Sadly, I must end the challenge without a book.  There were two letters that I wasn’t able to find a book for, X and Z.  Hopefully, I have introduced you to a few new books that you would like to read and maybe took you back to a favorite book from the past.  I know as I completed this challenge, I was reminded of several beloved books from my childhood.  My only hope is that every child has a chance to discover the joy of reading and to have books that speak to them at different points in their life. So please, turn off the TV, shut down the video games and go find a good book or three to read. Not sure what it was like weather wise for you today, but around here it was the perfect day to curl up with a book, blanket and something to drink.



Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your Ass


I found this book this past summer.  What a fun and timely read for young adults. In this book, Piddy has to move and start a different high school.  Sadly she is bullied almost right from the start by a girl that she has never even met.  Piddy tries to make friends at the new school but finds it difficult.  A great read for teens and adult alike that shows just how serious teenage bullying is now.  While I am aware of the seriousness of bullying this book really opened my eyes as it approached the situation from the victim’s viewpoint

From Amazon “One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.”



I searched and searched for a book that began with the letter X that I could ever remember reading.  It wasn’t to be found. Then I tried looking for a book who’s title began with the letter X that I would be interested in reading.  Alas, that alluded me also.  So to that letter X, I am going to have to say goodbye.

A Wrinkle in Time


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle has been a favorite since I was in grade school.  I am not sure when I first came across this book.  I am guessing it was during my science fiction phase.  I so love this book with Meg and Caleb, the twins and of course Charles Wallace.  In my opinion, we need more books like this for kids to read and fewer Captain Underpants books.  Let’s get our kids reading right away, let’s give them good literature to read and keep them interested.

From Amazon “It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.”

The Vile Village


The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket.  Another book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. This is a really great series for 2nd-5th grade readers or even to get students from higher levels into reading.  Easy to read but yet interesting and they won’t feel like they are reading something beneath them.

From Amazon “Dear Reader,You have undoubtedly picked up this book by mistake, so please put it down. Nobody in their right mind would read this particular book about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay in the village of V.F.D. has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded in these pages.I can think of no single reason why anyone would want to open a book containing such unpleasant matters as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the arrest of innocent people, the Deluxe Cell, and some very strange hats.It is my solemn and sacred occupation to research each detail of the Baudelaire children′s lives and write them all down, but you may prefer to do some other solemn and sacred thing, such as reading another book instead.With all due respect,Lemony Snicket”




Today’s book is a bit different than most of the books I have posted for this month.  This book was a devotional that we used in our Sunday morning women’s Bible Study.  This was a good study that brought about a lot of discussion regarding what not to get upset over.  Discussed learning to control the emotions no matter what was going on in our lives.  Much harder to do than it sounds.

From Amazon “God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it! Lysa TerKeurst admits that she, like most women, has had experiences where others bump into her happy and she comes emotionally unglued. We stuff, we explode, or we react somewhere in between. What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us? Yes, and in her usual inspiring and practical way, Lysa will show you how. Filled with gut-honest personal examples and biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to: Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships. Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended. Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your  communication. Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between. Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.”

Trapped on the Titanic


Trapped on the Titanic by Tammy S. Knox and Michael G. Knox. I read this book a few years ago when looking for some information about the Titanic for my LA 10 class so that I could add to what they were reading in class.  This is a cute story about a girl that has to go on a field trip with her class to a museum that was doing an exhibit about the Titanic.  There everyone notices that she looks like one of the passengers pictured.  As she starts to investigate as to why there was a passenger that looked like her she discovers that this girl is an ancestor and that there are many family secrets.  Not only did I enjoy this book, but it is one of the few that I have been able to get my daughter to read.  She actually couldn’t put this book down and got into trouble reading at school.

From Amazon “Trapped on the Titanic is a work of children’s historical fiction set in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The thrilling, chilling story begins with Callie Elizabeth, an eighth grade girl with a normal life. At least her life was fairly normal until she finds herself alone and staring into the eyes of a weeping photograph that is over 100 years old. Who is the girl in the picture and why does she look so much like Callie? Why does the phantasmic image of the girl keep appearing to Callie? What does she want from her? As Callie searches for answers about the girl in the photograph, she finds herself engulfed in family secrets, haunting visits, and espionage. What really happened that night of April 14 and the early morning of April 15, 1912 as the majestic Titanic sank to her watery grave? How can Callie solve the mystery and put to rest the ghosts of her family’s past? With the help of a good friend, her grandmother’s love for history and her own keen perception, Callie discovers that things are not always as they seem. Learning from the past, Callie is able to find priceless treasures that have been hidden away since the sinking of the Titanic.”

Seeking Signs


Today’s book is one that was written by one of the teachers in our high school Language Arts department.  Seeking Signs by Staci Mercado.  She took an old murder from Clinton County’s past that hadn’t been solved, did some research and then wrote a book that combines historical fact plus some fiction as to what actually happened and who done it.

From Amazon “The 2013 Midwest Book Award winner for historical fiction. One hundred years ago, Minnie Seamer’s death shocked her rural Iowa community. A young farmhand found her body hanging in the barn on a rainy summer morning in 1913. The coroner ruled it a suicide, but distraught family members were not convinced. Was it suicide—or was it murder? Seeking Signs, based on actual events, is the story of a young girl’s search for answers in the wake of a family tragedy. To solve the mystery of her older sister’s puzzling death, 13-year-old Elsie follows tips from a booklet titled “The Baum Detective Agency Course.” As she begins observing and gathering evidence, Elsie encounters clues that call into question the coroner’s report and lead her into a shadowy world of deceit and betrayal. Elsie’s notebook and entries from Minnie’s diary reveal an unexpected truth: a truth that interprets a young wife’s troubled past in a community not as safe as it seems. Seeking Signs takes the reader into a world steeped in history and superstition. As Elsie hunts for signs, her voice brings the time period and its people to life. The answers she finds take her investigation to a conclusion that changes the path of her life forever and ultimately catapults her from innocence to a compelling coming of age.”

A delightful, quick, fun read.  Be sure to check it out.

Remnants of Murder


Another book in the southern sewing circle mystery series by Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

Tori and Dixie have been on good terms lately and working together instead of Dixie trying to sabotage what Tori does at the library.

From Amazon “With the library’s budget dwindling, Tori Sinclair is forced to let go of her predecessor, and fellow sewing circle member, Dixie Dunn. After losing her job a second time, Dixie decides to volunteer for Home Fare, delivering meals to the homebound.

Less than a week after Dixie starts, her client Clyde Montgomery is found dead. The police think he died of old age, but with most of the town badgering Clyde to sell his picturesque land, his passing seems a little too convenient.

Determined to prove that Clyde was murdered, Dixie asks Tori for some sleuthing assistance. But with so many Sweet Briar residents in possession of a compelling motive, the sewing circle ladies will have to needle out the truth to find the killer…”

Check this book out to see what happens to Dixie in her new job.

What do teenagers really need?

I received this note the other day from a student, she was writing in response to what topic she wanted to do for her research paper.

“I want to research Privacy for Teenagers, because I think giving privacy to them can cause some bad actions when you’re giving them to much privacy then that’s whey sneaking around and getting influenced comes along. I think that every teenager should yes have privacy but not in the way the parents now are giving it to him or her. I know from experience. My parents aren’t strict and I get away with a lot and if I had stricter parents I feel like I would be a way better kid. Also I want to research about this for parents whose children ask for privacy and need some answers on why it’s actually a good thing and they will most likely thank you in the future.

This of course reminded me of a conversation I had with a student many years ago.  He was always getting into trouble but was really good for me.  I pulled him aside and asked him why he was misbehaving in all of his other classes, but not for me.  He looks at me for a minute and then replies after thinking, do you really want the truth?  Of course I do, why else would I have asked you.  His answer was profound, I want my dad to tell me NO.  I want him to take an interest and care that I am making the right choices.

If only other parents and teachers could hear these two students and others like them.  Yes, our kids really want and need their parents in their lives.  I know that at times I am guilty of giving in when I shouldn’t, probably more with my students than my own children, but as adults in charge of helping the next generation become grow up and become productive members of society, lets all ban together and help each other out by giving the kids what they really want and need.