Waiting on Wednesday: Dare You To by Katie McGarry


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

My pick this week..."Dare You To" by Katie McGarry
Expected Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Series: Pushing the Limits #2

From Goodreads:

"I dare you..." 

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.... 

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. 

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....


My Thoughts:
That cover...LOVE IT :)  Anyone else look at the cover and think of the amazing scene in the Spiderman movie where he is upside down and she removes part of his mask for that incredible kiss?  I'm ready for a good "we shouldn't but we can't help it" love story...and I'm hoping this delivers!  

Hot News: ALA Youth Media Awards!


Finally...the wait is over!!!  The American Library Association announced their best selections in YA literature last night.  These prestigious awards guide many, many librarians/readers/teachers (myself included!) in selecting the best of the best to read and recommend :)
While you can read all the details at their website...I've listed below the categories of high interest to me.  Enjoy!!


Michael L. Printz Award...for excellence in literature written for young adults
2013 Printz Award winner 
"In Darkness" by Nick Lake



2013 Printz Award honor books:
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein
Dodger” by Terry Pratchett,
“The White Bicycle” by Beverley Brenna

William C. Morris Award... for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens
2013 Morris Award winner
Seraphina” written by Rachel Hartman


2013 Morris Award finalists:
“Wonder Show” written by Hannah Barnaby
“Love and Other Perishable Items” written by Laura Buzo
“After the Snow” written by S. D. Crockett, 
"The Miseducation of Cameron Post” written by emily m. danforth

Alex Awards...for the 10 best adult books with appeal to teen audiences
Caring is Creepy” by David Zimmerman
Girlchild” by Tupelo Hassman
Juvenile in Justice” by Richard Ross
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan
My Friend Dahmer” by Derf Backderf
One Shot at Forever” by Chris Ballard
Pure” by Julianna Baggott
The Round House” by Louise Erdrich
Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple

Monday @ MHS Library...

This weekly feature is host to ALL the latest and greatest at your MHS Library!

Weekly Infographic:

History of the Internet

Check out your MHS Library page for ALL the featured infographics!

Second Semester:

We start our first full week of Second Semester today!  (and on a 2 hour delay...yeah!)  Remember to return your library books after reading them.  Others are waiting :)

Spaces are avialable for "library regulars" this semester.  Please see Mrs. Beamer for more information!

Thank you for your interest in being a Library Aide...but I am full for this year :)  Please keep the library in mind for next year!

Have a wonderful week!!






BOOK REVIEW: Junior Stock: Drag Racing the Family Sedan by Doug Boyce


Title: Junior Stock: Drag Racing the Family Sedan
Author: Doug Boyce
Published: 2012 by CarTech, Inc.
Source: review copy from publisher

From Amazon:
In the 1950s and 1960s, drag racing was an exciting new sport that anyone with a car could participate in. Based on their equipment, the participants cars were assigned to specific classes. This structure made it possible to compete against others with similar equipment, and for the most talented tuners and drivers to become National Champions and/or World Record holders in their class.

This class format encouraged amateur participation on a level never before seen. Drag racing was a popular hobby for many, and their competition vehicles were typically warmed-over street cars that had been strategically upgraded to the limits of their specific class. This made drag racing wildly popular and amazingly attainable. The end of the class structure meant a great loss in the sport s popularity, but these amazing times will never be forgotten. 
Stock-class drag racing is celebrated in this new book, with hundreds of vintage color photographs showing the way it used to be. If you were a fan or participant back in the day, or are a lover of vintage drag cars, Junior Stock: Stock-Class Drag Racing 1964-1971 is a book you ll thoroughly enjoy.


Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I love this book!  It far surpassed my expectations.  As a reference tool, it delivers.  As a narrative, it delivers.  Junior Stock: Drag Racing the Family Sedan packs in the photos, offering oodles of visual appeal.  I found the chronological organization easy to follow and pleasant to read.  This book will appeal to all ages (10+) and has something for everyone.  I highly recommend it for all school and public libraries...and for homes with racing fans and/or automobile enthusiasts.  



Waiting on Wednesday: The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

My pick this week..."The Reece Malcolm List" by Amy Spalding
Expected Release Date: February 5th, 2013

From Goodreads:
Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.

L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?


My Thoughts:
The comments/early reviews for this book are fantastic...and that's what sealed the deal for me.  I wasn't blown away by the goodreads blurb...but I do trust my fellow readers :)  FUNNY is a word I saw over and over again, and I find myself being drawn to such books lately.  It's a nice departure from the doom and gloom (not that I mind said doom and gloom!)  

What are YOU looking forward to reading?!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Settings I'd Like to See More in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week I get to choose the top ten settings I would like to see more of!!

  • High School - am I biased because I work in a high school?  Definitely :)  Bring it on!
  • Small Towns - again, biased because I live in a small, rural town.  If a book takes place here, I'm buying it!
  • Boarding Schools - not sure what the intrigue is for me...but I eat it up!  Something about the kids being on their own at such a young age fascinates me.
  • Natural Disaster areas - I'm guessing since I stay glued to the TV when natural disasters strike...I'd be equally enthralled by books with this setting.
  • High Society - how do the other half live?  Always fun reading about the fictional woes of the wealthy :)
  • Hospitals - diseases...illnesses...doctors...drama...throw in an epidemic or pandemic and I'm thrilled!
  • Extreme Conditions - Sahara Desert...Alaska...if it's hard to live there, I love reading about it!
  • Beach Towns - I never, ever turn away a read that takes place in a beach town :)
  • 1950s - Given Happy Days is one of my all-time favorite shows...this is no surprise to those who know me.
  • The Military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines...I don't discriminate!  
Where do YOU wish more books took place?!  Happy Reading!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

My pick this week..."The Murmurings" by Carly Anne West
Expected Release Date: March 5th, 2013


From Goodreads:
A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…


My thoughts:
Typically not what I go for...but I vowed to read more outside my comfort zone.  CREEPY!!  That word hooked me in...and I'm kind of excited to see what this book has to offer!  Note to self: do not read at night :)

BOOK REVIEW: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher


Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Published: expected release date May 7th, 2013 by Gallery Books
Source: eARC from publisher

From Goodreads:
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.  But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.



Mrs. Beamer's Review:
This book takes a cold, hard look at how every action, every non-action, effects something...effects someone.  And in this high school setting, that effect is death .  Our protagonist, Angie, struggles to understand her (possible) role in best friend Lizzie's suicide. I never truly connected to Angie...but, as a reader, I understood her for the character she played in this book.  The truth...she was my least favorite character, simply because I didn't feel like I got to know her.  She "opened up" for me toward the end of the book, but I wanted more sooner.

The supporting characters were what hooked me.  LOVED Jesse.  What a unique and special person...well done, Chelsea ;)  Personally, I'm craving for more of his story!  And Drake epitomized what I think of as "typical high school jock".  The author did a great job revealing his character layer by layer.  I found Lizzie fascinating, even though I didn't want to like her (due to her choice to commit suicide).  She took so many secrets with her when she died.  I couldn't help but empathize with her.  I wanted to have her back so I could encourage her to trust more...to open herself up to those around her.

This book tackles the ugly truth that is high school.  Its cliques... its stereotypes... its unfairness... its judgements... its sadness... its melodrama.  The S-Word, and its message "every action has a consequence" hopefully will spur teen readers to evaluate their actions...to think about their behaviors.  To my surprise, I didn't find this book to be preachy.  I found it to be a powerful study of teen relationships.  I think it's a wonderful debut novel and a fantastic selection for a teen book club read. 

Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 2.5
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 2.5
Drugs/Alcohol: 1
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: college
Potential Controversial Topics: not listing due to potential spoilers

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2013 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week I get to choose my top ten "2013 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To"!!

Well...I'm going to cheat a bit here :)  I am participating in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge (hosted by Hobbitsies)...where I pledge to read at least 12 new books by new authors (debut novels) in 2013!  So here they are!

  1. Altered by Jennifer Rush (release date January 2nd)
  2. Hooked by Liz Fichera (expected release date January 23rd)
  3. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook (expected release date January 29th)
  4. The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding (expected release date February 5th)
  5. My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi (expected release date April 1st)
  6. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller (expected release date May 7th)
  7. The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher (expected release date May 7th)
  8. The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston (expected release date May 14th)
  9. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu (expected release date June 13th)
  10. Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein (expected release date October 1st)
I'm almost done reading an eARC of "The S-Word"...soooooo good!!  What debuts are YOU most looking forward to?!  Happy Reading!!













Attention All Bloggers...Entangled Teen Wants YOU!

YEE HAW!
YEE HAW!!
YEE HAW!!!
(OK...I'm not a blonde...but...you get the idea...I'm pretty excited about this!)

Calling all bloggers...
Calling all bloggers...
ENTANGLED TEEN WANTS YOU!!! 

Yes...they want YOU to be a part of their list!!  One of the amazing publicists at Entangled is compiling a list of bloggers.

Here's the skinny:

  • Do you have a blog?
  • Do you love to review books?
  • Do you want access to books before they release?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding YES...then YOU are the right blogger for the job!

Go to Kate's Blog and follow the instructions...it's super fast and super easy :)  Good luck to all of us!!  Happy Reading!!




Monday @ MHS Library...

This weekly feature is host to ALL the latest and greatest at your MHS Library!

Weekly Infographic:

Presidential Facts

Check out your MHS Library page for ALL the featured infographics!


Exam Week:

Remember the library will be closed this Wed-Fri (Jan 16-18) to accommodate the exam schedule.  We will reopen next Tuesday, January 22nd!

February Contest...stay tuned...  

The MHS Library will be running a contest for the month of February!!  Details will be revealed in this weekly feature on Monday, January 28th!!

BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally


Title: Stealing Parker
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Author: Kenneally, Miranda
Published: October 1st, 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Edition Language: English
Source: borrowed from MHS Library

From Goodreads:
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.  Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.  Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?  But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?


Mrs. Beamer's Review:
First, let me remind you I'm a HUGE fan of Catching Jordan  And this book is just as good.  That being said...it was very, very similar to Catching Jordan.  In other words, whatever book you read FIRST will be your favorite :)  I didn't enjoy Parker as much as I enjoyed Jordan...but I did enjoy the male characters just as much.   This is a quick, fun read.  Enjoy it for what it is!


My Favorite Quote (from this book):  "He looks like a Geek Squad sexpot."


Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 3
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 2.5
Drugs/Alcohol: 1
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: college
Potential Controversial Topics: none


BOOK REVIEW: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Published: September 21st 2006
Edition Language: English
Source: borrowed from MHS library

From Goodreads:
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin's hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.


Mrs. Beamer's Review:
Meh...that about sums up my feelings on this book.  And that makes me sad :(  I adore John Green.  Adore him.  But this book...not so much.  First, it took me a long time (relatively speaking) to read it.  I just wasn't into it.  Second, I found the constant footnotes distracting...and honestly, stopped reading them about halfway through the book.  Also, the anagrams and theorem work kind of bored me.  BUT...Green's writing is witty (as always), the book is a huge hit in my high school library and I highly recommend it for teen boys.

My Favorite Quotes (from this book):  "Colin read and reread his yearbook...and considered how twenty-five of his classmates, some of whom he'd been attending school with for twelve years, could possibly have wanted to 'know him better.'  As if they hadn't had a chance."

"We fatties have a bond, dude...we've got all kinds of sh*t you don't know about.  Handshakes, special fat people dances - we got these fugging lairs in the center of the earth, and we go down there in the middle of the night when all the skinny kids are sleeping and eat cake and friend chicken..."


Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 2
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 1
Drugs/Alcohol: 0
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: high school
Potential Controversial Topics: none

Waiting on Wednesday: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

My pick this week..."The Collector" by Victoria Scott
Expected Release Date: April 2nd, 2013


From Goodreads:
He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big, red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

My Thoughts:
FUN!!  Who wouldn't want to read about a good lookin', confident & charming soul collector :):):)  "Bag-and-tag"...love it!  And, I'm pumped to start a series with a male protagonist.  Can't wait!

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray


Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Published: May 1st 2011
Edition Language: English
Source: borrowed from MHS Library

From Goodreads:
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.


Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I was hesitant to read this book because I didn't really enjoy Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty...but I'm glad I did :)   This is a silly, light, clean read.  The book was funny...especially at the beginning.  The sarcasm from The Company (the various ads, etc)... hilarious.  I thought Bray did a good job creating multi-faceted characters within the realm of the pageant world, and enjoyed all of them.  The book lost some momentum about 1/2 way through for me, but then picked up slightly toward the end.  

My only concern with this book (for the YA audience) is they may not pick up on all the humor? Given Bray's witty and sharp sarcasm...I'm afraid some of it will be lost on the younger readers.  BUT...I hope I'm wrong :)  And...I'm certain all readers will enjoy the story.  Great read!


My Favorite Quotes (from this book):  " 'If I weren't about to be eaten by piranhas, I would tell you that I love you'." ~and~ "I love you for who you are, not for who the world thinks you should be."


Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 2
Violence: 1
Sexual Content: 1.5
Drugs/Alcohol: 0
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: high school
Potential Controversial Topics: none

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week I get to choose my top ten "Bookish Goals" for 2013.  FUN!!  Happy Reading!

  • It is my goal to (once again) complete my Goodreads Challenge and read 120 books this year.  I barely made it last year (squeaking in at 122 books!)...and I wasn't working full time.  Let's hope work doesn't interfere with my reading :)
  • Read more books aloud to my real children (ages 11 and 9).  Seriously, I know the benefits of continuing to read aloud to your children...I'm so lame.  I will read at least 10 books to them this year.
  • Continue on my quest to find books for my school library through non-traditional means (i.e....beg, borrow, steal since I have no budget money to spend!)
  • Increase my "fan base" (is that what we call it!?!?  sounds so hilarious to me!) on twitter, Goodreads and my blog.  
  • Become friends (cyber-friends...blog buddies...twitter pals...whatever you want to call it!) with other fellow book bloggers.  Since goals are better accomplished when they are measurable, I'll set my initial number to five new friends.  WHAA!!  That intimidates me a bit...
I also hope to meet the two other reading challenges I've signed up for...
  • Debut Author Challenge...to read 12 new books by new authors (their debut novel) in 2013
  • TBR Pile Challenge...to read 12 books that have been sitting in my TBR pile for over a year
Engage my students...help develop their love of reading...
  • It is my goal to read more books outside my comfort zone so I can better recommend books to my teen readers.  I need to read at least one in each of the following genres:  sci-fi, horror, boy sports (I'm thinking something my John Feinstein), biography
  • Grow the number of my students following me on...twitter, Goodreads and my blog.
And finally...
  • I will stop hiding behind my blog/username logo (starting now!).  This is me...along me my incredibly handsome tall brother.  PS...all these darn Christmas photos and not a single picture of me and my husband...or me and my kids...or me with one of my kids...or me with my dog... *sigh*