Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fiction Friday

I read two great books this week for 

I finished 50 Shades (not a kid book) as my last grown-up read of the summer. I am onto juvie lit with a vengeance now. Only about 6 weeks until school starts! I need to get shined up on all those books I want to be able to recommend.

Gregor the Overlander is written by Suzanne Collins (why does she sound familiar? She wrote Hunger Games!). This is a series that grabs you and makes it nearly impossible to put down. You'll be finishing the last page and making plans to run out to your favorite book store right after you close the cover so you can pick up book 2.

Gregor is a city kid who lost his father 2 years, 7 months and 14 days ago. And by lost, he literally means lost. He dad simply disappeared. Gregor is now responsible for taking care of his younger sister and his grandmother during the summer while his mother works. One day while doing laundry, something extraordinary happens to him and his 2-yr-old sister Boots.

Transported to an underground kingdom, Gregor learns about bravery, leadership and responsibility to a greater cause.

I would recommend this book to: girls and boys, grades 3+

I have always wondered what the hullaballoo was about with Holes. It hit the shelves long after I was out of school. I had no interest in seeing the movie. I actually thought that maybe it was about giant worms or something science-fiction.

Boy, was I wrong!

Friendship, legends, buried treasure and gypsy curses... you wouldn't think these would be major items in a book about juvie prison camp. "If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole everyday in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy." That's the motto for Camp Green Lake. It's not a camp, it's not green, and there is no lake; there is just the hot texas sun glaring down on a cursed dried up lake bed. Stanley Yelnats is a truly-innocent-wrongly-convicted kid who ends up at Camp Green Lake. At first, you think that you're going to pity Stanley, but his savviness proves him to be brave, intelligent, and filled with a sense of doing the right thing.

I finished Holes in less than 24 hours. I was delighted with the agony/bravery of the characters, and the core lesson of doing the right thing, no matter how difficult.

I would recommend this book to: boys and girls, grade 3+


  1. I found your blog through the Fiction Friday linkup. I have always wondered about the Gregor books as well as Holes. I have 6 copies of Holes in my classroom and I have never read the book! After reading your review, I will be putting both in my stack!


  2. I loved The Hunger Games so much, so between that and your review I can't wait to pick up my own copy of Gregor the Overlander. Thanks so much for adding to my "must read" list for the summer!!!

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

  3. Great book choices!! I adore Holes! I had to put the book on the back burner for awhile because of the movie. But, finally the movie has been out long enough that they book looks interesting to my 4th graders. Every time I read it, I figure out something new and enjoy it more. It is just THAT well written. I'm so glad you were willing to see what all the hullaballoo was about. :) As for Gregor the Overlander, a fellow teacher at my school recommended that to me awhile back. It is going to jump to the top of my list after your recommendation. It sounds good and I love a good fantasy/adventure book. Thanks for linking up!!!

    The Teaching Thief

  4. P.S. I'm really impressed you got through such "big books" this week. You must be a speed reader. I'm always trying to balance out my big books with thin ones. :)

  5. It is really weird that you are writing about Gregor...I just read that book this week and I loved ...loved it. I made my husband go out with me today to buy a copy so I can read it out loud to my class and I bought 2, 3, and 4 so my kids can check them out. I also bought The Sisters Grim because I have read 3 of those recently.

  6. The Gregor series was introduced to me by one of my students. I LOVE them! More then I loved The Hunger Games:-)

    Chickadee Jubilee

  7. Holes was one of my favorites of all times growing up! My sister and I fought over who was going to read it first. I highly recommend watching the movie. It isn't one of those that ruins the book, it truly brings it to life.

    I'm your newest follower! Come check me out!

    Ms. W

  8. Definitely inspired to read Gregor the Overlander now! Happy to have found another 4th grade teacher blog & I'm your newest follower! Come visit my blog & enter my first giveaway while you're there - wishing you the best WINNING luck!

  9. I'm so glad to have found this blog... I love your book suggestions and the adorable "Monday Made It" bookshelf you spruced up! I will continue to follow your blog for more great ideas. I've nominated you for The Liebster Award! Please stop by my blog to pick it up! :)

    - Sarah

    1. Hi There -
      Thanks for sharing the great review of Gregor the Overlander. You have me intrigued. I loved the Hunger Games trilogy so I'm excited to read a new series by the same author.
      Wondering if you recommend this as a read aloud? I know I will not be reading the Hunger Games to my 4th Graders and just wondering what you think.
      My next quandry is whether or not to purchase it for my Kindle or from the local book store. Your thoughts?