Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE DAY BEFORE, by Lisa Schroeder

by Lisa Schroeder
AR: Not Yet
Interest Level: 9th and Up

Wow, I have been so bad about keeping up with this blog. I've read a lot of books; I just never seem to tie myself to a chair long enough to post about them! This one, though...I simply MUST share, for several reasons:

1. It's written by Lisa Schroeder, and to put it plainly, Lisa rocks my face off. Click HERE to find out why. :) Click HERE to visit Lisa's blog.

2. It's written in verse, which means it will automatically fly off of the shelves the same way my (multiple) copies of I Heart You, You Haunt Me, Chasing Brooklyn and Far From You do. While it's true that novels in verse tend to resonate with reluctant readers, they are by no means easy to write! It takes a true gift and talent to use so few words and still manage to capture enough emotion to fully develop a character.

3. Emily, my (you should read this next part real fast and run the words together without taking a breath, or it will just look like poor sentence structure) "unofficial library assistant for the past four years who picked out so many great books for our collection and just graduated and I'm going to miss her so much I can't stand it," bought it on our Kindle at like midnight the day it was released, and raved about it.

4. When I opened the book on the Kindle and skimmed through the acknowledgments, imagine my GLEE (hate the show, love the word) when I saw, right next to each other, the names. "Teresa" (as in, uh...ME!) and "Hailee" (as in my daughter!) I would have thought it coincidental, but they were right next to each other and I've never seen anyone spell Hailee like that...so what do you know? We got an acknowledgement from a real live ROCK STAR YA author!

OK, I guess I should stop pontificating on the magnificent jumble of awesome that is Lisa Schroeder, and get on with what I thought of this book:

This is Amber's story--or rather, one day of her story. Amber wants one day at the beach--just one--for herself, with no obligations, no family, not even her best friend, with whom she shares everything. She wants one perfect day. Just one. After this one day, she knows that her life is going to unequivocally change, and she's resigned to, and even accepted that fact. She just doesn't want to think about anything but this one day: the day before. (The day before what, you may be thinking--but I'm not gonna give that away, because it's Lisa's privilege to determine when that is, which she does, in the book--but you'll have to read it to find out!)

Amber meets Cade at the aquarium. Cade is also on a mission to get away--for one day--from his own situation. They have an instant connection, and both understand immediately that the other needs this day. They make a promise to not ask any questions about the other's life. Then they set out to escape from the world--for just one day.

That's all I'm going to tell you about this particular book. What, you thought this would be any different than my others? I never give away a book in a blog post! That's the author's right and privilege to do, not mine! Of course, you can probably surmise that Amber and Cade don't end up keeping that promise, they bond, and...ack, there I go again.

My favorite part of this book was Amber. I loved her personality--and her taste in music. P!nk is one of my own personal favorites, so I felt an instant connection to Amber because of her love of the artist and her music. I will never hear "Glitter in the Air" in quite the same way again.

I have no doubt that I will have to order multiple copies of this book, as I had to do with all her others.

Thirty Books, by Mrs. Schauer

So I had one of my former second grade students, Kathy Mireles, from Skidmore, post a link to the "Thirty Day Book Challenge" on my Facebook wall this morning. I loved the concept, but knew I would not follow through with posting a single book each day. Then I had a great idea--post my answers on the high school blog!

Anyway, I'm here in the library, and I have a gazillion things to do, which is par for a librarian in the summer. The main thing I never fail to miss getting around to doing is procrastinating. :) At first, I thought completing this book list was yet another effort in procrastination, but now that I'm incorporating it into my high school blog, and not JUST on Facebook, it's part of my job duties!

My hope is that a few people will add their own thirty books to the comments section...hint, hint! I doubt anyone will though; I'm so bad about not keeping up with the blog, that I don't think many people check it anymore. Anyway, here are my answers....

1-Your favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

2-Least Favorite Book: Anything by Charles Dickens. Blech!

3-A Book that completely surprised you: (bad/good) The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. I didn’t know anything about the premise and the title made it sound like a self-help Book

4. - A Book that made you laugh out loud: Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christoper Moore

5- A Non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed: It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, by Robie Harris

6- A Book that makes you cry: Far From You, by Lisa Schroeder

7- A Book that’s hard to read: The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

8- A Book you want to read, but never have: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

9- A Book you’ve read more than once: The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

10- The first novel you remember reading: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

11- The Book that made you fall in love with reading: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

12- A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set aside for a bit: Living Dead Girl, by Elizabeth Scott

13- Favorite childhood Book: Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

14- Book that should be on hs/college required reading list: Crank, by Ellen Hopkins

15- Favorite book dealing with foreign culture: A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

16- Favorite book turned movie: Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

17- Book turned movie and completely desecrated: My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Piccolt

18- A Book You can’t find on shelves anymore that you love: Little Dream, by Cynthia Leonetti

19- A Book that changed your mind about a particular subject: Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Piccolt

20-A Book you would recommend to an ignorant/racist/closed minded person: Dinner With a Perfect Stranger, by David Greggory

21-A guilty pleasure book: Does the Noise In My Head Bother You? By Stephen Tyler

22-Favorite Series: Left Behind by LaHaye, Jenkins

23- Favorite Romance Novel: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

24 - A Book you later found out the Author lied about: Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous

25-Favorite Autobiographical/Biographical Book: Three Little Words: A Memoir, by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

26-A Book you wish would be written: The Gospel According to Mary Magdelene

27- A Book you would write if you had all the resources: Teresa Schauer: A Memoir J

28- A Book you wish you never read: I can’t think of one

29- An Author that you completely avoid/hate wont read: I don’t have one of these…

30 - An Author that you will read whatever they put out: Patricia Polacco

Monday, March 7, 2011


Review by Mrs. Schauer

AR: Yes
Intended Audience: Upper Grades

This book has been in our collection for a while. Emily, of course read it right away, and encouraged me to read it. I, as always, could never seem to find the time to get it read it as well. I have this problem where if I start a book, I can't put it down until I finish it, and nothing else in my life gets done. Even if I had found the time, though, it always seemed to be checked out when I went to look for it. In any case, I finally took this one home last weekend, and read it in two sittings.

This is most definitely a book that is a prime example of why my personal motto as it pertains to a librarian's role in helping make the match between student and book is: "Not every book is right for every person, but for every person exists the perfect book." Not everyone needs to read this book. In fact, some people will strongly dislike it. For some, though, this book could be life changing--for some, this book might really be needed. And that is the exact thing that makes it the perfect book, in my opinion.

This is the story of Leah and Laine. Leah is the beautiful rich popular girl that everyone longs to be. Laine is the quiet wallflower that fades into the background of whatever crowd she's in. That is, until Leah decides, in the fifth grade, to make Laine her official BFF. For a little while, even though she's confused about why she was selected for the prime role as BFF to a goddess, she's grateful to be noticed, and to have friends. She feels incredibly special to be by Leah's side.

LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL opens with the news of Leah's death in a terrible car accident. The rest of the story takes the reader on a journey through the complexities of their years-long friendship. Through her reflections, we are taken into Laine's heart and soul as we travel with her through experiences that played a huge role in shaping the person she has become.

Not all stories are happy idyllic coming of age tales that tie up neatly with a bow in the end. I will say that Laine does find healing in the book, and the reader is left with a sense that she's going to be OK--but there is a lot of pain, loss and confusion along the way.

I applaud authors like Jo Knowles who step out on a limb to write about things that are considered taboo. Life is full of many things--joy, love, loss, pain, sadness, anger, abuse...the list goes on. Libraries need to have books on their shelves for everyone--and sometimes this includes books that might make people uncomfortable. To them, I say: Don't read it. Put it back on the shelf, where someone who really needs the words contained within it can finally find another human being to whom they, maybe for the first time, are able to relate.

For Teachers: Click here for a teacher's guide to go along with the book.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Well, well, well. I have not been blogging here much, because it felt like no one ever read what I posted. It would appear that some of my students have stumbled on this blog, FINALLY! LOL Guess I need to start posting what I read, huh?