Thursday, July 29, 2010



Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper 304 pgs.

Wonderful first person narrative about Melody Brooks, an 11 year old wheelchair-bound girl, who hasn’t spoken or walked due to cerebral palsy, yet tells the reader about her full life in school: best friend Rose, new little sister, Penny, and dear Mrs. Valencia who cares enough to help Melody learn how to communicate with others. Excellent character development, realistic daily care of special needs children and the prejudices society has toward disabled people. I LOVE that you never feel sorry for Melody and readers can “hear” Melody’s smart and confident voice through her own words.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Ratings Website

I just discovered this website that rates adult fiction, non-fiction and young adult novels. The administrator of the site is a book reviewer for a newspaper. There aren't a ton of ratings so far, but there are quite a few young adult novels listed. It might be a good resource to use when a parent (or kid) is looking for clean reads.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Amazon's Best Books of 2010... So Far

Here is the list of Amazon's Best Children's Books.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Intriguing Discussion

Shannon Hale invited several young adult authors to discuss the topic of how sex is portrayed in young adult novels. What do you think?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Free Audiobook Downloads

From the Yalsa Listserv:

Please forgive the cross postings - here's some good news! Each week, from today until September 1st, you can download two totally FREE audiobooks through SYNC! Anyone may participate, there's no required sign-up or personal info or credit card needed, the titles are in MP3 format compatible with ANY digital player or computer, and the choices are top titles from the best audiobook producers - how much better could it get?!? There's even great printable materials so that you can promote your own library or school audiobook collection! Feel free to add links to your library website, email to your library discussion groups and friends, post on Twitter & Facebook, and build displays & listen-alike lists to entice new listeners to take advantage of your library's audiobook collection. And as the downloads are handled through OverDrive, it's a terrific way to introduce new users to your library's digital resources. There's even an entire social community where SNYC participants may interact with authors, narrators, and audiobook producers! SYNC has been developed to promote audiobook listening to teens ages 13 and up through the unbranded open forum Audiobook Community But it's not just for teens! Each week, two new titles will be available for download - one a current teen favorite, one a classic with a similar theme. What a great way to experience classics on your summer reading list, discover great YA literature, or download perfect family listening for a wide spectrum of ages. Check out the entire list of titles at the bottom of my email. It's summertime and the listenin' is easy - and FREE - with SYNC!

Happy listening!

Mary Burkey

Liberty Middle School

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SYNC Titles

Audiobook downloads available as MP3s

Summer 2010

Available July 1 - July 7

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Available July 8 - July 14

Over the End Line by Alfred C. Martino

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Available July 15 - July 21

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available July 22 - July 28

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Available July 29 - August 4

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Available August 5 - August 11

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Available August 12 - August 18

Beastly by Alex Flinn

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available August 19 - August 25

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 - September 1

Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens