The Reading Eagles

TPCA Media Class… Grow In Grace

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – Review by Carie Juettner

Really enjoyed this novel. The characters are memorable, creeping back into my thoughts on a regular basis. If only we all had the courage to be a Stargirl!

Nerdy Book Club


The students at Mica High School in the Arizona desert all seem to be cast from the same mold. For the most part, they dress the same, talk the same, and like and dislike the same things. Nobody really stands out. Then a new girl arrives, wearing wacky clothes, carrying a pet rat on her shoulder, and strumming a ukulele during lunch. As if that’s not weird enough, she calls herself “Stargirl” and seems to have no inhibitions.

At first, the students at Mica High don’t know what to make of Stargirl, but soon she begins to win them over, inciting a revolution of individuality the school has never seen before. But the good times don’t last. When Stargirl, who is nice to everyone, aims her kindness at Mica’s biggest rival, the students turn on her, and nothing Stargirl does can bring them back, not even acting “normal.”


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George’s Secret Key To The Universe by Lucy and Stephen Hawking – Retro Review by Mahriya Zahid

This is a great review of one of the books donated to our school by First Lady Karen Pence! Hope some of you were able to read it over the summer!

Nerdy Book Club

george's secret key to the universeIf you love Doctor Who, then you’ll definitely love this book. This book is all about space and the universe. It starts off as a pretty normal book but soon turns into a place of mystery, danger and a whole new world. I simply picked this book from a random shelf in the library and sat down to enjoy it.

George’s journey to the universe begins in his neighbour’s house where he meets Eric and Annie.  Soon he knows all about the computer, Cosmos, which creates a portal to space. However, soon things get out of hand when he says something about Cosmos in front of his teacher Greeper. Greeper gets very suspicious of George and his Cosmos story. So Greeper hatches a plan. I’m going to let you read the book to find out what happens with the plan and the bullies – Ringo and his friends.

And things…

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Growing Up Gifted by Melissa Sears

This is so inspiring. I’m so glad I always read to my kids…

Nerdy Book Club

I’m fairly convinced that the reason that I love reading so much is because my mom read to me all of the time when I was a kid.  It amazes me that she did it because she doesn’t consider herself to be a highly intellectual person.  The reason why she did it was because she loved me and she wanted me to enjoy reading and be a good reader.  I’d say that’s a pretty smart for someone who thinks they aren’t intellectual.

I’m sure that my mother did not go out and read all of the research about why it is important to read to children from an early age, she just instinctively knew it.  She knew that by reading to your kids, with your kids, and eventually listening to them read, they would become better readers.  She also knew that surrounding us with books, either by taking us to…

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Patron of the Arts by Donalyn Miller

I couldn’t agree more!

Nerdy Book Club

During our recent move, we gave away almost 500 books. At one point, Don and I joked that our books were reproducing because we couldn’t see a measurable difference after giving away so many. I know that we are a little over-the-top in this regard, but we love buying and owning physical books. As Anna Quindlen said, “I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” Growing up in homes with limited means, Don and I consider ourselves prosperous because our bookshelves overflow.

A few kind publishers send me books because they know I will review and promote them, but most of the books that crowd our home bookshelves are books we bought. When I receive advance reader copies, I read them and pass them along to my network of teacher and librarian colleagues…

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The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart – Review by Sarah Krajewski

Adding this to my list! Middle schoolers, read on….

Nerdy Book Club

the honest truth“Okay everyone, time to put those bookmarks back in and take a look up here. I’m thrilled to say that I have a new favorite book to share with you all, and you’re the first class to hear about it.” Faces turn to look at each other with their eyes bugging out. I can hear the wheels turning. She’s calling it a favorite? It must be good! Eager faces wait patiently to hear what comes next.

I sit down on my stool and begin slowly. “In so many ways, Mark is a typical boy. He loves adventure, his sweet, loyal dog Beau, his best friend Jessie, and writing haikus in his notebook. When Dan Gemeinhart’s debut novel The Honest Truth opens up, Mark is buying a bus ticket so he can go climb Mount Rainier. If you know anything about this mountain, you probably know that it’s the tallest…

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Summer Reading Resources!

summer readingMay is over and we are already one full month into the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge!  Are you ready for a new Scholastic Summer Reading Log or the Middle School Summer Reading Log?  Lost yours?  Need that cool summer reading bingo that came home with your child but is now lost in the recycling?  Maybe you can’t find the summer reading letter 2015 that explained the program?  Fear not!  Click the links and hopefully you should have them in PDF form to download at home.

If you’ve got reading ideas to share about motivating yourself or your students to read this summer, please comment!  I love to share what others are doing.

One final item to share.  If you’re wondering which grade level is leading the reading minutes, it’s…. drumroll please… students entering 7TH GRADE!  Wooohooooo!  Caleb and Rachel are the current leaders with over 4,000 minutes each.  Well done you two!  june 6 reading

Happy reading!

Top Ten Reasons I Choose To Read Poolside by Katherine Sokolowski

This is exactly how I feel and how I want to be with students!

Nerdy Book Club

The last day of school has passed and summer has officially begun. That means it is time to fill up the pool bag, grab some sunscreen, a book, and head to our community pool. Many of my friends think I am crazy. Truly, my boys have reached the age where they could go on their own. And yet, I still go, almost daily, to the pool. You might be wondering why someone would subject themselves to bathing suits if was not forced upon them. Here are my top ten reasons I head to the pool to read during my summer vacation, even though I could easily do the same activity from the cool comfort of my couch.


  1. Time to Read

The most obvious benefit of reading almost daily poolside is that I plow through my to read stack. My plan each day of summer is to read a book a…

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Come Meet Some Mischievous Felines in a Castle Full of Cats by Ruth Sanderson – Review by Jenna Grodzicki

This sounds wonderful! Great for k-2 readers!

Nerdy Book Club

a castle full of cats “Once there was a queen who kept a castle full of cats.  She loved the pretty ones and the plain ones, the sweet ones and the brats.”  Thus begins the story of an 18th century king and queen who live in an opulent castle filled with all the lavish things a royal family could desire.  They have servants, extravagant clothing, and rare paintings and artifacts.  Indeed, they are what a young reader may expect stereotypical royalty to look like.  However, there is one important detail that makes this king and queen unique; their castle is filled with pampered cats!

The queen has allowed these indulged felines to have full run of the castle.  They eat their meals at the dining room table off of the finest china, they stretch lazily on the royal furniture, and they climb on the silken tapestries.  The queen loves her cats and is more…

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Adventures can start anywhere

Hobbit_coverReview of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Reviewed by Colin

Do you think an adventure with slaying dragons, giant spiders, and gruesome goblins could start in a peaceful place where a peaceful hobbit lives?  Well it can.  In The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit. Hobbits are very short (compared to humans) and prefer comfort to excitement (must be boring to plan parties for them). One day Bilbo meets Gandalf the Great who is a wizard. Gandalf is looking for people to go on an adventure. Bilbo being a hobbit says no, but Gandalf see potential in him and puts a mark on his door. The next day Gandalf and 13 dwarves come to his house. Thorin the dwarves leader is the son of Tharin who was the king of The Lonely Mountain. Thorin and the other dwarves wants to reclaim the mountain because Smaug who is a dragon, killed most everybody living there and claimed the mountain for his own. Thorin asked Gandalf to find another person to go on their adventure with because Gandalf would not go all of the way and they did not want to have an unlucky amount of people. Gandalf choose Bilbo and somehow convinces him to go with them the following day.

After traveling for a while they take refuge in The Misty Mountains. They think they are safe, but then they are all captured by goblins except Gandalf. The Great Goblin almost kills Thorin but then Gandalf blinds the Goblins, kills The Great Goblin, and leads Bilbo and the dwarves away from the goblins and run away, but the goblins are hot in pursuit. Bilbo accidentally gets nocked out and left behind, and when he wakes up he is lost in the goblin caves. He finds a ring on the floor and puts it in his pocket unaware of the power it has. Bilbo then meets Gollum. Gollum is like a hobbit, but he has skin like a fish and is cruel and evil. Gollum challenges Bilbo to a riddle contest and says if he wins he eats Bilbo, but if Bilbo wins he will show him the way out. Bilbo wins but Gollum still tries to eat him. Bilbo puts on the ring and runs away, but then he realizes the ring makes him invisible. Gollum goes to the exit thinking Bilbo actually knew where it was and Bilbo follows. Bilbo escapes and meets up with Gandalf and the dwarves. Later they are surrounded by goblins, and wargs (evil wolves that are friends with goblins) they think all hope is lost but then they are saved by the Lord  of the Eagles. He gives them food and sends them back on their way. Then they go to the entrance of Mirkwood which is a big dark gloomy forest full of danger. They are mournful because Gandalf is leaving them. Will they be able to pass Mirkwood, kill Smaug, and reclaim the mountain or will they crumble?

he Hobbit was the best book I ever read. Tolkien is truly a master at writing. One of my favorite things about the book is all of the symbolism. Some examples are Gandalf being like Jesus, and elves being like angels, and goblins being like demons. Another great thing is all of the description and word choice. Tolkien chooses just the right words for all of his sentences, and when he describes things he adds so much detail. Even though there some slow parts in The Hobbit there is tons of action. I enjoy how the action in the book is like butter on bread it is spread out, not in one place. I think everyone ages 10 and up should read this novel. I got more out of this book than I did in any other book. The Hobbit is by far the best piece of literature I have ever read.

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