Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/14/13

Today the Boys and I are linking up to a meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey as well as Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.  It's called: It's Monday!  What Are You Reading?  Check out both of their blogs for many, many, more wonderful book recommendations and links to others who are doing the same!

Here is our rating system, penned by P.J.:  
  • For every "rock" it means something different, like 1 rock is not very good, 2 rocks is OK, 3 rocks is good, 4 rocks is great, and 5 rocks is amazing! Well now that I got you up to speed, let's get into these book reviews.

P.J. finished reading Insignia this week.  Yay!

Title: Insignia

Author: S.J. Kincaid 

Goodreads summary:  More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom's drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone's been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he's offered the incredible--a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom's instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, he'll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War III. Finally, he'll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom's always wanted--friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters--but what will it cost him?

What I think: I think that this was a great book because of the unpredictable plot, the great fight scenes, and the thought that must have been put into the book to make it so good.

Favorite scene: When Tom fights Medusa and the other Russo-Chinese combatants in the fighting simulator.  

Recommended for: Anyone with a taste for sci-fi action-thrillers

Rock Rating: 5/5

The book I am going to read next is The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

Hey this is C.J.  Hobbits are small, and this... is book report time.

When we left off, I had finished The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, so now I will give an update of The Hobbit (To Isenguard, to Isenguard!) So the dragon that took over the dwarves land (Smaug) just died from a king in Ravendell (Not Thorin, king over the mountain.) So now the dwarves are inside their home and are taking it back, not knowing that their worst enemy, was dead.

C.J. out <(-_-)> (Trademark)

I am still plodding my way through Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  Friends have said that it takes a while to grip you, and I'm still waiting for it to take hold.  When I reach the 25% mark, I'll re-evaluate my desire to continue or perhaps abandon it.  If you've read it and have any encouragement, please leave your comments below...

I am also about halfway through Pathways to the Common Core by Calkins, Ehrenworth, and Lehman.  My book study group meets again on the 28th to discuss Chapter 5, which is all about Non-fiction.  It is a brilliant book, and (once again) I highly recommend it for all educators!

This week, regardless of whether I continue or abandon Verity, I will also pick up some mysteries:

and these First Kids Mysteries (for my middle grade students):

Happy Reading!


  1. Code Name Verity would definitely be worth it if you stick it out.

    C.J. I adore The Hobbit & plan to re-read it (for the 4th or 5th time) this year.

    Hmmm. Insignia looks interesting. I might have to track it down.

    1. Aha! I crossed the 25% mark in Verity last night, and I get it now! Third person... :) Now I will continue. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. I think Insignia will be a popular book. Would I have a computer installed in my brain? Hmmmmmm.

    1. Part 2 of the series comes out in July. Can't wait!!

  3. Thanks for the kind words about my blog - and I am so glad to have discovered YOUR blog, too! As you know, I also have 2 boys, ages 18 and 15, though the 15-year old doesn't enjoy reading (don't know how that happened in a family of avid readers).

    Great updates. My husband wants to re-read The Hobbit, and we all want to go see the movie (I know, we are running out of time!) My boys were never big fans of the Wimpy Kids books - they thought Roderick was just too mean, especially to his best friend.

    Oh, and my son just got Where Did You Go, Bernadette for his grandma (my mom) for Christmas (she'd already read the first book he got her), so I will have to send that out today - looking forward to hearing what you think of it!


    Great Books for Kids and Teens

    Book By Book

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I followed your blog too. :)

  4. It's so cool that he really liked Insignia. I enjoyed it a lot, too!

    One of these days I'll get to Code Name Verity ...

    1. Verity is finally beginning to grip me. It took some time to come together and make sense. The first few "chapters" are quite a ramble, and I wasn't sure where it was going or who was narrating. At 27% in, she finally made it more clear. I'll let you know my final verdict when I finish, but now I'm going to continue.


The Boys LOVE to receive positive words of encouragement as well as book recommendations from you! Please take a minute to leave a happy comment. Registering through OpenID is quick and easy~ we can't wait to hear what you think!