Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Book Preview: Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares




What's with these pants books?

Amazon preview:


With unraveled embroidery and fraying hems, the Traveling Pants are back for one last, glorious summer.

Lena: Immerses herself in her painting and an intoxicating summer fling, fearing that the moment she forgets about Kostos will be the moment she sees him again.

Carmen: Falls under the spell of a sophisticated college friend for whom a theatrical role means everything and the heritage of the Pants means nothing.

Bridget: Joins a dig for an ancient city on the coast of Turkey and discovers that her archaeology professor is available in every way except one.

Tibby: Leaves behind someone she loves, wrongly believing he will stay where she has left him.

Join Ann Brashares's beloved sisterhood once again in a dazzling, fearless novel. It's a summer that will forever change the lives of Lena, Carmen, Bee, and Tibby, here and now, past and future, together and apart.


Thanks to Lisa and our wonderful friends at Library Thing, we have a beautiful new hardcover copy of this Ann Brashares book. Now we have all four books in the SRR for you to enjoy.

In addition to this book, Lisa has sent along three scanners and a stamp to help us with our inventory as well as eight other incredible titles for teenage readers. Thanks so much Lisa! Here is the complete list of books she sent us:

  • Small Steps by Louis Sachar (a nice new hardcover and a sequel to Holes)
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (fantastic to have another copy of a favourite book!)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (this book is sooo popular)
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini (great! we needed another copy)
  • Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (awesome, soon we'll have a class set)
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (an American classic)
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (a National Book Award Winner)
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (another very popular book)

Monday, 24 January 2011

We are moving...

Hi everyone and thanks for your support. I'm moving the blog to a new address and it will have a new design. Please follow the link below:

The Reading Room

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Incredible New Books from Mary!

We received another incredible box of books from Mary in the USA this week! She has sent us some really amazing books that you are just going to love.
First of all, she sent us a hardcover boxed set of the Twilight series. Can you believe it? I tried so hard to get a hardcover copy of Twilight and couldn't manage it because it never caught on here when the book first came out, but Mary was able to get us a whole set of the series. Fantastic, right? Thanks Mary! Our Twilight books have been out all year as there are still many girls who haven't had a chance to read them so these books will be an added incentive for them to start! :-)
On top of that, one of the most popular books around is Fallen by Lauren Kate. You've probably noticed the cover on the bulletin board this year. A lot of girls enjoyed this novel and we have had a wait list most of the year. Well, you will be excited to know that Mary sent us a hardcover version of Fallen in her box this month! As well, she included the much anticipated second book, Torment in hardcover. BTW, I recently bought my own softcover copy of Fallen which I will donate in January so it looks like you will have a good chance of reading it in 2011. Feel free to add your name to the waitlist next year.
Mary also sent us some Teens' Top Ten books in Wintergirls by popular author Laurie Halse Anderson and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I've been wanting to read shiver for a while now. It comes highly recommended and took #4 in the 2010 Teens' Top Ten. As well, Mary has added Patterson's Max which goes along with the Top Ten Maximum Ride novels. Now that we have numerous hardcovers in the series I'm expecting that they will really take off!
In addition, the box included a series by Frewin Jones that will likely be very popular. The books are The Faerie Path and The Lost Queen. The cover art is nice on these two and they are the kinds of books that tend to get picked up. I hope to hear a review of these from one of the girls next year.
I'd like to take this chance to thank Mary for her generosity. These books will be well-loved for years to come!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

How Can I Buy Some Great New Books?

There are two ways that I get most of my personal books (which I usually end up donating to the SRR). First of all, I'm a big supporter of Booker in Gadong. For those of you who haven't read my previous posts, Booker is the cheapest shop in the country and it has really started to develop a good collection of young adult fiction.

They actually have a wide selection of different books and authors and have stocked a lot of the books that I've been raving about and promoting at the SRR including many of the books from the Teens' Top Ten list.

When I took a group of the girls on a book-buying trip earlier in the year, we were absolutely shocked by the difference in prices. On a few books we looked at, Booker was actually 30 - 40% cheaper.

No, I don't work for Booker, but I'm just so pleased that at least one bookstore is trying its best to stock a variety of books for young adults and teens. The more people who buy those books from them, the more they will be able to stock. You get the picture.

I had visited a number of other shops in the past month and I had been wanting to buy a copy of hush, hush (recently voted #5 on the 2010 Teens' Top Ten list) but I didn't want to pay the crazy prices at the other shops. Anyway, I went to Booker last week and told myself, "If they have hush, hush I'm going to buy it." Sure enough, they had it and it was very reasonably priced. Watch this space for a book preview and review in the next couple of weeks!

The other way that I buy a lot of my books now is through a website called bookdepository. They have almost all of the books that you would expect to buy at Amazon, but there is a huge difference - at bookdepository shipping is free. For me that's huge! I used to spend as much on shipping as I did on the books whenever I ordered from Amazon. Also, I used to save up my money for three or four months and then order books to try to cut down on shipping. At bookdepository there is no shipping so I can order even just one book at a time whenever I want to. It's great.

Some people probably guess that bookdepository has more expensive prices than Amazon. That may be true sometimes, but not always. And, from my experience, when you factor in shipping, bookdepository has always been much cheaper. You might guess that shipping is slower with bookdepository, but I certainly haven't noticed any difference in shipping times so far - they seem to be pretty much the same. I recently ordered Maria V. Snyder's Storm Glass and it got here in only about two and a half weeks.

By the way, I've registered the SRR as an affiliate with bookdepository so if you click on our link below, we'll get a small commission on the order. It doesn't cost you anything to order through our link, but it can help us out a little bit. So far after 15 months as an affiliate we have about $20 in commissions saved up which will be enough to order a book or two.

Anyway, please help to support the SRR by clicking on the banner ad below if you are going to order any books from bookdepository. Thanks and happy shopping! :-)


The Book Depository


PS. For the girls in Form 5 who are broken-hearted because they must say good-bye to the SRR, there is still hope for you out there! Pick up books from Booker and Bookdepository and swap them with each other! :-)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Best of Luck on EOY Exams!



Hi girls,

I hope you all do well on your end of year exams. Good luck! And if you need to de-stress you can always drop by the English office to pick up a book! :-)

Mr Jason

BTW, here are a few pics of our recent Raya Celebration!







































Daughters of the Sea - Book Preview

Blurb:

Hannah wants to be normal, but she’s not. The sea calls to her, and she can see a delicate tracing of scales on her legs. Billowing waves soothe her, but flat land makes her sick. She knows there’s something wild in her that’s different, wrong–and deeply thrilling.

Only one person seems to know who–or what–Hannah is. He’s a guest in the house where she works as a scullery girl, and his fascinated gaze follows her. She doesn’t understand his terrifying allure, or her longing. But even as the mystery deepens, Hannah is sure of one thing. A sea change is coming.

Amazon Review:

Orphan Hannah Albury, 15, the engagingly demure yet plucky heroine, has always been drawn to the ocean. Hired as scullery maid by the Hawleys, a wealthy Boston family, she embarks on a journey to understand and fulfill her destiny. Hannah is attracted to the family’s mysterious porcelain vases depicting sea creatures and even more so to Mr. Wheeler, an artist hired to paint the three Hawley daughters. He in turn hungers for and recognizes in Hannah what she doesn’t yet grasp. Meanwhile, the Hawleys’ psychotic eldest daughter, Lila, and her demonic cat, Jade, see Hannah as a threat; as she deciphers the secret of her identity, Hannah must ward off their perhaps supernatural attacks. The novel, first in a projected series, at first offers its early-20th-century history lesson in overly painstaking detail, especially the domestic staff hierarchy. Once Lila, Jade and Mr. Wheeler show up, the plot becomes gripping. A good bet for upper middle-grade and early YA readers. (Fantasy. 12 & up)


Stricken by a mysterious malady when she is sent westward on an orphan train, 15-year-old Hannah instinctively knows that she can be cured by proximity to the ocean. She returns to Boston and takes a position as a scullery maid in a wealthy household, where a young artist comes to paint a portrait of her employers’ three daughters. A mysterious, rather romantic figure, he seems to see into Hannah’s soul. Slowly, she becomes aware that she is transforming into a daughter of the sea. The first book in a series about sisters separated at birth, this novel has menacing, almost gothic overtones as well as a strong sense of time, place, and class distinctions. Elements within the painting, which sounds similar to John Singer Sargent’s Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, become pivotal points in the setting and the story. Nicely designed, this compelling novel has an attractive jacket illustration showing a rather modern-looking Hannah in her element, the sea.

— Carolyn Phelan, Booklist

Life As We Knew It - Book Preview

Teens' Top Ten #6 in 2007

Blurb:


When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer in orbit to the earth, nothing will ever be the same. Worldwide tidal waves. Earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions. And that's just the beginning.

Amazon Review:
It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license.

When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options.

Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

Veteran author Susan Beth Pfeffer, who penned the young adult classic The Year Without Michael over twenty years ago, makes a stunning comeback with this haunting book that documents one adolescent's journey from self-absorbed child to selfless young woman. Teen readers won't soon forget this intimate story of survival and its subtle message about the treasuring the things that matter most—-family, friendship, and hope.--Jennifer Hubert

Notes: Thanks again to Mary for donating this book.

What Happened to Lani Garver - Book Preview

Teens' Top Ten #2 in 2003

Blurb:

Hackett Island has never seen anyone quite like Lani Garver. Everything about this new kid is a mystery: Where does Lani come from? How old is Lani? And-most disturbing of all-is Lani a boy or a girl? Claire McKenzie isn't up to tormenting Lani like the rest of the high school elite. Instead, she befriends the intriguing outcast. But within days of Lani's arrival, tragedy strikes and Claire must deal with shattered friendships and personal demons-and the possibility that angels walk the earth.

Amazon Review:

Amazon.com Review

The folks on Hackett Island, near Philadelphia, are not too friendly to newcomers. Anyone the slightest bit different is eyed with suspicion, as Claire found out when she missed a year of junior high due to leukemia. Now she works hard at fitting in, following treacherous but popular Macy's lead, hiding her passion for the guitar, and never talking about her fear that her illness will return. Or her nightmares. Or her eating disorder. The boys of Hackett Island's "in" crowd are members of the "fish frat"--hunky sons of the local fishermen--and their horseplay even among themselves is brutal and edge-of-danger.

And then Lani Garver shows up at school, a tall, thin, strangely androgynous person. "No. Not a girl. Sorry," he says pleasantly when Macy questions him about his gender with vicious curiosity. But Claire, much to Macy's disgust, is drawn to Lani, and his wisdom and kindness begins to heal her. He takes her to Philadelphia to meet his artistic friends, talks sense to her about her eating disorder and her blind devotion to Macy, finds her a therapist. Who is this Lani Garver? He resists "boxes" like "gay." Even his age is a mystery to Claire. Strangest of all, could he be a "floating angel," as his friends at the hospital seem to believe? Meanwhile, the fish frat are closing in for the kill, and when their harassment turns lethal, Lani shows a terrible side of himself Claire has never seen.

Carol Plum-Ucci raises tantalizing questions around a fascinating character in this gut-clenching story that transcends the clich├ęs of the gay-bashing novel. (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell --

Notes: Thanks to Mary for getting this one for us. This book is now available in the SRR.

New Books from Mary

Our generous book donor Mary from the United States has sent us another incredible box of books. For those of you who need some distraction from exam stress, you may want to stop by the English Dept office and have a look.

There is a lot to get excited about in this box. Our Cassandra Clare fans will be relieved that we got two more books from the Mortal Instruments trilogy. It is nice to have the big books with the beautiful covers now. Plus, this series has been so popular it has been difficult to get them out. Thanks Mary!

We also got two of the Maria V. Snyder books from her second trilogy. I'm reading the first book and when I'm done the trilogy will be ready to add to the collection. Mary's books are Spy Glass and Sea Glass (I bought Storm Glass from bookdepository last month).

Mary also sent us a copy of the American version of Snyder's Magic Study. Now that I see it up close, I have to say I really like the cover art. It's so nice to have an extra copy of this book. It is one of the most popular books in our collection and we will be promoting the series in January. Be forewarned, this book is only available at the SRR. You can not buy it here in Brunei! Of course, you could get it from BD.

We've also added three Teens' Top Ten winners: Life as We Knew It, Whatever Happened to Lani Carver, Looking for Alaska, and After. This is excellent news for students who are reading books off this list and I don't think I've read a book on the list that didn't totally impress me. Thanks to Mary for continuing our efforts to complete the Top Ten Collection which you can see by clicking here: TOP TEN BOOKS IN THE SRR.

If that wasn't enough, Mary also picked up copies of two requested books. Elsie in 9A requested Beastly and Amanda in 9F suggested we get a copy of The Giver.

We also got another copy of the very popular Evermore by Alyson Noel as well as another big copy of Stephenie Meyer's New Moon. Stephenie's books are still very hard to get a hold of. We have multiple copies, but they are always signed out. They will be even harder to come by as we get closer to the release of the final movie!

Once again, I'd like to thank Mary for her incredible generosity. She has really helped keep the excitement going this year. I hope I have this right - Mary has donated a total of 51 books this year! That's HUGE. Especially considering a lot of them have been large hard cover copies of popular books. You can see Mary's list HERE.

1 Clare, Cassandra City of Bones
2 Clare, Cassandra City of Ashes
3 Flinn, Alex Beastly
4 Forman, Gayle If I Stay
5 Green, John Looking For Alaska
6 Lasky, Kathryn Daughters of the Sea: Hannah
7 Lowry, Lois The Giver
8 Meyer, Stephenie New Moon
9 Nix, Garth Sabriel
10 Noel, Alyson Evermore
11 Pfeffer, Susan Life as We Knew it
12 Plum, Carol Whatever Happened to Lani Garver
13 Prose, Francine After
14 Snyder, Maria V. Sea Glass
15 Snyder, Maria V. Spy Glass
16 Snyder, Maria V. Magic Study

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Book News

First of all, the third book of Hunger Games is on its way. Peta sent us copies from bookdepository on pre-order so they should be here soon. If you haven't read Hunger Games then you are in for a real treat. It is a really great book and you will enjoy it for sure (you should read my review NOW!).

We have copies of books one and two in the SRR already and they have been enjoyed by many students this year. Sorry, but they tend to get passed around to different friends within a class. If you can't wait to get them from SRR, there are limited copies at Booker, Gadong. They even put two copies of Mockingjay on the shelf a couple of days ago (I'm not sure how they got it before us!). Grab them before they are gone!

The cool orange covered version of Catching Fire at Booker sold in a matter of days - I wonder if it was bought by one of my blog readers. :-) I knew I should have grabbed it! LOL

In other exciting news, as you may have noticed in my earlier post, one of our school's most popular writers - Maria V Snyder - has told me that she is sending us six autographed books! What an incredibly generous writer! Meanwhile, her Magic Study, Poison Study, Fire Study books continue to be requested on a daily basis at the school. For those of you who were hooked on her books, Mary and I have teamed up to get you a set of Maria's newest series - the Glass Series.

This is amazing: I ordered the first book called Storm Glass on August 28th and I picked it up from the post office today - 10 days! Wow, bookdepository can be super fast sometimes!

Although I'm presently reading Harry Potter II, Percy Jackson I, and a couple of books about Ancient Egypt, I think I'll have to read this one before I pass it on to the SRR. I feel another waitlist coming on. Anybody interested?

Thanks to Mary for sending out Sea Glass and Spy Glass today. They should arrive here soon and be ready for when we return to school following the Hari Raya holidays.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Book Blurb:
You can't stop the future.
You can't rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret... is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- his class mate and first love- who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah's voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening- and what he discovers changes his life...
Forever.

A lot of students have been eager to read this book so when Peta's shipment of two copies arrived this week I just had to read a chapter to see what it was like. Of course, I couldn't put it down. Thanks again Peta for your generous donation. The books arrived yesterday from bookdepository!

It is a compelling book with an interesting writing style. I liked how the writer, Jay Asher, weaved the story together by having the main character listen to the tapes. Clay's reactions to what Hannah says on the tapes, at times, makes it seem as if the two are conversing. At the very least, it gives Hannah's story perspective and drives the story forward. In one night, Clay listens to the story of the girl he loved and he travels around the town where they live to significant places in Hannah's experiences leading up to her dark decision.

The content of this book is a bit disturbing. After all, the other main character, Hannah, has killed herself. That certainly ups the maturity level of this book but also makes it worth reading.

It doesn't glorify suicide at all. It doesn't make us feel that the character's choice was good and we don't get a feeling of justice when the other characters listen to her story. At times, in fact, I found myself feeling a bit annoyed and frustrated by Hannah and I had to wonder if that was partly by design. I'm not sure. She makes a lot of mistakes too. She isn't perfect. And her decision to end her life is a mistake. Ultimately, she did have friends and family who loved her even if she didn't always see that. The reader, in the end, is left with a feeling of great pity.

The main message in the book is powerful. It reminds us that we must be kind and caring towards others and that even the little things we do that aren't very nice can have a drastic affect on the people around us. By the time you finish reading this book, I guess that's what you take away from it - and that's a good thing.

There is some mature content here but it isn't titillating at all - it is the exact opposite. This is a warning to teen readers though. This book deals with harsh issues of American teenage life and isn't a "fun" read. However, it is very interesting and will appeal to those students who enjoy dramatic narratives.

4/5 stars

We now have 3 copies in the SRR available, but if you just can't wait I think Booker still has a copy (last seen on the top of the fiction bookshelf).

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Emperor: The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden

Amazon review:

'If you liked GLADIATOR, you'll love EMPEROR.' THE TIMES 'Great fun !

The great events and breathtaking brutality of the times are brought lavishly to life. Russell Crowe and Sean Bean's agents are surely already jockeying for the wide-screen roles.' GUARDIAN 'A brilliant story -- I wish I'd written it.

A novel of vivid characters, stunning action and unrelenting pace. It really is a terrific read.' BERNARD CORNWELL 'Stunning. It begins with hints of a mystery and continues as a galvanizing historical thriller. Words like "brilliant", "sumptuous" and "enchanting" jostle to be used but scarcely convey the way Iggulden brings the tale to life, or the compelling depictions of battle, treachery and everyday detail in a precarious world vividly re-created ! exhilarating.' Los Angeles Times

'The descriptions of combat in the circus, slaves in revolt, skirmishes in Greece, amputations and street fighting are all convincing.' TLS 'A rich and compelling novel that draws the reader into an extraordinary time and the life of an extraordinary man.' DAVID GEMMELL

You might be wondering why I haven't written many blog reviews lately. You may think I stopped reading. Actually, no. It's just I haven't been reading much YA lit lately.

I just went through an Ancient Rome phase. I started reading this really cool series of books by Conn Iggulden about the life of Julius Caesar and I just couldn't stop until I finished all four of them. They were really, really good.

There are a number of reasons why I loved this series. First of all, I'm fascinated by the man. I mean, it is so interesting to be able to learn about how Caesar came to be so famous. I liked reading a book that put me back in time. I could almost imagine what it would have been like to have lived in Caesar's time. As well, Iggulden managed to build a fascinating story without giving in to all the details.

I tried reading McCullough's books about Caesar, but she just made things way too complicated for me with all the characters. McCullough's books read like an encyclopedia entries. Iggulden's were written like an adventure story.

As well, Iggulden really brought the action to life. I've never written a book about ancient war before, but the way Iggulden described the fight scenes was so incredibly descriptive - it made brutal hand to hand combat sound beautiful.

Anyway, I thought it was worth writing a review just in case there were other readers who enjoy these types of books.

4.5/5 Stars

For readers who enjoy reading about Ancient Rome, I also highly recommend Philip Matyszak's Legionary: The Roman Soldier's Manual. I really enjoyed it. After reading Iggulden's book I was so curious about what life was like for the typical soldier and I found Matyszak's book to be of great interest - easy to read and full of fun facts!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I've just re-read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with my eight-year-old son, Nicholas and I'm so glad I got to share it with him!

I've probably told you this before, but I resisted reading HP for a very long time. I was certain I would not like it. "It's for kids," I thought. Wrong. About five years ago, I picked up the first book just to see what all the fuss was about. I was amazed from the first page.

Rowling's book is really for everyone. It is truly amazing. The writing is pure genius and the story keeps pulling you forward so you never want to put the book down.

I rarely read books a second time, but I'm wondering if maybe it's time to do that. I think I appreciated every little bit of this book more with my second reading. Besides, it was so much fun seeing my son react to it - laughing and cheering throughout!

Forget about the movie. So many students say, "I've already seen the movie. Why should I read the book?" There's no contest here. The book is so much better than the movie. The movies are good. There's no doubt about that. But it just can't compare to the joy of reading the book.

If you've never read the series, you should get started now! You could read them all before the final two movies come out (the first one in December?). We have the complete collection in the SRR and we have about 20 copies of book #1.

YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!

5/5 Stars

Gone by Michael Grant

Book Blurb:

In the blink of an eye.

Everyone disappears.

Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.

The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.

I blogged about this book a while ago. Incredible book. Seriously. From the first chapter I was hooked on Grant's premise. Imagine: A bunch of teenagers are sitting in a classroom when, suddenly, their teacher disappears. Soon they figure out that all the people above the age of 15 are completely gone.

For some kids this would be a kind of heaven, well, until reality sets in.

That's so cool. What would happen if something like that happened? What would the kids do? Will they be good little boys and girls? Will they organize themselves somehow? Will somebody step up to be the leader? How will they survive? Grant explores this and much more, taking the reader on a wild ride. There is more to this story than I can tell you. You'll just have to read it; I'd hate to spoil the fun for you!

Although I felt a bit ripped off by the ending of this one, I really enjoyed it a lot. I've donated my copy to the SRR already so you should grab it if you get a chance. I highly recommend it. If you liked Hunger Games, you'll enjoy this one.

One of the best books I've read in a long time!

4.5/5 stars

Hunger by Michael Grant

Book Blurb:
It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.

Three months since all the adults disappeared.

Gone.

Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers.

Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.

But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

The sequel to Gone was really great. I plowed through all 560 pages this weekend and loved it. I'm totally fascinated by the whole situation and I'm enjoying Grant's characters.

I liked that we had a chance to see how this world develops. I've always been fascinated by this sort of Lord of the Flies idea. I mean, if there were no adults around, what would happen? Are children basically good? Would they help each other? Things really heat up in this second book of the trilogy.

In particular, I like the way certain ideas start to gain momentum in this book. For example, the kid who ran the McDonald's is now dreaming of starting up some sort of currency. However, rightly so, the other kids are suspicious of his intentions. What will Albert do once he becomes a business tycoon. As well, friction is developing and two separate groups are going to battle it out, and I don't mean the rich kids from the private school (although they are back and badder than ever in the second book as well).

BTW, our copy is an uncorrected proof of the book which was sent to us by our generous book angel Mary from the United States. Thanks Mary! This is a special book and many of our girls will enjoy it.

Great book. Highly recommended.

4.5/5 stars

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Poison Study number one!!!


Hi girls,

We have a lot of new and exciting books, but I'm pretty sure that the number one series of books in the school is still the study series by Maria V. Snyder!

This series of books took off when Peta donated them to us last year. The girls in 5C and 5D picked this one up and passed it around. It became so popular that Peta even sent us a second set.

We still rarely see them being returned so we know they are being shared within the classrooms. Fire Study was returned this morning and it was on the SRR shelf for about two minutes, then three girls from 9A yelled, "It's here!" and then it was gone.

Did you know that Maria V Snyder wrote another trilogy after the Study Series? All three books are out already and I will try my best to order them once we have some book funds available to order them. The books are Storm Glass, Sea Glass, and Spy Glass.

UPDATE: DUE TO YOUR E-MAILS TO HER, MARIA V. SNYDER HAS SAID THAT SHE WILL SEND US AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF THE STUDY SERIES BOOKS AS WELL AS HER GLASS SERIES!!! HOW GENEROUS IS THAT?!

























Sunday, 22 August 2010

Mockingjay Out Aug 24th

Wow, it's finally coming out!

Those of you who have read the Hunger Games series (and loved it) will be happy to know that the wait is over. Mockingjay, the final book in the trilogy, will be out August 24th.

We are very lucky because Peta has already ordered us two copies from bookdepository so we should get them in just a couple of weeks! Yay! Thanks so much Peta.

In the lead up to the release, the book blogging community is starting to get really excited. If you are a fan of the series, have a look at Steph Su's (always interesting and informative) blog:

http://stephsureads.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

New Cassandra Clare Book - Enter and Win


Steph Su is putting up a copy of the new Cassandra Clare book in a contest. I hope you will all enter to win it!!! Go to her blog and fill out the entry form today:

http://stephsureads.blogspot.com/2010/07/summer-giveaway-12-clockwork-angel-by.html

National Debate Competition


Congratulations to the STPRI Debate Team for their win over the SMSAB team today! Well done girls! Lindy, Ruth, and Najeeha did a great job for us today and we look forward to seeing them go into the next round. Also, thanks to the rest of the team members who came out to show their support. We have such a great team and I keep telling everyone how lucky we are to have so many girls interested in competing. Our school is very unique that way.

I was surprised to see some of my former students today (yes, I moved from SMSAB just three years ago). I was really proud to see the boys I taught were on the school's debate team. Congratulations to them for joining the competition. I thought they did very well. It was really nice to see Muiz and Azlan (my former students) and Fahkri (a student I knew and brother of another former student - Nabilah). I still have fond memories of my time at SMSAB and I continue to wonder how my former students are doing. I hope one of them will read this and add me to Facebook!!!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Great New Books from Mary!!!


Our American book angel, Mary, has done it again. In July, she sent us two big boxes of 24 incredible books. She has managed to get her hands on a lot of the books that are very popular in the SRR and has been able to get many coveted hardcover books for the collection. Thanks so much Mary! We really appreciate all the amazing books you've been sending us! This should really cause stir in the SRR.

After watching The Lightning Thief movie I was hoping to read the series. I'm happy to say that Mary has sent us a whole collection of the books. If you enjoyed the movie as much as I do, you are sure to enjoy this set.

Looking for Alaska placed #4 on the 2005 Teens' Top Ten list so it will likely be a very good read. Of course Green has really established himself because he took #1 in 2009's list with Paper Towns. This is one author you may want to check out.

Shannon Hale has also established herself with The Goose Girl (#7 in 2004) and River Secrets (#7 in 2007). Perhaps she is another popular author worth looking at. I can't wait to hear a few reviews on these books.

Picoult, Dessen, Westerfeld, and Kinsella need no introduction. Their books already have a following at the school so these will all be snapped up the minute they hit the shelves. Enjoy!



Here is a list of the books that Mary sent in July:

  • This Lullaby - Dessen
  • Looking for Alaska - John Green
  • Twenties Girl - Kinsella
  • The Undomestic Goddess - Kinsella
  • New Moon - Meyer
  • Brisingr - Paolini
  • My Sister's Keeper - Picoult
  • The Pact - Picoult
  • Plain Truth - Picoult
  • The Last Olympian - Riordan
  • Specials - Westerfeld
  • Firegirl - Abbott
  • City of Glass - Clare
  • The Handbook of Pirates - Deary
  • River Secrets - Hale
  • Emma Burning - Hale
  • The Goose Girl - Hale
  • Eldest - Paolini
  • Maximum Ride: Saving the World - Patterson
  • The Final Warning - Patterson
  • The Lightning Thief - Riordan
  • The Sea of Monsters - Riordan
  • The Titan's Curse - Riordan
  • The Battle of Labyrinth - Riordan