Sunday, 6 August 2017


Over the last while there has been a hashtag you may have seen about called Read the North. It's a campaign encouraging people to read Canadian. I'd like to take part, too. Going to change the Oh Canada display in my library for the fall to, you guessed it, Read the North.

To start this off I am also going to share the book I am reading right now, Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass. She also happens to be from Alberta. So far I am a loving this book. She has a way with words and a knack for description that sinks you into a story from the get go. Oh and the book is time travel. Realized it has been a wee while since I have read one. 

This one is on my book talk list come September. 

Read more about this author and her books on her website,

Monday, 7 November 2016

The joy of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Lots of wonderful happening in the world of books and reading everyday of the week, but one of my favorites has always been Monday. Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday, that is.

How can you not love a day devoted to the amazing that is middle-grade. Because my school is a 7-12 I still have many students who are still reading middle-grade and that makes me all kinds of happy. I used to blog quite regularly on this day about some of my favorite recent reads and as I tip-toe back into blogging, it is part of the plan to do so again. And with more detailed reasons on why I love the books I do and what middle-grade is popular at my school. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

My Writing and Book Clubs and NANOWRIMO

I am spending the month NANOWRIMO-ing with the students in my writing and book clubs and just have to stop mid trying to write today to say how awesome they are. Yesterday we hosted and read and write in after school. We read and wrote for three hours. Their focus and commitment inspired me and that is what I am using today to get me writing something/anything. Recalling the sounds of keys tapping, pages turn and the occasional crunch and chew of the provided snacks is helping and putting a smile on my face.

After school this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I will be staying at in Learning Commons until 5:00 o'clock each day and have invited my NANOWRIMO-er's to stay and write, too. Heck, if there are students looking for a space to relax and catch up on homework or just looking for a nice space to just sit and read they are invited, too. As are teachers who may be marking and who are wanting a change of space. Is this a master plan for us to grow the numbers of our club? What? Moi? Do something like that?

As I continue to find search out my writer self and figure out where the heck she went to and who she became I count myself rather lucky to work with the Cobra Writing and Book Clubs of WCCHS. Inspiring is a word that comes to mind.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday-The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers

You know you're going to love a book when you start:

- thinking of students that you can share it with right away.

-looking for people to read it aloud to because there are laugh out loud moments, profound moments and moments of heartbreak.

-highlighting something on almost every page because you love what the author wrote.

And the book? The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers.

From Goodreads:

Newcomer Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into a club whose members have no intention of letting her join. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, growing increasingly claustrophobic, and waiting to be rescued—or possibly not.

As hours pass, the reality of Kammie’s predicament mixes with her memories of the highlights and lowlights of her life so far, including the reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to run out of oxygen, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies. 

It's heart-wrenchingly good and I know many a student will relate on a personal level because it that speaks to our need to find friends and fit in. It's also a page-turner and not just because the main character is stuck in a well and you want to know if the mean girls who put her in that position are actually going to get help. Kammie's backstory is just as compelling and you slowly find out everything that happened that brings Kammie to this point. Recommended and then some.

More Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts HERE! Happy Reading all.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday-Far From Fair by Elana K. Arnold

Again, I seem to be working on finding the time to find the time to get my weekly posts written! BUT, I shall persevere because there are just some books that need sharing. Far From Fair by Elana K. Arnold is one of those books. Such a compelling and amazing read about embracing change even when that change can be mighty painful. 

From Goodreads:Odette has a list: Things That Aren’t Fair. At the top of the list is her parents’ decision to take the family on the road in an ugly RV they’ve nicknamed the Coach. There’s nothing fair about leaving California and living in the Coach with her par­ents and exasperating brother. And there’s definitely nothing fair about Grandma Sissy’s failing health, and the painful realities and difficult decisions that come with it. Most days it seems as if everything in Odette’s life is far from fair but does it have to be?

The author takes on a difficult topic head on and shares it in a story with a believable and heartfelt character that will stay with you long after you read the last page. And there are turns of phrases in there that I would stop and re-read. Yes, sometimes life is not fair, but like Grandma Sissy says it's what you do with that unfairness that is important. There are many layers to this book and it is those many layers that will appeal to a broad range of students and allow me the opportunities to created conversations and connections that are so vital to working in my school. 

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday all! For more of the fabulous head on back to Shannon Messenger's where she so kindly gathers all our links. 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and more with #IMWAYR

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and it's also Family Day here in Alberta. To that end, I thought I would share a couple of my grandson's all-time favourites.  Both were novel studies at school and he has LOVED them ever since (he's ten). In fact he also has them on Audible and has listened and re-listened to them over and over...and over.

William has just received the best present of his life—an old, real-looking stone and wooden model of a castle, with a drawbridge, a moat, and a fingerhigh knight to guard the gates. It’s the mysterious castle his housekeeper has told him about, and even though William is sad she’s leaving, now the castle is his! William can’t wait to play with the castle—he’s certain there’s something magical about it. And sure enough, when he picks up the tiny silver knight, it comes alive in his hand! Sir Simon tells William a mighty story of wild sorcery, wizards, and magic. And suddenly William is off on a fantastic quest to another land and another time—where a fiery dragon and an evil wizard are waiting to do battle. (Goodreads) 

In other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday news I am here to recommend you pick up Baker's Magic by Diane Zahler. I read the e-ARC from Ne Galley.

More from Goodreads:

Bee is an orphan, alone in a poor, crumbling kingdom. In desperation, she steals a bun from a bakery, and to her surprise, the baker offers her a place at his shop. As she learns to bake, Bee discovers that she has a magical power. When a new friend desperately needs her help against an evil mage, Bee wonders what an orphan girl with only a small bit of magic can do. Bee's journey to help her friend becomes a journey to save the kingdom, and a discovery of the meaning of family.

I fell in love with Bee from the first page because I felt her desperation and hunger and I so wanted her to be taken in and cared for. In other words the story grabbed my heart. The uniqueness of her magical power is wonderfully developed and I quite enjoyed seeing how she used it. Add to that a cast of well developed secondary characters who you care for just as much as Bee and this makes for a heart felt read. Needless to say the adventure Bee and her friends end up going on takes it to the next level that will keep young readers turning the page.

Now. On to the more....I've just started taking part in IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING? This is the Children and Young Adult version.  Only had one book adventure last week (see above).

Have a few more planned this week as we are on a break. They include:

That's it from me. Happy Reading everyone!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday-The World Beneath by Janice Warman

Had a great weekend of catching up with reading arcs from NetGalley.

One of those reads included The World Beneath by Janice Warman. I was pulled in from the beginning and as the story progressed I found myself turning the pages faster and faster. There were times when I was holding my breath as I wondered what the end of a scene would bring my way. Joshua is a relatable,  living breathing boy who goes from being protected from knowing the truth of what is happening on the streets to having his eyes slowly opened to the harsh realities of what it meant for those who took a stand against apartheid. Even as I read I knew this was one I would like to have in my library and not just for Black History Month. It's a year-round book talker. Well, all the books I highlight during this month at our school are year-rounders. BUT, I digress. Here's more on the book:

From Goodreads:

At the rise of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, a boy must face life decisions that test what he believes—and call for no turning back.

South Africa, 1976. Joshua lives with his mother in the maid’s room, in the backyard of their wealthy white employers’ house in the city by the sea. He doesn’t quite understand the events going on around him. But when he rescues a stranger and riots begin to sweep the country, Joshua has to face the world beneath—the world deep inside him—to make heartbreaking choices that will change his life forever. Genuine and quietly unflinching, this beautifully nuanced novel from a veteran journalist captures a child’s-eye view of the struggle that shaped a nation and riveted the world.

When sharing this one I will give some historical background. Their teacher will have done that to a certain degree, but between me and the book that knowledge can be deepened into an even more meaningful and empathetic way. The power of story!

Head on back to Shannon Messenger's Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe where she kindly gathers all the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday links for us. 

And if you are looking for even more great recommendations check out:

I plan on joining in on this meme in more detail (as in, share more of my week and weekend reads!) beginning next week. Ta for now!


Over the last while there has been a hashtag you may have seen about called Read the North. It's a campaign encouraging people to read C...