2011-12 SC Young Adult Book Award Nominees

Presentation1The nominees for next year’s SC Young Adult Book Award have been announced.  Why not get ahead by checking one (or more!) out today.  The titles include:

Angry Management by Chris Crutcher
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Brutal by Michael B. Harmon
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Diary of a Witness by Carol Ryan Hyde
Dirty Little Secrets by Cynthia Jaynes Omololu
The Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-year Old GI by Ryan Smithson
The Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Gray Baby: A Novel by Scott Loring Sanders
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
King of the Screwups by K.L Going
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
Muchacho: A Novel by LouAnne Johnson
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
Rock n’ Roll Soldier: A Memoir by Dean Ellis Kohler
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Unsigned Hype: A Novel by Booker T. Mattison

Voting for the 2010-11 nominees is open through February 28th.  Ask your library media specialist how you can cast your vote!  Remember, you must read at least three nominee titles to be eligible to vote.

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Cover image for I am a geniusTwelve-year-old Oliver Watson is a closet genius.  Everyone, including his parents, thinks he’s mentally deficient.   What they don’t realize is that he’s a certifiable genius, secretly running a fortune 500 company, and wealthy beyond belief.   An ingenious inventor, he has his home and school tricked out to make his life more bearable – for example, he’s rigged the water fountains at school to dispense root beer for him and he has a secret lair accessible from his bedroom where he runs his corporation.

Oliver tolerates his mother, but despises his father.  Oliver decides to run for class president in order to destroy his father’s faith in the elections system.  You see his dad was class president and sees it as the ultimate achievement.  Oliver’s goal is to prove his father’s accomplishment means nothing if he, Oliver the dim-wit, can win the election.  Oliver uses his considerable resources and underhanded tactics in his election campaign.

A cross between Artemis Fowl (also an evil boy genius) and The Gospel According to Larry (use of footnotes and sarcasm), I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President is a laugh our loud read.  You don’t know wether to root for Oliver to win or to be defeated.  I couldn’t put this book down and finished it in one sitting, a rarity these days for me.  Oh, and I’ve heard that the movie rights were purchased and the project is in development.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Category: Contemporary/Science-Fiction

Tags: fiction, science fiction, comedy, action, bullying, contemporary, politics

Additional Resources:

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Genius Website – website for the book

USAToday.com: “Josh Lieb of ‘Daily Show’ puts his wit to ‘Unspeakable Evil'” – article and video of the author reading from the book.

YouTube Video: “I AM A GENIUS OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL AND I WANT TO BE YOUR CLASS PRESIDENT, by Josh Lieb” – Book Trailer Created by June Henson

Taking time to smell the roses


I know, the picture doesn’t have a rose in it, but I’m very proud of this photo – taken just minutes ago while out “walking” the dog.  I’m REALLY enjoying my new Nikon D5000 camera!

This is Labor Day weekend.  Labor day “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” (US DOL.gov)  I planned to take this weekend off –  to sit back and relax, get some reading done, and generally be a sloth!  However, I just can’t seem to turn off my work switch.  There are so many things needing to be done and/or planned for in the upcoming weeks/months.

2 Read or Not 2 Read – Midland Valley and I have finally gotten our book club blog up and running.  I’m still waiting on some last minute approval before I can give out applications to my students; however, Midland Valley introduced the blog to their students this past week.  I’m VERY excited about having our students interact and share book reviews/discussions through blogging.

Library Card Sign-up Month – September is library cards sign-up month and I, along with the librarian from the Wagener public library, have been asked to visit/speak with the middle school English classes on Sept. 22nd.   We are supposed to share what we are doing/offering in our programs.  Still not sure what I’m going to speak about, but I was specifically asked to share the library’s web page, the new blog, and other “multimedia for 21st century skills” – hopefully I’ll figure out whatever that means by the 22nd!  Wish me luck.

SC Young Adult Book Awards – The nominees for the 2010-11 SC Young Adult Book Awards have been announced.  As always, there is a display of these title in the library.  In addition, I am on the SCYABA book award committee and have been reading a bunch of new YA titles.  I’m really excited about many of them and can’t wait to recommend them to our students.  Being on this committee forces me to read a wide variety of YA titles I wouldn’t normally read.

WSHS Book Club – tentatively, the first book club will meet this Friday, Sept. 10th, during both lunches.  We will be adopting the Midland Valley book club monthly themes – September’s theme is Mystery.  Please encourage your students to join the book club.

Technology Workshops – the new Technology Committee for WSHS has been tasked to provide workshops for the next Early Release Wednesday.  We’ve come up with a proposal and are waiting for the okay before developing our workshops.   All TC members are working on finding and reviewing web resources.  Right now, we are reviewing the AASL Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning (2009) to determine which of the blocked sites we want to petition to have unblocked.  The classroom teachers are supposed to review and provide feedback as to whether or not they would be useful in their classrooms.  I’ve created a Diigo account for WSHS where I’ve begun bookmarking these and other useful or interesting links.

These are just a few of the items on my mind this weekend.  Others include: library advocacy, August monthly report, WSHS Drama Club (meets this Wednesday); Banned Book Week (begins Sept. 25th); pull-out classes begin soon; Teen Read Week (Oct. 17-23); signing up for another photography class; submitting a proposal for the SC Association of School Librarians conference, and making plans to attend the SC Title 1 (Oct. 25-27) and  SC EdTech (Oct. 27-29) conferences.

*Sigh* – I think I’ll just go read a book instead!  Enjoy what’s left of the Labor Day weekend ya’ll!