedia, this article, my own brain and a post. These are followed by my 'two-cents', for what it's worth
(this can be found in the above discussion, as well)

There are actually three classifications

Age: 0-8

Picture books, early reader books, very simple language, use large print, and have many illustrations

The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales,
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales,Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,Skippy Jon Jones Collection,Chicken Little

Middle Grade 
Age: 9-12

1. Middle grade novels tend to be shorter. (Though not always—the huge and intimidating Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is middle grade, while Angela Johnson’s brief-as-a-vivid-dream The First Part Last is quite clearly teen.)
2. Middle grade novels tend to have main characters who are the age of—or slightly older than—the target reader. (Though this, too, isn’t hard and fast: The girls in The Witch Family are younger than the reader who can fully appreciate the story, and even characters such as Mr. Putter or Frog and Toad are for all intents middle-aged.)
3. Middle grade novels tend to be more outwardly focused: Their plot of events, of things happening to the character, is more important over the course of the book than what happens within the character. (Though that matters very much to the climax of the book, when the outward events trigger an inner change.)
4. Middle grade novels tend to have a simpler vocabulary and a simpler sentence structure.
Middle grade novels tend to have a single inciting element—the thing that sets the comfortable, given world a-kilter.

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset,Charlotte's Web,
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (the whole series)

Young Adult/Teen
Age: 13-up

1. Teen novels tend to have a wider vocabulary and a more complex sentence structure.
2. Teen novels tend to give as much weight to the interior mechanics of character dilemma and change as to the outward mechanics of plot and event. That is, how a character feels about what is happening is as important as what is happening.
3. Teen novels tend to be less a simple-upsetting-of-a-status-quo (the world as it the reader knows it) and more the realization that the world is more complex than we suspected as children. (Its mysteries are legion.)
4. Teen novels tend to be longer and more demanding of the reader.

Twenty Boy Summer,Divergent (whole series),Twilight (whole series)

I find it interesting that these descriptions don't really, directly encompass the amount of sex, cussing, violence et cetera in each book. However, I really didn't think much about it until I read The Hunger Games series. As an adult reader I could tell that I wasn't the target audience, I could also tell that most high schoolers (while they like the books) would find it any easy read, below their reading levels and easy to figure out. I truly had a problem with the amount of violence in those books. I'm not arguing with the tag of middle grade...mostly I'm arguing with myself about whether I would let my kid read those books or not. I've come to the conclusion that I would let her read anything that she was prepared (maturity etc.) to read. 

This is why classifying books in any other way, but the broad strokes above would be so tricky, as subjective attitudes, personal mores and our own morality come into play when wanting to classify books. I am positive that using our personal ideals is fine on a personal level at home, but on a broader level if we, as parents/adults/teachers, use these classifications to determine readership we are doing a subtle form of censorship, as what one person believes on a personal level is totally different than what another person believes.

It is no longer the day where a parent can just grab a book on a shelf, like the cover and let their kid read it. If we want to help our kids make appropriate (according to us) discussion we have to read the book too and not leave the determination in the hands of bookstores, libraries or teachers (as I promise I've been burned a time or two by 'letting' my students read a book that seemed just fine for a 15/16 year old to read). 

And, finally, it would seem to me that book stores and libraries and teachers that do not use these three distinctions are behind in the times and doing everyone a disservice, especially themselves.

A plea to adults everywhere
Read YA Fiction all you want, but leave its plots, themes and expectations in the hands of its appropriate readers; the youth it was intended to propel into reading in the first place. Do I think the Twilight Saga blows chunks? My adult brain says, "Yes" while simultaneously harboring an inappropriate crush on a certain undead vampire. Really, it's perfect YA lit and if we're lucky Twilight readers will find Sookie Stackhouse and then Anne Rice and, finally, the ultimate in vampire literature Dracula (yes, I feel vamp lit has a hierarchy. Heck! I believe all genres have hierarchies). We have to give those reader's time to grow and mature. Let's not impose our adult brains on what teens read either. There are some adult books that truly speak to the growth and maturity of youth, and it's OK that teens read them, but let's not call those books YA just because they do. And, in that same respect, we can read teen lit all we want, but let's not commandeer it as our own, OK?!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

NPR's Top 100 Teen Books are in...I've always been youthful!

Here's the list of NPR's Top 100 Teen Books. I feel like I've accomplished something because I'm one of the 75,000 who suggested books and voted. Many of my books are on the final 100...yippie!

Books I've read are yellow, books I want to read are blue. Books I read as a teenager are underlined. Books that I believe are not truly YA although young adults read them have a *, here's what NPR says about that. Of course, they're logic is a bit flawed..."Though the language was relatively simple, the themes were entirely adult. The judges cut Ender's Game for the same reason — Ender himself is young, but the book's violence isn't appropriate for young readers." And, yet, The Hunger Games is #2. What do you think of the list?

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
5. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
7. *The Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. *Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
9. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
10. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
11. The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry
12. *The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (series), by Douglas Adams
13. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
14. Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery
15. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
17. *The Princess Bride, by William Golding
18. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
19. Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth
20. Paper Towns, by John Green
21. The Mortal Instruments (series), by Cassandra Clare
22. An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
23. *Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
24. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
25. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
26. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
27. Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
28. Uglies (series), by Scott Westerfeld
29. The Infernal Devices (series), by Cassandra Clare
30. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
31. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
32. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (series), by Anne Brashares
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
34. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green, David Levithan
35. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
36. Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
37. Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli
38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
39. Vampire Academy (series), by Richelle Mead
40. Abhorsen Trilogy Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix
41. Dune, by Frank Herbert
42. Discworld Tiffany Aching (series, by Terry Pratchett
43. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
44. The Dark is Rising (series), by Susan Cooper
45. Graceling (series), Kristin Cashore
46. Forever..., by Judy Blume
47. Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin
48. Inheritance Cycle (series), by Christopher Paolini
49. The Princess Diaries (series), by Meg Cabot
50. The Song of the Lioness (series), by Tamora Pierce
51. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
52. Delirium (series), by Lauren Oliver
53. Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
54. Hush, Hush Saga (series), by Stephanie Perkins
55. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson
56. It's Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini
57. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (series), by Libba Bray
58. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
59. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
60. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
61. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
62. Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen
63. A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L'Engle
64. The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
65. The Bartimaeus Trilogy (series), by Jonathan Stroud
66. Bloodlines (series), by Richelle Mead
67. Fallen (series), by Lauren Kate
68. House of Night (series), by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
69. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
70. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlsit, by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
71. Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
72. Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
73. *The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
74. The Maze Runner Trilogy (series), by James Dashner
75. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
76. The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
77. Crank (series), by Ellen Hopkins
78. Matched (series), by Allie Condie
79. Gallagher Girls (series), by Ally Carter
80. The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
81. Daughter of the Lioness Tricksters (series), by Tamora Pierce
82. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
83. The Immortals (series), by Tamora Pierce
84. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede
85. Chaos Walking (series), by Patrick Ness
86. Circle of Magic (series), by Tamora Pierce
87. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
88. Feed, by M.T. Anderson
89. Weetzie Bat (series), by Francesca Lia Block
90. Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen
91. Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (series), by Louise Rennison (need to finish this series)
92. Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld
93. The House of the Scorpion, by Scott Westerfeld
94. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (series), by Diana Wynne Jones
95. The Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen
96. Gone (series), by Michael Grant
97. The Shiver Trilogy (series), by Maggie Stiefvater (read 1st book)
98. The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
99. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
100. Betsy-Tacy Books (series), by Maud Hart Lovelace

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 28

Last year I found this book challenge (since then I have seen many variations of it, but I like this one best!), and have been intrigued about how I would answer the questions posed. Feel free to comment with your own answer or post the challenge to your own blog.

First favorite book or series obsession

At first I thought this one was going to be like all of those others where I put the same answer that I put for Day 01...but, it's not, it's first favorite book or series obsession! First, changes everything!

First favorite book

From Goodreads:
Sheldon has more than enough pancakes for his own lunch but not enough for his friends, so they proceed to make more.

Of course, ask me tomorrow and I might have a different book, as about 10 are floating in my head and there are about 10 more who's names I can't remember, but whose pictures and words (in my mother's voice) are always floating around in my head.

Series obsession

I got about 80 books in and matured to Sweet Valley High books, I think I read about 40 of those and then some University books...not very many. I was getting tired and, well, these books NEVER stop, NEVER! I hear the new book Sweet Valley Confidential isn't really how I want to remember my girls, so I haven't read it. My obsession with these books easily transferred to The Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew Super Mysteries, of which I read and own 25 of the original 36...wow! I really need to find and buy the rest of those! As for SV...I'm good with what I have...of course, there's whole e-series I can purchase for $1.99 each...hmmm!?

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you've read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 11– A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book 

Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss

Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever 

Day 24 – Best Quote from a Novel 
Day 25 – Any five books from your "to be read" stack 
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?


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