7’s Up – What Are You Reading?

I love sharing what my 7th graders are reading because I find it fun to see what actual teens (tweens) are reading – not just what I think they should be reading. 
They all have been reading The Outsiders since I’ve assigned it, but here’s what else:
Tucket’s Travels
Conspiracy 365 February
The Vampire’s Assistant (he’s loving it!)
Confetti Girl
Just Listen
The Melting of Maggie Bean
The Devouring
The Red Pyramid
Among the Hidden
Catching Fire
Cryer’s Cross
Gregor the Overlander
Battle Dress
Gym Candy
Desires of the Dead
Vladimer Tod
What of these have you read???

Team OWL Review: The Girl Who Became a Beatle

This review is from a great Team Owl member who was super excited to find a book about music.  He says they are very hard to find!
Cover Image

Title: The Girl Who Became A Beatle Author: Greg Taylor

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!
When Regina Bloomsbury’s band, the Caverns, breaks up, she thinks it’s all over. And then she makes a wish—
“I wish I could be as famous as the Beatles.”
The Beatles are her music idols. The next day, she gets up to find that the Caverns are not just as famous as the Beatles, they have replaced them in history! Regina is living like a rock star, and loving it. There are talk shows, music videos, and live concerts with thousands of screaming fans. And Regina is the star of it all.
But fame is getting the better of Regina, and she has a decision to make. Does she want to replace the Beatles forever?

The Girl Who Became A Beatle is a wonderful book by author, Greg Taylor. I highly prefer this book to all music lovers, especially ones who like The Beatles. There aren’t many novels with pop-culture facts like this one. The story of the book is about this girl Regina and her band The Caverns. The Caverns are breaking up because 2 of the members are joining The Caverns’ rival band. So after a horrible day at school, Regina comes back home and wishes to be as famous as The Beatles. When Regina wakes up the next day, all her Beatles fan items are gone. They are all replaced with the same type of items just nothing to do with The Beatles. They all have something to do with The Caverns. Now no one has ever heard of The Beatles, and all The Beatles’ songs are now owned to the Caverns. In fact, they aren’t even written by Paul McCartney or John Lennon, They are written by… Regina! Can Regina and the Caverns survive all this fame and fortune? Or will paparazzi and crazy fans get scary? You will just have to wait and see.

What I Thought Of The Cover:

The cover of this book was great. It is taken of The Caverns in form of the ‘Meet The Beatles’ album,

Fact About The Book:

Did you know that before the book was titled ‘The Girl Who Became A Beatle’, it was titled ‘The Band Who Became The Beatles’.

Over All Thought Of The Book:

I think this is actually one of the best books I ever read. I am a big music lover myself and I would totally read this book again.
Here’s the book trailer


Cover Love 7th Grade Style: Sweet Venom

I love book covers.  Love them.  But what I always find interesting is how differently my students see them than I do.  A while back the cover for Sweet Venom was released and people were going on about how pretty it was, so I thought I’d get my 7th graders’ take. 
Now when I do this I don’t tell them anything about the book.  I just get their thoughts on the cover alone.

Here’s what they said:

Dark and depressing
Pale and ugly
Her braid looks like it’s alive
Venom is sweet???
Creepy but cool
I like it
I would pick it up to read it
Over all they thought it was neat but kinda odd.  The end of her braid really caught their attention for some reason.
Just in case you don’t know what this book is about here’s the summary from Goodreads
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain.

Student Review: Leap Day by Wendy Mass

Title: Leap Day

Author: Wendy Mass
From Goodreads
Soon-to-be-sixteen Josie Taylor was born on Leap Day, February 29, and now it’s her “fourth” birthday. Like any average teenager, sometimes she wonders what other people are thinking, but today it’s the reader who gets to find out, by “leaping” into the minds and viewpoints of Josie and everyone around her. Birthday surprises, school play auditions, her driver’s test, a scavenger hunt, and the all-important sweet-sixteen initiation at the lake — these are the things that define Josie Taylor today. But what define her tomorrow and in the days to come are the people who touch her life at every moment. A fascinating, at times astonishing, new novel, Leap Day is full of everyday imaginations and truths in the life and future of one “everygirl” teenager.
Student Review
I was so glad my one of my friends told me about this book.  I never noticed it before, but I LOVED it! It would be more for girls who like books that are realistic fiction.  I love that it is easy to understand and easy to relate to. It is about a 16 year old girl Josie. Who is born on a leap day and is going through the day of her 16th birthday, her friends are doing something special for her party and she doesn’t know anything about it! She has a rather protective older brother but she doesn’t think he is very protective.
Dislikes– nothing really it was a really good book!
Main characters- Josie, Megan, Ron, Katy,

My notes
This is one book by Wendy Mass I haven’t read yet, but I will soon.  I have loved all the books I’ve read by her, and from what I understand this one is great too (my student reviewer definitely agreed!). 

A word of warning – from what I understand this book is laid out kind of different, so it takes a bit to get use to.  But once you’ve got it down it really adds to the story.

Monday Cover Love: Banished

I love book covers.  LOVE THEM! On Mondays I take time to share some of my favorites or, occasionally, one that I hoped had been better. 
Today I’m sharing:
I love this cover.  It catches my eye everytime I see it.  Actually though, the first time I saw it, I thought it was the cover for Extras by Scott Westerfeld.  It is very similiar.  This one has the pretty scroll-work that adds to it as well as the blue eye that just pops.

I also asked my 7th graders what they thought of it.  Here is what they said:
Looks creepy (said many many times)
Looks girly
Dark yet attractive
Her eyes stand out
Very interesting
Sort of disturbing to my eyes
So as you can see it was a pretty mixed bag.  The ones that new the Extras book thought they looked the same as well.
Here’s Extras to compare:

7’s Up – What are They Reading?

Whenever a post is labele “7’s Up” it’s coming straight from my 7th graders.  I love to hear their thoughts on anything related to reading. 
Today I’ve got a list of what they are currently reading.  You can see some of my influences, but much is what they found. 
Take note authors and publishers! This is what real 7th graders are reading!
Wake by Lisa McMann
Airheads by Meg Cabot
Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Box Out by John Coy
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
ttfn by Lauren Myracle
Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Gone by Michael Grant (x3)
Dork Diaries by Rachel R. Russell
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Light by D.J. Machale
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
When You Read Me by Rebecca Stead
Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
The Lab by Jack Heath
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord
The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith
Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
The Rivarly by John Feinstein

7’s Up: Cover Thoughts -The Books of Elsewhere

 I love asking my 7th graders their thoughts on book covers because often times they have such a different opinion than me! I showed them the cover for The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere #1.

I asked if they liked the cover and if they thought it would get them to pick the book up and look at it.
Here’s what they said:
Overall it was a no to the cover.
Reasons they didn’t like it:
Too girly
Too little kiddish
Too creepy
Too scary
Too boring looking
It wasn’t bubbly like Sprite
Looks boring
Reasons why they liked it:
It looked creepy
It look mysteries
It was cool
It looks interesting
I want to know what’s happening
I want to see where she is going
My favorite comment was that it looked like a book about Harry Potter’s sister 🙂
I also liked the student that said it look “creppy” instead of creepy!
Ok and here’s something really really really funny.  I’ve loved this cover forever mainly because I think it sounds like a great middle grade book.  BUT I finally saw the cover for what it really shows! My mind always saw the girl as climbing out of a window.  It wasn’t until I looked at it with my students that I finally saw she’s actually climbing out of a picture frame into the forest! Ok, ok so I wasn’t paying attention to detail.  I love the cover even more now!
This book is at our book fair.  I WILL be buying it!

7’s Up! First of the Year

Well I’ve got a new crop of 7th graders and I can’t wait to share their thoughts about books and reading!
My hope this year is to add in guest reviews by them.  I think it would fantastic to hear their thoughts on books they’ve read.  I’ll be introducing the idea to them this week. 
But to start off here are their debut thoughts about the new covers for the Artemis Fowl books. 
I showed them the new (left) and old (right) covers for the first book in the series
They definitely liked the new cover better. 
The vote was about 50 for the new and 25 for the old.
Reasons they liked the new one:
Seems better
More interesting
The reasons they gave for liking the old cover were better:
Because it looks like there’s magic inside
It looks like a secret
I was surprised the old cover got that many votes because I’ve always found the old covers pretty boring for what is an action packed book.  I think the new covers are much more eye catching and tell about the story a bit more.  It’s great, though, that some liked the old because then I don’t have to get all the new covers just to get them to read the series 🙂

7’s Up – Sidewalk Recommendations

Last week was my school’s last full week of school. I decided it was too beatiful to stay inside, so I took my 7th graders and a bucket full of sidewalk chalk outside.  I had each student pick a square of the sidewalk and write a book recommendation in it.  These were books they really enjoyed and thought someone else might too.  Students out for lunch later could see them and hopefully find a new book to read.  Below are pictures of their creations.
Some books recommended were:
The Dark Divine
I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President
Vladimir Tod
Percy Jackson
Boy at War
Beautiful Creatures
MANY Sarah Desson books
Because of Winn Dixie
Boy in the Striped Pajammas
39 Clues
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
And so many many more!

7’s Up! Two Book Covers

The first is for the cover of The Iron King. Based on the cover and summary I asked my students if they’d want to read it. Results were pretty much what I expected.

  • 18 girls said yes
  • 6 girls said no
  • 1 boy said yes
  • 23 boys said no

 Those that said they wanted to read it were really interested in it – as opposed to just being slightly interested.

NOTE – I have more than 49 students but the rest did not choose to participate.



 The second cover is for Hexhound (the sequel to Firespell) by Chloe Neill. For this one I asked if the cover would make you pick up the book. Here’s what they said:

Yes – cool green fire and hex is a curse so cool
Maybe – she looks really scary and weird
It looks interesting
Yes – she’s hot! (that was one of my boys)
Yes it looks good

It looks creepy

Yes because it looks cool and awesome

Yes because I like the color green (two said this)

Yes it looks magical
No it looks kinda creepy.

I will say they were very interested in the cover whether they liked it or not. It elicited quit a response. But the weirdest one was when one of my students said the girl on the cover looked like Michael Jackson