My Top 13 Reads of 2013

Two thousand thirteen has been a great year for readers. The variety and quality of books sent me down a rabbit hole of reading unlike any I’d ever experienced before.  I’d like to thank my colleagues, fellow nerdy book club members, and authors everywhere for the inspiration. As there were many books to love, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my top 13 reads from 2013. Continue reading

Quick Review: Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

15937108I read a lot of great books this summer, but none with the intensity in which I read Counting by 7s. Willow Chance made me laugh out loud and cry uncontrollably on at least seven occasions. I loved seven of the secondary characters and how their lives intersected and changed throughout. Of the seven books I read this summer about middle school students, this one was at the top of my list, and one I’ll be purchasing for classroom library this week! If you can find a copy of Counting by 7s, go read it right now! You will not regret it.

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani

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Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas offers the readers a beautiful introduction to three amazing scientist who changed the way we look at primatology, conservation, and the very woozy line between the human animal divide. Jim Ottaviani does an outstanding job of tying the narrative arc of the story through anthropologist Louis Leakey, who helped all three women get into their fields of expertise. Maris Wick’s artwork is phenomenally vibrant throughout and compliments Ottaviani’s narrative nicely. I especially loved scenes where the scientist and primates interacted with one another. Continue reading

Review: Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

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Teaching abroad changed me.

Having spent my first four years out of college working in Japan, I came to realize that things were not always as they seemed. Behind most of the confusion that came with living in a new place were stories that shed light where I originally could not see. What’s more, I came to realize that cultural understanding takes time and an openness to seeing the world from a different perspective. Continue reading

Review: What’s Left of Me

Kat Zhang’s debut novel, What’s Left of Me was an extremely intriguing story that takes place in an alternate version of Earth where people are born with two conscious beings (souls) sharing one body. At a young age the two beings share control of the body until one of the two souls becomes dominant while the other recessive soul slowly fades away completely. Except when they don’t. Continue reading

Review: Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

The best stories are the ones that grab at your heart and allow you to see the world from a new perspective that give unexpected characters humanity. The kind of story that stays with you long after you say goodbye. Zebra Forest certainly falls under this category, and it’s no wonder people are considering it a Newbery contender!

I don’t want to give away the story, but I will say this.

I LOVED IT! Continue reading