WWW Wednesdays (November 30)


This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading? 

Before my disappearance and then my official hiatus, I mentioned I wanted to become more of a mood reader. Since this is a new thing for me, I’m finding it hard. Like, how do you guys do this? For this reason – and the fact that I actually have my TBR Jar with me  for once – I drew from my TBR Jar!

What would you do, if you had the chance to revisit all your decisions, to fix all your mistakes?

cover83968-mediumCelebrity chef, Jessie McCormick is incredibly late. Driving his Hummer to the opening of his latest restaurant seemed like a much better idea than flying, but incomprehensible directions and a dodgy shortcut throws him instead into the driveway of a rickety old house. Hopeful of finding the house occupied – and its inhabitants capable of directing him to Brisbane – he heads inside.

Voices lead him into the attic, and there he finds no direction – and every direction. The attic is an endless line of doors and ladders, each taking Jessie down a different path of his life. In one, he is a celebrity chef, fêted by the world. In another, his mother is still alive. In a third, his beloved sister is dead.

But in all of them is a small, dusty town and a small, dusty restaurant, run by a woman named Tara. As Jessie races to find his way back to his own life, he must make the biggest decision of his life: rescue his sister or take his chance at true love.

 What did you just finish reading?

Notice how there are dogs on all the covers? LOL! It was not intentional. My classes finished reading Trouble River and Where the Red Fern Grows. My students this year impressed me: they collectively scored higher on their novel unit tests than any of the classes years prior.  Ironically, TR and WTRFG are the exact same reading level, which mystifies me given the syntax of WTRFG in terms of vocabulary, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch was a cute and light read. The perspective is interesting because we get Rosco’s internal thoughts and workings. He really is a good dog, but mischief just seems to follow him around.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, ’tis the season! 🙂



 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland

First Chapter First Paragraph

Today I’m participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, in which bloggers share a bit about a book they’re reading or planning to read soon.

30057557Chapter 1

Mom and Dad, 

They told me I had to write this. Camp is fine. I’ll see you soon.


PS – I’m fine, too…no mater what you think.

The doorknob locks with a single key from the inside of the cabin. My bag hangs over my shoulder as I starte at the silver knob like it might start talking. This can’t be legal.

“We only lock the doors at night for precautionary reasons. And I sleep in the cabin with you,” Madison says, tugging on the key dangling from her neck. She touches my arm. I glance down at her finely painted fingernails pressing into my skin. The magenta polish has a glossy layer of perfection.

Read More »

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Gift Guide

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Holiday Gift Guide – Books to Buy for a Teenage Boy

These recommendations are heavily based on the reading choices of my own students. Typically it is the boys I have to help find books they like more than the girls.


What books would you buy for the loved ones in your life? 

Review: Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch

Title: Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch
Author: Shana Gorian
Publisher: KDP
Release Date: September 2014
Length: 130 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Children’s


31752229On a sunny autumn day brother and sister James and Mandy head to the pumpkin patch with their friendly dog, Rosco, to choose a pumpkin for Halloween. While riding a hay wagon, visiting a petting zoo, and joining the kids on a scavenger hunt, Rosco sometimes makes mischief. But when the kids find trouble deep inside the corn maze, will Rosco shape up and help out? Join the kids and their rascally dog for fun and adventure in Rosco The Rascal Visits The Pumpkin Patch.  Recommended for grades K-3 (ages 6-9). Includes 15+ black and white interior illustrations.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon


my review

The Skinny

James and Mandy McKendrick visit the pumpkin patch with their parents and their fairly new-to-the-family dog. Rosco is a German Shepard and is a good dog in general, but he can get distracted easily. The McKendricks are known for their awesome Halloween pumpkin carvings. Mr. McKendrick always selects an overly large pumpkin at the patch, and the kids enjoy the petting zoo and corn maze.

This year the duo have convinced their parents they can manage the maze on their own. There are just two stipulations: they must stay together using the same punch-card, and Rosco must go with them. The deal is sealed and the kids set out only to find trouble deep inside the corn maze.

The Players

Rosco – an 85 lb. German Shepard, recently adopted, enjoys being off the leash, always gets up to some mischief

Mandy – 7 year old sister to James, likes the chickens,

James – 10 year old brother to Mandy, likes the piglets, doesn’t enjoy arguing with Mandy

Luke – 4 year old cutie in the corn maze

The Quote

Their giant jack-o-lantern would be the jewel of the neighborhood, every year. Trick-or-treaters would marvel at the size of it. Dad always loved the compliments.

So this day was about more than just petting zoos and hay rides for the McKendrick family. It was about finding another outrageously large pumpkin in that patch. It was about art and tradition.

As the holiday approached, the whole block at home would be anxiously waiting to see what new creation Mr. McKendrick would come up with this year. And trick-or-treaters would come from far and wide to delight in the spectacle on Halloween night!

The Highs and Lows

  • + Family. I love that this children’s story focuses on the positive values of family. I don’t think there are enough examples of this in reading as children outgrow picture books. This is the kind of family you want to live on your street, be your neighbor, help you out if you’re in a bind and list them as an emergency contact for your child’s school.
  • + Values. When James and Mandy stumble upon Rosco and what he’s found in the maze, the siblings step up. They extend a hand, are kind and compassionate, and stand up for someone who has been wronged in the right way. Rosco also helped with that a bit. 🙂 This is a great teaching tool!
  • + Funny. While there wasn’t rip-roaring laughter, I giggled in outbursts over the antics of Rosco and some of the dialogue among the family. It is cute and clean and light-hearted.
  • Plot. The plot spanned the course of one day and all the adventures throughout it. For the most part, the activities of each character are reflected in each chapter. The POV is 3rd person omniscient, so it might throw off younger readers who have never seen this before.

The Take-Away

This was a cute and light read for fall. What I liked most was the family doing things together and nobody throwing a fit or not participating. This is a great book to read as a family and can even bridge some of those conversations about what you like to do and can do as a family.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 




8567620Shana Gorian is the author of the chapter series for kids, Rosco the Rascal. Titles include Rosco the Rascal In the Land of Snow, Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp, and Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch.

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Shana has lived in Southern California for 20 years. She lives with her husband and two children, and the real Rosco, their German shepherd, Rugger.

Shana attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning her Bachelor of Arts in English Writing in 1994. She then attended San Diego City College, where she trained as a graphic designer. She went on to work as a website designer in San Diego for nearly a decade. But she always wanted to venture back to her love of the written word, and try her hand at fiction. Ten years into motherhood, she published her first children’s book. Shana is an avid lover of the great outdoors, and is always searching for more stories!

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


I am thankful for a lot of things. The typical: I have a job and a car, I have medical benefits, I have a home, and I can eat. Except for my weight, I am in general good health.

There are more things to be thankful for in life. True, these are the most necessary, but there are so many more.

First, I am thankful for my mother. Always. There was a 12 year period where I was so angry with my mother that I couldn’t see anything else but that. We finally worked out our issues and she is my closest friend today. I never want to live a day without her because even at our worst, I know that she still loved me as terrible as I was and as bad as we were for one another. She didn’t let that stop her from loving me and trying to teach me to be a good person, a strong and independent person.

I am thankful for the strong bond I experienced growing up in a large family. While my brothers and I grew up in poverty, we never knew it. Everyone else in our family made sure we never saw that. The sentiment of a village rings very true for how I grew up. Everyone pitched in to help.

I am thankful I was an eavesdropper. I would sit around at family gatherings and listen to the old folks’ stories. I learned so many things about my relatives and got to relive those moments. I don’t think I will ever be as good a storyteller as they were. This also helped me appreciate people – something I don’t see in the students I teach.

I am thankful for being the oldest. I had to learn how to be independent and successful. For all intents and purposes, I raised my three younger brothers while being an excelling, A-honor roll student. It made me be responsible and accountable. It made me grow up well beyond my years and took away some of my childhood, it made be a better person. I am still more mature than people my age.

I am thankful for the incredible people I met at university. I worked in a handful of university offices, and I was blessed to have the wisdom of several strong and caring women handed down to me. I don’t think I would have survived the ups and downs of friendships, relationships, workships, and all the rest that goes along with being a young person out in the world without them.

I am thankful for my failed engagement. It taught me just how strong I was and it taught me how to be by myself. I found out how to be happy with myself.

I am thankful for Baby. She is the light of my life and I am forever thankful that I made D go back and look at her at the shelter. Because of the way things ended, she came with me and I will never regret that for a minute. She has made me immensely happy and she loves unconditionally. She’s the best dog.

I am thankful for the amazing friends I have. While I have one that lives just down the street, and others that live too far away, I love them all and they never cease to surprise me.

I am thankful for the man. He has shown me the kind of partner I want, that I have been looking for. He treats me with respect, he lets me make decisions, he values my input, he thinks of me, he adores Baby. This is something I have never fully had in my relationships before, it is something I was looking for, and I found it. I appreciate him for all of the things he is and all that he does for me.


What are you thankful for?  

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Movies

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Favorite Movies

These are some of my favorite movies that I can watch again and again and they never lose their magic.


What are some of your all-time favorite movies? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately

What is on your fall TBR? Do you choose to focus on specific genres for fall?