Rodent

Just when Isabelle thinks her life can’t get any worse, something happens to her at school that makes her wonder how she can continue to look after her younger siblings, Evan and Maisie, work at the local mini-mart and deal with her alcoholic mother. It’s more than any sixteen-year-old should have to bear, but Isabelle can’t think of a way out that won’t hurt her brother and sister.

When Isabelle punches a girl at school, only one teacher sees past Isabelle’s aggressive behavior. Challenged to participate in a group writing project, Isabelle tentatively connects with a boy named Will and discovers an interest in (and talent for) the only kind of drama she can control–the kind that happens on the page.

I really enjoyed this book.  It has great examples of dysfunctional families and how the behaviour is perpetuated as well as issues of bullying.  Isabelle is the main character who has to deal with all of these issues and her strength of character is to be commended.  These are issues which quite often are hidden and those who are living it are not always provided the assistance they need to break the cycle.  This is a great book for anyone to read with a strong teenage lead.

image taken from Goodreads

“Sirius”

The remarkable story of a little dog who changed world history.  Berlin, 1938: Sirius, a dashing fox terrier, lives a charmed life with the German Jewish Liliencrons. But, with the rise of Nazism, the Liliencrons decide to leave Berlin for Hollywood.  Sirius takes his destiny into his own hands with the kind of melancholic mirth exclusive to his breed. He becomes a celebrated film star and circus performer, friend to Rita Hayworth and Cary Grant. But, when a magic trick goes wrong, Sirius ends up back in war-torn Berlin. Never one to despair, he finds himself in the Führer’s headquarters as Adolf Hitler’s lap dog… and an informant for the resistance.

This book caught my attention right from the first look at the cover but that is of course because I am a dog lover.  It also sounded like it would be quite interesting because it was dealing with Hitler and the Second World War.  Although it turns out that it isn’t really all that much of a historical fiction book it is a good read.  It’s great to follow Sirius through the different phases of his life, where he ends up and the people he meets (there are quite a number of big names dropped in this book).  There are historical references and in the end it is a really good book that I enjoyed reading.  And as an added bonus this is an excellent trailer for the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvBfxrBEV-s

image taken from Goodreads

“Spill Zone”

Nobody’s ever really explained the Spill. Was it an angelic visitation? A nanotech accident? A porthole opening from another world? Whatever it was, no one’s allowed in the Spill Zone these days except government scientists and hazmat teams. But a few intrepid explorers know how to sneak through the patrols and steer clear of the dangers inside the Zone. Addison Merrick is one such explorer, dedicated to finding out what happened that night, and to unraveling the events that took her parents and left her little sister mute and disconnected from the world.

Apocalyptic books and graphic novels are not really my thing so reading them seems like a chore to me. That being said this one draws you in, wondering just what happened in Poughkeepsie.  And what is continuing to happen there as there are talking cats and apparitions. The illustrations are well done and work very well with the text. I wasn’t that keen on the end, like that’s it that’s all.  Guess we will all have to wait for the sequel?  All in all a better book than I was expecting and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by the majority of people who read it.

image taken from Goodreads

“Shooter”

A lockdown catches five grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys’ washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they’ve heard over the years. Stuck here with them–could anything be worse?

NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school!
Suddenly, the bathroom doesn’t seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized…

 

This is an awesome book.  Sooo incredibly relevant to life.  We all hear the sayings telling us to never judge a book by its cover, to not judge people by what we hear about them or what we know about their families.  This book makes one see exactly how true those sayings are.  This story places four students who would never be friends together during a lockdown.  They soon find out that they do have things in common and that even though they may never be “real-real” friends deep down they are really very similar.  They also realize that what they believed about the others because of appearances was not necessarily how that person really was.  I think everyone should read this book it was just that good.

image taken from Goodreads

HIT List 2017-2018

The HIT List is back with more great books and more awesome prizes.  Read a book – get an entry.  Write a blog post about that book – get an additional entry.

What is the HIT List you ask?  The HIT List consists of 10 books of different topics and reading levels so there is something for everyone.  Every book you read gives you an entry into 2 prize draws, so if you read 1 book you have 2 chances to win a great prize…if you read all 10 books you have 20 chances.  But on top of the grand prizes we give out (which in the past have been e-readers and i-pads) we have also had many coupons from various restaurants, Mavericks tickets, Tiger tickets, gift certificates to the Mall and Cineplex so you have even more chances to win, in fact everyone who reads wins something.  So all you have to do is read a book, tell me, answer a couple of questions and you’re in.  And if you write a blog post about the book you read you get an additional entry.  It is as simple as that AND you get the enjoyment of reading an awesome book.  So head down to the Learning Commons and sign out one of the HIT List books.

 

 

HIT List 2016-2017 Winners

The final prize draws were held on Wednesday, May 31.  All participating students were awarded Mavericks game tickets and Medicine Hat Lodge waterslide passes.  Draws were made for Pita Pit, Booster Juice and Big Mac coupons as well as for Tim Horton’s $10 Gift Cards (Sara Rondeau and Tori Doughty), $25 Mall Gift Cards (Chase Hart and Cole Roth) and Cineplex 2 for 1 (Shianne Miller and Jasmin Salmon).  The Grand Prizes were a Kindle e-reader won by Jasmin Salmon, who deferred her win to Chase Hart and a mini i-pad won by Sara Rondeau.  We would like to thank all of our sponsors this year – Tims Hortons, McDonalds – Pancotto Enterprises Ltd., Eagle Butte High School Chess Club, Booster Juice, Medicine Hat Tigers Hockey Club, Medicine Hat Mavericks Baseball Club and Medicine Hat Lodge.  Congratulations to all the participants.  Grade 10 and 11 students stay tuned for HIT List 2017-2018 with more great books to read and more great prizes to be won.

“Red Rising”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Surprisingly I found this to be a very good read.  I’m not usually into futuristic books but did enjoy this one.  Think along the lines of The Hunger Games.

image taken from Goodreads

 

“Laughing at My Nightmare”

With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw’s Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a “you-only-live-once” perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

This is a fantastic read.  Following Shane through his day to day life and the complications he encounters leaves one wondering just how he does it.  Shane is a great role model for all, young and old.  If you read this book you will be hooked on him.  If you google him you will find links for his non-profit organization, his twitter account, his blog, his facebook account, numerous videos on youtube, etc.  Follow him and see what is happening in his life.

image taken from Goodreads

 

“Exposed”

Raven is cunning, aggressive and whip-smart—she’s had to be to survive. She was taken in at a young age by the boss of a car-theft ring, who rescued her from a life of hell. For too long she’s believed she owes him everything and used her uncanny urban climbing skills to train young recruits for what she believes are victimless crimes. Until Raven discovers that his compassion for the kids he wrangles into the ring is just a front, and they are all merely tools of his trade, nothing more. When he’s responsible for the death of Raven’s young “apprentice,” she finally sees him for what he really is—and sets out to bring him down.

Check out this great trailer for this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy7q7UIdpCY  This was a good, action packed, easy to read book which I think everyone can enjoy.  Plus it is a Canadian book featuring a Canadian city.

image taken from Goodreads

“Everything, Everything”

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

 

This was a great book dealing with the power of love.  I recently had a student tell me that it was her favorite book of all time, I know she will be excited to hear there is a movie coming out.  You can watch a trailer for the book at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPK0lMwRuH0 and keep abreast of information regarding the movie here: http://www.nicolayoon.com/everything-everything-movie.

image taken from Goodreads