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EastView Spirit Night
EastView Spirit Night

What is Mrs. McAmis reading?

I dislike labeling a book as a "boy book" or a "girl book", but I can't help it with the book I'm reading now!  Johnny Tremain is the 1943 Newbery Medal winner which tells the story of a young boy living through the Revolutionary War.  Forgive me, but it's a boy book! 

Johnny Tremain is an orphan who is a talented silversmith.  While learning his trade, he sustains a disfiguring burn on his hand which also disrupts his ability to pursue his trade.  Johnny makes new friends and learns sad lessons about the coming conflict between the colonists and the British.  The story contains intrigue as the Revolutionary War looms and paints pictures of exciting battles.  It's a great historical fiction novel.  It keeps you turning the pages as you root for Johnny, but you also learn some history while you're at it!

Ada Kayte and I are enjoying selections she picked at our book fair.  One of our favorite picture books is 11 Experiments that Failed.  It shows a young girl's trials with "science".  (If you can call planting old food in her brother's sneakers 'science'!)  I like the way it is set up like a lab report.  She likes the humor!

Reed is excited about a non-fiction book he's checked out at the GMS library called Into Thin Air.  It tells the true story of Jon Krakauer's ascent to the peak of Mt. Everest.  Does that sound like a "boy book"?  Yes, I'm afraid so!

---September 25, 2013


I have been reading a great book about women's role in the American Revolution.  The book is called Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts.  Ms. Roberts explains how our country's history would have been very different if many notable women such as Martha Washington, Lucy Knox, Kitty Greene and Dolly Madison weren't part of our past.  I love learning about how these notable women changed to course of history!  The entire time I'm reading this book I keep thinking about how much Mrs. Jacobs would love these stories for her Revolutionary War paper plate project!

My daughter and I are reading the second book in the "Oz" series, The Wonderful Land of Oz.  After seeing the Oz movie, we were curious about "the rest of the story".  We both like the new characters of Jack Pumpkinhead, the sawhorse and Tip.  It's also GREAT fun to hear how our old favorite characters like the scarecrow are incorporated into the later books.

My son is still finishing The Hobbit.  He has read it in little bits at a time.  His goal was to finish over spring break, but he didn't quite make it!  Some books just take a little more time, and that's a good thing!

---April 4, 2013

The latest book I'm enjoying is called One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp.  The author's main idea in the book is the importance of being thankful everyday in all circumstances.  Her stories of how a thankful attitude can transform your outlook were inspiring.

My daughter and I have been enjoying Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary together.  I remember reading these books when I was in elementary school, and they are still just as much fun!  Poor Ramona just seems to always find trouble no matter how hard she tries to be good.  Do you know anyone like that?  I do!

My son is reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I continued to tell him that my favorite chapter was "Riddles in the Dark".  I couldn't wait for him to get to it and see how he liked it.  It's very gratifying to watch your children enjoy the same books you did when you were young.  That's why I love my job!!

---March 3, 2013

  Ahhhhh! Christmas break is near!  I have a pile of books (actually a 'virtual' pile on my Nook) just waiting to be read! I've decided it's time for a classic.  I'm reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I'm more than a little ashamed to admit that I've never  read this great piece of children's literature.  However, I'm pleased to say that it's a lovely story about the nature's restorative powers.  Too fancy?  Yes, I think so.  It's an awesome story about how friendships form during a fun gardening project!  Actually, the story has many levels and is a great novel for older readers or a terrific read-aloud for your younger children.

My son Reed is so lucky to have a great language arts team at GMS.  He is currently reading a book for his seventh grade language arts class called Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick.  He has told me enthusiastically what a terrific book this is.  However, he always add the disclaimer that it's also very sad.  He has enjoyed this book so much that he has downloaded the sequel. After Ever After.  Thanks, GMS language arts teachers, for bringing great literature to your students!

Of course, during the Christmas season Ada Kayte and I are enjoying the tons of fun holiday Christmas books that are available!  Before December, I wrapped up 24 different Christmas stories from her bookshelf, and each day she opens one to read.  Yes, she's seen and read all these books before, but unwrapping a book a day has been loads of fun...for BOTH of us. 

---December 1, 2012

I have just started reading a classic children's book My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.  It's a fantasy novel about a young boy who has always wanted a dragon and is told where to find one by an alley cat.  The boy goes on an adventure to find the dragon and bring him home.  I am especially enjoying the magical elements of this story.  I plan to read the next two book in this series:  Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragon's of Blueland.

I'm also reading lots of Junie B. Jones to my five-year-old daughter.  However, we just finished Shake it Up! which she purchased at the EastView book fair.  She really liked the story of CeCe and Rocky and the dance marathon.  Unfortunately, I didn't like it nearly as much as she did!

Reed, my 12 year old son, is beginning the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  I read the first book this summer and recommended it to him.  It's the story of a re-organized society in which young adults are tested and placed in a faction which matches their strengths and personality traits.  This series has been compared to The Hunger Games, but I liked it more!

---September 25, 2012