book bucks + reading list for 1st graders

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Earlier at work the kids came in the classroom all excited. It's time for book bucks again!! And I have to say, though I'm not the one getting to do all the fun and getting the prizes, I admit I get excited too when it's that time again.

I never had any sort of reading program when I was young and in school in the Philippines; I just sort of read on my own, and based off my cousin's and sister's recommendations. I'm wondering, did you ever experience the book bucks program? If so, were you as into reading then as you are now? And if you didn't get to do all that, how were your schools when it came to books and reading activities?

On another note, sort of related to that, I am wondering if you know any particular titles that are good for 1st graders. I remember reading Sweet Valley, Goosebumps, The Little Princess, among many others at that time, but I'd like to hear some more age (and school) appropriate titles that you may remember. I am trying to come up with a recommended reading list for 1st graders, and so far, it's been a challenge.

Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go was one of those books that I really, really wanted to love. In some ways, I liked it. But for the most part, I really did not enjoy it.

I loved the concept first of all. I was definitely immersed in this world that the author created. It's highly imaginable and creative. Would I like to live in a world like this? Of course not, but it made me think of what it would be like if I did, and for a book to be able to make me imagine being in a fictional setting, is enough for me to give it a good rating.

However, there were some major flaws in this book. You may all know; I'm an emotional reader. It's easy for me to fall in love with characters and their stories, as well as empathize with them. But for this book, I wasn't emotionally invested at all. First off, I disliked the main character, Todd. I didn't find him likable at all, so I couldn't even care or root for him. Everything just felt a bit mechanical as well as contrived for me.

Also, I feel as if far too many books strive so hard to surprise their readers by giving twists and shocking information, that in a way, it has become incredibly predictable. This book is no exception to that trend.

I have to be honest; I really wanted to love this book, mainly because everyone keeps raving about it! And while there are some areas that I liked - like the concept and the writing - I wasn't particularly fond of the main character, as well as the story's pace and development. I can see why people love this book so much, but for me, something was just missing.

I need your help and support!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I would like to ask a huge favor from you guys. I just recently applied to a summer internship hosted by the Sierra Club and the North Face. They are looking for their 2012 Outdoors Youth Ambassador. They're looking for someone who can lead kids and teens during the summer time, doing all kinds of outdoor activities, all while video blogging and documenting the experience for the online community to see.

I believe I'm the right one for the job because I am passionate about nature, working with and helping kids, as well as blogging. The thing is, I need your votes in order for me to be included in the top 10 finalists. So please go to the link below, click the yellow thumbs up button to vote for me, and then watch the video if you'd like.

I would so greatly appreciate if you take the time to do this for me. I hope you guys are having an awesome weekend so far! Again, thank you!

should you watch the Hunger Games?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

You all know I'm a fan of the Hunger Games series (despite my negative feelings towards Mockingjay and how everything ended) and that I have been excited to see this movie ever since they released the first teaser trailer for it. So, this past late Thursday night/Friday morning, I went ahead and saw the movie on a midnight premiere. And I have to say, I was very impressed.

I am not going to say much about it since I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but I felt like they definitely were able to capture the feeling of the book. It was dark, exciting, intense, and heartbreaking at times. Also, I thought the actors did an amazing job portraying their characters - especially Katniss and Peeta, as well as Haymitch, Primrose, and Rue.

I could also tell the creators of this film tried their absolute best to stay true to the book, and I think they did so very well. They put almost every single important aspect from the book; everything was so spot-on!

As a side note, I absolutely love the way this film was edited. I don't usually notice these things, but it truly stood out to me. Another thing that stood out was the soundtrack. Awesome music - definitely fits!

I've heard some people complain about the movie - to be honest with you guys, I have never been more annoyed to hear book-to-movie complaints than when I heard the things said about this one. Maybe it's because I genuinely thought the movie was good, and I couldn't personally find anything really wrong with it. Oh well... can't please everyone, I guess. And as always, to each his own, right?

Anyway, what did you think of it?? Let me know! And if you haven't seen it yet, do so already! Most definitely worth $10 (or maybe even more)
As always, happy reading, happy weekend, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

news: Florida, books, and BEA

Sunday, March 11, 2012

So, it's official! I've talked about this numerous times - about how I wish I wish I wish, I could go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter someday. I mean, let's face it; who wouldn't?? Well, finally, after about a year of just thinking about it, our little getaway is booked. We're going to Florida for a good six nights.

We're of course going to the Disneyworld parks - since I've only been to Disneyland in California - for three days. Then, we're spending one day at the Harry Potte
r park. I am beyond excited! I knew I had to share this with you guys since you'd appreciate this news more than anyone else I know in real life. Haha.
I know some of you have been there before, so I guess I wanted to ask you guys, 'What'd you think?' Did you like your visit, are there any particular activities you did that you think we should do? Let me know, please!

In other news, people have been starting to ask me about Book Expo America 2012. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be going. I had to choose between BEA and the Florida trip, and obviously, I happily chose the latter. If you are going though, let me know as well.

Lastly, I wanted to mention I am currently reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I'm really liking its style so far. We'll see.

Anyway, what are you guys reading, and what have you all been up to? Sorry I've been so MIA. Hope you're having a great weekend.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rating: 2.5 stars
Review: This is a cute story. It's perfectly readable, is fast-paced, and is entertaining. However, this book screams cliche for me, sadly. Stereotypical characters, cliche dialogues, overly contrived scenarios... unfortunately. As a whole, this book just didn't seem believable to me. I get it's a fictional story, but I believe good fiction should deliver a realistic-enough story that readers would really believe it can be their own version of reality. This is just my opinion though.

That being said, Lola and the Boy Next Door was a light, fun read. Entertaining enough. I didn't hate it. It just did not 'speak' to me. It didn't have the same charm Anna and the French Kiss had. In fact, I found it a bit corny, and not exactly in a good way. I also found the main protagonist, Lola, somewhat annoying and somewhat pretentious. The male lead was not 'lovable' either, and I didn't particularly find anyone else likable as well.

I would still recommend this, mostly to fans of Anna and the French Kiss. For me, though it was light-hearted and fun, I was disappointed.