Contests!, Reviews, Teaching Reading

Novel Madness 2018 FINALS

Yes, it’s two of the sixth graders’ all time favorites: The House of Hades and Hunger Games. Both novels have loyal followers. The contest will be decided this Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Stay tuned!


2014 YA/NA Blogfest!

blogfest2October is the month for discovering fantastic new adult and young adult books! Click the banner to get to My Crazzy Corner where blog host Apryl Baker lists all the authors participating (including me!) There’s a hottest guy contest and a giveaway. Make sure you check back here on October 18 for the brand new first of its kind unveiling…no, you’ll have to wait.


Win a Free Copy of My Book!

final coverToday UNDER THE ALMOND TREES is featured on the historical fiction blog Novel Pastimes.

There’s  an interview with yours truly then a question. Answer the question (it’s an easy one–your opinion) and you’re entered to win a free copy of the book. Pass it on!

DAY TWO interview is up on Novel Pastimes. Check it out. You know you want to.


Novel Madness Winner 2014!

ribbonHunger Games takes the top spot!

The final round of voting in this year’s Novel Madness pitted Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins against The Candyshop War by Brandon Mull. My students listened carefully to both persuasive speeches and cast their votes. Hunger Games won with two-thirds of the ballots.




Author Angela Fristoe, over at Turning the Pages, is hosting a giveaway this month. By following my blog, you’ve already got a chance to win!

So with Danica McKellar starring on Dancing With The Stars, I began feeling a bit nostalgic. I loved watching The Wonder Years when I was growing up and the romance between Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper had me wishing for my own childhood romance 🙂 That Danica went on to become an author and math guru made her a even cooler in my dorky opinion.

In celebrating the re-emergence of Danica McKellar, I’ve joined together with a few other YA authors to host a giveaway! Two lucky winners will receive a paperback copy of Kiss My Math by Danica McKellar! The giveaway begins today and continues until Danica wins or is eliminated from Dancing With the Stars.

From the author of the runaway bestseller Math Doesn?t Suck, the next step in the math curriculum– pre-Algebra.

Last year, actress and math genius Danica McKellar made waves nationwide, challenging the “math nerd” stereotype and giving girls the tools to ace tests and homework in her unique just-us-girls style. Now, in Kiss My Math, McKellar empowers a new crop of girls, 7th to 9th graders, taking on the next level of mathematics: pre-Algebra.

Stepping up not only the math, but also the sass and style, Kiss My Math will help math-phobic teenagers everywhere chill out about math, and finally “get” negative numbers, variables, absolute values, exponents, and more. Each chapter features:

– Step-by-step instruction
– Time-saving tips and tricks
– Illuminating practice problems with detailed solutions
– Real-world examples

– True stories from Danica’s own life as a student and actress

Kiss My Math also includes more fun extras–including personality quizzes, reader polls, and real-life testimonials– ultimately revealing why pre-Algebra is easier, more relevant, and more glamorous than girls think.

There are multiple ways to enter including the option to tweet daily. The listed end date is subject to change and winner will be announced within 48 hours of Danica’s win or elimination from DWTS.

To enter, click on over to Turning the Pages!


Novel Madness 2014

book turning pages_animatedNOVEL MADNESS is here again! This annual contest crowns my students’ all-time favorite book. In teams of six, they brainstormed titles. The initial list was 25 books. As a class, they voted on the top sixteen. Although some favorites are consistent, new titles appeared too. Hunger Games and Holes are  here for the third time. Maze of Athena, Hobbit, Pie, Cinder, and Lightning Thief are all making their second appearance.

On Monday, March 21, 2013, pairs of students will present arguments in favor of the book they’ve selected. The class will vote, eliminating half the books in the first round. Click on the book’s title to read the students’ persuasive essays, intended to influence their classmates’ vote. Stay tuned here for the results!

The Hobbit
by J.R.R. Tolkien
by Brandon Mull
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Mark of Athena
by Rick Riordan
by Louis Sachar
by Veronica Roth
The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
by Marissa Meyer
by Christopher Paolini      
Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls
The Sea of Monsters
by Rick Riordan
No Talking
by Andrew Clements
The Candy Shop War
by Brandon Mull
by Karin Rita Gastreich
The Two Towers
by J.R.R. Tolkien
by Sarah Weeks

Click HERE to see the winners of Round One!


Owain Featured on Character Blogfest

Character Blogfest DG

All month, DelSheree Gladden has been featuring characters from various novels on her blog. Earlier this month, she posted artwork depicting Evan and his flying horse, Clyth. Today she’s featuring an interview with Owain, the groom from In the Winds of Danger. Find out how Owain feels about High Meadow, Evan, and Davyd. Learn what he fears and what he thinks about events in his town.

It’s been a fabulous month meeting all these wonderful characters! If you’ve missed any of DelSheree’s posts, click on over there to check them all out. Don’t forget to leave a comment on this blog or on hers telling me how you liked Owain’s interview. There’s also time to get in on the contests and giveaways connected with the Blogfest, but it all goes away tomorrow!


Phyl Manning: Elephant Contest



Sure, they can paint—but only YOU can write. Yes, about elephants. We’re hosting a two-level contest with (a) modest $$ winnings and (b) possible inclusion in Elephanthology, a planned anthology of elephant lore—short stories of fiction or narrative nonfiction (imaginative writing, not articles per se), poetry, flash fiction . . . all published with author’s name for each piece.

To find out more, check out Phyl’s website.


and for more about Phyl’s BOOK TOUR and GIVEAWAY, click here.


Novel Madness Round Two!

book turning pages_animatedWinners of Round Two

Yesterday we had our second round of speeches and voted to eliminate four more books. Listed below are the novels still in the competition and the matchup they will face tomorrow. Winners of tomorrow’s voting move into the semifinals!

Matilda by Roald Dahl vs. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien vs. Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Comment on your favorite! If you’re not familiar with one of the books, what would make you vote for it? What do you need to know about each of the contestants?

For the full list of Novel Madness titles, and links to the students’ essays, click here.

For the winners of these matches, click here.


Novel Madness 2013


Novel Madness 2013

First Round Winners!

After a day of spirited persuasive speeches, my class voted and here are the results of the first round. I have logged them here already lined up for their second round match. Round two voting takes place on March 19. Care to sway the vote? Post a comment extoling the virtues of your favorites!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire            vs.             Mathilda
by J.K. Rowling                                                                            by Roald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach   vs. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by Roald Dahl                                           by J.K. Rowling
Red Pyramid           vs.        Lightning Thief
                    both by Rick Riordan
Hunger Games         vs.    The Hobbit
by Suzanne Collins               by J.R.R. Tolkien
For the full list of Novel Madness titles and links to the students’ persuasive essays, slick here.
For the winners of these matches, click here.