Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Poster

A Second Flickr Try

I've had lots of trouble trying to get everything centered the way I want it. Here goes...

Travel the hot sands of Palestine
in Arthur Slade's WWI
novel Megiddo's Shadow!
It's a real page turner!

Using My Flickr Photos

with Kenneth Oppel's Skybreaker!

My flickr photos link is now on the right. The slideshow link is just some scenes I thought might help me promote Skybreaker or Megiddo's Shadow. I discovered only one photo will fit per post. I'll put the second one on a post by itself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Diamond Willow Nominee

Click on this box to discover what Marty and Remi find sprayed on the vandalized shed behind their school.

The Mystery of the Grafitti Ghoul
by Marty Chan
Who is behind the graffiti found on school property? Join Marty in a fun-filled adventure as he tries along with his friends to solve the mystery of the graffiti ghoul.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Could I Pick a Favorite?

As I stated in my first posting I thought the 2007 list of nominees for the Snow Willow Awards was great! If I were voting, could I pick a winner? I think my favorite character and setting would be Wild Orchid by Beverly Brenna. I could really see the world through Taylor's eyes and the beautiful setting of Waskesiu made me feel like I was there. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt was a great romance with a different twist and I Am a Taxi by Deborah Ellis drew me into Diego's world in Bolivia. If you read my Science Fiction/Fantasy blog you'll know that I enjoyed both Skybreaker and The Aquanauts. Despite Bernice's pent-up anger, I liked Out of Focus and how it dealt with alcoholism. Megiddo's Shadow was also a treat. Most of the literature I've read about war has dealt with World War II, and I found it refreshing to read of Edward's experience in World War I particularly his posting in Palestine. However, I think I would have to choose After as my favorite simply because I can relate personally to much of what Francis went through. I don't think this book will be the students' favorite but it will be very interesting to see which book does win out in the spring simply because the nominees were so good!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Snow Willows Continued

Continuing in my category vein I would pair Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel and The Aquanauts by John Lunn in my Science Fantasy/Science Fiction category. I thoroughly enjoyed both! Skybreaker continues the airship adventures of Matt Cruse and Kate De Vries, this time on a search for a ghost ship. In the Aquanauts, sixteen year old Greta Kovachi, tries to find her scientist father after an accident has separated them in time on the ocean floor. Both these novels have well drawn characters, although Oppel's are much more developed. I have to admit I didn't completely understand all the time anomalies in The Aquanauts but I did like the real use of scientific theory. Skybreaker wins by a hair or two. Speaking of science fiction/science fantasy I came across this website tonight that includes reviews of both categories.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reflection on the Snow Willow Nominees

This year I just love the nominees for the Snow Willow Awards! The choices are thought- provoking, appeal to both genders, and are well-written. Once some of the grade 7s and 8s have read some of the choices, I would like to have them categorize the list of nominees and see what they can come up with. They may do it by genre, male/female lead characters, life's problems , book covers, or anything else they can think of. For me, my biggest category would be Responding to Life's Problems. I would group Wild Orchid, (autism), Out of Focus, (alcoholism) After (death), I Am a Taxi, (drug involvement), Sun Signs (cancer), Shattered (genocide) and Megiddo's Shadow (war) in this category. One of my favorites in this category is After by Francis Chalifour. His personal experience comes through very clearly and as a teen who also lost a parent suddenly I could relate to much of what Francis was going through. The book really spoke volumes to me! Megiddo's Shadow by Arthur Slade also had a personal connection for me. My father was a young Saskatchewan farm boy who lied about his age to get into the war (in his case WWII). Megiddo's Shadow brought to mind B for Buster by Iain Lawrence where another young Canadian boy lies to get into the war and finds he is way out of his depth.
How about you? What categories might you use to group the nominees? Is there one or more books that really stood out for you?

Snow Willow Nominees

I decided to set up a new blog for this assignment specifically because I want to comment on the Snow Willow Nominees and do not want to influence my students' choices before they have read the books. That being said, I hope I clicked on all the right things when I set up the account so that people will be able to respond! I look forward to hearing from you!