August 10, 2012

Fierce, Fearless and Free.

Stand Up for Girls with LitWorld 
and Take Action for Every Girl's Right to a Quality Education on 10.11.12, the International Day of the Girl

523 million girls and women worldwide cannot read or write.

 Let us stand together to champion the right of all girls to be

Fierce, Fearless and Free.
 LitWorld, an organization working towards achieving global literacy, has launched the Stand Up for Girls campaign to advocate for every girl's right to a quality education. Our entire civilization is at stake when girls’ lives are fragile because they are prevented from accessing the right to read and write. All girls must be able to vote with their names, read their medicine bottles, farm their land, ride a subway and go to college. Stand Up for Girls speaks to these issues and gives us all a chance, young and old, to show our daughters and the sisters of our hearts that we have not forgotten, that we want the world to be safe, fair and full of hope for all of them.

 Visit and pledge your commitment to take action and create positive change for women and girls worldwide, and to learn how to participate in LitWorld’s Photo Contest, plan your own Stand Up for Girls Event, become a Stand Up for Girls Champion, and more. Tell 10 people you know about Stand Up for Girls to help spread the world as far as possible. Ask your 10 to Tell 10 more people and together, let’s shout from the rooftops that every girl has the right to be fierce, fearless and free. 

Follow LitWorld:

August 9, 2012

SUCCESS: Mission Possible

New School Year, New Students, Even a New Room Make-Over
Welcome students and parents to 2012-2013: a year of learning opportunities!

I am always looking for new ideas to engage students in a successful school experience, so when I was asked to read and review Mission Possible: Secrets of the Success, written by Founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter Schools, Eva Moskowitz, and literacy expert, Arin Lavinia, I was eager.

This is my 20th year teaching middle school students. I have seen incredible changes in education, technology, and society during this time. Stagnation has never been a problem with this age group or profession, so when asked to comment on the following comment, I was at a loss.

 “Stagnation, being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level, is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale.  Why do you think this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions?” 

I believe that there are many reasons a teacher is at times “…unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level…” and the teaching profession is treated differently from other professions. As stated over and over again in Mission Possible, this can change when the education community works together with success as the overall goal.

After reading the book, I am as eager to share some key points in my back to school post. It is my hope that these ideas will ignite thinking and actions within our school community especially among our administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students.

“Secrets of Success” shared:
  • Keeping students challenged and engaged in learning.
  • Keeping parents informed, involved and engaged in learning.
  • Keeping teachers and administrators trained, prepared and engaged in learning.

I smile knowing, that our school district already knows this “Secret.”
We already focus on all of these points- daily. Can we do better?
Simple answer,  Yes- daily.
  • Teachers must have time and resources to prepare rigorous and passionate lessons.
  • Parents must support and invest in their child’s learning.
  • Students must take advantage of every opportunity with a goal of life-long learning.

Mission Possible shows when everyone focuses on these goals, success happens. I plan to use the last chapter title “Call to Action” as a reminder that I need to continue to make a difference.  
2012-2013 school year has SUCCESS written all over it.

Give Away: An extra copy of Mission Possible was made available to gift to one of my readers. The book also includes a DVD sharing student and teacher interactions shared in the book. I will randomly choosing a winner on August  31st. Simply leave a comment with your email contact information so I can contact the winner.

This sponsored post is part of a campaign presented by Read Mission and the SITS Girls. You can learn more about Mission Possible by following them on Twitter and Facebook. I was compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

August 6, 2012

Guys (and Gals) Read Sport Pages

A lineman with something to prove
              A vendetta against a baseball legend
The rise of a real-life NHL all-star
                           The luckiest grapefruit in sports history

Open up The Sports Pages, the third volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading, and you're in for all of this and more. From fiction to nonfiction, from baseball to mixed martial arts and everything in between, these are ten stories about the rush of victory and the crush of defeat on and off the field. 

Compiled by kid-lit all-star Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: The Sports Pages is a thrilling collection of brand-new short stories from some of your favorite authors and athletes.

Like Funny Business and Thriller, the first two Guys Read books, The Sports Pages is a collection of ten stories from middle grade fiction writers, along with some exciting guest contributors. This time around, it’s only fitting that some stories come directly from athletes themselves. 

Don't forget, the "Gals" will love this as much as the "Guys."

A great site to get into the game of reading:

February 27, 2012

OMS Academy Book Awards

2012 OMS Reading Academy Award Winners

1.  Best Female Character in a Leading Role – Bella, Twilight
2.  Best Male Character in a Leading Role – Greg, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
3.  Best Female Character in a Supporting Role – Hermione, Harry Potter
4.  Best Male Character in a Supporting Role – Ron Weasley, Harry Potter
5.  Best Author – Peg Kehret
6.  Best Book Cover – Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney
7.  Best Realistic Fiction – Hatchet, Paulsen
8.  Best Historical Fiction – The Boy in Striped Pajamas, Boyne
9.  Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopia – Lightning Thief, Riordan
10.  Best Poetry – Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein
11.  Best Nonfiction/Biography – Diary of Anne Frank, Frank
12.  Best Graphic Novel – Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney
13.  Best Mystery – Abduction, Kehret
14.  Best Horror – Goosebumps, Stine
15.  Best Sports – Boost, Mackel
16.  Best Romance – Twilight, Meyer
17.  Best Animal Book – Cracker, Kadohata
18.  Best Series – Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney

January 29, 2012

World Read Aloud Day on 3/7 - "Change the World, Story by Story"

 Celebrate World Read Aloud Day on 3/7 -- "Change the World, Story by Story"

WRADlogo World Read Aloud Day is back and bigger than ever

793 million adults worldwide lack basic reading and writing skills. This World Read Aloud Day, the globe will connect like never before. Let us together read and share to advocate for the power of words and stories.

Change the World, Story by Story

This amazing day is sponsored by LitWorld, whose mission is, "to use the power of story to cultivate literacy skills in the world's most vulnerable children through Education, Advocacy and Innovation."
* Books of Wonder in New York City!: We are excited to announce that Books of Wonder will host LitWorld’s signature World Read Aloud Day event. Stay tuned for the official schedule with details about our special guest authors and exciting workshops all day long.

* Join a LitWorld Video Chat: If you would like to take part in a video chat on World Read Aloud Day as a LitWorld classroom or special guest reader, please sign up at
Let’s rally for Global Literacy, together.
Facebook - Twitter - YouTube - Tumblr 
[Twitter Hashtag: #readaloud]

January 20, 2012

Bigger Than a Breadbox

Bigger Than A Breadbox

Getting what you want when you want it- Wow! This may be everyone's wish. But, even when we are quite young, we find out this isn't reality...but.. what if it really was possible with a few exceptions- the wish made needs to be able to fit in a breadbox.

Bigger than a Breadbox is about a magical antique bread box that grants wishes to a young girl who's life has been turned upside down by her parents' divorce/separation. Rebecca finds this wish maker after being whisked away to her grandma's house after her parents can't seem to figure out how to stay together.

The only positive thing about this separation for Rebecca is the breadbox. After granting her a book in the attic to help her overcome loneliness, many wishes find their into the box: snack cakes, lip gloss, candy and even a cell phone. When the bread box is empty after wishing for what she wants most- her family back together- Rebecca finds her thoughts moving from the material to the emotional list of wishes.

The magic of the breadbox has its limits and consequences just like Rebecca finds that her life has. This book is thought- provoking and brings one to think of their own magic and how one's wishes may or may not be possible or even wise.

A MUST READ for all ages because we all have wishes even if we don't have a breadbox.

January 12, 2012

The Nerdy Book Club

I did it! I joined a club!
 I haven't "officially" joined a "club" since college and I am excited!
So what did I have to do to gain membership? 
Was there a secret handshake I had to learn? 
Did it cost a lot of money in membership dues? 
Do I have to wear a silly uniform or perform tricks?
Here was the membership questioned asked of me:

Do you love to read?  Is talking about books something that you can’t live without?
If you answered yes to those questions, congratulations, you are a member of the Nerdy Book Club. 
YES, was my answer!
I'll tell you about the handshake, $$, and tricks later, but I can show you what will be on my silly uniform:

Join me by joining the Nerdy Book Club and read about the other members at

January 2, 2012

The 4th Stall Part II

The Fourth Stall Part II  by: Chris Rylander
Waldon Pond Press

Mac and Vince's business is overflowing!
(Which could be messy in a boys bathroom)
All the normal problems of surviving school and starting 6th grade are being handled by Mac and his guys. They even have a new teacher/baseball coach that likes the Cubs as much as they do.
Then things start going wrong: school lunches that would add calories and fat that even our fast-food restaurants couldn't serve, gym class easy enough for newborns, animal droppings showing up in lockers, and a strange new 8th grade girl, Trixie, that puts everyone in a tizzy. 
Can't get worse? Wrong!
Dr. George is brought in to FIX the problems and to administer the state standardized test that could close down the school not to mention Max's business. 
Can Max figure out how to save the school? 
Will he and Vince make the baseball team? 
Are girls really more dangerous than shotguns? 
Can anyone pass the SMART test?
Read The Forth Stall Part II and enjoy the middle school mystery!

January 1, 2012

New Year- New Books!

So, what is your New Year Resolution? 

Here is my reading goal for 2012:
  • I will read at least 212 books this year. These will be from a variety of genres and mediums. 
  • My favorite way to "read" is using the old-fashioned/low tech "book" but I will also use audio books and e-books. 
  • I will track my reading on and on this blog
  • Since I read over 111 books last year, I hope that 212 books is attainable yet leaves a bit of a challenge. 
Make your reading goal attainable, measurable and challenge yourself just a bit : HAPPY READING!