Friday, December 16, 2011

App of the Week

Pixlr is a great set of image creation and editing tools that I recently discovered. Pixlr offers web-based image editing tools as well as image editing tools to use on Android phones and on iPhones.

Good Reads

Vicky's bookshelf: read

The Bookseller of Kabul
Thirteen Moons
Pearl of China
The False Friend
Remarkable Creatures
North of Beautiful
The Paris Wife
The Help
I am Number Four
Snow Falling on Cedars
The Tiger's Wife
Half Broke Horses
The Glass Castle
Slaughterhouse Five
The Grilling Season
Dark Tort
Sweet Revenge
The Sense of an Ending
Claude & Camille
Ship Breaker

Vicky's favorite books »


Friday, December 9, 2011

Tilt by Alan Cumyn

Sixteen-year-old Stan can think of nothing but making the junior varsity basketball team until he discovers Janine Igwash, and while his thoughts of jump shots are quickly replaced by images of Janine's spiky hair and the mysterious tattoo on her neck, the tension at home grows with his mom's new feckless boyfriend and his dad's sudden arrival with Stan's four-year-old half brother.

Math Apps

Check out these apps for 9-12 math.  

Apps from Tech and Learning Blog

Monday, December 5, 2011

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Eighteen-year-old Mikey's younger sister claims to have been raped and he seeks to avenge the crime, but when he meets and makes friends with Ellie, the sister of the accused, he complicates the situation considerably for all of them.

App of the Week 12/5/11

Calculator Pro - A standard calculator in vertical mode and a scientific calculator in landscape mode.

Friday, November 18, 2011

App of the Week 11/21/11

Includes thesaurus, definitions, and spell checking.

Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow


In 1936 Berlin, fourteen-year-old Karl Stern, considered Jewish despite a non-religious upbringing, learns to box from the legendary Max Schmeling while struggling with the realities of the Holocaust.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ahab's Wife: The Star -Gazer A Novel by Sena Jeter Nashlund


A novel inspired by Herman Melville's Moby Dick. A companion to Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick," in which Una Spenser tells the story of her life, and discusses her loving marriage to Captain Ahab before the white whale took his leg and drove him into madness.

App of the Week 11/14/11

  SAT Vocab Practice!

Vocab Builder, has  5 star rating by the Droid marketplace. Vocab Builder also offers more words than most of the other free apps . You can use the app to quiz yourself in a flashcard style of matching words to definitions or matching definitions to words. A good companion to Vocab Builder, from the same developer, is Beworded which is a "Boggle-style" word game.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

App of the Week 11/8/11


Classics2Go offers a broad range of classic books to read on your iPad or iPhone.

Second Quarter Bagels and Books and Freshman Books Clubs

Anthem by Ayn Rand


The next Bagels and Books Club will be combined with the Freshman English Classes.

Second Quarter's selection is Anthem by Ayn Rand.

Parents and students are welcome to attend the discussion which will be held on

Thursday January 12, 2012 6:00 pm in the High School Library/Media Center

In a future world, only one man dares In a future world, only one man dares to think, and love as an individual in the midst of a paralyzing collective think, and love as an individual in the midst of a paralyzing collective humanity.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

YA Novels that aren't dark or explicit

Heard about this blog when I went to the Books By the Banks Festival yesterday.

It has reviews of books that don't contain explicit violence, profanity, or paranormal themes.  How many vampire books do you want to read anyway ;-)

App of the Week 10/24/11

Gain access to thousands of eBooks, fiction and non-fiction, directly on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, with's handy new Apple App

Download 5 eBooks for FREE with a Standard (FREE) Membership each and every month.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Books By the Banks This Weekend!

This fun festival takes place at Cincinnati's Duke Energy Center this Saturday,
October 22, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm 

Hundreds of authors speaking and signing their work as well  as panel discussions, author interviews, K-12 Kid’s Corner, etc.

Check out the event here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daughter of Fortune by by Isabel Allende


Here's a title that I enjoyed reading immensely.  Allende's great historical novel is translated by Hija de Fortuna. 

Eliza Sommers, left alone and pregnant in Chile when her love Joaquin runs off to California during the Gold Rush, decides to follow him only to become entranced with her new life of freedom and independence.

App of the Week 10/17/11

Learn the Periodic table for free on your Droid!

Socratica gives 30 facts about each element for reference. Audio clips to help with pronunciation. Test yourself with quiz mode. Find elements by table, search or index.

Periodic Table Screenshot #3

Friday, October 7, 2011

Battle of Jericho by Sharon Draper


Read local author Draper's book set in Cincinnati.

Jericho is thrilled when he's asked to join the Warriors of Distinction, a school club with a fifty-year history and fine reputation for community service. But he soon learns that membership involves a prolonged and demeaning hazing campaign that includes paddling, being led on a leash, and jumping from a second-story window. This well-characterized novel moves with mounting tension to its inevitably tragic conclusion.

App of the Week

App of the Week:

Name: Evernote Cost: Free

Evernote allows you to take school notes, personal notes, archive pictures and share notes with others and across multiple devices. All notes are stored in the cloud so that you can access them anywhere with an internet connection.

Friday, September 30, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore


I've been wanting to read this since June.  Finally had a chance to start it  waiting for a soccer game to begin!

In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater


If you liked the Twilight trilogy, this series is for you!  Check out Shiver the first of the series...

What do you do when the market is glutted with vampire tales? You write a werewolf story instead. Shiver spins a story on par with Twilight (Little, Brown and Company, 2005) only a different monster emerges as the hero. Grace was taken from her backyard by a pack of wolves when she was a little girl, but one, lone wolf refused to let the rest of the pack eat her. From that point on, Grace considered him ?her? wolf and watched for him at the edge of the trees during the cold winters. Sam has been a werewolf for as long as he can remember. Until he met Grace, he lived a silent existence with his pack. But now, something has changed. Told from both Grace and Sam?s perspectives, each chapter takes us into the complexities of their relationship. In these pages we learn how Sam became a werewolf, why Grace was spared and isn?t a werewolf herself, and how love can conquer immense relational chasms. Read Shiver and enjoy a twist on the current vampire/werewolf frenzy. Highly Recommended. Michelle Hudiburg, Instructional Resource Center Director, Pittsburg (Kansas) State University

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bagels and Books is Back!

Hi All,  

The next Bagels and Books Club will be combined with the Freshman English Classes.  First Quarter's selection is Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.  Parents and students are welcome to attend the discussion which will be held on Wednesday, October 19th 6:30-7:30 pm in the High School MP Room.


Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson


This has been on my reading list and side table forever.  It's time I cracked this award winner open.

Slaves Isabel and Ruth are shipped to New York in May 1776. Isabel, overhearing her Loyalist master's scheme to kill George Washington, helps foil the plot. Her role forgotten by the Patriots, Isabel realizes it's up to her alone to find freedom. Anderson's novel is remarkable for its strong sense of place and nuanced portrait of slavery during the Revolutionary War

The Heist Society by Ally Carter

Fifteen-year-old Kat schemes her way into the best boarding school, hoping to leave the thieving antics of her family behind her, but Hal, a former co-conspirator, appears on campus to tell Kat that a powerful mobster believes her father stole art from a priceless collection, and in order to save him, Kat will have to recover the paintings.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Did You Know...?

Saw this Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod inspired video on the Social Media Revolution while catching up on my RSS feeds-very powerful...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Two superstar authors pair up and really deliver the goods, dishing up a terrific high-energy tale of teen love, lust, intrigue, anger, pain, and friendship threaded with generous measures of comedy and savvy counsel. Though the ensemble cast revolves around Tiny Cooper, “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large,” the central characters are the two titular narrators, who share a name (but don’t meet until partway through) and trade off alternate chapters. One Will has been Tiny’s satellite for years but is starting to chafe at the role—especially after Tiny forcibly sets him up with Jane, an infuriatingly perfect match. The other, whose clinical depression is brilliantly signaled by an all-lowercase narrative and so intensely conveyed that his early entries are hard to read, sees at least a glimmer of light fall on his self-image after a chance meeting with Tiny sparks a wild mutual infatuation. The performance of an autobiographical high-school musical that Tiny writes, directs, and stars in makes a rousing and suitably theatrical finale for a tale populated with young people engaged in figuring out what’s important and shot through with strong feelings, smart-mouthed dialogue, and uncommon insight.
Booklist starred (January 1, 2010 (Vol. 106, No. 9))

War Dances by Sherman Alexie

From National Book Award-winner Alexie comes a new collection of stories, poems, question and answer sequences, and hybrids of all three and beyond. In a penetrating voice that mixes humor with anger, Alexie pointedly asks, "If it is true that children pay for the sins of their fathers, then is it also true that fathers pay for the sins of their children?" Many of the stories revolve around the complexities of fatherhood; in the title story, the Native American narrator recalls his alcoholic father's death as he confronts his own mortality, and "The Ballad of Paul Nonetheless" is the tale of an eccentric vintage clothing salesman whose sexual attraction to his wife fades following the birth of their children. The collection also contains stirring defenses of artistic integrity; "Fearful Symmetry" is an incisive account of working as a young screenwriter for a Hollywood studio, and the poem "Ode to Mix Tapes" endorses hard work as the key ingredient behind any creation. Alexie unfurls highly expressive language, and while at times his jokes bomb and the characters' anger can feel forced, overall this is a spiritedly provocative array of tragic comedies. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today's Teacher Librarians Don't Wear Granny Glasses

Here's a great infographic to start off the new school year!  This reflects today's teacher librarians...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Here's another "Wow" !  Moon Over Manifest, Vanderpool's very first novel,  won the 2011 Newberry Award-ALA's best book for children-not bad for a new writer!!  I love the story within a story- set both in the Depression and WWI.  Manifest has wonderful, eccentric, well developed characters.  This was the perfect book for me to read while in the hammock...

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Wow!  Bacigalupi's first novel written for teens has won the Printz Award: ALA's best novel of the year for young adults and I can see why.  It keeps you turning the page and forgetting to reapply sunscreen.  Well worth the sunburn!

In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

Split Screen: A Love Story

Here's an innovative short film shot entirely using a cell phone.  It was the winner of the Nokia Shorts Film competition 2011...  

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain

"Portrays the love affair and marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Mowrer from their Chicago meeting in 1920 to their lives during the Jazz Age in Paris, but as Ernest struggles to find his literary voice, Hadley tries to define her role in their relationship as wife, friend, and muse."  Follett Titlewave

I'm really enjoying this book!  

Three neat things about it:

  •         The novel talks about his summers at his family’s cottage Windemere on Walloon Lake near Petoskey, MI ( I got to tour it during his birth centennial)

  •          This book ties in perfectly after seeing Woody Allen’s new film Midnight in Paris -such a charming film!

  • For the first time, I downloaded this title from the Public Library on my smart phone!  I have a Kindle, but so far, it only allows titles to downloaded from Amazon so this was great that I could read an Ebook from the library! 

Our IHHS Readers!

Create your own video slideshow at

Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride

Sam has dropped out of college and is stalled in a fast-food job in Seattle. Interrupting the boredom of days waiting on Plumpy customers and evenings watching old movies with his friends, a scary guy named Douglas enters Sam’s world. After a few pithy verbal threats, Douglas has Sam beaten and mauled by a sidekick—and later delivers teen Brooke’s pretty blond head to Sam’s door. The good news is that Brooke seems to be in no pain and is as sassy as ever. The bad news, as Sam finds out in short order, is that Douglas is a necromancer and has identified Sam, who hasn’t a clue what his strengths are, as a rival. Before the week is out, Sam finds himself in a cellar, caged with another pretty girl, who is part werewolf, part fairy. And then there’s Ashley, the parochial-school-uniformed 10-year-old who can orchestrate salvation for Sam by using her Blackberry and brains. With fine writing, tight plotting, a unique and uniquely odd cast of teens, adults, and children, and a pace that smashes through any curtain of disbelief, this sardonic and outrageous story’s only problem is that it must, like all good things, come to an end.
Booklist starred (November 15, 2010 (Vol. 107, No. 6))

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How's your Digital Fluency?

Here's a test created by Lisa Nielsen who is best known as creator of The Innovative Educator blog:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

Google as verb has come to generically refer to a search for information on the Internet, but with the astonishing growth of the company, the verb has come to refer as much to steamrolling over “old media” businesses from advertising to publishing to news gathering. Veteran reporter Auletta spent two and a half years researching the phenomenon of Google; its intensely private founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin; and the quirky staff of engineers whose obsession with efficiency led to a powerhouse search engine aimed at helping users find the answer to any question. In the process, Google learned that as it found answers, it also found opportunities for expansion, eventually stepping on the toes of its partners and competitors and provoking government investigation of some planned acquisitions. The company has gone from its messianic philosophy of “Don’t be evil” to being viewed by some as evil (equivalent to Microsoft in villainous potential) because of its size and dominance. Auletta explores the clash of cultures as e-commerce has unsettled old assumptions and business models. Though popular among its users, Google’s image has been tarnished by caving to demands for censorship by the Chinese government and by an engineering mind-set that has made it amazingly deaf to issues of privacy and copyright protection. With profitability that rivals that of any media company, purchase of YouTube, and encroachment on mobile phones and other enterprises, the future for Google looks bright. But Auletta raises questions about Google’s ability to maintain focus as it grows, fight off challenges from competitors and government regulators, weigh the appeal of free access to information and entertainment against the need to make money, and balance its reliance on the algorithms with a more refined sense of the needs of its users and partners. This is an engrossing look at Google and the broader trends in information and entertainment in the Internet age.
Booklist starred (September 1, 2009 (Vol. 106, No. 1))

The Week in Rap 5/27/11

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Eating the cake her mother has prepared for her ninth birthday, Rose Edelstein discovers she has a gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the food she prepares. Soon, every bite Rose takes is filled with feelings—not just her mother’s but those of other people as well—and what might have been a gift becomes a burden and then, perhaps, a curse. Because this is a novel rooted in family, Rose will learn that she is not the only Edelstein with a peculiar gift or burden. How she and others learn to cope—or not, as the case may be—is the small, sad story Rose shares. Bender’s earlier work has often been described as surrealistic; however, this novel seems more informed by a kind of magical realism that struggles with transformation and sometimes—fleetingly—succeeds, as in the case of the novel’s vividly realized Los Angeles setting. But the effect soon fades, and the reader is left only with a lingering feeling of emptiness and the realization that sadness tastes a lot like bitterness.

Booklist (May 1, 2010 (Vol. 106, No. 17))