Monday, December 2, 2019

Review: The Testaments

The Testaments The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Re-enter Gilead 15 years after Offred's mysterious disappearance. The Testament's follow three interwoven narratives that slowly tell the story of Gilead's ultimate downfall.

Through three very different lenses, readers are exposed to the harsh realities of life in Gilead and the dreams of those who want to destroy it. Agnes Jemimah and Nicole's eyewitness testimonies provide glimpses into the naive yet uncertain world of young girls who've been brainwashed to believe in things that don't ring true in their hearts, while Aunt Lydia's first-person tales of survival, cruelty, and corruption reveal the true inner-workings of Gilead.

Though the story wrapped up a bit too neatly for my taste, it does bring some closure for readers who wanted to know more (and also for those who've watched the Hulu mini-series).

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Review: Butterfly Yellow

Butterfly Yellow Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wanted to love this book, and the second half was much more engaging for me, but overall it seems like it will be a tough sell for most teens who aren't in love with historical fiction or character driven stories.

Six years after Hang is left in a war-torn Viet Nam while her little brother is sent to the U.S., she finally arrives in Texas on a mission to find her lost brother. With the grudging help of LeeRoy, a wanna be cowboy, Hang locates her brother only to realize that he no longer remembers her. As she fights to help her brother remember, readers gradually learn about the tragedy and trauma Hang has endured over the last six years.

This is a story of family, of history, and of hope.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

MyBib - There's a New Citation Generator in town!

EasyBib was our go-to source for generating citations for quite some time but in recent years, the increase in ads (we use the free version) and some serious difficulties logging in using Google Accounts has bumped it down quite a few pegs for use with students.

Most recently, I have been using MyBib, which has proven to be a great substitute for EasyBib as a free citation generator to use with students.

Why MyBib?
  • Free
  • Ad-free
  • Google Login
  • Create multiple projects
  • Collaborate on shared projects
  • Export projects to Google Drive (Docs) for fully formatted Works Cited pages
  • Embed bibliographies into web pages/blogs (see below)
  • View Bibliography

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Review: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cartaya's novel is the complete opposite of an "epic fail"!

When La Cocina de la Isla, the Zamora family restaurant, is suddenly in danger of being replaced by a fancy high-rise, Arturo has no choice but to fight for his family, his community, and maybe even for the girl. Through a voice that's both passionate and confused (well, Arturo is a 13-year-old boy) Arturo narrates a tale that will have readers laughing, crying, and ultimately rooting for Arturo all the way!

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: What If It's Us

What If It's Us What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

YA romance is not typically my genre, but I'm going to call "What If It's Us" a romantic comedy and roll with it.

Arthur and Ben aren't supposed to meet - or maybe they are - who knows what fate has in store? Arthur's recently out, only in NYC for the summer, and though he's an aficionado of Broadway musicals, he's got no game when it comes to real live boyfriends. Ben's been around the block (well, one time) and it didn't end well. He's stuck in summer school with his ex-boyfriend, and his best friend Dylan is jumping headfirst into yet another romance which means he'll be on the sideline.

When Arthur and Ben meet in a crowded post office - it's love at first sight - well, maybe it is, but who really knows. Fate intervenes, and they get separated, and then they get reunited, and sparks fly, but time is short and emotions (and humor) run high. And, yes, it's a whirlwind, and it's messy, and nobody's perfect, but isn't that what teen romances are all about?

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Review: We Set the Dark on Fire

We Set the Dark on Fire We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dani is the top Primera at the Medio School for girls, but she has secrets. Destined for a life as the first wife to a high society government official (future president?), she knows she could live luxuriously and forget about where she came from. But things aren't that easy. When she's forced to spy on her new husband by rebels or have her true origins exposed, Dani is suddenly caught in the crossfire between what she's worked so hard for and what she knows is right.

Mejia's story has just enough rebellion, intrigue, and romance to have readers waiting for the next installment.

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

TECH Note of This 09/28/2019

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.