Ready Player One

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I finished this book yesterday and wow it was good.  The plot is about a dystopian world where everyone escapes into a VR simulation called the Oasis.  When the creator of the Oasis dies he leaves control of the Oasis to the winner of a giant Easter egg hunt.  

This novel is fantastic.  It has reference after reference to everything from Doctor Who to Back to the Future to Star Wars.  Without spoiling anything major I just have to say that I loved that the Firefly universe was adjacent to the Star Wars galaxy.  A nod to how Firefly was influenced by Star Wars.  

I have decided recently that my 5 star review must be reserved for those that truly blow me away.  Ready Player One blew me away.  The movie comes out in March.  While I naturally want everything from the book in the movie the book could refer to Back to the future and Ghostbusters and all these other IP.  The film will be limited by the IP that they can license.  

5 Star Review: The force is with Ready Player One.

Ghostly Echoes Jackaby III by WIlliam Ritter

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First, The Jackaby series is very much like Buffy plus Doctor who plus Sherlock Holmes.  He is funny smart and whimsical.  The series is about how he is a Seer.  He can see the supernatural all around us.  There is only ever one Seer at a time.  ( The supernatural elements plus this part of the plot is why I love it and why it screams similarity with Buffy.)

In this volume Jackaby and his assistant Abbigail are determined to solve the mystery surrounding his ghostly friend Jenny’s Death.  This series does not let you down.  It is  exciting and funny.  This book does have a bit of a Percy Jackson vibe to it but that only adds to what makes it great.  

I highly recommend Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter.  4 Stars.

Kingdom Keepers V Shell Game

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Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers series takes several ordinary kids and makes them hosts in the different Disney Parks.  They are tasked with defending the parks from the Overtakers.  The Overtakers are a group of disney villians who are trying to take over the parks and make them dark and evil.  

In volume 5, the Keepers are on a cruise from Florida to Castaway Cay and then on to Anaheim.  This series is incredible.  Its like having a Disney Vacation.  Who doesn’t love going to Disney.  While there were more secrets of the parks in the first couple volumes, Shell Game is non stop action and has a major cliff hanger.  

4 Stars This  is a great book.  

What is a “real book?”- Helping teachers reach reluctant readers. 

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What is a “real book” Is it the book that is interesting enough that a modern 8 year old chooses to sit and read instead of playing Switch?  If a book is able to hook the most reluctant reader is that a real book?  Teachers please consider this as we head back to school.  There will be readers in your class that do not have good experiences with reading.  Selections they have been given in the past were found boring.  

Reading is an important skill for children to develop.  Intrinsic motivation is powerful. If a 3rd grade boy does not want to read Sarah Plain and Tall but has an interest in one of the many novels about the worlds of Minecraft then this is his gateway.  Not everyone will enter the world of loving books the same way.  I entered with The Hardy Boys.  In the 1960’s The Hardy Boys were considered “bad books”. Librarians refused to stock them.  They were considered junk.  When you have to increase reading comprehension among all of your students especially those that do not practice as much, it is a good idea to provide them with materials they will want to read.  

Many teachers don’t know that you can find chapter books based on 

Pokemon

5 Nights at Freddy’s

Minecraft and more

Once kids read they can do anything, to get them to put down the Video Games teachers need to embrace that not everyone is going to like the same books.  A variety of different types of books including those based on pop culture/media characters is an important step to developing readers.  

Reading a YA book again

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I’m very excited to announce that I will be starting to read Ghostly Echoes the 3rd book in the Jackaby series today.  I’ve been in I a reading lol for YA and Kids books for most of this year.  This has caused the amount of reviews to decrease significantly.  Recently I got a job at Barnes and Noble and will be working in the kids department.  I feel reinspired to read literature for young people.