Showing posts with label December 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label December 2022. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Student Saturday: Ghost by Jason Reynolds

 Student Reviewer: Benny G.

This is one of my favorite books. If you like dark backstories  but a good ending you will like Jason Reynold's other books because he has more dark stories like this. The character in this story is Ghost aka (Castle Cranshaw). He is the main character and lives in the poor area of town. Then his dad loaded up a revolver and figured out he could run fast. Rex joined track. He figured out that his shoes were not that good so he stole some. The coach knew he stole the shoes and didn't have his shirt. When he asked the coach where his shirt was the coach said, "Until you return those shoes you won't get them." They went to the story and Rex apologized and the coach bought the shoes for him.

I would recommend this book to guys that had some dark times, or just like to read a good book and enjoy it.

2022 Reading in Review


I set my reading goal at 100 books for the 2022 year.  I figured that would be do-able.  

According to my book stats on Goodreads, this is what my year looked like.

I read 117 books which translated to 14,361 pages.

My shortest book was 18 pages, and my longest book was 674 pages

I had attempted two unofficial challenges. I had an A-Z Title Challenge and an A-Z Author Challenge. Had I completed those two challenges my total books read would have gone up by twenty.  I have decided to work on my reviews next year by once again attempting the two A-Z challenges. I have already made my lists for the 56 books. I will be posting that the first of the year. Below is a list of the books I read this year by category. Check them out. All of these books were reviewed on Goodreads. I have not linked this list to reviews because the majority of them were reviewed on Goodreads and or LibraryThing and not my blog. I can't always access my blog from work due to the work "Addict" in the title. It is easier to just post on Goodreads and LibraryThing sometimes.

I encourage you to set your own reading goal for 2023. You don't have to publish it on Goodreads or anything. My students keep a reading log in the front of their writer's notebook. They write the title, author, and genre as well as the date they started the book. They are not required to write when they finish. For those who are slow readers it messes with their head destroying their confidence. For my fast readers they forget because they have moved on to the next book.  No matter what your decision, choose to do more reading in 2023. If you would like to leave a message telling me your goal feel free. 

Picture Books
A Boy’s Best Friend: 5 Happy Short Stories for Kids About curious Little Boy Who Loves Animals by Janice Ford
Adventures with Scarlet and Twinkle by Janice Ford
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Loywell
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Dayana, Dax and the Dancing Dragon by Once Upon a Dance
Ellery’s Magic Bicycle by Maria Monte
Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez
Grace and the Gravy Pirates: A HEINZ Thanksgiving Story by Aaron Cushley
I Didn’t do It by Sarah Read
It’s Not My Fault by Michael Gordon
It’s the Rules by Michael Gordon
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Learn to Trace Alphabet Letters and Numbers from 0 to 20
Little Aiden A Feelings Book for Toddlers by Albert Choi
Mr. Pancake Turkey by Christopher Francis
My Pandemic Diary by Vedika Agrawal
Noise by Kathleen Raymundo
Oh Kojo! How Could You by Verna Aardema 
Rodney the Rabbit Learns About Healthy Foods  by Janice Ford
Scissor Skills Workbook for 2 year olds and Older Kids by MamTalk
Springtime Rhymes by MamTalk
Summertime wit Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid
The Barnabus Project by Eric Fan
The Empty Pot by Demi
The Girl Who Wore Too Much: A Folktale from Thailand by Margaret Read Macdonald
The Nativity Book for Toddlers by Kidsup
The Nativity Story by Kidsup Publishing
The One and Only Dylan St. Claire by Kamen Edwards
The Picky Eater by Betsy Parkinson
The Real Story of Christmas Directly from the Bible by MamTalk
The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote by Tony Johnston
The Tantrum Monster by Michael Gordon
The Tree and the Girl by Andrea Hahnfeld
There Once Was a Penny by Mark Restaino
We Don’t Eat Our classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
We Forgot Brock! By Carter Goodrich
When I Lie by Michael Gordon
Early Reader
Heroes of the Quest by Mirja Camphausen (fantasy)
The Dream Catcher Rescue Squad: The Basement by Christopher Francis (fantasy)
The Dream Catcher Rescue Squad: The Fear of Being Lost by Christopher Francis (fantasy)
The Dream Catcher Rescue Squad: The Fear of Falling by Christopher Francis (fantasy)
The Dream Catcher Rescue Squad: The Fear of School by Christopher Francis (fantasy)
Upper Elementary
 Ezcape from Sobibor by David Fischler (Short Stories)
Meeting Henry Greenfield by Christopher Francis
The Whispering Storm: Respecting Mr. Ravi by Christopher Francis
There’s an Ogre-Beast in the Playground by Christopher Francis
Middle Grade
Alone by D.J. Brazier (Realistic Fiction)
Andrew Jackson: The Making of America by Teri Kanefield (Biography, Memoir)
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova (Graphic)
Bats and Bones by Jeffrey Hickey (Ghost Stories)
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost (Poetry)
Free Lunch by Rex Ogle (Memoir)
History for Kids the Illustrated Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Charles River Editors (Biography, Memoir)
I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 by Lauren Tarshis (Historical Fiction)
Imperfect II by Tabatha Yeatts (Poetry)
Last Chance by Max Elliot Anderson  (Releastic Fiction)
Lonely Dead by April Henry (Mystery)
Long Way down by Jason Reynolds (Realistic Fiction, Poetry)
Maybe a Fox by Kathi  Appelt (Realistic Fantasy)
My Name is Layla by Reyna Marder Gentin (Releastic Ficiton)
One Last Word by Nikki Grimes (Poetry)
Punching Bag by Rex Ogle (Memoir)
Remembering Kaylee Cooper by Christopher Francis (Mystery)
Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge (Poetry)
Spinning Through the Universe by Helen Frost (Poetry)
Stoneway by Christopher Francis (Mystery)
That Thing in the Sky by Christopher Francis Fantasy)
The Everlasting Seasons by I.K. Silver (Fantasy)
The Forgotten Girl by India Hill (Horror)
The Girl in the Lake by India Hill (Horror)
The Girl in the White Van by April Henry (Mystery)
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry (Realistic Fiction)
The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong ( Realistic Fiction)
The House on Screaming Ridge: Alex Was Here by Christopher Francis  (Mystery)
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste (Traditional)
The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley (Fantasy)
The Scarecrow by Max Elliot Anderson (Releastic-Fantasy)
The World Inside my Plastic Mirror by Christopher Francis (Fantasy)
What Waits in the Water by Kieran Scott (Mystery)
What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott (Mystery)
Wild River by Rodman Philbrick (Realistic Fiction)
Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick (Historical Fiction)
Young Adult
Blessed by Kandi J. Wyatt (Fantasy)
Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts (Science Fiction)
Exalted by Kandi J. Wyatt (Fantasy)
In A Dark, Dark Wood by Cece Louise (Mystery)
Perchance to Dream by Tamara Belko (Realistic fiction)
The Lake Never Tells by Alex Tully ( Mystery)
Uprooted by Kandi J. Wyatt (Fantasy)
Where She Fell by kaitlin Ward (Adventure)
After the Fall by Craig DeMartino (Christian Inspirational)
Anger and Death by Ron Ripley (Horror)
Anger’s Ruin by Ron Ripley (
Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane (Romance, Christian)
Bloody Anger by Ron Ripley (Horror)
Coffin Cemetery by Ron Ripley (Horror)
Feast of Fear by Ron Ripley (Horror)
Kurtain Motel – A.I. Nasser (Horror)
Of Wise Oaks and Weeping Willows by Diane Robertson (Poetry
Plum Springs by Dan Lawton (Thriller)
Purgatory bt A.I. Nasser horror)
Refuge by A.I. Nasser (horror)
Rise by Cain S. Latrani (Fantasy)
Streets of Anger by Ron Ripley (Horror)
The Shaker Murders by Eleanor Kuhns (Mystery)
The Twisted Road to You by Barbara Longley (Romance, Suspense)
What Hurst the Most by Willow Rose (Thriller)
Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel’s Classroom by Ariel Burger (Biography-Memoir)

Friday, December 30, 2022

Tortured Souls Series By Ron Ripley

 Source: I purchased the first six books in this series. I won the sixth book from LibraryThing. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Genre:  Adult, Horror

Evil comes in so many forms. Sometimes in the form of ghosts, and sometimes in the form of those who use the ghosts for their own purpose. Janet Ladd is one who uses the spirits to get her what she wants, even if it means people are injured or killed.

Dan Tate lives in a historical school house and takes care of Coffin Cemetery attached to it. He was a former journalist who suffers from PTSD. While interviewing a young high school girl she is shot by an active shooter, along with several other students and teachers. Dan is helpless to do anything except hold her as she dies. His inability to move on from this event cost him his family, his job, everything.  When Eli, a young ghost living in the cemetery comes to him and explains what Janet is doing he agrees to help.

Ron Ripley has created a wonderful world filled with ghosts and a great plot line to go with it. I purchased this and the next four because I had won a copy of the last book. I am one that needs to read the whole series if possible. It is a good thing that I have spent my Christmas break doing exactly what I told my principal I would be doing, reading. Can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

Something that is very important for the reader to know is that the story takes place in Anger, New Hampshire. Dan is still battling Janet and her ghosts. However, things are getting a lot hotter on the ghostly front. The evil seems to be growing. I kept wondering if Dan would be able to handle it all with everything he was going through. He still battles his PTSD. He has the help of the local sheriff who is also a distant relative to the young ghost boy Eli. They ban together to try to save the city that is being terrorized by the ghosts that Janet has unleashed on them.

It seems like each book in Ron Ripley’s “Tortured Souls” series is getting better. That is definitely what I enjoy in a good series. 

Dan continues to restore the school house and work out his issues from being involved in an active shooting at a high school. Unfortunately, he has made a big time enemy of Janet Ladd and the ghosts she has set after him.. She is the local medium who is using the ghosts to take people’s money. Unfortunately, Dan is the target of Janet’s latest ghost. Someone who is very evil and will do anything to Dan, including killing him.

We are introduced to a cannibal ghost in this book. That should say it all. This book is very gruesome. Good thing I like gruesome books.  It is very important that Dan keep on his toes in this book. I am finding that I have to read from beginning to end because this is not a book you can start and then go to bed only to pick it up the next morning. I am looking forward to the fourth book in this series.

This is the fourth book in the Tortured Souls series by Ron Ripley. I am enjoying this series immensely. We are introduced to Olivia. She is a ghost who is determined to kill Dan. Part of the reason is Mary's house. Dan has inherited it and the ghosts want it for the power it has. Each book seems to bring the tension up ten-fold. The ghosts get more violent and evil and Dan and his friends become more determined to stop Janet and her ghosts. Each book ends in a way that makes you yearn for the next book.  I'm not sure I would have stuck with this series had I started it when the first book came out and then had to wait so long for the next book in the series.  If you like ghost stories then this series is a must read.

True to form we are introduced to a new ghost. As I have read reviews about this series people have talked about a character from another series. Now that I have met him I will need to read the Berkley Street Series to find out who this Shane Character is. If that series is as good as this I know I will enjoy it.  Something else we find out in this book is who is behind controlling Janet. The violence gets worse. Dan's state of mind is worse. The tension is so high I couldn't put the book down. Looking forward to the last book in the series.

I feel so bad for Dan in this series. It seems like the harder he tries the more things he is up against.  He is worried about his children, having trouble with his ex-wife and now he has to try to do everything in his power to save the town of Anger. This is a town he has come to love.  How much more can he handle?  You will need to read this book and the rest in this series.  Definitely one of my favorite authors.  This is a must read series.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Glimmer: Are you Listening by A.R. Bibeau


Genre: Young Adult, Traditional
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing

Falk lost his mother and now his father is dead. His step-mother takes him outside of the village and abandons him. It was at this point I really despised her. The snow storm is vicious and Falk is lost. He hears the voices of children and follows them into a forest. Unfortunately the voices he hears are the voices of children who are already dead. He falls asleep with a glimmer of light in his hand. The children are determined to protect him. He becomes a part of their life and they become a part of him as does the glimmer. From this point forward change happens. I found this a strange book. It was difficult knowing that all of these children who had died had been abandoned or abused. I did enjoy the book even though it took me a while to read it because I had lost it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Of Wise Oaks and Weeping Willows by Diane Robertson


Genre: Poetry
Source: I purchased a copy

This book of poetry is broken into several sections.  The first section about nature was probably one of my favorite sections. I grew up in the country in Indiana. I felt like I was back on our farm enjoying nature with everyone of her poems I read. She has the ebb and flow of the season down perfectly. The pictures that come to mind from her words are so vivid I felt I was standing in the scene.  I can’t wait to share some of these with my own students.

The section on Political and Social is a strong and powerful voice. Her poems tell of the depravity and promises brought to the masses by Hollywood. They tell of a time where our friendships were tested and tried by arguments, yet survived. A time now hindered by social medial and technology, no need to meet face to face to interact. In this section I found “King of all the Land” to be a very powerful poem about the power of individual choice. These are the kinds of poems teachers need to expose their students to. This author is an example of how powerful words can be.

The next section is titled “Religious”. Diane does not shy away from her Christian beliefs. Her poetry is full of reminders of what the Bible says. Her poem “Two Beasts” tells of end times. Her inspiration like many of her poems in this section is the last book of the Bible, Revelations. Oh if people would only read and take to heart the messages in her poetry.

The final section is called “Family and Love”. My favorite poem from this section was “Circling Back to Childhood”. She tells of a time in her life as a child where her imagination ruled. Then she grew up and those times were replaced. Then her children came along and she allowed their imaginations to grow and develop bringing back her own childhood.  I believe this poem is so precious to me because I grew up like this on our farm. I encouraged my children as I played with them to create their own worlds. Now I watch my daughter as she has done the same thing with her children. As a teacher I see so few children that remind me of my childhood. They are too caught up in technology where the creating has been done for them. It is so sad to see what they are missing out on.

My final say on this book of poetry is that it is  one I will revisit often. It is soothing to my soul, yet has so much to offer the reader. Well done, Diane Robertson.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Rise: Book one of the War Witch Saga by Cain S. Latrani

Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Source: I purchased a copy

WARNING; This book is full of erotic scenes.

I was asked to read and review this book. Let me make it clear that I do not usually read and review books that are erotic in nature. I was not aware of this at the time I agreed to read and review the book. I will not be reading any more in the series for this reason.

This was a hard book for me to review.  The writing itself is good. There is a great plotline, the world-building is awesome.  The story is reminiscent of Greek or Egyptian Gods.  In Greek mythology we often find the Gods playing with the lives of the humans as if it was all a game.  The characters, most who fall into the category of Heavenly Gods, or Demon Gods took on characteristics that reminded me of Egyptian gods.  You had a combination of characters you would not expect such as Trolls, Ogres, Werecats, etc.  Of course you have the humans within as well. 
The story opens with a young girl being hidden by her sister before she sees her violated and killed. She then sees her mother and younger brother burned alive in their house. The demon gods destroy everything they can. This young girl is saved by a heavenly god who saves her to teacher her to fight and bring vengeance on those who destroyed her village. Like I said the story line was great. What I didn't enjoy and skipped over was all the erotic scenes. I felt like the story would have been great if not for all of that. This is the first book in a series. No matter how great the story line I will not be reading the rest due the the sexual nature. I leave that decision up to other readers.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Student Saturday: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney


My student reviewer is Quinn M.

In this story, the main character is named Greg. He is a teenage boy that is kind of lazy. His dad gets mad at him for playing too many video games. He tells Greg to go outside or play a sport. Greg talks with his dad about which sport and. . . BASKETBALL! He tried to go on a team and it didn't work out so well. The problem was he had never played basketball! His team was really bad. They decided to practice. Their first game they weren't feeling so great. They got to their game and didn't score a single point. They kept on trying and had another game. They lost but not as bad. They kept practicing and got invited to the championships. Will they win?  You'll have to read the book to find out.

When reading this book I saw a connection to NASA. We've been reading about the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. After this disaster, NASA didn't give up. If something was good they kept on trying. That's what Greg's team did. I would recommend this book to 7-13 year-olds because it can motivate them to keep on trying. Some kids need that boost. My over all opinion on this book is that it exceeded my expectation by a little bit. I love this series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. They give a great lesson

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Student Saturday: Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

 This review is written by my student Axel L.

The book, "Ground Zero" by Alan Gratz talks about a boy named Brandon who is with his father in one of the Twin Towers. They both go to floor one hundred and seven where his father works. The dad took Brandon with him because he wanted to show Brandon where he worked and what he did.

One of the most important points in the book was when Brandon got stuck in an elevator after the plan crashed into the tower. The book makes the scene so realistic. Another important scene is when Brandon was trying to help a small group of people escape from a different elevator. When he tries the elevator falls all the way down. This was another realistic look at what happened to people on 9/11.

A connection I made was reading the book and seeing it from Brandon's point of view and watching things on the news about how other people helped each other escape. This is a great book and I would recommend it to everyone