Crazy House

Okay, I’m going to give another go at reviewing books.  I got this one as an ARC back at ALA Midwinter 2017 in Atlanta, but finally downloaded it from RCPL with Overdrive this week.  [A student borrowed my ARC and it has never been returned!]

Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet, jimmy patterson/Hachette Book Group, 2017

Twins Becca and Cassie Greenfield have had more hardship than most seventeen-year-olds.  Two years ago their Ma and Pa basically abandoned them and they now have  a ramshackle farm to take care of, school to pass, their designated vocation to master and only each other to rely upon.  Everyone in United and Cell B-97-4275 must pull their weight.

One fateful morning Cassie wakes up to find Becca, and more importantly, Cassie’s truck, gone.  Cassie’s initial anger turns to fear when she realizes her sister has become one of the “disappeared” – kids who go missing and never return–no reason, no warning, and no trace of them is ever found.  On the flip side, Becca wakes up in a prison for kids–where the sentence is death – and you must learn, obey, and most of all, fight in order to delay your execution.  What the two don’t know is that it was Cassie who was supposed to have been taken, not Becca!    What will happen when the switch is discovered? Will Cassie find Becca before Becca is executed?

First off, I will say I wouldn’t normally have chosen to read this, simply because I’m not a dystopian fan.  It was the mistaken twins and one being in jail that initially intrigued me enough to give it a chance!  Having said that, I’d say this one is a great choice for those who enjoyed Maze Runner by James Dashner; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; and Divergent by Veronica Roth, etc.   The novel is told from multiple points-of-view in short alternating chapters that I believe reluctant readers will find appealing.  This is the first of a series, so of course, there is a bit of a cliffhanger; however, the book does have an ending, of a sorts.  You just know there is more to come and not all answers have been provided – as this is a new world, conflict still remains, and so much more to resolve.  Overall I’d give this one a 3 out of 5 stars, simply because this isn’t my genre.

Currently Reading

I can’t remember which library magazine I got this from (sorry, I can’t give you credit!), but I so totally stole this idea.  I create a flyer using Canva to design and Pixabay for my image.  I personalized one for every teacher and staff member at my school (thankfully we have a relatively small staff) and printed them in color.  I then laminated them so that they could use dry erase markers to write what they are reading and wipe them off when they need to update their selections.  I put the finished flyers in their mailboxes and sent out the following email:

I’ve placed a currently reading flyer in everyone’s boxes (see sample attached). If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll make you one!

What I hope is that you’ll display this in/outside your classrooms and write on it using dry erase marker (so you can change it out frequently) with what you are reading. This can be books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, …whatever! This is so students can see that teachers are reading, too, and hopefully start a dialog around what you are reading.

You can find dry erase markers in the attendance office – I recommend the “fat ones” which only require a Kleenex or paper towel to remove and not the vis-à-vis ones as those require water to wipe off!)

Thanks for your help in promoting literacy here at WSHS!


We will see who takes me up on the challenge and if it starts any dialogs!

Currently Reading Flyer

Currently Reading Flyer

Trick or Treat (with a book)

Just a quick note to share our October display/reading promotion.  It is called Trick or Treat with a Book and was “stolen” from Nampa Library.  Our library clerk found some cute reversible paper at Walmart and between us we selected titles we thought were appropriate for October/Halloween for her to wrap.  Like Nampa she added question marks; however, as the first batch quickly disappeared, she began adding more creative touches!  The most recent ones had witches, trees with rotten apples, black cats, ghosts, etc.