Friday, 20 February 2009

Why I'm Jealous of You...

When I was a teenager (yeah, a long, long time ago), I didn't read for pleasure very often. I had a lot of other things on the go I guess. I'd read a book a month maybe and it was mostly literature rather than books that were just good fun to read. We had a decent enough library in my school and there were some okay books but nothing like today.

A few things were different for me. First of all, I didn't have a big group of friends or classmates who loved reading for pleasure like you do. In fact, I'm pretty sure I never had a friend say, "Hey, Jason, you've got to read this awesome book!" I didn't have anybody around me recommending books. If you can believe it, I just "discovered" Roald Dahl three years ago! Why, oh why, didn't somebody read me Roald Dahl when I was a kid? I feel ripped off. Roald Dahl might have got me into reading in a big way.

I never had that Harry Potter moment. When a young reader first discovers Harry Potter, it can be a "magical" experience. He/she reads the books and discovers how good a book can be! Harry Potter is one of the many incredible books that can stand up against almost anything else that might catch a young person's attention - video games, sports, MTV, movies... I just wish I'd had that moment as a teenager. It's like the first time you watch a really thrilling movie. You can't wait to capture that moment again. You want to see another movie that will give you that feeling.

Also, the young adult writing that is out there nowadays just didn't exist before I don't think. Maybe it is just my imagination, but it really seems like there are more and more interesting young adult writers out there. They probably used to avoid the young adult market, but since Rowling came along they know that it is possible to write books that appeal to everyone since even adults enjoyed HP.

You're so lucky. There are so many interesting books out there just waiting for you to discover them and you have so many wonderful reading buddies who can recommend great books for you to read!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before—and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...

This is one of the best books I've read in years. I really enjoyed it and read almost all of it in one day because I didn't want to put it down.

Okay, about The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins doesn't make us wait. We get right into the action. She sets up her interesting world and gets her characters busy right away. The world is fascinating. Katniss, a teenage girl, lives in what used to be North America near the Rocky Mountains (the place I call home BTW). Things are strange in this futuristic place. The government of the Capitol keeps tight control of the districts around it. The people live in misery. They can barely scrape enough food together each day to feed themselves and in Katniss' district some people actually starve to death or die in mining accidents.

In order to exert their control over the country, the government sets up a "contest" each year and they draw two teenagers' names from each district to compete in a deadly game. 12 boys and 12 girls compete in the forest to see who can live the longest. They must find food and fight each other in order to survive.

To make it even more interesting, the government broadcasts it like a reality TV show. It is kind of like Big Brother or Survivor meets Lost. Everything that Katniss does or says is being shown to everyone in the country, including her family and friends back home.

Katniss is a hunter and she's very good with a bow. She's also pretty good at identifying edible plants and those that can be used for medicine. Her chances of surviving this crazy battle are actually quite good.

There's a boy from her district who makes it even more complicated. He says he loves her and wants to help her. Will they cooperate and take care of each other? Will they fall in love? You'll need to read it and find out.

If you like stories with action and excitement, you're going to love this book. I've given it a full five out of five stars and I would recommend it for anybody to read.

I'm very pleased that there will be two more books. The first one can stand alone as there is a clear beginning, middle, and end but I think most of us are happy to know that this isn't it. We want to know what will happen next. How is it possible, though, to wait for seven more months for the second book? This is going to be a new kind of torture for readers around the world.

I was so ready for this. After reading the marathon of five books by Meyer (Twilight Series and The Host), I needed a different kind of story. Meyer takes it slow. She develops her characters and their feelings and the story moves along at a crawl. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed them all, but I kept hoping for some action. In fact the whole sequence in Italy was one of my favourite parts because I finally felt like we were getting into something and that something exciting was really going to happen.

5/5 Stars

Saturday, 14 February 2009

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Meyer's fascinating science fiction love story is now being waitlisted.

This is another popular title right now so we had better start another waitlist. Yikes, it is going to be a challenge to keep track of all these. After a number of girls have read it, I will eventually release it to the SRR. However, we know how that works. Each girl has ia book for two weeks. Sometimes they don't bring it back on time and then they end up with the book for two months. That means all the eager readers lose out. I think that with a hot book like this, it will work better if I waitlist them and then the super readers will chew the books up in two days and pass them on to the next reader.

So, those of you who are interested in Meyer's alien love story (you can read more about it in an earlier post on my blog), please add your name in the comments sectionof this post.Right now one of the girls in 5D has it, but you could be next.

Current waitlist: nobody.


Mr Jason

New Geraldine McCaughrean book in SRR!

A New Kind of Love Story by Geraldine

With Meyer's Twilight I read a story about a woman who fell in love with a vampire. Then, I read Meyer's The Host about an Alien who fell in love with a human. Okay, now it is time for McCaughrean's quirky love story: It is about a woman trying to survive in the antarctic and she she starts to become a bit crazy and she falls in love with a man who, as far as she can tell, exists only in her imagination. Cool.

Who knew? We have had a copy of this new paperback book by Geraldine in the collection for a few weeks now. I don't know how this one got past me. Anyway, it sounds really cool.
Asiyah in 5B has signed it out and I'm sure it will be back in circulation soon...

Here I was going to buy this one from Amazon and we had a copy the entire time!!!

Princess Stories by Geraldine McCaughrean

Available now for lending if you'd like to be put on the wait list.

Hi everyone,

I'll cover this one in plastic and lend it out if you are interested. Again, this is a one-of-a-kind book as it is signed by the author and addressed to you so extra care must be given to protect it from damage. Please, please take extra special care of it.

Amy in 5D requested it first so she has it. Amal in 5D has asked to get it next. If you'd like it when she is done, you know what to do - leave a comment in this post that you want to be next on the waitlist.
Current Waitlist: Amy, Amal, Arni, Ezzati.

Mr Jason

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Hunger Games

This book is wicked. King and Meyer loved it.

A lot of girls are excited about reading this book I bought. It is a story about a futuristic world where people are all starving. The main character has to compete in some sort of dangerous TV reality show and in order to win she must kill the other 12 boys and 11 girls in the competition. This is going to be another hit - I can feel it now!!! Book two is out in a few more months.
BTW, I've already told Reader's Haven about it and I hope they will get some in.
This book is the one that Stephenie Meyer recommended on her website. Have a look at her entry for Sept. 17th at:

Anyway, after I read it, I will be giving it to Naqiah in 5E. Then Khairunnisa in 5F has asked for it. If you want to be next, just put your name in the comment section of this post.

Current Waitlist: Naqiah 5E, Khairunnisa 5F, Barirah 5D.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Geraldine McCaughrean Wrote You a Letter!!!

I'm so excited to share this news with you.

The autographed book she sent us as a gift!

Geraldine McCaughrean, author of Peter Pan in Scarlet, sent us a package today. Isn't she the sweetest author ever? She has written a letter to our classes and she included a few gifts. We have autographs which can be posted into our books, some photos of her wearing a leafy waistcoat she made herself, some beautiful autographed limited edition prints, and a book called Princess Stories (quite suitable don't you think considering we are at a girls' school). I must say I'm overwhelmed with her generosity. She even sent me an autographed book called "Smile" which I will be delighted to share with you of course. I hope she won't mind if I copy the letter for you here in the post so you can see what she wrote us:

Wow, isn't that wonderful? Geraldine writes excellent letters! What a joy it is to read a book and then to have the chance to tell the writer how much you enjoyed it. I wanted her to know what special treatment we gave her book in our class and how much we liked it. She got one thing wrong, though. I've got the best job in the entire world. I get to work with such lovely young ladies and I get to share lots of exciting books with them. :)