Wintergirls, LibraryThing, and book reviews

I recently created an account on LibraryThing to “catalog” what I am reading and/or what is on my TBR (too be read) shelf.  There are other virtual bookshelf programs out there, such as Shelfari, but I chose to use LibraryThing (probably because it has library in it’s name) for my blog.  I loved that I could add a widget from my LibraryThing catalog onto my blog (it’s over there on the left column!)

I’m planning on making book reviews a regular segment on the blog – depending upon if I actually can get any reading done, so don’t be surprised if the book reviews are few and far between – amazingly, over the last two months, I’ve actually been able to read a few YA novels so here goes the first one:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Eighteen year old Lia’s ex-best friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room of an apparent suicide.  The night she died, Cassie left 33 messages on Lia’s cell phone – calls Lia refused to take.  You see, Lia and Cassie haven’t been friends since Lia passed out behind the wheel and crashed into a guardrail.  The two girls had made a pact to be the skinniest girls in school – Cassie turned to binging and purging, while Lia starves herself, causing the blackout. Cassie was ordered to stay away from Lia and Cassie also doesn’t want her own eating problem to be discovered so she severs all ties to Lia. At least she did until Cassie’s death and the 33 voicemails.  Now Lia is back under the microscope, making it harder to hide that her two stints in rehab at New Season’s didn’t take.  Wintergirls is a powerful look into the mind of a teenager struggling with body/self-image and the damage anorexia takes not only on the body but on the spirit and on ones family and friends.  This is definitely a must read that I’ll be highly recommending.

Rating: 5 Stars

Category: contemporary fiction

Tags: anorexia, contemporary, fiction, self-image, rehab, YAlit, suicide, eating-disorders

Additional Resources:

Wintergirls website – read an exerpt, download the teacher’s guide, additional resources on eating disorders

Laurie Halse Anderson – the official web site for Laurie Halse Anderson

Penguin.com – watch a booktrailer and an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson

Amazon.com – read reviews and watch an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson

National Eating Disorders Association – a place to find information and support about eating disorders

SCASL 23 Things Project: Things 16 -19

Once again, playing catch up.  Most of the items being covered I’m familiar with – and while I may not have used them all, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on how they work.

#16: Wikis – Task, explore some and write about your thoughts and experiences.  I love the concept of Wikis and would love to use them with teachers and/or students.  I especially like all that Joyce Valenza is doing with wikis and the TeacherLibrarian Wiki.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon your viewpoint, this requires a level of collaboration between teacher and librarian that requires pre-planning.  This may be an activity for us to develop for next year (or semester) and would hinge on the district allowing access to a wiki.

#17: Add an entry to the SCASL Wiki – I’ve already updated the SCASL librarians who twitter, blog, and podcast (although our podcast page hasn’t been updated in quite some time!)  Will have to think of something to add to the “Your Favorites!” section o.

#18: Zoho Writer – great thing about Zoho is that I can use my GoogleID instead of having to create a whole new account.  Zoho seems to do the same and more than Google Docs and I like the Notebook feature.  Can see using this to take notes at a conference and exporting them to my blog.

I’m already a Google Docs user and have advised some of my students to use them as well.  We have a huge problem with floppy discs and thumb drives not working in our school computers.  By using Google Docs (and as long as we have an internet connection), students have a way of retrieving their work.  Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten teachers to try it out, yet!

#19: LibraryThing: Kinda neat.  I’ve created a LibraryThing catalog to share on my blog (see the widget below the blogroll & links) to list the books that I’m reading now.  I’ve entered the six that I’m currently trying to finish.  All are available in the school library.  As I finish them I’ll write a review.  I’d be interested to see what others think of the books.

That’s all for now.  This week we’re to look at YouTube and other video sharing sites.  Should be fun!