Category Archives: book shelf


While looking for a new book to read and share with my middle school students, Pax kept coming up as a recommended read.  This is the first book I have read by the author and in many ways, it brought me back to my childhood and reading Where the Red Fern Grows.  (Ahh, I loved that book!)  Pax carries the same punch and beautiful writing as that book.  It also tugs at the heartstrings, for anyone who has ever had a pet will instantly connect with the main character in this book.  Although it is written for upper elementary to lower middle school children, there is much that adults can connect to, and the writing is anything but “childish.”  Great sentence structure, vocabulary, and a powerful story creates an unforgettable book and journey as boy and fox try to be reunited again amidst a great war.

paxPax, by Sara Pennypacker

Genre: children’s literature; nature; animals

Summary:  Peter and Pax are inseparable, ever since Peter found Pax alone and abandoned as a kit.  However, years later a large war is looming, and Peter is forced to drop off Pax in a forest as Peter’s father enlists in the war.  300 miles away Peter moves in with his grandfather–a move Peter bitterly regrets.  That night Peter realizes he should have never dropped of Pax, alone and vulnerable, and sets off on a journey to find and rescue his beloved friend.  Meanwhile, Pax sets off on an adventure of his own, trying to be reunited with his owner. Continue reading

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I am starting a new series titled Book Shelf. Here, I am writing about books I have read and loved, sharing some of the space on this blog for another passion of mine–reading.  I am an English teacher by day, and in my classroom I give book talks to my students often, and I ask them to do the same.  We share books we love and hold dear to our hearts, write about passages that resonate with us and challenge us, and discuss the author’s craft and the beauty of the written word. We’re cultivating a love of all things books, and it’s turning into a wonderful thing.

In my book club with fellow English teachers,  we each get a turn at choosing a book for our club to read.  My friend chose this one.  Fantasy is not my favorite genre, (however, I feel the need for a disclaimer here,  because The Hobbit is my ABSOLUTE favorite book and  it’s fantasy), and I probably would not have chosen this on my own volition, but I found that I couldn’t put this book down from the moment I read the first sentence.  Sooo…maybe fantasy is my genre.

uprooted Uprooted, by Naomi  Novik, genre–fantasy

This novel is about a young woman named Agnieszka who is taken from her quaint village near the Wood, which is corrupted and evil, to live in the Dragon’s castle.  The Dragon is a  wizard who has protected her village for a century; he only asks every ten years for a young woman to be handed over, no questions asked–and  he gets to choose.  Nieshka, as she is fondly called by her friends, goes to the Dragon’s tower bravely, but soon finds out that she will prove more useful in saving her family and village from the evil Wood than she, or the Dragon, ever imagined. Continue reading

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