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    2012 Reading Challenge
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Vordak The Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegert is a book that every teacher of 5th-9th grades should get immediately! I originally bought this because I was looking for comical books for my reluctant  and below grade level readers. Unfortunately, this is not the book for them….yet. The vocabulary load is pretty heavy (Lexile above 1100) and there are many references to superhero/villian relationships that might confuse less able readers. However, ambitious students who have spent countless hours watching cartoons might be able to handle it. (Think a more verbose version of Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb)

The book is more a (hilarious) manual than a story. Vordak the Incomprehensible is an aging super villian and has written this guide to help teach young supervillian wanna be’s how to be almost as awesome as him. (Although he shares that no one can be quite as awesome as he is.) The humor plays out in his comical renderings of his childhood, how to pick the right supervillian name and outfit, finding the right lair, and how to surround yourself with the right people (just to name a few). The humor is also enhanced when the reader clearly discovers that Vordak’s plans are always foiled by the superheros a la Wile E. Coyote style. I found myself giggling aloud throughout the entire book…which is always a plus with me. 🙂 It also made me glad that I had already bought the sequel Vordak the Incomprehensible: Rule the School.

Click on the link below to see a book trailer:


You can also find out more about the great new book by visiting the website www.vordak.com.

While I think this book will probably appeal mostly to boys, I certainly enjoyed it…the possibilities are limitless!


Out With the Old, In With the New

Since the new year is upon me, I’ve taken stock of many things in my life. I’ve set personal and reading goals and then decided to set a goal for my classroom. My classroom library has been organized the same way for 4 years. I’ve liked it that way. It’s worked for me. However, many of the literacy books I read say that when students help organize the classroom library, they become more invested in using it. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone today and let my students help me rearrange our classroom library. I have over 700 titles (mostly purchased myself or with Bonus Points from Scholastic) so I knew this might take a while. We discussed the merits of having the library organized by Lexile and by genre. We thought genre was the way to go, so we dug in and started. First we had to get all the bins off the shelf and get all the books out and displayed. We then perused all the books deciding on what would go where. We began to notice a pattern of several books by the same authors. So the students suggested we have some author sets. We also noticed groups like easy readers, early chapter books, etc. So we began to sort and label. (See below)

This was just one table of books.
Another table of books!

As we worked through the afternoon, we had discussions about what Newberry Award books were. We discovered that I already had several in our library. We discussed what historical fiction was, fantasy, and many others. Students were generally interested in knowing the exact components of each genre. I think they may have learned a thing or two. 🙂 I heard several students talking to each other during this project. The comment I heard most often was, “I want to read that book next.” Yeah!! After everything is put back together our bookshelf will be new and improved AND my students will be proud of the part they played in making that happen. And if it helped them add a few books to their “to be read” pile, that’s even better!

New Theme for My Blog and Books

I really loved the theme I had originally chosen for my blog, but after much research, I realized I had basically chosen the only theme on WordPress that did not allow you to view all posts. I assumed when I chose it that all posts would show and after about 2 hours of research, I realized they wouldn’t…no matter what I did. So…I went looking for a new theme. After trying out several, I chose this one. I had tried not to, since I had seen it on other blogs. Now I’m beginning to realize why I’m seeing it on other blogs…it is so easy to work with and displays everything neatly. (I’m a neat freak!) So, hopefully this theme will work out. 🙂

On another note, I am getting ready to read my 2nd book of the year. It is Vordak The Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World.

Product Details

It looks like a pretty funny middle grade novel/chapter book with lots of illustrations and graphics. Just what many of my reluctant boy and girl readers are looking for. I loved the Big Nate series and that author is plugging the book, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign. I’ll post a review here and at www.goodreads.com when I’m done.

Happy Reading!


Dystopian Reading Challenge for 2012

I’m ready to get started on my reading goals for 2012. Since I’m a huge fan of The Hunger Games series and read and loved both Divergent and Matched, I decided to sign up for the Dystopian reading challenge offered at http://bookishardour.com/dystopia/. I’m going to do the “Contagion” level where I read 15 dystopian books. I’m excited to get started. I think my first one will be Crossed, the sequel to Matched. I can’t wait to hear about other titles in this genre.

Reading Goals for 2012

Well…it’s that time of year to think about what my reading goals are for this year. I usually don’t make specific goals, but have been inspired by many blogs in the past few days to do this. I’ve recently been reading a book (surprise) that says the more specific your goal, the better chance you have of achieving it. So here is my attempt:

1. Meet my goodreads goal of 100 books. (I may have set this too low/high…I’ve never counted my books before)

2. Read more history for middle grades. (I have a few history crazy boys this year and I want to find as many good books as I can for them)

3. Read at least two classics. (I read Anna Karenina last year and it took almost 2 months)

4. Try to balance books just for me and books for my students. (I tend to spend most of the year reading kids’ books and neglecting my personal TBR  pile)

5. Participate in at least one reading challenge from a blog…not sure which one yet. I will research some more on that. I’ll take any suggestions 🙂

This list may grow as I continue thinking about the new year ahead, but at least I have a running start! Take some time to think about your reading goals.

Happy New Year!!!