Florida SSYRA Battle of the Books 2015-2016

This school year my daughter read the 15 SSYRA books for grades 3-5 in just about 5 weeks. I wrote a post on tips on how to raise a reader and you can read it HERE

She was the first one in her SCHOOL to finish all of the books. She was the ONLY reader in her class to attend every party that was held in the school media center celebrating students who had read XYZ number of books by a given date. Once she finished the grades 3-5 list, she began a few on the grades 6-8 list. But she got bored quickly because she wasn't reading them for a "prize" and so she wanted to read books of her own choosing instead. No problem with me. As long as she's reading, I'm happy. Laughing

I was super excited to see the 2015-2016 list announced this week! You can see the official announcement below!

I've already gone ahead and reserved all of the books through our county library system, and I expect that they will begin to arrive shortly!! The titles this year all look really good and I think Haley will really enjoy them.

Grades 3-5 were also released. Ella and Ronin aren't as much into reading as Haley, but I've put a handful of these on reserve with the hope that they'll want to read a few. They did get jealous that Haley was attending the reading parties while they had to stay in class. 

 

 So there you have it, ALL the books for the 2015-2016 school year. 

 

2015-16 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Finalists

Grades 3-5

Athlete vs. Mathlete W.C. Mack

Blast Off! Nate Ball

Eight Keys Suzanne LaFleur

Fortunately, the Milk Neil Gaiman

The Fourteenth Goldfish Jennifer Holm

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe Lutricia Clifton

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom Christopher Healy

The Hypnotists Gordon Korman

Kizzy Ann Stamps Jeri Watts

Nerd Camp Elissa Brent Weissman

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen Donna Gephart

Pie Sarah Weeks

A Snicker of Magic Natalie Lloyd

Three Times Lucky Sheila Turnage White

Fur Flying Patricia MacLachlan

 

2015-16 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Finalists

Grades 6-8

Counting by 7s Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Eighth Day Dianne K. Salerni

Eye of the Storm Kate Messner

Jack Strong Takes a Stand Tommy Greenwald

Jungle of Bones Ben Mikaelsen

The Night Gardener Jonathan Auxier

Project Jackalope Emily Ecton

The Secret of Rover Rachel Wildavsky

Seeing Red Kathryn Erskine Skink

No Surrender Carl Hiaasen

Stung Bethany Wiggins

Tesla’s Attic Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman

The Testing Joelle Charbonneau

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Twerp Mark Goldblatt

 

 

Do your kids like to read??

Adult audiobooks that make any trip better!

Summer vacation is almost upon us, and for many that means the inevitable road trip. With the right narrator, listening to a great audiobook can mentally transport you just as effectively as reading an incredible novel. Whether you’re traveling solo or going as a group, the following audiobooks will ensure that you don’t drive directly to crazy. These are ADULT audiobooks. I'll have a list for kids up soon!!

 

Audiobooks That Make Any Road Trip Better

 

Bossypants

Written and Read by Tina Fey - You probably thought it couldn’t get any better than reading Fey’s witty, entertaining, and wise memoir, but this way you get to hear her tell it right to you, in her own voice, with all the proper inflection and emphasis. 

 

Heartburn

By Nora Ephron, Read by Meryl Streep - Streep played the title character in the movie version, as well — she knows her inside and out, and it shows in this perfect audio performance. 

 

Life

By Keith Richards, Read by Johnny Depp - Nobody can voice a dangerously disarming charmer like Depp, so this is clearly a match made in audiobook heaven. 

 

Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel

Written and Read by Lauren Graham - Lauren Graham’s fictional tale of a young woman trying to make it in the Big Apple is funny, heartfelt, and just the tiniest bit flaky. Exactly what you would expect from Lorelai Gilmore. 

 

Just Kids

Written and Read by Patti Smith - hear Patti reliving her memories of busted-and-boho NYC.

 

Neverwhere

Written and Read by Neil Gaiman - the fantasy world Gaiman creates comes completely alive when he reads his own book.

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Written and Read by Mindy Kaling - she’s just as funny and fearless when reading her memoir as she is when she’s writing for TV.

 

The End of the Affair

By Graham Greene, Read by Colin Firth - Fog, passion, steam engines, tweed, fog, wartime despair, desperate lovers, more fog—no one does doomed London romanticism like Graham Greene. Just try to keep a stiff upper lip while listening.

 

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

By Alexander McCall Smith - Escape to Botswana with ace private investigator Mma "Precious" Ramotswe. Between the whiff of danger and the warmth and sunny efficiency of Botswana's female Sam Spade, you may never want to close this case. 

 

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

By Douglas Adams, Read by Stephen Fry - After 7½ million years, a computer finally has the ultimate answer to the universe. A respite from the humdrum for all ages. 

 

The Art of Racing in the Rain

By Garth Stein – A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope. A beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life, as only a dog could tell it. 

 

In a Sunburned Country

 

Written and Read by Bill Bryson - Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in Australia, the country that doubles as a continent; the result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. 

Are you a fan of audiobooks? Any that you would add to this list??

**Thanks to HCPLC for putting together this great list!**

When the "After" Becomes the "Before" and it's okay

In 2008 I started what I thought would be my last attempt at losing weight.

I did it.

I lost over 200 pounds. 

I reached my goal weight in June 2011.

157 pounds.

But I'm not smiling in this photo. I had to go back through the comments I wrote about this photo on Facebook:

"I Still have some tweaking and toning to do."

Why couldn't I have been happy with how far I had come?

I started off here, give or take a few pounds. 

And now I feel like I am back there again. 

Maybe not quite where I was back in the beginning, but certainly no where near where I was in the after. Because this time I'm smiling Cool

I'm OK! I'm happy. I love my job, I love my family, I love my friends. 

Throughout this 6 year journey I have learned so much.

1. I LOVE TO EXERCISE. Throughout this journey I have NEVER stopped working out. Sure, the type of exercise I have done has changed, but exercise itself..no. That's been ongoing. 

2. I HAVE ISSUES WITH FOOD. Serious issues. I always knew this, but I thought I beat those demons, which is why I stopped going to Weight Watchers. I kept that goal weight of 157 pounds (+-4 pounds) until April 2013. And then I stopped going to meetings, and I started to notice the tick-up on the scale. I didn't think my diet had really changed, so I contributed it to building muscle since I had started CrossFit just a month or so earlier. 

3. I NEED TO WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME. In November 2012 I quit my job as a school librarian to focus on my family. I didn't realize how lonely being home would be without having my kids around. I am an extrovert. I need people. I learned that I need to have a life for myself OUTSIDE the home, and I began my quest in 2014 to find a professional library position. 

But even though I learned these things, the scale kept ticking up. And I realized in early 2014 that I wasn't building muscle, I was adding fat. And I still kept thinking that my diet hadn't changed. 

But it MUST have. 

Could there be any other reason?

I had blood work done by my doctor.

Everything looked ok.

And then I joined Weight Watchers online and I started tracking.

It was my food. I was severely exceeding my daily points.

I kept tracking and I kept exceeding. 

I kept gaining weight.

I keep gaining weight.

And then today in my time hop, this popped up.

5 years ago TODAY, I weighed in and was down 4 pounds.

All those feelings of what it felt like when I stepped on that scale Saturday morning after Saturday morning came flooding back to me.

It was empowering. 

And it was exactly what I needed.

I'm heading back to Weight Watchers meetings tomorrow. Same meeting, same time I started at nearly 6 years ago to the DAY! 

It's sort of surreal.

But I'm going back a changed woman. 

I'm stronger, I'm smarter, I love myself more, and I DO NOT have a goal weight in mind. I just want to feel comfortable again in my own skin.

As this wonderful blog post The "After" Myth pointed out 

There is today. There is now. There is during. There is life.

And I'm smiling Cool