Learning Xtranormal – an Uglies by Scott Westerfeld book talk

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
by: traveljenn


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Ender’s Game the movie

Looks like there really is going to be a movie based off the book Ender’s Game. It should be great.

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BOOKTALK: Interstellar Pig

What would you do if you started to play a board game and found out that aliens are real, the game itself is real, and that you hold the fate of the planet earth in your hands? Welcome to Barney’s world. Sixteen-year-old Barney is spending the summer with his parents at their summer beach rental. Barney plans to spend the whole summer staying out of the sun and reading science fiction. His laid back summer starts to get interesting when he learns the story of a captain and his insane brother who used to live in his summer rental and when he meets his attractive, snoopy, and worldly neighbors. Barney’s new neighbors befriend him and introduce him to the board game- Interstellar Pig.

One of his neighbors, Zuma, teaches Barney the rules of the game and the object being to be the last one in possession of the Piggy card. When Barney returns home that evening he notices the scratch marks on his bedroom wall (made by the captain’s brother) that make a pattern that points to a rock on a nearby island. The next day Barney goes over to the island with his neighbors and finds a small box hidden by the rock. Inside the box is a small sculpture of a Piggy which Barney learns is the missing piece to the board game and when played with it, the game becomes real.

Barney soon finds out that his neighbors are aliens that will kill for the Piggy, the Piggy communicates with its possessor, and that if he loses the game the planet earth will be destroyed. Can Barney trust the Piggy?  What lengths will his neighbors go in order to win the game? Will Barney be able to learn the real  rules of the game in time to  save the planet earth?

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BOOKTALK: The House of Scorpion

Welcome to the future where what was once the border between Mexico and the U.S. has become the country Opium. Drug lords control the country of Opium and wield great power throughout the world. Humans have been successfully cloned. These clones are very much like humans except that each has a tattoo indicating their status. This is how the rest of the world is able to identity the humans from the non-humans. Clones have no rights. They cannot vote, own land, get an education, or obtain medical treatment. To many humans in this society clones are worse than filthy, disgusting animals like cows on a farm.

How would you feel if you found out you were a clone, exactly like someone else already living before you? Matt is a clone. In the beginning of the story, he is completely unaware of this fact. His only connection to the outside world is Celia the cook at the Big House. He does not understand why he must play inside all of the time and he has never interacted with other children. At six Matt makes his first contact with the world, he is treated with disgust and hate. Matt comes to live at the home of El Patrón, a drug lord and the leader of Opium. Eventually, Matt discovers the real reason for his creation and he is terrified.
Read The House of the Scorpion to learn about Matt’s story and uncover the frightening truths about his world.

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BOOKTALK: The True Meaning of Smekday

You ever get a homework assignment that you really didn’t like? Not because it’s boring. Most homework is boring. But sometimes you get told to do something that just seems stupid. Gratuity Tucci got one of those assignments. An essay on what Smekday means to her. What’s Smekday? Well, once upon a time it was called Christmas, but when the Boov took over Earth, they renamed it. When they left, exactly a year later, the name kind of stuck. Who are the Boov? Well, they’ve got six legs, like eating dental floss and urinal cakes, and think the Earth belongs to them because they landed on it. All the Earthlings want to argue with them about that, but it’s hard to have a debate or a fight when the other guy’s got a gun that will make you literally disappear.

But back to Gratuity – or Tip, to her friends. She’s got to write this essay about how these aliens stole her mom, right out the living room, and then tried to make the whole human race relocate to Florida, only to change their minds and shove them all in Arizona. You know, how that made her feel.

She felt angry. How the heck do you think she felt?

But it’s not enough to say that. She’s got to tell the whole story. How she decided to drive herself – and her cat, named Pig — to Florida, not use one of those Boov transporter things. For an eleven year old, she’s an excellent driver. She’s also got to explain how she meets up with this Boov named J.Lo on the way, and how together they decide to drive together to Florida, then end up going to Arizona, and how they get caught in the middle of a hurricane, see the start of the second alien invasion and get waylaid by crazy alien people in Roswell. And if she’s telling all of that, she’s got to tell the rest: how she and J.Lo saved the Earth from really nasty aliens that make the Boov look cute in comparison.

But I can’t tell you the whole story. That’s Gratuity’s assignment. And the whole thing – essay, Polaroids and comics (which are the ancient and traditional storytelling style of the Boov) – is in the book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.

— Kathleen Brainerd

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The city of Ember – Jeanne DuPrau

Author: DuPrau, Jeanne.
Title: The city of Ember
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2003.
270 p.- ISBN 0375890802- Lexile:680
website http://www.jeanneduprau.com/books.shtml

Ember, an aging underground city, is struggling to provide for it’s citizens. The Builders’ plan was for the people of Ember to live underground for 200 hundred years then return to the surface. The first mayor of Ember was given a locked box with instructions for returning to the surface, set to open in 200 years, that was to be passed to each successive mayor. Unfortunately, the box gets lost. Fast forward to the year 241 where Lina and Doon pull out their career choices from a bag the mayor brings to their classroom. Lina and Doon envy the job the each other has pulled so they swap. Lina becomes a messenger running information around town. Doon becomes a pipework laborer fixing the plumbing leaks and the decrepit electric generator. As the story progresses both Lina and Doon learn more about the horrible state of their city. Lina finds a mixed up message in the stuff her Grandmother has kept from their family for years. She and Doon try to decipher the message because they both believe it could be their way out of Ember.


ALA Notable Children’s Books: 2004, Mark Twain Award (Missouri),
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults: Change Your World or Live to Regret It (2010)

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The House of the Scorpion – Nancy Farmer

Author: Farmer, Nancy
Title: The House of the Scorpion
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002.
380 p.- ISBN 0689852223- Lexile: 660
website: http://www.nancyfarmerwebsite.com/index.html

Set in Opium, this is the story of a powerful drug lord’s clone. Opium is named for their primary crop, it is just north of Azatlán or former Mexico. Kept in seclusion for the first six years of his life, the only human Matt knows is Celia his cook. Celia cares for Matt at night after her day shift at the Big House. When the children from the Big House find him, Matt eventually comes to live with them even though he is not considered their equal. As the eighth clone of Matteo Alacrán, El Patrón, the one hundred forty- year -old drug lord of Opium, Matt is unique because his brain was not destroyed at birth like all of the other clones in their society. All of the Alacrán family lives at the Big House and treats Matt like an animal because he is a clone.


ALA Notable Children’s Books: 2003, Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Older Readers Category: 2002, Grand Canyon Reader Award (Arizona): Teen Book, National Book Award for Young People’s Literature,
Printz Honor:2003 , YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 2003

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