Monday, January 25, 2016

New to Our Shelves

No Summit Out of Sight

by Jordan Romero

Review by Jack P.

For every goal that you set there must be a finish line at the end. Start setting your goal because there is a great goal that you are about to see. In the book No Summit Out Of Sight by Jordan Romero with Linda LeBlanc there are many inspirations in this great non-fiction book.
As a 9 year old boy, Jordan sets a goal to climb the seven summits of the world. When he tells his parents that he wants to do this, they say that it's okay but that it will take a lot of work. Right away, Jordan knew it was going to take hard work and training. Throughout the book, readers journey with Jordan as he experiences ups and downs.
This book is filled with inspiration and tons of determination. I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it to teenagers and even adults because anyone could be inspired from this book. My favorite parts were when he was climbing up the mountains. Some parts are so descriptive it feels like you are actually there with him climbing the mountain.
No Summit Out of Sight is an absolute must-read and should be on the top of everyone's to-read lists. Even if you don't usually read nonfiction, give this book a try maybe you will be inspired! I would totally give this book a rating of 5 stars. If you would like to see additional information on his climbs you can visit

New Release Review!

The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire

by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Review by Natalie S.

The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire, is actually on fire! The book wows readers with the bright colored cover, but that’s not all that amazes! The funny stories shared in the novel also throw people for a loop.
Recently I read the book The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester. The book lives up to the title “Amazing”. The book shares the story of Dan and Phil and how they got to where they are today. 
It begins when they were born, where the two asked their moms what they were like as a child and include all of the answers on the first two pages. Next, Dan and Phil share their experiences going through school. They tell you about their middle school, high school, and university life, even a few pages of tacky things they’ve done as a child, like breed hamsters and ending up in a terrible dorm. There are even pages that relate to characters in some of their video sketches! Readers see Becky and Jessica's pages and Dan’s cringe attacks. 
Another clever item added to this book are the funny quizzes. These quizzes include one about which one of their household chairs you would be and your very own guide to becoming a Youtuber!
More wacky events are shared throughout the whole book, it’s like you go on the journey with Dan and Phil! You journey from childhood, through university life, to starting their youtube channels with them!

If you aspire to be a Youtuber or just want a good laugh, I highly recommend this amazing book. Youtubers danisnotonfire and amazingphil made a masterpiece of crazy moments into a 200 page book. The amazing book is always on fire!  

Monday, January 18, 2016

New to Our Shelves Review

 Belles by Jen Calonita

Put yourself in the position of a teenage girl who is just like your ordinary teen. Life is good, you’re meeting your close friends at the typical Friday hangout and having to explain to your parent or guardian why you were home past your curfew. The only concerns you may face is the homework that was due last Tuesday or if the special someone you like feels the same way. Well, for Izzie Scott, life is quite different. Author Jen Calonita brings you Belles, a novel you truly don’t want to miss.

Belles is a realistic fiction novel that shares a story about a girl named Isabelle  “Izzie” Scott, that experiences a drastic change in her life. Growing up, Izzie lived with her grandmother in the not so nice part of South Carolina: Harborside. Gradually, Izzie sees her grandmother is starting to lose her battle to Alzheimer's Disease and a surprising visit comes from her social worker announcing that her grandmother is giving her custody to her long lost uncle who lives in Emerald Cove. It’s all in the name, Emerald Cove is the elite town of South Carolina, where the wealthiest of the wealthiest live. Izzie has never once heard of her Uncle and his family, so when she first moves in with them her whole life begins to change.
On the flip side of things, Mira Monroe is Izzie’s long lost uncle’s daughter. Having some girl she never heard about become her adopted sister is quite a change. Lots of responsibility is held upon her to introduce Izzie to the new privileged private school and show her through Emerald Cove. As easy as it may seem, drama stirs up and the book begins.
One key thing that really kept me reading Belles, was the main message of the story. It really showed me to always be there for my family and to never change myself for someone or something else. Izzie is one of the characters really resembles the theme. With all that is thrown upon her, she really handles everything really well, that any ordinary person couldn’t. It really gives personal motivation for yourself.
Besides all that, Jen Calonita really brings humor throughout the book. From the family struggles that are totally relatable to the funny remarks of Mira’s little brother, you can’t prevent a smile to appear on your face. This book is more directed towards readers through grades 7th grade and up. If you really enjoy a feel good,coming of age story, you can’t miss Belles by Jen Calonita.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Susan Dennard Skype Chat

After reading the Something Strange and Deadly series, chatting with Susan Dennard was an exciting experience! Our Academic 2 ELA class talked to Susan on November 12, 2015, during the month of NaNoWriMo, and she gave us some helpful tips for our writing. After asking what inspired her books, Susan said that music inspired her writing and some of her characters. Other words of advice included ways to conquer writer's block, and how to kill off a character. Her advice helped me write, and helped others as well. I decided to use the music advice because I am a music lover myself. Definitely listening to different genres and artists help you find ideas because of lyrics and sound.
Talking to an author also inspired me to write more. It showed me that someone could be successful with the career and made me want to maybe head down that path in the future.

Susan Dennard is the author of a best-selling book, so chatting with her is everyone's dream! Talking to the bestselling author was the experience of a lifetime because not a lot of people get to experience something like that.  I would like to thank Susan Dennard and Mrs. Kelly for giving our class such an amazing experience!  
By: Natalie S.

Monday, January 11, 2016

ARC Review of The Possibility of Now

Just imagine, one day you’re the valedictorian of your top tier high school, and the next there is a video on YouTube with over 600,000 views of you and scraps of your old life. The Possibility of Now features Mara, an over-achiever who attends a prestigious private school in San Diego. But one day, a full-blown panic attacks complete with shredding papers and screaming before a test sends her whole world plummeting down. Mara travels up to Tahoe to live with her life-absent father, Trick, and everything she’s ever believed and worked for is put to the ultimate test.
Mara faces many difficulties upon reaching Tahoe. From boys to school, she’s neck deep in adventure. Mara is an absolute favorite character because I can easily relate to her and she is very similar to who I strive to be. Both major perfectionists, I believe that her going to Tahoe has inspired me to expand and live out of my control.
Kim Cultberson sets a beautiful vision for Mara’s world. She writes every character spectacularly, and doesn’t make up any cliches to help to move her plot along.  Her own story is enough. The Possibility of Now teaches readers to live in the now, and that life should be embraced, not clutched at trying to survive. The person that you grew up as is not always your true self, as evident with Mara - there is “San Diego Mara”, “Tahoe Mara”, and my personal favorite, just Mara.
Finally, I would highly, highly recommend this book. It stands apart from any other realistic fiction novels on the radar, and I would recommend it for people looking for a way to escape from their own reality. Every character written is relatable in their own way. It gives a glimpse of what living outside of your comfort zone really has to offer.
5/5 stars.                                                                     
The Possibility of Now comes to shelves January 26th, 2016.      

By: Devon K.

Erin Bowman Skype

“Revise,Revise.Polish,Polish,” is just one of the many writing tips author Erin Bowman shared with Woodstown Middle School students. On Friday, January 8th, Woodstown Middle students held a skype session with author  Erin Bowman. Erin Bowman is the author of the Taken series and Vengeance Road. Both books are fairly different with one leading you back into the “Wild West” and the other giving you a dystopian vibe. Just as a young girl, Erin always loved to read or write. Having her mother as a librarian, she always got a head start on new books and had a wide variety for a choice selection.  Her biggest influence as a writer is the Harry Potter Series. Just like Hogwarts, Erin wanted to be able to create a world where readers wanted to live in through her writing. Not only that, “Inspiration comes from many things,” she said. A tiny voice in her head about an 18 year old boy, sparked the idea of the Taken series. It just goes to show, that amazing stories can be created through the simplest ways. Along with that some of Erin’s favorite books include the Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.

During the skype session we asked many questions and one happened to be, “If you could be one of the characters you created, who would you want to be?” Out of all the character’s Erin created, she would want to be Kate from Vengeance Road. Kate is a very strong-willed girl, who doesn’t struggle with confrontation or let anyone hold her back. Erin really admires her traits and hopes to let them have an impact on herself. Speaking of characters, Erin currently is working on two different books. One is a companion novel to Vengeance Road, which takes place in the west but has a completely different story. Then she started working on a sci-fi novel about a mission that goes terribly wrong! One thing I found interesting was that Erin really is amazing at writing different types of genres. Not all her books are the same. Lastly as Erin advises, pick up a fresh notebook, brainstorm ideas, and then move to a computer to begin creating a story of your own.  
By Julia L.