Thursday, December 24, 2009

This was my entry on Twitter to win an advanced readers copy of Heist Society. The Twitter contest continues today and there's a new way to enter too on

Monday, December 21, 2009

Contest--Win an advanced readers copy

The author of the Gallagher Girl series (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy and
Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover) is writing a new book. You can win an advanced readers copy of HEIST SOCIETY.
Go to
to enter. Do this every day this week and you'll have 5 chances to win.

Good luck.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Contest--Win THE LAST OF THE SKY PIRATES by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

Would you like to win a copy of #5 of the Edge Chronicles? Are you interested in reading a steampunk book?

To enter this contest leave a comment with the name of a Newbery Medal winning book. Do not repeat the name of a book already mentioned in a comment. For an extra entry tell me the author and what year the book won the award. Remember to sign your first name, last initial, and teacher.

For an extra entry link this blog on your twitter and/or your blog and tell me you did that here.

Contest ends Thursday, December 17 at 11:59pm.

Winner--39 Clues Backpack

...and the winner is James W. from Mrs. McBride's class. Congratulations James and come by the library and pick up your prize.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Contest--Win a 39 Clues backpack

Do you enjoy The 39 Clues books? Would you like a backpack with a
39 Clues logo? Name the 6 books and the authors. If you get them right you will be entered into a drawing.

If you'd like to see the backpack come by the library and have a look.

The contest will end Sunday, December 13 at 11:59PM.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Win $1000

Would you like to win a $1000? Here's your chance. Read the book HUGGING THE ROCK by Susan Taylor Brown. Make a video
book trailer. It can be a slide show or a short movie 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Click on this link for more information and for some samples of book trailers. I may have already shown you some in the library and if you ask me I can show some to you. This contest is for students between the ages of 13 and 18 so current students may want to work with an older sibling.

Hurry. The deadline is December 15.

Good luck

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane

Molly's favorite memory of her dad is playing catch in the backyard. He taught her to pitch and she even mastered the knuckleball pitch. One night about 6 months after he died she decides that playing softball is not good enough. She wants to play baseball and tries out for the boy's baseball team. Her best friend supports her decision and Lonnie, one of the catcher's becomes her catcher learning how to deal with the knuckleball. The only thing that worries Molly besides being accepted onto the team is telling her mom. This book is recommended for baseball fans.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

All you need to do is throw a football through a target at half-time in a pro-football game. Your dad just lost his job and boy could your family use the money. However, your thoughts are consumed by your best frIend who has a rare disease and is going blind. She is your inspiration to practice. Lucky for you you are the quarterback on your football team.

This book is filled with football strategy, games and action. It's also filled with strong families and strong friendships. Recommended for kids who love football or the thrill of a contest.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Contest--Win a computer and a trip to New York

Would you like to win a netbook and a trip to New York? Would you like to help Golden get new computers and software? Would you like to meet Eli Manning?

All you have to do is write a 100 word essay telling why Golden should win. Go to for the rules. All entries are to be submitted on line. Parents, staff and students can enter.

The deadline has been extended to December 11.

Good Luck!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Contest--Kyle's Island by Sally Derby

A few weeks ago I wrote a review about this book. It will be on the birthday wish list on amazon. For now, I am giving away the advanced readers copy that I read. Would you like to win it? To enter comment on this post who your favorite author is. Remember to include your first name, last initial and teacher. Good luck.

Contest ends 11:59 PM on Saturday, November 20.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Do you like to read steampunk?

Try LARKLIGHT by Phillip Reeves or AIRMAN by Eoin Colfer or The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater has written a book about a girl who falls in love with a wolf. Even before Grace knew Sam was a werewolf, she would watch the yellow eyed wolf in the woods behind her house in Minnesota and he seemed to be watching her. After being shot by a hunter, Sam takes his human shape and Grace recognizes his eyes, saves his life and they fall in love. As winter settles in Sam will once again become wolf. Some teens who have been bitten believe there is a cure. Is there? This book will appeal to fans of Twilight and is definitely a YA book for mature reader.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Winner--Dragon Rider

The winner of the autographed copy of DRAGON RIDER by Cornelia Funke is Ethan V. is Mrs. Bradley's class. Congratulations, Ethan!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts

I love a fun quick read. THE BEEF PRINCESS OF PRACTICAL COUNTY by Michelle Houts is both. Libby is a 12-year-old girl who lives on a cattle farm in Indiana. Raising cattle has been a family tradition for years. When Libby's older brother goes off to college it is Libby's turn to raise a calf into a full grown steer and show it at the annual fair. After the contest the steers are auctioned off and Libby has a chance to start her college fund by getting a good price for her steer. Libby also decides to compete in the pageant to try to win the title of The Beef Princess. Middle grade girls will love this book.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleight Baskin

As a high functioning autistic boy Jason thrives at writing stories yet struggles communicating with his peers. HIs stories reflect some of his feelings and insecurities. He is part of an online storyboard community and his parents offer to take him to their annual convention. When his dad cancels his mom goes instead. I loved the relationships between Jason and his parents and brother. I loved the way Jason tries so hard to understand other people. This is a wonderful story.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Contest--Win autographed copy of Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

That's right. I am giving away an autographed copy of Dragon Rider signed by the author, Cornelia Funke. To enter PLEASE read the contest rules CAREFULLY.

Comment on this post why you should win.

For an extra entry tell me one other book Cornelia Funke wrote (you may check the library cataglog.)

For an extra entry tell me what was your favorite book that I have read to you in the library.

Remember to include your name, last initial, and teacher's name. Yes, you may have up to 3 entries. The contest will end November 8 at 11:59 PM. Good luck

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Report Card by Andrew Clements

Would you like to win a copy of THE REPORT CARD by Andrew Clements? Be the first person to comment on this blog post. Remember to include your first name, last initial and teacher in the comment.

Mrs. Katz wins an autographed book!

That's right. I won an autographed copy of DOG GONE by Cynthia Chapman Willis. It's the first time I have won a book. Stay tuned for my review.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you like Ivy & Bean books check this out!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Contest--Win a lap top and a trip to New York

Would you like to win a netbook and a trip to New York? Would you like to help Golden get new computers and software? Would you like to meet Eli Manning?

All you have to do is write a 100 word essay telling why Golden should win. Go to for the rules. All entries are to be submitted on line. Parents, staff and students can enter.

Good luck!

Winner--Steel Trapp The Challenge

Justin O. from Mrs. Hope's class has won this book. Congratulations Justin!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Calpurnia called Callie Tate is the only daughter of 7 children. It is 1899 and as a girl she is expected to learn how to sew, cook and keep house to someday make a good wife and mother. However, this summer she and her grandfather discover they both have a love of science. With granddaddy's help she explores, reads, discovers and learns that what she really wants is to go to the university. Callie's relationship with her grandfather is wonderfully full of love and science. He doesn't give her answers but helps her figure them out. The telephone and automobile are entering their small town in Texas and you will really get a feel for what it was like to live at the turn of the century. The 20th century!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winner--Amelia's Middle School Survival Guide

Congratulations to Lauren Y. from Mrs. Ayala's class. Lauren is the winner of AMELIA'S MIDDLE SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Winner--Demonkeeper by Royce Buckingham

Congratulations to SEAN G. from Mrs. Ayala's class. Sean has won the copy of DEMONKEEPER signed by the author Royce Buckingham.

Contest-Steel Trap : The Challenge by Ridley Pearson

Would you like a chance to win this thriller? To be entered into the contest leave a comment on this blog telling me which book was your favorite book out of all the books you were required to read in school. The contest will end on Monday, October 26th at 11:59 PM.
Be sure to leave your name, last initial and teacher.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contest-for 6th grade girls only

Do you wonder what it will be like in middle school? Amelia will help you with her survival guide. To enter this contest comment on this post and tell me what you will miss about Golden the most when you are promoted and move on to middle school. Remember to include your first name, last initial and teacher.
The contest will end Thursday, October 22 at 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Singing the Star Bangled Banner at a NY Mets game

One of the highlights of my life is singing the Star Spangled Banner at Citifield before a NY Mets game. I am in a group called the Long Island Transplant Recipients International Organization singers. Most singers are either organ recipients, donors or family members. In my case I am a family member. My brother is a kidney recipient and my dad was the donor. Enjoy 21 seconds of this event.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Contest-Demonkeeper by Royce Buckingham

Do you like funny books? Do you like scary books? How about a book that is really scary and also laugh-out-loud funny? That's DEMONKEEPER by Royce Buckingham and in the next contest I am giving away an autographed hard back copy.

To be entered in the contest comment on this post and tell me why YOU should win this book. For an extra entry tell me what your favorite book is and why it's your favorite book in a separate comment. Please be sure to include your name, last initial and teacher.

The contest will end October 18th at 11:59PM and is only for my current students.

Good luck!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Dog Days winner announced

Wow! We had a great response on the first contest. Thank you to all of you that participated. Please, keep reading my blog and writing comments. I love to read your comments.

The winner of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Dog Days by Jeff Kinney is ETHAN F. in Mrs. Gordillo's class. Congratulations Ethan!

Check soon for the new contest.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Miranda receives anonymous letters telling her things that will happen in the future. For some reason her best friend decides not to be friends with her. Miranda makes new friends but is asked in the notes not to share them with anyone. She reads A WRINKLE IN TIME over and over again and begins discussing time travel with come classmates. She is also helping her mom practice to be on a game show. If you loved A WRINKLE IN TIME you will enjoy this book. If you are interested in time travel you will enjoy this book. If you want to know what it's like to grow up in New York City you will enjoy this book.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kyle's Island by Sally Derby

I just finished reading an ARC (advance readers copy) of this book. Every summer Kyle and his family travel to the family cabin. There Kyle spends endless hours exploring the lake, fishing, playing with his sisters and younger brother and spending time with the locals. Sadly his dad has left the family and it seems mom can't afford the upkeep on the cabin anymore. Kyle takes on a few jobs hoping to help pay the taxes on the house.

The writing is so beautiful in this book. I could picture the lake and the sky and the shore. Some of my favorite parts of the book are the fishing scenes. For anyone who loves to fish you will love this story. Let me know if you'd like to read it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Rotten Life by David Lubar

Check out this hysterical trailer for MY ROTTEN LIFE by David Lubar.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech

Zola and her father move from America to Switzerland to open up a school. They happen to move into Casa Rosa where an angel has been living and looking over the people in the town for 100s of years. The villagers are quirky and aren't too happy about the orphans that are stealing clothes and food while they hide out in the chicken shed. Funny thing though. When Zola and the angel decide to help the orphans there's an interesting turn of events and the entire village gets involved.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Red Blazer Girls : The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil

This book was such a fun read that I read it in one sitting on a flight from New York back to Los Angeles. Sophie, a 7th grader sees something in the window of a church across the way from her school. She and 2 friends sneak away to see what it was. Turns out an older woman, long out of touch with her daughter entices the girls to figure out a clue to a mystery that is over 20 years old. Will the remaining clues still exist? Will the treasure still be there? Find out in this mystery that includes literary references, friendship, first crushes and caring adults. The first in a new series.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Peter is a ten-year-old orphan who is being raised by a retired soldier. He has been told by the soldier that his sister died the day she was born but Peter has memories of a holding a crying baby. One day instead of buying bread he pays a fortuneteller who tells him an elephant will lead him to his sister. That night an elephant magically crashes through the opera house ceiling. Can this elephant really help Peter find his sister? A wonderful fantasy about love and hope.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp by Jim Arnosky

After their abusive father hits their mother and they believe it was fatally, Sandy and Jack are kidnapped by him and driven from Pennsylvania to the Florida Keys. After watching a nature show on TV in a hotel room about the crocodile swamp they decide to escape from their dad taking the money from his wallet. They buy supplies, borrow a boat name Libertad (freedom)and head to the swamp to hideout. Always being surrounded by crocodiles, fishing for their meals and meeting a real pirate are just a few of their adventures as they strive to survive. An exciting adventure full of facts about sharks, crocodiles, fish and birds.

Extra Credit by Andrew Clement

Abby is a sixth grader who is failing just about every class. Her teachers are willing to promote her if she does all her homework and gets a B or better on every test and quiz for the rest of the school year. And, she needs to do an extra credit project. Abby's project is writing to a pen pal in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, Sadeed, a 12-year-old boy is chosen to be Abby's pen pal because he is the best at writing and reading English. However, due to Afghan custom a boy and girl cannot communicate like that so the elders decide that the letters should come from Sadeed's sister.
What can two people from two different parts of the world talk about? You'd be surprised. Another great book from Andrew Clements.

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

Penny moves with her mother to Hogs Hollow leaving her dad, apartment, friends and school behind in New York. She helps her mom and grandma in the bakery and for the entire summer does not meet anyone her own age except Charity who turns out to be a bully. At school she finally makes some friends including the boy she sees running on the beach and whom she develops a crush on. Penny is an artist and designs delectable cupcakes. However, her life has been turned upside down and we wonder can she make a new life in Hogs Hollow or should she go back to NY to live with her father if she can?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Neil Gaiman video previews of books

If you are familiar with CORALINE (the book or movie) you've probably heard of Neil Gaiman. Mr. Gaiman won the 2009 Newbery Medal for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. Yes, his books for young readers tend to be a little scary but they are so good!
This website has a video trailer for his newest book ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS and trailers for his other books too.
There is also a way to win a free copy of this new book. Go to
to enter for a chance to win.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Alex Rider Series

Back in the summer of 2001 I read STORMBREAKER by Anthony Horowitz. Alex Rider, the main character is a 14-year-old James Bond type forced into espionage for the British Government. This book quickly became one of my son's favorite and I have been recommending it to my students ever since. The series has grown and it's popularity has not waned. Here's a look at the cover of the newest, CROCODILE TEARS.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Contest-Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

This contest is open to students in my library only.

Would you like to win a copy of the new book Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Dog Days (number 4)? To be entered into the contest just leave a comment telling me why YOU should win this book. Leave your first name and last initial and your teacher's name.
The contest is open until October 10, 2009.

Good luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book Fair

My book fair is one day down 4 days to go. It's so exciting to see students excited about buying books. There are so many great books on display and the library wish list is quite long. Stop by and say hil In the meantime I am reading some of the books from the fair. As a matter of fact I'm reading three at a time!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley

Check out this contest at for a signed copy of THE STOLEN ONE.

The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer

The Teashop GirlsImagine spending time with your best friends in the teashop that your grandparents built 30 years ago. You adore tea. You love your grandma and miss your grandpa who died a few years back. Finally you are old enough to work there and at the same time your grandma hires a cute boy who you develop a crush on. Sadly business isn't going well and it looks like the shop will have to close. Now it's time for you and your friends (the teashop girls) to get into action and strum up business. However, if one friend is always playing tennis, one is taking acting classes and the cute boy likes your sister will things work out? THE TEASHOP GIRLS is filled with recipes, romance and friendship. A fun read for girls who just want to have some fun.\

Friday, September 18, 2009

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis

This is a wonderful sequel to Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. The honest and loving relationship between Emma-Jean and her mom is heartwarming. Emma-Jean is unsure why her heart beats fast or she gets all nervous near Will until her mom explains about crushes. Strong friendships, a small mystery and a lot of love makes this a fine read especially for girls looking for romances.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

If you enjoy Gail Carson Levine's books you will enjoy this one.

Lucinda is orphaned at 5 years old. She is brought up by an Uncle who loves her and an aunt who does not. When a prince, a mysterious lady and a thief enter her life everything changes. There is a little magic, a little romance
and a little fantasy and it is a quick enjoyable read.

Back to school

Summer is ending. The leaves are turning orange and yellow and red. There's a slight chill in the air. The sweaters come out. The swimsuits are packed away for next summer. Oh, that's how it was when I was growing up in New York City. Here the weather stays hot for awhile and most of the trees stay green all year round. However, we are still back to school so welcome back!

I hope you all had a great summer. The highlights of mine were spending time with my family in NY and enjoying facebook reunions with elementary school, junior high, camp and high school friends who I haven't seen in a very, very long time. Seeing two Broadway plays (Next to Normal and West Side Story) was another highlight.

Summer was chance for me to do some reading. So intertwined with my currents reads I will be blogging about books I read over the summer.

Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar

Scott begins freshman year in high school being bullied by upper graders, having a crush on a girl he's known since kindergarten and dealing with his parents having a baby. To be near the girl he likes he auditons for the school play, runs for student council and joins the school newspaper. He also keeps a journal for his new sibling to help him not make the same mistakes when he grows up. My favorite part of this book is that Scott is an avid reader and there are references galore to children's books.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Some of my 6th grade girls requested "romantic" books. When I asked a few what made a book romantic they said when a boy and girl hold hands. This led me to THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY which is exactly what they want and not too high school mature. An enjoyable read for a lazy day on the beach, a rainy day or any day.

Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise

DYING TO MEET YOU is book 1 in the new 43 Old Cemetary Road series by sisters Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise (illustrator).
They are best known for REGARDING THE FOUNTAIN and similar to that book this one is written in letters, notes, newspaper articles and pages from a book. I.B. Grumply moves into an old house to write a book in a series he is well known for. After having writers block for 20 years he is determined to accomplish this task. However Seymour Hope, an 11 year-old occupant of the house and a ghost named Olive C. Spence have other ideas.

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg

Set in 1977 this historical fiction books tells the story of Matt who was air-lifted out of Saigon two years earlier and adopted by an American family. Memories haunt him day and night of leaving his brother and mother behind and the guilt he feels about his brother being maimed by a bomb. Written in verse, this novel explores a loving family, Vietnam Vets, a supportive coach and baseball and the power of love.