Tag Archives: john green

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorites from the last 3 years

3 Mar


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the last three years!  Here are my favorites from 2012, 2013, & 2014.

Disclaimer: Okay this list was hard.  And I learned that 2013 was an AMAZING reading year for me.  It was really hard to not pick almost all of them from that year.


1. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume (2014)

This is a cheat.  This is my favorite book that I have reread more times than I count.  But I reread it last year, so it gets on the list.

AS King

2. AS King Books (2012 & 2013)

This is another cheat.  I have read all four of these in the last three years and I cannot choose just one for this list.  So AS King just gets added on her own.

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (2012)

This satire is one that I will never forget.  It is hilarious but it also makes you think about the world we live in.

4. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (2012)

This is my favorite Courtney Summers book.  I have had so many copies of this one because I cannot keep it on my shelf and it grows legs and walks away.

5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (2012)

This book.  This book.  That’s all I can keep saying.  It made me cry like I have never cried over a book (and I’ve cried over a lot of books).  Beautiful.  Haunting.

6. Looking for Alaska by John Green (2012)

Hands down my favorite John Green book.  I think everyone should read this one.

7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (2013)

This book is why historical fiction is so important: it tells a story not usually told.  It is powerful.

8. Sold by Patrica McCormick (2013)

I love Patricia McCormick for telling the difficult stories that need to be told.  Her verse was unforgettable.  This one has also made some rounds in my classroom.

9. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (2013)

I loved Carley and her story.  I still think of her often.  This is one I love sharing with others.

10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (2014)

My favorite book of last year.  This one amazed me with both the writing and the story.  I have loved giving it to other readers and discussing it with them.

What have been your favorites over these last three years?


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Give Readers Who Never Read YA

5 Aug

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Top Ten Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read X (blogger chooses the topic).  As I am passionate about YA and read that the most, here are 10 books I would use to introduce readers to YA.

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green

John Green is an amazing author.  The Fault in Our Stars is probably his most popular work; however, my favorite book by him is this one.  Love the characters and this story so much.

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This is the first YA book I read in college.  Melinda’s story is one that stays with me year after year.

3.  The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

I love this book and my students love this book.  It is a great story and ties in a classic with Of Mice and Men.  

4. Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

I love the emotion in this book and the lessons that can be learned from Deanna’s story.  

5. Shattering Glass by Gail Giles

This story still haunts me even after two and half years!  The way it is put together keeps readers wanting to know more.  

6. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

This would be a great introduction to verse as well as YA novels.  The voice in here is amazing and Sophie is a completely believable teenager.

 7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 

This book is just so fun!  It has great characters, interesting writing, and great romance.  A perfect YA novel.

8. Peak by Roland Smith

This book has a great adventure and readers can learn so much from this one.  

9. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

This book looks at tough subjects that I believe all ages can appreciate.  Strong characters, too.  (Although I hate the cover because it is so misleading!)

10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I love everything about this book.  Everyone should read this book no matter what.  A beautiful story with some amazing people that is impossible to forget.

What books would you recommend to introduce YA to readers?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I own the most books of

29 Jul


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books Of.  I am particularly looking at the authors I have the most books from in my classroom library.  As the majority of my collection is packed in boxes at school, I will do my best from memory with authors I know I have multiples of in my classroom library (in no particular order).

1. Laurie Halse Anderson 

I have copies of all five of her YA books, including multiples of some, plus her three historical fiction books in my classroom library.

2. Walter Dean Myers

Off the top of my head, I can think of 8 or 9 different titles I have from the great Walter Dean Myers.  His books really hit home with a number of my students and they love them.

3. John Green

I love his writing.  Students love his writing.  I keep copies of his different novels on the shelves for students to enjoy.

4. Jodi Picoult

I have read a few of her books myself and can always find her titles at book sales.  I have lost count of how many of her books are in my classroom library and they are pretty popular for students.

5. Ellen Hopkins 

She has 8 or 9 verse novels for young adults (with another on the way this year!) and I think I have at least 7 or 8 of them in my library.  Another popular author I like to keep stocked as so many students gravitate to her work.

6. Sarah Dessen

Sarah has many great books to choose from and she is one that is so popular I keep as many titles as possible on my shelves for my students.

7. AS King

I think I am at the point I will buy any book she writes.  I have four different titles from her, and they all go through the rounds among my students.

8. Patricia McCormick

Patricia McCormick deals with a number of different issues that are important for students to read.  I have copies of Sold, Cut, Never Fall Down, and Purple Heart by her.

9. Jo Knowles 

This is another author that deals with issues students want to read.  Her books are ones that keep my students glued until the last page.  I have four of her books.

10. Sharon M Draper

Draper is an author that has many books to choose from and again deals with topics students want to and enjoy reading.  I have at least 6 different books from Draper in my collection.

What authors do you have?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

25 Mar



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List.  This can cover just about anything blog or book related.  I broke mine into a couple categories to compile my list.

Authors to Meet

1. John Green – I love John Green and his work! Looking for Alaska is one of my favorite books I have read.  His sense of humor is amazing.  I love his books, his Twitter, his vlogs – just about everything.  He would be amazing to meet in person!

2. Judy Blume – She has really been with me through all parts of my reading life.  I loved the Fudge books when I was in elementary school.  Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret got me through my awkward pre-teen and teen years by assuring me I was not alone.  Finally, Summer Sisters is truly my number one favorite book of all time.  I have reread it more times than I can count.

3. Rainbow Rowell – I loved Eleanor and Park as well as Fangirl.  Her writing is that amazing!  She is another one I love to follow on Twitter and is constantly cracking me up.  The conversations would be epic!

4. Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs – These two definitely go together as one.  I cannot imagine meeting one and not the other.  They are the cutest couple in the author universe!  I can just see tons of fun happening when hanging out with these two.

5. Gae Polisner – We have seen each other through Skype.  We talk on social media a lot.  I have yet to meet Gae face-to-face.  She was the first author I made a personal connection with.  She has also done so many things for my students over the last few years.  I hope to actually sit down and meet her in my lifetime.

Other Book Related Fun

6. Read 100 books in a year – This is my Goodreads Challenge this year.  Last year, I just barely hit my 75.  I know I am already behind this year.  100 is such a strong, round number.  It works to an average of 2 books a week.  I would feel proud of this number.

7. Finally read Anna Karenina – I have owned this book for longer than I care to mention.  The AP Seniors read it each year and I always vow I will read it as well.  It has yet to happen.  It’s just so…big!  I will cross this off my list sometime soon.

8. Own a house with a library – My aunt’s house has a beautiful library in it.  I always loved it as a kid when we would go over there.  A whole wall of books!  I always wanted one in my own house.  While my office is overflowing with books right now, it’s just not the same.  I want a room for books and only books.  The BIG dream would be a Beauty and the Beast style library, but we can start small.

9. Reread all seven Harry Potter books with my children – I do not have any children yet, but I hope to one day.  I want to share the absolute adventure and joy of Harry Potter with them.  I want them to enjoy the books like I got to.  Have the discussions and ask the questions I did.  I want to see them completely lost in this world, just as I was.  I want us to share that together.

10. Write my own book – Of course, to do this, I must write.  I am working on it again.  This has been a dream I have had since I could write.  I hope to one day accomplish it.

What is on your bucket list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

4 Feb


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry.  Well, there have been many books that have made me cry in my reading life.  Here are some of the biggies that stick out in my mind.

1. The Outsiders by SE Hinton

This book is the first book I can remember making me cry.  I was so invested in the characters and the story that losing any of them would have upset me.  I cried so hard, my brother and uncle thought something was wrong with me.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I described this book to others as completely destroying me, in a good way.  This is one I cried through the last quarter of the book and when I was done reading the book.  A beautiful story.

3. Wonder by RJ Palacio

I sad cried and happy cried in this book.  The sad cry affected me in front of a class that I was reading it to.  My co-teacher had to take over reading for me as I struggled to put myself together.

4. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

To quote a friend, this book makes my heart smile.  It is a happy cry for sure.  And the story stays with you for a long, long time.

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

To be honest, when I describe this one to people, I do tell them I laughed more than I cried.  That is true; however, there were many tears.  Just watching the movie trailer has made me tear up.  I see a box of tissues coming to the theater with me.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I swore to myself that everything was going to be ok.  I knew what was going to happen and that would make it easier.  I was so wrong.  A strong, deep cry comes at the end of this amazing tale.  The movie, of course, made me cry as well.

7. Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck

I was terrified to teach this book to sophomores.  When I read it, I was curled up in a ball crying.  This amazing tale of friendship was so short, so moving, so powerful.  I didn’t know how I would read it or talk about it with students.  The emotion in this book is a strong bonding moment in my classroom.

8. Winger by Andrew Smith

The tears for this one snuck up on me.  I don’t think I cried until I finished reading it.  A very sad ending indeed.

9. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Oh Carley Conners.  You broke and healed my heart so many times throughout your story.  Mrs. Murphy was a cause of my tears as well.  I have had students read this one and share their feelings with me on this one.

10. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Lina’s story is heartbreaking.  I think what upset me more and teared me apart was the fact that I had no idea what Lithuanians experienced at the hands of Stalin.  I cried with Lina and her family through their horrific journey.

What books have made you cry?


It’s All About Perspective

1 Oct

Last week, I got to hang out with some of my closest teacher/nerdy friends in Ann Arbor to go see Ellen Hopkins.  (An amazing experience!  Her books are now flying off my shelves!)  With our usual catching up, we talked about teaching.  I stated how much I really am enjoying my classes this year, yet I just can’t seem to “crack them.”  I explained, much like I did in my last entry, how I just can’t seem to get students to read.  They aren’t reading outside of class and so many students are still stating they hate to read.

Sarah put it a little bit into perspective for me.  She asked me if they aren’t reading at all – like even in class during SSR.  That gave me pause.  Well yes, they are reading in class during SSR.  Students are getting through at least some pages each week when it is time for Friday Check-in.  Sarah, Beth, and Lindsay pointed out that really, that’s a great thing because yes, they are reading.  And maybe once they do more reading in class, they will start to read more outside of class.  I appreciated this change in perspective.

Then, I started thinking about some of the victories I have had so far this year:

  • The student who could not wait to come up to me and tell me she had finished her first book of the year.  That students is now reading another book by Maya Angelou.  
  • The boys how have been sharing Sold by Patricia McCormick.  More students want to read it now.
  • The student who devoured Send by Patty Blount and told me she was so sad it was going to end.  She is demanding more books by Blount.
  • The boy who wrote his least favorite part of the book he is reading is having to stop reading and fill out his log in ELA Lab.
  • The students adding more and more books to their To-Read lists each time we book talk.
  • The girl who finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and is now reading Looking for Alaska.
  • Watching a few students carry their books with them when we break for B lunch.
  • The countless number of times I have had to ask a student to stop reading – and tell them it breaks a little piece of my heart every time I have to say it.
  • The students who keep asking, “So are you going to get the third Divergent book?  Can I read it first?”

I also had an opportunity to change my perspective this week as well.  After reading Katherine Sokolowski’s post about reflection, I created a September Reflection for students to complete on Monday.  This was quite eye-opening.  Students, as always, were brutally honest.  (One student hopes I will notice how boring class is while a couple others are asking me to get rid of Article of the Week.)  The questions and responses have opened my eyes to some great things going on in our classroom.

I asked students how much they have been reading and if it was more or less than they have read before.  A few students admitted they were not reading much and may even be reading less than they have in the past (I did not specify last year or any particular time in the past.  I may change that in the future.)  However, some responses blew me away:

  • I read when we read in class.  More.  I didn’t used to read at all.
  • I haven’t been reading much but it is more than what I used to read.  I never used to read at all in the past.
  • I read every day for at least 50 minutes, not counting class time.  I think I am reading more than I have in the past.
  • I am reading more than last year.  Last year, I never picked up a book on my own time.
  • I really haven’t been reading like I should.  I am reading less than I have in the past.  I used to read and finish two books in one day.

After some other general questions about their work and our project, I asked students what they wanted me to do in October.  Here are some ways students completed the phrase “For October, I wish Mrs. Crawford would…”

  • give help when it is needed.
  • give us more time with reading.
  • help me become a better writer.
  • continue to push the class so we can reach that goal of becoming better writers.

Finally, I asked students to complete the prompt  “For October, I wish Mrs. Crawford would notice…”  Students had a lot to tell me:

  • that I’m actually trying to pass.
  • some people don’t have time for AoW at home or in other classes.
  • that I have been reading a lot more.
  • how bad of a reader I am.  Well, I think I am.
  • that even if my work is late, I will turn it in.
  • that I don’t read.  I’m all for work but books aren’t for me.
  • that some of us don’t like to speak in front of class.
  • that I need more practice on my writing skills.
  • that I read.
  • if I’m doing better in class or if I need to work on stuff.
  • she goes through things too fast and kinda needs to slow down.
  • myself working hard.
  • me reading more!

This gave me a lot to think about.  First, I am making strides with students and we have plenty of victories to celebrate.  I also have a lot to talk about with students when I meet with them to confer.  I also gained that there are different things I can work on as a teacher to help my students the best that I can.

It is important we keep perspective on things as the year goes on.  I am going to celebrate those victories and reach out to those students who may need me to do more and notice more.