Giveaway: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Wednesday, Nov 18 2009 

Have you read the article below about what boys like to read? Well, here is a PERFECT example…Ripley’s Believe It or Not: Totally Obsessed. Now THIS is non-fiction at its finest…it has gross, it has cool, it has shock factor, it has REAL! What boy wouldn’t love this…or girl for that matter…and we’re giving it away!

One reader will win a copy of Ripley’s Totally Obsessed. This library bound edition has over 30 pages of “you won’t believe your eyes” information. As Ripley’s states, “Be advised, inside these covers it is always EXTRAORDINARY…sometimes SCARY…frequently WEIRD”. Step into the world of Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

Want it? Have to have it?

Check out the Ripley’s website and tell me something cool you learned!

Extra Entries:
1. Leave a comment stating if you have ever read a Ripley’s book and WHY you want this one!
2. Subscribe to Reading Rocks – via feed or email.
3. Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post – and let me know you did!
4. Tell me a record you’d like to break!

That’s five chances to win! Be sure to leave a comment for each entry. Giveaway will end December 5th. The winner will be contacted via email. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be choosen. If you are an OIS student, be sure to put your first name and last initial in your comment. Good luck and happy reading!


What Do Boys Want? NON-FICTION! Wednesday, Nov 18 2009 

Our school libraries will remain largely unused by boys if we don’t have what they genuinely want to read. There may well be many books in our libraries that will benefit boys, broadening their experience, helping them mature, widening their vocabulary, giving them confidence, and aiding the rest of their learning; books achieve such things not by their high literary quality – though some of them will have this – but by being read.

Our challenge is to value boys’ reading tastes, whatever they are; to feed demand for the popular; and to tempt boys by the very best.
We can never be confident that we know enough about which books boys want to see in their school library – or even more crucially, about which books would draw in those who never visit it. Our own guesswork is not good enough – we need to learn from the users. Talk to boys; if you are genuine about your need to know their reading tastes, they’ll respond to this: boys long for what’s real…the gross, the unexpected, the astonishing…the TRUTH. That’s why boys tend to lean more toward non-fiction. Now, don’t get me wrong. Each child is different. However, research shows that the vast majority of boys prefer non-fiction reading material. So why do boys, on average, tend to read less than girls? Think about the number of female educators we have. Females have reading habits far different from boys..and while never done purposely, female teachers do not always offer what appeals to male students in the area of reading. I have been guilty of this myself. What do you see women reading while waiting at the doctor’s office or on a plane? Fiction. Romance novels, mystery novels, etc. Men? Non-fiction. Time magazine, Sports magazines, newspapers… Eye opening, isn’t it?? Therefore, find non-fiction to put in your son’s hands…or that student who is a reluctant reader…and you might just have something.

Here are some frequent conclusions from surveys and experience;
Boys are more likely to read for a purpose, if they can see the point in it. What am I learning? What facts can I find? THIS is why boys often prefer non-fiction, books with photographs and captions…and “fun facts” books. These non-fiction interests can then spark an interest in the fiction books – sports, cars, animals, geography…Boys often crave the subject of the moment, and switch to new ones fast.

Magazines are a big hit with boys: Lego Club Magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick…because…they have articles about REAL stuff!

So, think non-fiction when you’re trying to coax your son into reading…and if your son doesn’t require coaxing…then you’re one of the lucky ones!

Check out one of my favorite resources for boys, when it comes to reading: Guys Read. Bookmark it on your computer…you never know, you might learn something!

Candy Apple Book Giveaway – 6 Books, 2 Winners! Monday, Nov 16 2009 

girly girlOkay, so the last giveaway was geared a bit toward the boys…and this one is definitely a giveaway for the girls! If you haven’t heard of Candy Apple books, it’s an AWESOME series for you girls! The reading level is about a fourth grade level, the age range being approximately 8-12. As they describe themselves, “Candy Apple books…just for you. Sweet. Fresh. Fun. Take a bite!”. If you’re a reader (or your daughter is) who has read EVERYTHING OR if you know a reluctant reader, these books would be perfect…and we’re giving away two sets of 3 books – YES, that means TWO winners…and just in time for the holidays!!

The first set will include:
Miss Popularity
The Accidental Cheerleader
Drama Queen

The second set will include:
The Boy Next Door
How To Be A Girly Girl in Just Ten Days
Accidentally Fabulous

Be sure to click on the books for more information about each one (from Amazon).

So…that’s two winners of three books each – yay! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me which set sounds the best to you and why…set 1 or set 2?

Be sure to leave your email address in EACH comment. This is so I’ll have a way to contact you if you win. If you are an OIS student, put “OIS” somewhere in your comment.

Want extra entries? Just leave a separate comment for each thing you do below…you can enter up to 7 times!!
miss popularity
*Tell me who these will be for if you win…you? A daughter? A friend?
*Tell me your favorite series for girls!
*Subscribe to Reading Rocks – either by email or reader…and let me know in a comment!
*Leave a comment on a NONGIVEAWAY post on Reading Rocks – and leave a comment letting me know which post.
*Tell me something else you would like to see on Reading Rocks.
*Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, tell me something you’re thankful for!

This giveaway will end December 1st. The winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond. Good luck and happy reading!

Beast Quest Book Winner! Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

festival_of_booksCongratulations to Ryan B! Ryan, you’re our winner of the first four books in the Beast Quest Series – wahoo!!

Be sure to stay tuned for more book giveaways…coming up soon!!

Best Book Blogs for Kids Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 


Looking for a creative way to get your children interested in reading? Maybe you need some ideas on the “in” books out on the market…or better yet, maybe you have a computer junkie who you want to move away from Internet games and toward more valuable web sites? Maybe you ARE a kid and you’re looking for new books to read. Well, check out the blogs listed below…these are specific to kids and the books they’re reading NOW. Hope you’ll find something you like! Let me know!

Books for Your Kids

The Children’s Book Review

A Year of Reading

Dog Eared (National Geographic Kids)

Books for Kids

Kids Lit

Kids’ Comics

Kids Book Blog

Green Books Blog

Spaghetti Book Club

The Reading Tub

Reader Views

Curled Up With a Good Kids Book


How to Create an Addiction to Reading Friday, Oct 23 2009 

boy readingWhen a student says, “I don’t like books” or “I hate reading”, my response? You just haven’t found the right book yet! The key to creating readers is to find what interests each particular child – and give ample opportunities to read. Reading should be cherished and time to read created – and made fun. Make a visit to the book store or library a privilege, a family outing. Seek out author visits, special events and reading reward programs. Best of all? You can find most events through libraries and book stores that are FREE – offering inexpensive family fun – take advantage…and watch your child’s love of reading grow.

So how do you create a reading addict? Here are a few suggestions:

First and foremost, set a good example! Parents should be the reading model for their children. Keep lots of books and various reading material around your house. Turn off the TV and designate reading time in your home.

Find reading material that fits your child’s interest – do they play sports? Cheerleading? In the band? Do you have animal lovers? Crafty critters? What do they spend their time doing, what do they love and what excites them? I assure you, there’s a book about it!

Be in the book know. Read the same book as your child / teen so that you can have fun discussions about it. This helps them to work on comprehension – you could even create a parent child book club! An added bonus? You’ll know what your child’s reading, gain an insight to their likes and dislikes AND you’ll be reading the same book, so if the book contains something you disagree with, whether it be morally/spiritually – you’ll find it because YOU’RE reading it!

Read aloud together every day. Add fun by reading outdoors , at a park, in various rooms around the house – and don’t forget to let your children read to you! Encourage them to ask questions and interject…get their imaginations flowing!

Purchase magazine subscriptions in your child’s name, like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children, or National Geographic World. Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines. You can even subscribe to some magazines for free, such as Lego Club (you can find it in the “free reading” section of the website. Magazine subscriptions make GREAT year long gifts – and they can be used after they’re read…for school projects and crafts!

Take your children to Book stores and libraries as fun outings – it makes for a great family outing and is often FREE.

Telling the kids their bed time is at 7:30 – when you really don’t mind if it’s 8 allowing them time to read in bed. They are happy to stay up “late” in bed to read!

Place books in all areas of your home – sitting around in baskets, on book shelves and out as displays on tables or even between book ends on dressers and night stands. It’s always a good idea to have books in your purse and/or car for times when you get caught in traffic or have to wait at the doctor’s office.

Create a COMFY reading place in your home or their rooms – one that is a special place to cuddle up with a good book.

Purchase or make your child book plates. Personalizing a book with a sticker or name label creates a sense of pride and belonging – and also helps when a favorite book is lost at school or a friend’s.

And most importantly, make reading a privilege, not a requirement. If you make a child read “for pleasure” in order to earn TV time, toys, gaming time, etc…you will only create a resentment for reading that will build over time. Most adults who do not enjoy reading, my husband included, have been forced as a child to read material they did not choose in order to “earn” time doing things they DID enjoy. THIS is never the answer.

Remember…read to succeed…it truly is the key to knowledge.

Beast Quest Series: 4 Book Giveaway! Tuesday, Oct 20 2009 

beast quest book 1
Under the spell of the dark wizard Malvel, Cypher the one-eyed Giant wreaks havoc on the city he used to protect: Colton, the very center of the Kingdom’s trade routes. Our heroes must head North to the mountains to free Arcta and help unearth Colton from mudslides and avalanches before it’s too late! Giveaway #2: Beast Quest! So, I haven’t read these books yet, but they sound like great reads! There are 12 books in the series and we’re giving away books one through four! Here’s a bit about the books:

Ferno the Fire Dragon: Book 1
Strange things are happening in Tom’s village. First, the horses were attacked. Then, the river dried up. Now, the last of the crops has mysteriously burnt to the ground. Everyone is terrified. But Tom isn’t afraid. He’s always dreamed of a quest-a real quest!-and vows to go to the king and bring help for them all. But Tom soon learns that his village is not the only one in trouble. People are in trouble all over the kingdom. Hope is nearly lost. That is, until Tom is sent on the greatest quest of all–the Beast Quest.

Sepron the Sea Serpent: Book 2
Floods. Starvation. Fear. This is what awaits the people of Avantia’s coast if Tom and Elenna cannot stop Sepron the Sea Serpent. The huge and terrifying beast lurks in eerie waters. All the fish have fled and no boats dare to pass. Tom and Elenna meet a mysterious stranger who may hold the key for tracking down the monster. But as they set off in a rickety rowboat, Tom can’t help but wonder if they’ll succeed so easily this time. . . .

Cypher the Mountain Giant: Book 3
Under the spell of the dark wizard Malvel, Cypher the one-eyed Giant wreaks havoc on the city he used to protect: Colton, the very center of the Kingdom’s trade routes. Our heroes must head North to the mountains to free Arcta and help unearth Colton from mudslides and avalanches before it’s too late!

Tagus the Night Horse: Book 4
A mysterious force has been creeping over the plains of Avantia. The animals are stampeding, and brush fires sweep the prairie. The farmers are spooked–whispers of a mysterious horseman are spreading as fast as the stampedes. And now that someone has disappeared on a cattle drive, suspicion runs high.

Tom and Elenna speed to the plains to stop Tagus the Night Mare before he can do any more damage. But Tom ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and is mistakenly thrown in jail. Can he win the trust of the people–and his own freedom–before it’s too late to stop Tagus?

These books are appropriate for ages 9-12. Want a student’s perspective?
Beast Quest is a really good series that I’ve read. There are 12 books in the series. If you like good adventure with a lot of action, this is the perfect series.

The series follows, Tom, Elenna, Storm and Silver. Tom is a Blacksmith apprentice. His dad was a great Knight, who died, and now Tom lives with his uncle. Elenna has a pet wolf, Silver, and ran away to go on this risky journey with Tom. Storm is Tom’s white Stallion who’s very useful. And Aduro is the Wizard that gave Tom all of his special items, including his sword, 3D map and shield.

Their journey in the first six books is to free all of the beasts that Malvel, an evil wizard, has captured – Ferno the Fire Dragon, Sepron the Serpent, Cipher the Mountain Giant, Tagus the Night Horse, Tartok the Ice Beast and Epos the Winged Flame. In the next six books, Malvel makes six new beasts. I’m not going to tell you who they are.

I hope you enjoy the 12 books in the series. They’re reallllly good. It’s just like you’re in the movie – you’re right there in the movie. It’s like Lord of the Rings!

Want to win the first four books and try them out for yourself? It’s never too early to begin thinking about those Christmas gifts!

To enter:
Leave a comment telling me your thoughts on Beast Quest. Have you read the books? Would you like to? Who are you trying to win these for – yourself, a child, a grandchild?

Extra ways to win:
*Subscribe to Reading Rocks via Email – and remember to verify your subcription (You’ll receive a verificiation email with a link). You can subscribe in the upper left of the website.
*Tell us your favorite book to read during fall/October.
*Tell us something you would like to see an article about on Reading Rocks!
*Tell us a fun event YOUR library (school or public) does during the fall/winter months.

That’s five chances to win! Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry – include your email address in each comment so we’ll have a way to contact you if you win. If your child is a student of OIS, please include “OIS” in your comment. Good luck and keep reading!

Giveaway ends 10/31. The winner will be announced the following week.

beast quest 4

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Borders Book Giveaway and Cool Events! Wednesday, Oct 7 2009 


Borders(R) and Waldenbooks(R) Stores Nationwide to Celebrate the Release of ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’ with Kids Parties Oct. 12

This Columbus Day holiday will be one for the books when kids gather at Borders and Waldenbooks stores nationwide Monday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. for in-store parties to celebrate the hotly anticipated release of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” the fourth book in the Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. The ultra-popular series, which also includes “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw,” features the snarky and hilarious journal entries of character, middle schooler and middle child Greg Heffley.

The parties will include such activities as trivia, games, cartoon drawing activities and even a Greg lookalike contest. Of course, customers will be able to buy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” as well as the other titles in the series, but only Borders offers a customizable Wimpy Kid cotton t-shirt featuring an image of Greg with a “word” bubble that kids can personalize using the washable-ink marker that accompanies the shirt. The ink easily comes off in the wash so kids can customize their Wimpy Kid shirts again and again with a saying or favorite quote from the books. The shirt, which is only available at Borders and Waldenbooks, retails for $5.99 with a purchase of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” and $9.99 separately while supplies last.

The parties will officially kick off with a special welcome message from Jeff Kinney. Then, kids can delight in talking about their favorite characters and scenes in all of the Wimpy Kid books — and weigh in on what they would like to see happen in the upcoming “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” feature film. The afternoon will kick into high gear when ardent Wimpy Kid fans demonstrate their extensive knowledge of Greg, Rowley, Rodrick and their wacky experiences during the Trivia Challenge. After the adrenaline-pumping trivia heats, fans can tap the right side of their brains and create their own cartoon books. Rounding out the event will be a Greg lookalike contest where fans will be judged on how much they resemble Greg.

Twitter giveaway

Beginning Oct. 12 through Oct. 16, Borders will give away 20 free signed copies of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” via Twitter. Each day Borders will tweet four store locations where one lucky reader will be able to claim the book at that location by approaching a cashier and uttering the password: “cheese touch.” The first person to say the password will receive a free signed copy of the book.

Don’t have a twitter account? Simply go to Twitter to sign up now. Click on “Find People” and search for BordersMedia – no spaces! This will allow you to “follow” and be eligible to win!

Sounds like fun! Be sure to call or email your local Borders to see what events they’ll be participating in your town!

Book Giveaways Wednesday, Oct 7 2009 


If you browse around the Internet long enough, you’re sure to find some great book giveaways…and the only thing that makes books better is when they’re free! Each month I’ll be listing opportunities and links to win free books. I would LOVE to hear about any books you’ve won as well as other opportunites to win books from your website or others you’ve seen. Good luck and keep reading!

Win one of 15 copies of Beautiful Creatures – target audience is young adult

Win the 1st 2 books of the Scream Street series – Fang of the Vampire and Blood of the Witch – ages 9-12

Snuggle Me Storybooks
(Ends 10/14/09)

Win one of 2 copies of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar
(Ends 10/12/09)

Win a Leapfrog Tag Reading System!

Win a copy of the children’s book, I Met a Moose in Maine One Day – sounds super cute!
(Ends 10/21/09)

Win a very cool kid’s journal!
(Ends 10/9/09)

Two Times the Fun book giveaway by Beverly Cleary
Ages 4-8
(Ends 10/13/09)

Personalized book giveaway for little ones
(Ends 10/15/09)

Where the Wild Things Are Monday, Oct 5 2009 


I am SUPER excited about this new movie – Where the Wild Things Are. This is a classic children’s book, one sure to be a joy for the entire family. If you haven’t heard of the author, Maurice Sendak, or the book…I highly suggest you try to find it from your local library. This would be a great opportunity to compare and contrast the book and movie with elementary school aged children. Here’s a little information about the story:

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is about a little boy
named Max who misbehaves and is sent to his room by
his mother, without his supper. While Max is alone in
his room, his imagination takes him far, far away to a
land where wild things live. These large, strange looking
creatures are tamed by Max, who stares
directly into their yellow eyes and becomes king of the
wild things. Soon Max grows tired of being in the land
of the wild things and longs to return home “where
someone loved him best of all.” The end of the story
finds Max back in his own bedroom, where his supper
is waiting for him.

The movie premiers October 16th. Be sure to check your local theater – many are offering opening day events, such as one of our local theaters, Premiere Cinemas at The Gadsden Mall. They’ll be hosting a Where the Wild Things Are celebration October 17th from 9:00-11:00am. They’ll have free games, activities and a reading of the original story leading up to a $5 showing of the first movie that day – sounds fun!

Be sure to check out the links below for some WILD THING fun!

A few links to get you excited about the movie…

See the movie trailer for Where the Wild Things Are

Win a free copy of Where the Wild Things Are on DVD!

Be Max for Halloween: How to make a Where the Wild Things Are Halloween costume!

Know about other fun links or activities? Leave a comment and let us know!

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