Book Blog

Tim Green

posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:06 PM by Michelle Bentler

Yes, I'm still talking about the Illinois Reading Conference!  I wanted to listen to Tim Green speak because just two days before I left for the conference, an eight grade boy came into the media center and said.  "This was the best book, I've ever read!" as he held up a copy of Football Hero by Tim Green.  I've never read any books by Tim Green and so I knew nothing about his story.  Well, I'm going to read Tim Green books now.  Tim played football for eight years for the Atlanta Falcons, graduated top of his class at Syracuse and again was top of the class when he graduated from law school at Syracuse.  So not only does Tim write sports books for middle school students, he has a successful law practice.  Tim travels around and visits schools and talks to students as often as he can.  He says a person's priorities should be #1 Character, #2 Academics, and #3 Sports.  I was very impressed with Tim's character and his work ethic.  Tim Green has a Facebook page where he talks about his books and lets his Facebook Friends help decide character names.

Oh, and that eighth grader that loves Tim green books, he got an autographed copy and this photo of Tim signing his book!

ART Readers Theatre

posted Mar 23, 2013, 10:50 AM by Michelle Bentler

One of my favorites of the free sessions at the Illinois Reading Conference was a readers theater.  However, this readers theater was special because the four readers were famous authors reading adaptations of their own works.  Listening to authors read their own books aloud the way they intended the story to sound is like listening to music.  The authors participating were:  Sarah Weeks, Richard Peck, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Avi.  The selections varied between humor, fantasy, poetry, and historical fiction.

Gordon Korman

posted Mar 22, 2013, 12:17 PM by Michelle Bentler   [ updated Mar 23, 2013, 10:58 AM ]

After attending the Illinois Reading Conference, I'm am all energized to read more books by the authors I heard speak.  One of my favorite authors is Gordon Korman.  Swindle was my favorite book of the year, the year it came out.  So I didn't want to miss out on listening to his presentation.  I didn't know that Gordon wrote his first book at the age of 12 and it was published by Scholastic when he was 14 years old.  This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall is still in print today.  Gordon wrote it as a class assignment because his teacher left in the middle of the year and the track coach was given the job to be his English teacher.  Since the coach didn't know how to be an English teacher, he assigned the class to write for the remainder of the year.  So Gordon wrote his first book.

After the book was finished the coach wanted to laminate it and put it in the school library for others to read.  Gordon had other ideas.  He was the student monitor for the Scholastic book orders and so he sent his manuscript to the address  for Scholastic Book Clubs in Canada, because that is where he lived.  Amazingly, the manuscript did end up in the hands of the right person and Gordon Korman has been writing books for Scholastic ever since.  


You Tube of Gordon Korman speaking at the 2011 National Book Festival

Newbery Award Announced

posted Jan 31, 2013, 2:06 PM by Michelle Bentler   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 2:08 PM ]

On Monday, January 28th the Newbery Award for 2013 was announced and the winner is...The One and Only Ivan!  This is the first time I've read a Newbery before it was a Newbery.  I read a blog post where Katherin Applegate said she almost gave up on the story of Ivan several times.  I sure am glad she didn't.

The One and Only Ivan

posted Jan 24, 2013, 12:25 PM by Michelle Bentler   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 2:10 PM ]

Grades 3-6   Ivan is a silverback gorilla that lives in a roadside zoo next to his best friend Stella the elephant.  When baby elephant Ruby arrives, Ivan decides to find a way to help Ruby escape the life of living in a small cage.  It is an emotional story and makes the reader want to cheer for Ivan.  The book is a quick read with short chapters told from Ivan's point of view.  The author's notes at the end of the book state the story is based on a real gorilla's life.   Don't miss Katherine Applegate's best book yet!

Chasing Vermeer

posted Jan 21, 2013, 7:48 AM by Michelle Bentler   [ updated Jan 21, 2013, 7:53 AM ]

Grades 5-8.    Calder and Petra unintentionally find themselves in the middle of an art heist.  A series of clues lead the characters to solve the mystery, but at the same time the reader is given clues within the illustrations and secret codes to along the way to involve us in solving the mystery right beside Calder and Petra.
 Chasing Vermeer written by Blue Balliett is a book I've always meant to read but never got around to doing it.  I've missed out on reading a great mystery within a mystery and I'm so glad I didn't wait any longer.  If you love the mystery genre, this is a book not to be missed any longer.    January 22, 2013

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