Archive | January, 2013

The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry

31 Jan


The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry (via NetGalley)

Publication Date: February 12, 2013

It’s rough being the shortest seventh grader in the school.  Nick is shoved in his locker every day.  Maybe he should bring “the crazy” like Mr. Dupree thinks.  Or maybe he should be part of a larger group like the counselor suggests.  (Who really wants to be on the middle school safety patrol?)  But sometimes, when a kid goes too far, he finds that maybe the bully is the one in the mirror.

Michael Fry’s drawings make this a fast-paced, enjoyable and humorous book.  This is a great way of introducing bullies and ways of dealing with them.  Just having friends can make a difference in your world.

Recommended Grades: 4+


Your Facebook Privacy is YOUR Responsibility, Not Your Friends’…

21 Jan

Your Facebook Privacy is YOUR Responsibility, Not Your Friends’…

EdTechSandyK blog is a Educational Technology Specialist with advice on things touching the students and the parents.  This one is especially current.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

13 Jan

A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness

Published:  September 2011

Sometimes you read a book to feel good.  Sometimes you escape.  Sometimes you explore.

This book is to have a good cry.  It is short.  It is intense, powerful, visual (the art is incredible), striking, lyrical (yes, really!), funny (in a weird way that diffuses the tension), and very, very sad.  Conor is expecting the monster.  Every night at 12:07 a.m.  Conor is afraid and is not afraid of the monster when it finally comes.  The monster tells Conor three stories.  Interspersed with those stories are the daylight hours of going to school, facing the bully, facing the sympathy, and dealing with, or more likely ignoring, his mother’s illness.

The monster’s three stories and Conor’s fourth one tie together brilliantly.  But, oh, the emotions that churn!  Yet, maybe we all need to speak with the monster and learn from the stories.

Recommended: Grades 6 & up.


May the Force Be With You

12 Jan

The U.S. Government provides a method of allowing citizens to petition the government electronically for a response.  When the petition garners over 25,000 electronic signatures in less than 30 days, than the White House will respond.

The petition that was stated:

Secure resources and funding and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.

Part of the White House response states:

“If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

The Full White House response:  This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For

Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget


Little Women in India by Jane Nartin

6 Jan

Little Women in India by Jane Nartin

(Via NetGalley, release Sept. 2012)

I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women when I was younger and loved Jo and all her sisters. (Yes, I identified with Jo!)  This book is not the story of Little Women transformed to India.  It’s a completely different story.

The May sisters are English daughters of a company man in British-controlled India in 1857.   Catherine, Jane, Elizabeth and Fanny May are caught in a mutiny of the Indian workers over the company.  They have different personalities than I remember the Alcott’s version.  I like Fanny who is sanctimonious and superior in her personal sacrifices.  The girls are transformed by the events going from their English privileged lifestyles with Indian servants, to workers in an Indian village just trying to survive.  They speak Hindu, learn to care for others and show a piece of history that may be foreign to American readers.

The book drags along at times with too much information that is not necessary to the story.  But it was overall readable and somewhat enjoyable.  I think the biggest irritant was calling it after a beloved classic.  It’s not the same story.

Recommended:  6th grade and up