I hope you are all as excited about the holiday season as I am. Please try to remember the spirit of the season, as I encountered plenty of enraged shoppers at the Home Depot parking lot yesterday (people honking, others arguing over who chose a particular X-mas tree first). I try to always remember how blessed I am and put any problems in perspective. Try smiling and laughing; they’re contagious.
My pastor alerted me to a website that I want to promote to anyone who wants to share good wishes to our soldiers overseas: www.anysoldier.com. Another site that I encourage everyone to go to is www.freerice.com. This site provides a vocabulary quiz, and for each word you get right, the United Nations donates 20 grains of free rice to help end world hunger (a great teaching activity for all ages of students). Sorry for the two promos, but they are worthy causes.
I have been reading even more than usual this past month, as I spent a wonderful week with my wife and kids in Scottsdale, Arizona. While the kids were swimming, I dove into a number of eclectic titles that I have wanted to read, including Bones to Ashes (another excellent Kathy Reichs novel in her series that has inspired the Fox TV show Bones); Alan Elsner’s The Nazi Hunters is just a pure fun suspense story; Jennifer Belle continues to impress me as one of the funniest women novelists with her latest effort Little Stalker; and I cannot say enough good things about Alan Sitomer’s Homeboyz. If you teach middle school, you really need to add Sitomer’s books to your classroom library, as his books circulate like hotcakes (he also has a wonderful book for middle school teachers entitled Hip-Hop Poetry and the Classroom, a guide for connecting classic, standards-based curriculum to hip-hop poetry as a way of engaging students).
Anyhow, enjoy this month’s book selections below. I hope you are all reading some wonderful books. Make sure to tell me all about them. If you're an author or a publisher and would like to send me review copies of your book(s), please send them to the address listed for authors and publishers.
Have a wonderful December, and enjoy your books!