Posted on October 31, 2009 by Rhondda
After my Inkys shortlist post I had a comment about Simmone Howell suggested that I take a look at her novel, even though I work in a school populated by teenage boys. My comment about how powerful covers can be I think is relevant. Not one of our regular book suppliers brought this book in for us to have a look at. I suspect they looked at the cover with the heart and that had a great bearing on their decision. I also did not give it any thought and did not notice it on the book shelves.
Since then I have looked at some reviews including the one from Magpies Magazine below
Riley Rose thinks of the Spirit Ranch Holiday Camp as more a concentration camp than a chance for spiritual revival. What she believes is nobody’s business. Clever and observant, with a reckless courage and disregard for consequences, Riley creates a stir that changes the outlook of several fellow campers.
However, it isn’t all one way because after many incidents when Riley has a chance to escape with her crazy best friend Chloe and gorgeous hunk Ben Seb who have come to rescue her, she chooses to stay with fellow camper Dylan and face the music.
The two are in trouble because they have stolen a car and runaway into the desert to a salt lake supposedly with healing powers. Dylan is in a wheelchair after an accident no one will talk about. Although Riley has no apparent disability she is still broken-hearted after the death of her mother and expresses her feelings through angry recklessness. Anger brings them together and each give way enough to find a relative peace, and hope for the future. An unusual romance tale with a complicated and likeable heroine.
Having made the Inkys shortlist and after reading various reviews I thinks I have been remiss and will now read the book. I know some boys who would be interested in reading something that is like the above review. Afterall if they can read Twilight …..
The interesting little one-handed book trailer for her novel is by Simmone Howell.
Filed under: Library2.0, literature, Reading | Tagged: Everything beautiful, fiction, novels, Simmone Howell, YA literature | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 29, 2009 by Rhondda
The Inkys short list was decided a few weeks ago. These are all great books. The highlighted ones are those we have at our school and, although a couple of stories I liked have not made the cut, I am quite satisfied with those that have (I should say - Of those I have read, I am happy with their inclusion).
Golden Inky (for Australian titles)
- Broken Glass (Adrian Stirling) This is a dark story of life in a fairly remote country town, with a confronting conclusion that makes this novel more suitable for older or more mature readers. It has a grim scenario involving violence and intimidation. I found Broken Glass a good read but it is also very confronting at times and I find similarities with the book Wake in fright as it shows a less savory view of Australian male friendships.
- Jarvis 24 (David Metzenthen) This the story of 15yr old Marc Jarvis, who is from the very comfortable Melbourne suburb of Camberwell. He, like many of his contemporaries, spends a lot of time dreaming about girls and his future. Work experience brings him into contact with Electra, a verygifted runner, from another very different world and his life will never be the quite the same. It is a gently told story that touches the emotions as well sees the humour in life.
- Where the Streets had a Name (Randa Abdel-Fattah) The Middle East is still a rare setting for YA literature. This is an interesting, intelligent and thought-provoking novel that is told through the stories about the protagonists and various people they meet. The reader learns about a human side of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem and the Middle East ‘conflict’, one which has often been reported about in our daily media. It is interesting that the author has managed to be funny, despite such heavy content. This story is one of family love, survival and hope.
- Worldshaker (Richard Harland) We only recently purchased Worldshaker and it forms part of the collection of steampunk fiction that we are building. I have only skim read it as yet but it looks good. The Worldshaker is a juggernaut, an enormous city that moves around the world, through sea and over land, crushing all in its path under giant rollers. It and the juggernauts of other nations were created after the Industrial Revolution, and exist in a world that has turned out very differently to the one we know. The story starts with an exciting incident and then, after many twists and turns, it builds inevitably towards a violent conclusion.
- Everything Beautiful (Simmone Howell)
Silver Inky (International titles)
- Exposure (Mal Peet) An interesting and good adaptation of Othello, set in the world of today’s football (soccer). It could make a good companion novel for a study of Othello.
- Paper Towns (John Green) The College fiction blog has a good discussion about John Green and his writing (with links) here
- The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) (My favourite) Dystopian societies seem to have become the next major after vampires. This was a gripping story. In this dystopian world teens, between the ages of 12-18, are all possible candidates for what are called the Hunger Games, a contest to the death. It is a bleak world with enough of a reflection of our current reality to see how this might have come about. However the power of humanity also shines through some of the chacaters
- Skim (Mariko and Jillian Tamaki)
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)
These are great books and I want to encourage all our students to vote.
To vote you go here and there are very simple rules: Voters must be aged under 20 and they can only vote once. They can live anywhere in the world. Voting closes on Nov 20th.
For library staff: Don’t forget to go to shelftalkers for help in getting your students started.
Filed under: Library2.0, literature, Reading | Tagged: Australian literature, book awards, Inkys, Insideadog, YA literature, YA_Literature | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 27, 2009 by Rhondda
Waller on the relationship between Google and public libraries In a research paper, Vivienne Waller from Swinburne has examined the relationship between Google and public libraries. It’s very well researched and written, and will provide anyone with plenty to think about. The challenge now is to get the right people to read it – especially the “everything’s there on the Web” crowd.
Smarthistory: a multimedia web-book about art and art history This is a free multi-media web-resource/book designed as a dynamic enhancement for the traditional art history textbook. The authors decided to create a multi-media survey of art history web-book. They created audios and videos about works of art found in standard art history survey texts, organized the files stylistically and chronologically, and added text and still images.
EyeWitness to History – history through the eyes of those who lived it This sie can help you to get a more personal perspective on history through this site. It is a site that would engage kids with first-hand accounts of historical events, photos, audio and more.
History Timelines on the Web … The History Beat If you need a timeline then this might be a usefule site.
History Games and Animations This site offers a list of resources to find tools that will help you teach your students about everything historical from ancient times to the present day.
ANYDAY Today-in-History PAGE of SCOPE SYSTEMS. Put in any day in the year and find out what major events happened on it through this helpful tool. This could be a good way to begin a class – by finding out what happened on today’s date that is significant.
Clickable Mummy Kids are very often interested in mummies and using this interactive site they can learn about the process of mummification.
Calaméo – Publish and share documents Upload all major file formats and convert them into online publications. Can be used to: -Create digital books, e-zines, etc. -Students can become “published” authors -Alternative strategy for reports and presentations -Develop and share tutorials, study guides, etc. -Embed projects into a class site, blog or wiki -Connect with others that share your interests
Tap Into The World Of Comics
Interactivate: Activities Interactive games. Maths – 2 player, individual, class activites. Teacher or pupils can pick level and which types of questions are asked in quiz. Time limit to challenge pupils. Element of competition.
Building Maker – Create 3D buildings online ”Building Maker is a 3D modeling tool for adding buildings to Google Earth.”
Flickriver – A new way to view Flickr photos and more… Offers one continuous stream. You can view thousands of photos without ever needing to hit ‘next’ and waiting for the next page to load!
Visual Editors – The classroom for visual journalismThe non-profit that promotes visual journalism literacy in graphics, photo, video and design.
100 Blogs Every New Teacher Should Read | Online Schools An article on relevant teaching blogs
Thirty-Four Interesting Ways* to Use Search Engines in the Class Google docs resource. Lots of fabulous links to browse through when looking for ideas on information searching and using search engines.
Free Online Graph Paper / Lined
Online tools – maths online Powerful collection of online tools. A good online function plotter (graphing calculator) is here.
Science Podcast Collection | Open Culture Many different science podcasts on Open Culture – the best free cultural and educational media on the web.
Math Forum – Ask Dr. Math
Inclusive Science & Special Educational Needs Resources ”A drawing resource for producing neat, accurate diagrams of experimental apparatus. Students who struggle to draw neat diagrams for assessments can be encouraged to use this resource to produce high quality results independently. Teachers may wish to use it to draw diagrams that can be used on worksheets.”
The Steampunk Workshop | Technology and Romance – Sustainable Rebellion Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The site of Jake von Slatt. and it has some great posts and offers all sorts of interesting ideas and projects. Working in a school populated by teenage boys, it is a great site to get their attention. There are links to many things”steampunk”, from links to literature and reviews, projects, technical links , ephemera (that includes all manner of things that have caught the author’s attention) and even music.,
Videoraptor – search, find and download free videos and music clips Videoraptor downloads videos directly from websites and it can also convert the files into the formats I need in order to be played on other music players, even on cellphones
KeepVid: Download and save any video from Youtube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, iFilm and more! Another website that lets you download Youtube videos in high quality mp4 format besides flv.
TubeLeecher.com ::: Download youtube videos directly to your computer TubeLeecher is a very simple website which lets you directly download youtube videos to your computer. You just have to copy paste the youtube video url in the download box and hit download.
Valuable expertise on demand – rich business content and presentations | myBrainshark This is a useful way of hosting online presentations. Free to use, presentations such as powerpoints can be uploaded, narrated, saved, shared and embedded. Documents can be uploaded and narrated and photo albums can be made.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Filed under: Education, Research, tools, Video | Tagged: History, mathematics, maths, science, teaching, visual tools, visualisation | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 26, 2009 by Rhondda
Tom Barrett has been sharing his class ideas and tips about using various tools in GoogleDocs presentations for quite a while and I have been collecting them in my bookmarks. He has now put all of them together in his blog. The presentations are in easy to use in their Google docs format and he invites others to share ideas. They are worth looking at/using and, if you have some tips that have not been mentioned, think about contributing.
The latest one I found was Ten Interesting Ways* to Use Audio in your Classroom. We have been doing some work with audio and I recently listened to a discussion on music in the novel, so I am interested in exploring this area some more.
The other presentations are listed below but don’t be surprised if the numbers have changed.
Still in the early stages are:
Filed under: audio, Education, Library2.0, tools, Web2.0 | Tagged: camcorder, digital video cameras, flip, Google earth, Google wave, GoogleDocs, IPod, IWB, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Pocket Camera, Prezi, Search engines, Searching, Tom Barrett, Twitter, voicethread, wiki, Wordle | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 24, 2009 by Rhondda
Since first hearing about Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan about 6 months before it was published I have been looking up more information about the “steampunk” concept, trying to get a better understanding of the literature that has been classed as “steampunk”. The Steampunk librarian’s blog is an interesting site to read that gives you many links to all things “steampunk” as is the blog Steampunks links. Recently the later site highlighted art by James Ng. I really liked his artwork but it has information about many other visually interesting sites as well .
Another site I really like is The Steampunk Workshop. It has some great posts and offers all sorts of interesting ideas and projects. Working in a school populated by teenage boys, it is a great site to get their attention. There are links to many things”steampunk”, from links to literature and reviews, projects, technical links , ephemera (that includes all manner of things that have caught the author’s attention) and even music.
The projects the author, Jake Von Slatt, takes on, ranging from the Steampunk keyboard to the Victorian camper to the Victorian PC, are amazing. I am not sure how he thinks up his ideas but as this photo is from a post about creating a “steampunk” PC it is all quite fascinating.
This is a comprehensive site that also features many other people’s works and anything else the author discovers. It is a good site to keep tabs on to get solid overview of whatever is happening in the steampunk community.
Filed under: images, literature, Web2.0 | Tagged: art, James Ng, Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld, Steampunk, steampunk librarian, The Steampunk Workshop. | 1 Comment »