Thursday, April 9, 2009

Top 10 Historical Fiction Novels From Booklist

If you are interested in historical fiction, and looking for good books, here is a recent list from the journal Booklist. 



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Environmental Internship Opportunity

Greetings!  In an effort to make this blog more useful for RU students pursuing careers in English education, I am going to start posting brief messages that call attention to various developments/opportunities in the Chicago area and in young adult literature.

This first such posting highlights an internship opportunity for future teachers interested in working with middle school youth and schools.  Take care, TP

Keep Chicago Beautiful – Education Internship


Type: Internship - unpaid


Location: Chicago – Downtown


Job detail:


2009 Summer Intern


Intern would develop a completed seminar for middle school children on Environmental Careers.  The program would teach students the many environmentally focused career opportunities that are available in the corporate, governmental, NGO and nonprofit sectors with a focus on science and technology jobs.  The program will be rolled out to middle school teachers and could either be incorporated into the daily curriculum or as a stand-alone program.  The intern will work with teachers, corporations, government and Keep Chicago Beautiful to tailor a solution for public and private school curricula.  Experience with building a science, math or technology related curriculum is required.  Ability to promote diversity is a secondary goal.  The Keep Chicago Beautiful office is located in downtown Chicago and is close to public transportation. 


Intern skill requirements:

  • Enrolled in an accredited education curriculum is strongly recommended
  • Creative and innovative spirit
  • Ability to work independently and incorporate multiple viewpoints into a cohesive recommendation
  • Ability and motivation to probe and understand science and environmentally based concepts
  • Good project and time management skills needed to drive to project completion
  • Good interpersonal skills to work with corporate, NGO and governmental organizations
  • Solid knowledge of MS Office applications as well as internet research skills  (Programming not needed)
  • The motivation to understand the needs of both middle school aged children and middle school teachers
  • Leading focus groups with middle school teachers will be a part of the role
  • Good analytical and writing skills


Some local travel to meetings with Keep Chicago Beautiful members is required although personal transportation is not needed. 


Contact Information:                                                  

Joyce Kagan Charmatz, CAE                                                      Fax:    312-863-6194

President, Keep Chicago/Illinois Beautiful                                 Mobil:  312-296-5310

25 East Washington Street, Suite 1104                                       E-Mail:

Chicago, Illinois 60602 Office:   312.863.6196

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is everything a reader is looking for in both a young-adult literature novel and a vampire novel. The first in a series of books, Vampire Academy, takes readers into the lives of Lissa, a moroi princess, and Rose, a dhampir, have been on the run for two years after their escape from St. Vladamir's Academy, but this comes to a screaming halt when they are caught by the guardians and forced to return to the academy. This is unfortunate for both Rose, who is not only Lissa's best friend but training to be her guardian to protect her from strigoi, and Lissa who has powers that only Rose knows about, and the more she uses her powers the weaker she becomes. Lissa's life was turned upside down when both her parents and her brother were killed, and now all she has is Rose. Lissa will do anything to protect Rose, even if saving her means almost killing herself. Rose has a unique bond with Lissa and can enter her thoughts and even be transported to see different situations that Lissa has gotten herself in. More importantly, this bond enables Rose to feel Lissa's feelings, and Rose can feel that Lissa's powers are getting to be too much for her. Rose struggles with what she should Lissa's best friend she has promised not to tell anyone about Lissa's struggles, but as her guardian she is now afraid for her life, and needs to make a decision fast or one of them could be dead!

This is a great novel for teens and adults! Filled with lust, passion, friendship, death, and more Richelle Mead takes us into the lives of vampires and all of their trials and tribulations! After a few chapters and finally understanding all of the "vampire classifications" and how the vampire society worked, I was in awe of Mead's ability to make me as a reader want more! This novel is more based towards high school students, and because of the sexual content I would not recommend for a younger audience. If you are looking for a novel that will make you yearn for more than this one is for you...and the good new is that this is only book #1 in the series so there is more to be had!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is a Teens Top Ten Best Books nominee for 2008. For a complete list of nominees click on the following link:

Sucks To Be Me: The All True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)

Sucks To Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) by Kimberly Pauley is a fantastic read for young adults...especially those that struggle with making decisions! Sixteen-year-old Mina is a normal teenage girl who worries about normal teenage girl things like best friends, boys, school, and prom. The only difference being is that Mina's parents are vampires. She has known all along that they are vampires, and this fact has not effected her life in very many ways, that is until now. Now that the vampire council has found out about Mina's existence she must choose whether she wants to become a vampire herself. Doesn't sound too complicated right? Well it is the toughest decision she will ever make. If she chooses to become a vampire she will get to stay with her parents, but she must forget everything and everyone from her life prior to becoming a vampire, and she is just not so sure she can do that. Furthermore to help her make her decision she has to go to classes that provide her with everything should would ever want to know (or not want to know) about being a vampire. Throughout the novel Mina struggles with her decision and the many ways it will affect her life. Mina's main struggle is trying to figure out which is more important family or friends. How can she make a decision that will affect her entire life at only sixteen years old? Well she has too...and she will!

Sucks to be Me is a great novel for young adults because it encompasses an issue that most adolescents go through: balancing friends and family. This is Kimberly Pauley's first novel, but it sure does not show! She does a great job at providing readers with a real glimpse into the life of Mina, and we can truly feel her emotions as she struggles to make a life-altering decision. I would recommend this book for junior high and high school students probably starting in seventh grade. I think it is a great book to lead into a discussion about the struggles that adolescents face when forced to prioritize family and friends. Go get it and read it today!

To read author Kimberly Pauley's blog click here:

This novel is a 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee. For a complete list of nominees please use this link: