Even More Movie News

Disney has acquired screen rights to the young adult novel “Wings” and will develop the Aprilynne Pike title as a film for Miley Cyrus.  Source

Not sure what I think about this.  I haven’t read Wings yet but I do plan to.  Anyone who read the book have thoughts on this?


Movie News!

  • It’s official! The Hunger Games movie is now in production and set for international release in 2011.  Woohoo!!
  • The first trailer for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief has been released.  What do you think? It definitely has that superhero movie look, but I like it so far!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

Announcing the Second Annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week

September 14-18, 2009


I wanted to let you know about the announcement of this year’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  Somehow, I missed out on the celebration last year, but I promised myself I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

This year, the celebration will be held September 14th through the 18th. If you are a book blogger and want to register, you can do that on the website below:


Tomorrow they will be starting nominations for this year’s book blogger awards. 

Are you a book blogger?  Be sure to register by filling out the registration form! Registering ensures your inclusion in the BBAW 09 Database of Book Bloggers and enters you into the drawing for the BBAW 09 Grand Prize!

Inaugural Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for Young Adult Fiction Launched

On behalf of the 2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee (sponsored by ALAN), I am happy to share the following press release:


Inaugural Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for Young Adult Fiction Launched

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the first annual Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award.

Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author, Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.

Amelia Elizabeth Walden was born in New York City on January 15, 1909. She graduated from Columbia University in 1934 and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. From 1935 to 1945, she taught English and Dramatics at Norwalk High School in Connecticut. Walden wrote over 40 novels for young adults. She passed away in 2002 in Westport, Connecticut.


Over the past year, the ALAN Award Committee members considered 232 young adult titles for this inaugural award. The finalists will be announced on Friday, July 17, 2009. The winning title will be revealed at the November 2009 ALAN Workshop in Philadelphia, PA. A reception will be held in honor of all finalists, each of whom will be invited to participate in a public reading.

For more information about the award, please contact the 2009 AEW Award Committee Chair, Wendy Glenn, at wendy.glenn@uconn.edu.

Big News from Susan Beth Pfeffer!

Be sure to check out Susan Beth Pfeffer’s blog to see the recently-released cover of her newest novel, This World We Live In.  It is a follow-up to her NY Times best-selling books Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone.

Both books are always hot, hot, hot in my classroom so I can not wait to read This World We Live In. And the cover is AWESOME!

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis sat on my bookshelf since I received it from the publisher a few weeks ago.  For some reason it never caught my eye, until I recently read Jen’s review.  I started reading the book while watching my puppy play in the grass and finished it the next day.  I can’t recommend it enough!  I am always on the lookout for WWII fiction and non-fiction for our Holocaust unit.  I especially keep my eye out for books that focus on parts of the war that aren’t always mentioned in the history books.  This past year some of my students read about the WASPs and ended up doing their National History Day project on Jackie Cochrane and the learned so much.  Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis is a new novel I can’t wait to add to my classroom library!

High school sophomore Octavia and her seventeen year-old sister, Tali, are being forced by their parents to go on a cross-country road trip with with their grandmother.  Now, maybe if their grandmother was a normal grandma this trip would be fun.  Instead, Mare (no using “Granny” here!), wears high heels, bright red lipstick, wigs, and drives like a bat out of hell.  But it’s during the course of the trip that the girls learn their grandmother was a member of the 6888th African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.  

While the long, meandering ride seems torturous at first, Octavia and Tali find themselves slowly drawn into the story their grandmother begins telling.  It turns out she’s lived a pretty amazing life- one that her granddaughters have never been aware of until this trip.  The story is told in alternating voices- Octavia “now” and Mare “then”.  Even though the narrator changes every few chapters, it rarely jarred me out of the story.  Octavia’s voice is so modern that there were never a doubt I was reading about the present.  Mare’s mid-century, Alabaman voice was pitch perfect for the “then” stories.  

This is different from many historical novels, which are usually a hard sell when it comes to my students.  The modern-day chapters add an interesting dimension to the book and I think that will be a turn-on for my students.  At the same time, Mare’s story is historical fiction at its best.  It’s the perfect mash-up for my readers.  

As Jen noted in her review, this is a novel that begs to be read aloud.  The voices are just so perfect that I could hear them in my head while I was reading.  Tanita Davis has done a great job and I can’t want to share this with my students.  

Personally, I loved this book because I love knowing “what happened” at all aspects of the story.  I want to really know the characters I am reading about and by telling the story through both Mare and Octavia’s voices I felt like I was truly getting the entire story.  I love that!

Win an autographed copy of “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl”!

Time for a bit of prize winning fun! I am giving away a FREE  autographed copy of Barry Lyga’s The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl  to one lucky email subscriber!  


To celebrate my two year anniversary of blogging!  I posted my first review, of Sarah Beth Durst’s Into the Wild on July 4th, 2007.  I’ve been reading, reviewing, and sharing my experiences in the classroom ever since.  

Want to win?

How to Enter:
There are two simple steps you have to follow to win the autographed book:

1. Subscribe to TheReadingZone by email before Friday, July 24th. Just Subscribe to TheReadingZone by Email.  When you subscribe by email you will get notified anytime I post a new entry on the blog.  You can also unsubscribe at any time.  It’s a great alternative to using an RSS feed, like Bloglines or Google.  

2. Leave a comment on ANY post on TheReadingZone using the same email address you entered above.


Once you have completed both steps you will be entered to win the book.  Want some extra entries?  Post about this contest on your blog, tweet it, facebook  it, etc!  Just leave a separate comment on this post with a link.  (This has to be separate from the comment above!)  



  • contest only open to U.S. residents
  • contest ends Friday, July 24th