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Mrs. Heise "Heise Reads & Recommends" RSS Feed (SE Wisconsin)

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I'll Meet You There
I'll Meet You There
by Heather Demetrios
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.58
45 used & new from $6.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. Touching. Heartbreaking. Insightful. Hopeful., June 18, 2015
This review is from: I'll Meet You There (Hardcover)
Incredible. Touching. Heartbreaking. Insightful. Hopeful. I don't know that I have enough words to express how much I loved this story. Reading the story from Sky's perspective, with interspersed insights into Josh's mind as a returned from war Marine who lost a leg, of a girl who wants to get out of the small town she feels she's trapped in but is drawn back in by the boy she now sees in front of her, deals with grief and hope and fear and love in a masterful way. I loved all the characters, I loved the plot, I loved the setting, I loved this book!! One of the best stories I've ever read that made me cry and laugh and hope and love.

Fans of Something Like Normal: read this asap.


Zeroboxer
Zeroboxer
by Fonda Lee
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.71
54 used & new from $4.71

4.0 out of 5 stars My Students Who Love MMA Will Love This One!, June 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zeroboxer (Paperback)
Ooh...this book was good! I'm so glad Sabaa Tahir recommended it to me when we were talking about books to hook the boys in my classroom especially. For those who like watching MMA or enjoy Caged Warrior or futuristic living in space stories, Zeroboxer is a great book recommendation. I was totally engrossed in this story and invested in what would happen to Carr Luka in the Cube as his star rose in the world of zeroboxing. And the world Fonda Lee created as a vision of a future where people are leaving Earth as the planet and society devolves to live on the moon and Mars was intriguing and felt like an all too real possibility as genetic science makes enhancements possible to adapt to those environments. Overall a strong YA sci-fi read!


Whimsy's Heavy Things
Whimsy's Heavy Things
by Julie Kraulis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.69
49 used & new from $4.97

4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Picture Book, June 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Whimsy's Heavy Things (Hardcover)
A fantastic picture book addressing the way things we worry about can weigh on us. Approachable in the writing so that students/kids will get the message, and an ultimately uplifting story that reminds us how to tackle the things that weigh us down and find our way through. The use of color/light in the illustrations highlights the meaning of the text.


To the Sea
To the Sea
by Cathrine Atkinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.52
56 used & new from $5.84

5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite Picture Book Friendship, June 18, 2015
This review is from: To the Sea (Hardcover)
I have a new favorite picture book friendship - I adored Tim & Sam and their story of finding a friend when they previously felt invisible. The color palette is great and the illustrations are fabulous. Loved this one!


The Boy in the Black Suit
The Boy in the Black Suit
by Jason Reynolds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.39
75 used & new from $2.33

5.0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal New Voice, February 11, 2015
A quietly hopeful book that reaches for the heartstrings and makes the reader want to be and do better, while never seeming like that's what's happening. The balance this book strikes between grief and community and friendship and hope and relationships and strength and looking forward and really living life while taking place in an innercity neighborhood is what makes it so powerful. It has moments of brilliance that I wanted to bookmark and put on a poster on my wall, but in Jason Reynold's writing style never felt preachy at all. I did not expect to be so touched by this book, but truly was. There is just something about this character, what he's struggling for, the relationships he has, and the way it is written that all worked for me. I want everyone to read The Boy in the Black Suit, and I'll start by handing it off to my students. Reynolds is an incredible new voice in children's literature, and I hope he sticks around for a very long time, because he is writing stories about kids in neighborhoods that need stories about kids like them and the people they know and things they go through every day, and this story just felt so real and honest, and that is thanks to the writing of Jason Reynolds.


Allegiant (Divergent Series)
Allegiant (Divergent Series)
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.40
416 used & new from $1.14

5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravery, Love, Wisdom, Deception, Heartbreak, October 22, 2013
I know some people may not like events that happen in this book, and as devastated as I may be about certain things, I know that I trust authors to do what's right by the characters and the stories they create. I've loved their books and writing for a reason, so even if it's not what I might have hoped for, I know that it's being true to what has to happen to tell the story completely. Especially in dystopian books, these are harsh times and bad/sad things have to happen. I think this book will require some processing time and stepping back to appreciate it for what it is, without gut reactions of not understanding why certain choices were made. But here's the thing: If I didn't care so much, I wouldn't be upset or in tears or in disbelief, and it's because of what the author has written that I care so much. I've always thought: I may not always get a happy ending in a book, but it's the hopeful ending I really want so I can feel comfortable leaving these characters behind and knowing they're going to be okay (even if it might take awhile). After this long with these characters and this world, I'm so glad I got to finish my time with them in one big stretch like this, and that I was left with some hope at the end.

Happy Book Birthday ALLEGIANT and Veronica Roth! Thank you for the memories and emotions and experience I got to have reading your books, and especially for the connections I've been able to make with students through your words and stories.


Starry Nights
Starry Nights
by Daisy Whitney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.78
77 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A magical novel in a magical setting, September 9, 2013
This review is from: Starry Nights (Hardcover)
First Thought: I got to spend a little more time in Europe - the setting reigns in this book!

In STARRY NIGHTS Daisy Whitney has written an ode to artists and their famous artwork, to those who are well-loved and to those who just love to create. It instantly transports the readers to the streets of Paris, the museums housing the masters, and the heart of the pieces they lovingly created. It's a touch of whimsy, a touch of romance, a touch of friendships, a touch of secret underground societies, a touch of travel guide, a touch of art history, a touch of unrequited love, a touch of kisses, a touch of mystery, a touch of art heists, a touch of a tour of the greatest art museums around the world. The twisty bits as we uncover what is really going on as Garnier races to figure out how to fix these most famous art pieces before they are destroyed adds an element to the plot that kept me turning the pages. Some of my most favorite parts of the story were the after-hours in the museum with the artwork coming to life elements along with how real the setting became for me. I love Paris and Daisy Whitney transported me right back there with this novel. STARRY NIGHTS is a fun read with a sweet romance and a mystery to figure out that will keep readers intrigued and looking up artwork from the Masters. It's a bit Night at the Museum + Heist Society + some kind of romance story.

Final Thoughts: Daisy Whitney is one of my favorite authors, and STARRY NIGHTS doesn't disappoint. Although very different from her previous books, it's a whimsical read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Infinityglass: An Hourglass Novel
Infinityglass: An Hourglass Novel
by Myra McEntire
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just right ending to an entertaining & swoonworthy series, August 17, 2013
A just right ending to the INFINITYGLASS series. Wraps up all of the confusion/loose ends and clarifies what has been building since the first book. I love all of the books in this series (HOURGLASS & TIMEPIECE), especially that each book focuses on/is narrated by a different couple. I adore all of the members of the Hourglass organization, and seeing them all find their perfect match in this science-fiction/time-travel series has been a thrill. Getting to hear Dune's voice, and meeting Hallie in this third book, highlights once again how highly entertaining Myra McEntire writes her characters. They have sass and snark and are damaged, yet hopeful, and them meeting their match is a joy to read. I'm hoping for more to read from Myra McEntire soon!


The Testing
The Testing
by Joelle Charbonneau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.44
160 used & new from $0.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Big Dystopian Series, July 15, 2013
This review is from: The Testing (Hardcover)
First Thought: Oh my goodness! SO good! An engrossing, thrilling, intriguing, suspenseful story set in a well-built future world.

I really enjoyed reading THE TESTING. I was engrossed it in from the start. At first, I was a little worried that it would be too reminiscent of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT, but as I got into it, I realized that it was completely it's own creation of this world, while maybe feeling like an homage to those great dystopians that have come before it.

It was so hard to put THE TESTING down. Joelle Charbonneau wrote a well-paced plot, and once I got to certain parts throughout, it was impossible not to keep reading so that I could find out what would happen and who would survive. I very much liked the main character, Cia, and was pulling for her throughout the book. She is smart, while still being young and sometimes making decisions that made me want to yell at her, but her intelligence and insights are what keep her going. In a game of who can you trust, she learns to really think through all situations, but that doesn't mean she figures all of it out. In a contest of who can make a great leader, it is difficult to know exactly what the officials might be looking for, but staying true to oneself and one's upbringing can always been seen as the right path. Cia's path is not easy, her decisions are not easy, her ability to live with herself after what she has to do to survive will not be easy, but she stays true to herself which is an admirable quality.

The world-building was done well in giving the reader enough information when necessary, but also keeping us guessing about some things. The scenes of explanation are smoothly entrenched in what is happening in the story and propel the plot forward, but also give us enough insight into how things might have come to be this way. The overall idea behind The Testing is so smart, and so manipulative, and scary at the same time. I just hope all of the characters that I have come to like will make it through this series.

And, yes, there is an element of romance, but in a brutal contest that is set up to kill off candidates who are not worthy, and a system that is set up to make you question the ulterior motives of everyone around you, and in a world in which all may not be as it seems, how can one be sure of anything that happens during The Testing or trust one's own memories? That remains to be seen.

Final Thoughts: I'm calling it now - I think this is going to be the next big dystopian series...it will at least fill that hole left behind from the end of the The Hunger Games and the upcoming end of the Divergent series.

*Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends


The Distance Between Us
The Distance Between Us
by Kasie West
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
83 used & new from $4.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty In Pink meets Pride & Prejudice? Enough said. Loved it!, July 15, 2013
First Thought: Hello? Pretty in Pink meets Pride & Prejudice? Sign me up!

I LOVED Kasie West's debut book, PIVOT POINT, so was extremely excited to hear that she had a second standalone book coming out in the same year. When I read the synopsis for THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, I knew it sounded like my kind of book. I was thrilled when an advanced copy showed up on my doorstep, and 36 hours later I had finished the book. I am in love with this story!

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US is an engaging, sweet story with heart and snark. It's a story of romance and family and honesty and looking beyond the obvious. I thoroughly enjoyed Kasie's development of the quirkiness of the setting and the likeability of the characters. Kasie West writes some of the most charming guys in YA today - and I've officially declared her the Queen of the First Kiss Scenes. But it takes awhile to get to that point. Caymen and Xander have quite a bit of figuring each other out and introspection and learning to do before they can get together - and that's part of what's so great. Although they're both intrigued when they start talking, it is a slow build up of their relationship, which I appreciate because it allows them to get to know each other first. The way in which Kasie writes their relationship has me rooting for them to get together and figure their differences out. I especially loved some of the cute things that happen as they build their friendship. I absolutely adore Xander. He is charming and sweet in a real way and it is obvious how much he cares. And Caymen is dedicated and supremely sarcastic (which I love!) adding quite a bit of comedic relief to the story, but Xander calls her on it - part of the reason he's so good for her and leading to some laugh out loud moments. There is such an adoring element to their relationship that I was really drawn to in addition to their chemistry. They're looking out for each other and supporting each other and helping find the best in each other. They have the kind of sincere, real relationship that I like to read about in light-hearted contemporary books.

Early on I was hooked, and although I was a little worried that it was going to be predictable, it ended up not being too much so. It definitely fits the formula of a rich boy/poor girl contemporary romance story, which is part of why I liked it so much because it's familiar in a good way, but the setting is interesting, the characters are endearing, and there are enough real motivators and surprises (hello family secrets) along the way to keep it feeling fresh. THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US is a sweet story that warmed my heart and was so much fun to read. After I finished, I wanted to go right back and read it again.

Final Thought: I seriously need more Kasie West books in my life! For real.

Student Thoughts: I had numerous students (7th & 8th graders) read this one at the end of the year and they all loved it.

*Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends


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