Monday, September 28, 2009

Reading Tree Challenge

In one of my last posts I talked about the reading tree and a little about it. I am excited to announce that I am having a book drive. It's really simple, any old or unwanted books that you may have lying around the house can be useful. Just pack em up and give them to me. Either drop them off at my house or e-mail, text or call me to schedule a pick up time that I can come and get them. I have been talking and planning out this book drive with John Barger who is the executive director for Reading Tree right here in our very own Utah...Farmington to be exact. He is as excited as I am to have this book drive to help out some local schools. This book drive will officially start Oct 1st and (due to a 2 weeks vacation) wont end until Jan 1st. To help spread the word please do a short post on your blog about this challenge with a link to this blog and then leave a comment saying you have done this. Then I will contact you to get your address so I can send you a homemade bookmark just for telling people about this. We want to donate as much as we can! So in order to do this I am offering a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble (or a store of your choice) for the person who donates the most books. When you drop them off I will keep track of who you are and how many book you have donated. If you don't live in Utah or close to Salt Lake and would like to help your in luck. Reading tree has bins that you can donate your books at. Just click here to go to their website to find a bin near you. If you would like to participate in the challenge still but once again can't get the books to me. Send me an e-mail at with the title Reading Tree Challenge (so I know what it's about) and tell me how many books you have donated (you can also add titles of the books if you want) with a picture of you in front of the donation bin. Remember these books are going to go to needy schools, library's and family's right in your area. If you would like to see where your books go contact a representative in your area and they can give you more information and can maybe even include you in a donation event at a school or library. Please help us out in this wonderful chance to help stamp out illiteracy.

The Reptile Room

The reptile room is book 2 in Lemony Snickets a series of unfortunate events. I liked this one more than the first. I still enjoyed the characters both old and newly introduced, I did find myself a little more frustrated at the different situations in this book, but I can see how for a young adult book, kids who read this would be able to identify with the Baudelaire children in the sense that maybe they always feel like adults are not listening and that they need to come up with a way to save the day. In my children's literature class my professor told me that this fact is key to writing children's novels. When a child reads a book they find it a lot less satisfying if an adult comes up with a plan to save the day and the kids in the book just follow along, and when trying to introduce reading to children they might be less interested in reading at all. but when you give them a book that they can live through the characters and these characters come up with their own way of solving the mystery or catching the bad guy then they will want to read more and more. I have really enjoyed these stories so far and look forward to continuing with them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reading Tree Books for Charity

I stumbled upon this wonderful charity called the Reading Tree books for Charity while I was looking at the Childrens Reading Foundation's website. When I read their mission statement I couldn't believe it. Here is what it said.....

"We have two missions: First, we keep books from contributing to the saturation of our nation's landfills. Second, we collect books from families who no longer want them, and deliver them to children, families, schools and libraries that desperately need them.
Did you know that readiness levels for kids entering school can be directly tied to income levels?

Did you know that 61% of low income families have no children's books in the home?
The books are out there. Thousands upon thousands end up in landfills each year. You can help us use these books to change the lives of kids in your community - and around the world."
I read this on the "Our Mission" portion of the website and I had NO Idea. So for all who read this blog and more I am going to issue a challenge... Since there are no book drops here in Utah (at least according to the website there aren't) I am going to issue a book drive to all who read this blog and more. if you have ANY books that you don't read or want anymore instead of throwing them away. I would like to ask you to donate them to this help low income families, library's or anyone else who needs them receive books and to try and stop illiteracy. I have emailed the reading tree to find out more information about how we can help and what we can do to have a book drive. When I find out more information I will post it to let you know. Until then please keep this post in mind. Thank You!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree.

This is the book I chose to replace my other choice for the book club. It was very hard to read but had me hooked from the very beginning. I feel very humbled after reading about the life of this young girl during the holocaust. I couldn't even imagine having to go through everything she went through and be a survivor. As I was reading this book I tried on multiple occasions to try and relate to her as best I could and couldn't even come close. I tried to imagine what it must have been like and even then I don't think I could ever fully grasp the concept. What really shocked me about this book is not only the experience that this woman had to go through when she was only a teenager but also the story and lesson I learned that even through the most dismal situations good can be found. Laura Hillman made 3 very important friends at the concentration camps. 1 was a young girl named Fella, she helped Laura cope and taught her a lot about life in a concentration camp. The 2 was a Polish POW solider by the name Hillman and later who she affectionately called Dick. As you might have guessed by her name She not only became fast friends with this soldier but also fell in love with him. Then the 3 was another girl by the name of Eva. I have always been fascinated by WWII, but what fascinates me the most is not all the horrible and cruel things that people can do to one another that is often focused on. But the good they can do and the true hero's that walked silently through history that people tend to look over. I am convinced that besides the people they directly influenced nobody would know who they were or what they did without these memoirs, movies and other books. In the darkest of times good can be found. This is the main thing that I took away from reading this wonderful book. I know I recommend almost all the books I read but this one in my opinion is a MUST READ!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Bad Beginning

I have been wanting to read these books for awhile now, but I wanted to first collect all 13 books....yup 13. I found books 1-4 at a swap meet for a $1 each and thought that would be a good place to start. After finding that I had left the book I was reading in the car... that was now with James at Salt Lake. I started to look for another book to read for the 1 1/2 hour bus ride into work. So I finally grabbed this book. I have already seen the movie so I knew the basic story of these books. It was a lot easier read then what I thought but I really enjoyed how it went into a little more detail with the characters. I especially liked the character Justice Strauss a lot more in the book. You see how she really tried to help the Baudelaire kids a lot more and how she was a safe haven and basically the children's way to stay sane while living with Count Olaf. I do admit that when Count Olaf was introduce in the book I did see Jim Carrey most of the time. :p I am a little torn with how much the author "talks" in the book. Sometimes it's quite humorous and other times annoying. I think this was just an added thing for these books though. It made it feel more like someone was telling you the story rather than you reading it. Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest in the series. :)