Sunday, July 15, 2012

Addiction, Audio Books and A Giveaway

Here's a fact I should have shared in my "7 Random Facts" post.  I can't get enough of books.  I buy books waaayyy too often.  I take at least 3 books out of the library every week.  I stop strangers and ask them what they are reading.  I download books onto both my Nook and iPad weekly.  And I listen to books in my car instead of music.  (Which is kind of a shame because I also love music.  But that's another post.)

I want to share two audio books I have recently finished that were really, really good!  In fact both, I think, are better in audio than they would have been in print.  Anyone else ever have that experience?  Oh, and they're both YA books.

The first book I want to share is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  It was great.  Puzzling at times, but definitely worth hanging in there.  Here's the synopsis from Shelfari:

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late. 

So I was listening to this in my car, and I kept referring back to the teaser on the case.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out where this was going.  Which, of course, is what made it so great!   One of the best parts (that I am willing to give away) is that Miranda's mom is trying out for The $25,000 Pyramid.  Remember that show?  (I'm old; I remember.)  I was thinking that it would be fun to create a Pyramid game on the ActivBoard for the kids to play as review.  

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a clip.

I don't see many of my 5th graders as sticking with this long enough to get into it.  (5th graders are a fickle bunch.)  For that reason I would recommend When You Reach Me as a read aloud in 5th grade.  Older students would love this on their own.

The second novel I've been listening to is Skullduggery Pleasant.  This is the first in a series from Derek Landy. From Shelfari:

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: ace detective, snappy dresser, razor-tongued wit, crackerjack sorcerer and walking, talking, fire-throwing skeleton - as well as protector and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old. These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil. The end of the world? Over his dead body.

The best thing about this book: the narrator!  Rupert Degas does an AHHH-MAZing job of differentiating between characters.  His voices go from creepy to silly and everything in between.  The story itself reminds me a lot of (text-to-text) Gerald's story in The Billionaire's Curse which I reviewed {here}.  This would be great in a Listen to Reading station for Daily 5 or as a read aloud for the whole class.  It's very fun!

I know this is a really long post, but I have one more thing to add.  Have you entered this amazing giveaway yet?  She is giving away a TON of stuff!  Plus, she's a Musical Theater Dork - just like me! (Her word is Nerd - I prefer Dork.)


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