Well that didn’t work so well…

So here’s the thing with me and the blog, it seems I made a plan – I then didn’t follow through on the plan, and am now writing about a more current idea / theme –

books to movies.

As I look at some of the books now sitting on my desk, I also realize that they are about courage, grit, determination, beating the odds. So I hope you’ll read a few books and watch a few movies. I hope that they inspire you.

When William Kamkwamba was a young teen, a terrible famine struck his tiny village in Malawi, Africa. The loss of crops left his family with nothing to eat or sell. Without money, William was forced to drop out of school.

Fortunately, William found hope in the village library. There, he came up with an idea that would change the lives of the people around him. He would build a windmill.

Made from junkyard scraps, William’s amazing creation would bring electricity to his home. it would help his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. And it would turn this ordinary African teenager into a hero known all around the world as the boy who harnessed the wind.

 

Lion : A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

Can you imagine being lost and not finding your way home again? Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into a orhanage and adopted by a family in Australia.

Despite being happy in his new home, Saroo always wondered about his origins. He spent hours staring at the map of India on his bedroom wall. He pored over satellite images on Google Earth seeking out landmarks he recognized. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.

Then he set off on a journey back to India to see if he could find his mother.

 

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippencott

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

 

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This one has had a title change for the movie release it will be known as Ashes in the Snow.

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp. Lina must fight for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. Only incredible strength, love, and hope can pull Lina and her family through each day.

 

 

 

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2019 – To blog or not to blog??

As you can see from my heading I am considering giving up blogging. When I started this blog it was a way to keep students up to date on my latest reads. To showcase book trailers, events in our library, events in the world of libraries. It ended up being a valuable resource for “what to read next.” And it was before I was maintaining the library website (which also has a book of the week), an Instagram profile for our library, and a Litsy account with our grade 8 students.

So now I find that I haven’t blogged in months, despite having read countless terrific books.

i have kept pace with the “book of the week” the instagram account fluctuates, and because Litsy is new and the reviews, blurbs and quotes are less than 500 characters – this is where I’ve been reporting the majority of my books.

So I’ve come to the realization that something needs to change. I think from here on out, I’ll be doing an end of the month round-up of the titles I’ve read, book trailers I can find, new book-to-movie titles, and whatever strikes my fancy for the month.

So as of tomorrow I’ll report on the fabulous books that I’ve read in February 2019. I hope you don’t mind the change, sometimes it’s important to recognize when we’re no longer swimming, we’re sinking.

Freedom to Read week

Freedom to Read Week

February 24 – March 2, 2019

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Think you’ve never read a banned or challenged book… think again.

How about Captain Underpants, Harry Potter, Bridge to Terabithia, Goosebumps and Fear street novels, Jeremy Thatcher- Dragon Hatcher, The Giver, The Golden Compass, The Graveyard Book, The Handmaids Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, Underground to Canada, and there’s probably more that you are familiar with.

We are very fortunate to live in a country that has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that in said Charter protection to read what we want. We take it for granted, but there are many places in the world that do not have this privilege, where severe and harsh punishments happen when people are found reading, or circulating a banned book. So take a moment to think about this freedom, and maybe pick up a book that challenges your way of thinking, or leads you into a world unlike your own. This is the way we discover empathy and understanding of each other.

The Meltdown

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

After a slow start, The Meltdown finally got me about midway – actually once the school shut down for the snowday, that’s when I was totally in. Greg and Rowley resort to medieval warfare tactics in an epic all-out neighbourhood snow war.

I sometimes wonder if Mr. Kinney is getting tired of these characters and storylines? If he’s ready to breakout and try something completely different? (I guess maybe the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies – he’s still selling tons of books!)

Here’s the booktrailer:

Thank You, Stan Lee

As some of you may already know the incredible Stan Lee, author, illustrator, creator of characters has died at the age of 95. We have much to Thank him for. I think this remembrance by Xan Brooks of the Guardian sums it up well:

There was a darkness and a nuance to all the best Marvel characters. The Incredible Hulk, bless him, is a Jungian case study on steroids, constantly at war with his shadow. Spider-Man is a kind of weaponised adolescence, spraying sticky fluid to the four walls, while Ben Grimm (aka The Thing) is body dysmorphia made monster, a poetic soul trapped in the carapace of a musclebound roughneck. These men (Marvel’s main failing is that it did mostly do men) have the power to turn the world on its head. But they also seem as much cursed as blessed. …

Marvel sends a pretty glorious message to the puny kids who blunder into its universe just before the hormones kick in. It tells them that, yes, they possess super-powers. That they can impact the world, that adulthood’s an adventure. But it also says that, guess what, your life will still be a mess. Your increased speed and strength will throw up a whole new set of problems and that gaining great power brings great responsibility.

In which case, the best course of action is to be good and be kind. Fight injustice at every turn. Raise up people when you see they’re in need. Listen to the angels of your better nature. That way you too can emulate Marvel’s greatest heroes, be it Spider-Man, Daredevil or Stan Lee himself. “…if you want to be a great writer, keep writing. And read all you can. Read everything.”

Maybe one more: With great power, comes great responsibility.