Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Best Books of 2009....according to my students!

In class today, we reviewed the  Newbery winners, the Printz winner, and Amazon.com Editors' Picks for 2009.  The students had their own chance to vote on which book deserves to be called "The Best Book of 2009" and/or which "Book They Want To Read in 2010."  Each student had to include a brief response along with their vote.  I promised my students that I would post the four most insightful responses from each class. Those lucky students have earned extra credit for quarter two. Good job, everyone! It was a tough decision!

Here are the list of books my students could choose from:


When You Reach Me by Stead (Newbery Winner)
Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Philbrick (Newbery Honor)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Lin (Newbery Honor)
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly (Newbery Honor)
If I Stay by Forman (Amazon.com Best of 09')
Catching Fire by Collins (Amazon.com Best of 09')
Fire by Cashore (Amazon.com Best of 09')
Marcelo in the Real World by Stork (Amazon.com Best of 09')
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Hoose  (Amazon.com Best of 09' and Newbery Honor)
Leviathan by Westerfeld (Amazon.com Best of 09')
Going Bovine by Bray (Amazon.com Best of 09' and Printz Winner)
Shiver by Stiefvater (Amazon.com Best of 09')
Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl (Amazon.com Best of 09')




Responses:

Marcelo in the Real World-  "I would like to read this book for multiple reasons.  One being my mother used to work in a school with autistic students and I would love to receive a more in depth description of what goes on inside an autistic person's brain.  Secondly, I am curious to know whether Marcelo's phenomenal functioning will carry over in the legal field.  Lastly, I would love to see a person with Marcelo's deficiencies succeed in their desired field.  In conclusion, I would love to read this book, and I can't wait for my next trip to Barnes and Noble.   (period 3)

Catching Fire- "I absolutely love this series and I can't wait until the next book comes out! I love how the author created this universe and you can relate to it because it's future Earth.  The main characters are very interesting and compelling, and the plot twists and turns crazily, and the ending is completely unexpected.  Altogether, an amazing book! (period 3)

"Catching Fire is the best book I've read.  The captivating plot makes you keep reading and saying "just one more page."  Action and excitement in both books from the series have cliff hangers that really make you read for hours.  All readers will like it because of the realistic fiction, action, and a hint of romance." (period 4)

Fire- I am currently reading Graceling, which is the first book in the series...even though reading Graceling isn't necessary.  I cannot wait to read Fire!  Graceling has lured me into reading the book for hours and I'm sure that Fire will do the same.  The way Cashore makes Katsa a killing child has pulled me into the story more.  This book is very mysterious and a true fantasy novel.   (Period 3)

"Going Bovine sounds the most interesting to me not because of the topic so much as the author.  Libba Bray contributed a short story to a collection of short stories called Geektastic.  I remember reading her story and thinking how realistic and authentic it was.  I could relate to the main character so easily and the topics, themes, and dialogue flowed effortlessly.  Out of all the authors in that book, I remember two or three of them, and Libba Bray was one of those.  I hope that her Going Bovine is as amazing as her short story.  If it is, she could easily become one of my favorite authors."   (Period 4)

If I Stay- I want to read this book because I can't imagine how hard it would have been to choose if you want to stay.  She must have been afraid to let go.  She had to consider every aspect.  How will loved ones feel? Will you be missed? Do you really think that you can go back to normal after your close encounter with death?  These are the things that she has to consider before she decides. (Period 4)

If I Stay- It seems like a great story.  It seems sad, but definitely worth reading.  The story seems interesting and full of decisions.  I think that this book will be one of those books that when you pick it up, you will never be able to put it down.  I am definitely looking forward to reading this book.
(Period 4)

Leviathan- I want to read this book because I've read five of Scott Westerfeld's books and loved them.  His writing is really futuristic.  The summary of the book looks really interesting because the world the characters live in sounds unpredictable and exciting.  Though it is set in the past, it sounds more advanced than our time.  Westerfeld writes about rebel heroes which I find really interesting, and more exciting than traditional ones.  (Period 3)


The Winners Based on the Most Votes By My Students:


2009's Best Book
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins




The Book That Most Students Want to Read in 2010:
Going Bovine by Libba Bray




I couldn't agree more! I ABSOLUTELY loved Hunger Games and Catching Fire! They are the best books I have read in a long time.  I haven't read Going Bovine, but I definitely want to.  Libba Bray is a fantastic author that truly understands the YA audience.  I am looking forward to reading and discussing books with my students in 2010!


Graph of the Votes:

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