Friday, May 22, 2009

2008-2009 Student Book Recommendations

Every year I ask my students to give me the titles of Ten books they have read this year that they liked well enough to recommend to other readers. This list is LONG (278 titles---I listed series as titles), but I thought some of you might find it interesting, especially if you are writing for middle grade students. Maybe you'll want to copy the list and print it out for a reading list of your own, or to share with your middle grade students. The kids who listed their books are all 7th graders. Some of you will find your own books among the titles!

Anderson - Maybird series
Anderson - Peaches
Anderson – Speak
Anderson - Teacher’s Pet
Anderson – Twisted
Anderson – Wintergirls
Armstrong - The Summoning
Avi – Wolf Rider
Baillet - The Calder Game
Balliet - The Wright 3
Banks – The Indian in the Cupboard series
Barklem - The Secret Staircase
Barry & Pearson – Peters and the Starcatchers series
Baxter – Sunstorm
Bellow – Michael Jordan
Benz – Grey Griffins series
Bettes – Where the Heart Is
Bierce - Civil War Stories
Blume - Superfudge
Bosch – The Name of This Book is Secret
Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series
Brown – Angels & Demons
Buckley – Chickens in the Headlights
Buckley – Sisters Grimm series
Burnford - The Incredible Journey
Byng - Molly Moon series
Cabot – Aithead
Cabot – The Princess Diaries series
Carter – I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You series
Cashore - Graceling
Cast – Betrayed
Cast – Marked
Chima – The Warrior series
Choldenko - Al Capone Does My Shirts
Clements – Frindle
Clements – The School Story
Clements – Things Not Seen
Clements - Room One
Colfer – Airman
Colfer – Artemis Fowl series
Colfer – Benny & Oman
Colfer – The Supernaturalist
Collins - Gregor series
Condie – Reunion
Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Creech – Bloomability
Creech – Heartbeat
Creech – Ruby Holler
Creech – Walk Two Moons
Crichton – Airframe
Crichton – Jurassic Park
Crutcher – Iron Man
Curtis – Bud, Not Buddy
Dahl – George’s Marvelous Medicine
Daley - Star Wars: Han Solo trilogy
Dashner – The 13th Reality series
David & Draper - We Beat the Street
DavisGarfield series
De la Cruz – Bluebloods
De la Cruz – Masquerade
De Mari - The Last Dragon
Delaney - The Last Apprentice series
Dessen – Just Listen
Dessen - Keeping the Moon
Dessen – Lock and Key
Dessen – The Truth About Forever
Di Camillo – The Tale of Despereaux
Dickens – David Copperfield
D'lacey - The Fire Within series
Elliott - Under a War Torn Sky
Evans – The Christmas Box
Fairstein – Entombed
Farmer - Sea of Trolls
Ferris – Once Upon a Marigold
Fitzgerald – The Great Brain series
Fletcher - Stoneheart trilogy
Forman – Adventurer’s Wanted: Slathbog’s Gold
Frank – Diary of a Young Girl
Friend – Perfect
Funke – Inkheart series
Gardner - Stone Fox
Gibson – Old Yeller
Gies - Anne Frank Remembered
Giff - Pictures of Hollis Woods
Goldman – The Princess Bride
Haddam - Cheating at Solitaire
Haddix - Palace of Mirrors
Haddix – Running Out of Time
Haddix – The Missing: Found
Haddix – Turnabout
Hale – Austenland
Hale – Book of a Thousand Days
Hale – Enna Burning
Hales – Goose Girl
Hales – The Princess Academy
Hansen – Macady
Heimerdinger – Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites series
Heinlein – The Final Frontier
Hiaasen - Scat
Hiaisen – Hoot
Hickam – October Sky
Hinton – Rumble Fish
Hinton – The Outsiders
Hobbs – Far North
Hobbs – Ghost Canoe
Hobbs – Jason’s Gold
HobbsWild Man Island
Holt – Part of Me
Holt – When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
Hopkins – Burned
Hopkins – Crank
Hopkins – Glass
Horowitz - Groosham Grange
Horowitz – Alex Rider series
Horowitz – The Gatekeepers series
Hunter - Warriors series
Ibbotson – The Great Ghost Rescue
Johnson - 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Jones – King James: The Real Story
Jordan – The Eye of the World series
Kadohata - Kira – Kira
Kehret - The Blizzard Disaster
Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
Klein - Con Ed
Koonz – Velocity
Korman - Kidnapped
Korman - Schooled
Kostick - Epic
Landy - Skulldugery Pleasant series
Lasky - Guardians of Ga’hoole series
Levine – Dave at Night
Levine – Ella Enchanted
Levine – Princess series
Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia series
Logue – Dancing with an Alien
London – White Fang
Lord – A Night to Remember
Lubar - Hidden Talents
Lund – Fire of the Covenant
Lund – The Alliance
Lund – The Work and the Glory series
Lupica – Heat
Lupica – The Big Field
Mac Hale - Pendragon series
Mangum - The Secret Journal of Brett Colton
Martin - Missing Since Monday
Martinez - Parrot in the Oven
Mazer - The Missing Girl
McCormick – Cut
Meyers – Twilight saga
Mikaelsen – Tree Girl
Montague – Fireweed
Moody - Best Friends
Moore – Out of Jerusalem series
Mull – The Candy Shop War
Mulle – Fablehaven series
Myers - The Mouse Rap
Naylor – Shiloh
Nichols - A Walk Out of the World
Nimmo – Charlie Bone series
Nimoy – I Am Spock
Nix – Keys to the Kingdom series
O’Dell – Island of the Blue Dolphins
Osborn – The Magic Treehouse series
Palahniuk - Haunted
Paolini – Eragon series
Patterson – Maximum Ride series
Paulsen – Soldier Heart
Paulsen – The Car
Paulson – Hatchet
Pelzer – A Child Called It series
Peretti – Monster
Perez - Dead is the New Black
Peterson - Jip
Petterson – Max series
Pfeffer - Life as We Knew It series
Pratchet – Going Postal
Pratchet – Thud
Qualey - Hometown
Raskin – The Westing Game
Rawls – Summer of the Monkeys
Rawls – Where the Red Fern Grows
Reeder - Foster’s War
Rees – Pirates
Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
Rodgers - Freaky Friday
Rottman – Stetson
Rowling – Harry Potter series
Roy - Yellow Star
Sachar – Holes
Sachar – Tales from the Wayside Schools series
Sachar – The Boy Who Lost His Face
Sage – Magyk series
Sanderson – Mistborn series
Savage – Far World series
Schreiber - Vampire Kisses
Selznik - The Invention of Hugo Caret
Sewell – Black Beauty
Shan – Cirque du Freak series
Shan – The Dementor series
Shreve – Light on Snow
Shrieber – Teenage Mermaid
Shusterman - Everlost
Shusterman - The Schwa Was Here
Skye – Leven Thumps series
Slaughter – Indelible
Smith – Elephant Run
Smith – Everest series
Smith – I.Q.
Smith – Island series
Smith – On the Run
Smith – Peak
Smith – Sasquatch
Smith – Tantalize
Smith – Zach’s Lie series
Snickett – The Series of Unfortunate Events
Somper - Vampirates series
Soto – Taking Sides
Sparks - The Wedding
Speare – The Sign of the Beaver
Spinelli – Milkweed
Staheli – When Hearts Conjoin
Stansfield – Christmas Melody; The Three Gifts of Christmas
Stansfield – A Promise of Forever
Stansfield – Barington Family series
Stansfield – Gables Face East series
Stansfield – The Eternal Bond
Stansfield – The Miracle
Stansfield – The Silver Linings
Stansfield – The Sound of Rain series
Stansfield –Stansfield – Towers of Brierly
Stansfield – Where the Heart Leads series
Stansfield –First Love and Forever series
Staub – Lily Dale series
Stine – Goosbumps series
Stine – The Evil Moon
Stine – The New Boy
Stine – The Overnight
Strasser - Help! I’m Trapped in Obedience School
Tarkington – Penrod
Taylor – Walking Up a Rainbow
Temple - Grab Hands and Run
Timlonson - Extreme Sports
Tolkien – The Hobbit
Traditional - The Arabian Nights
Trueman - Inside Out
Turner - Hard Hit
Updale - Montmorency series
Van Draanen - Runaway
Van Draasen – Flipped
Van Draasen – Sammy Keyes series
Various – The 39 Clues series
Wallace - Trapped in Death Cave
Warner - The Box Car Children series
Waterson – Calvin & Hobbes series
Weeks - Jumping the Scratch
Wells - Chance Encounters
Wells – The War of the Worlds
Westerfeld - Uglies series
Weyland – Ashley & Jen
Weyland – Charley
Weyland – Emily
Weyland – Megan
Weyland- Brittany
White - Surviving Antarctica
Wilhite - Bright Blue Miracle
Wilkinson - Dragon Keeper
Wright – Christmas Jars
Wright – The Eyes of the World
Wright – The Mine with the Iron Door
Wright – The Printer of Udells
Wright – The Re-Creation of Brian Kent
Wright – The Shepherd of the Hills
Wright – The Wednesday Letters
Yancey - The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
Yorgason – Charlie’s Monument
Yorgason – One Tattered Angel
Zevin - Elsewhere

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There, Their, They're

Okay, this is crazy to admit because I've been an English teacher for 30 years, but there are times that I still get confused on rules. When that happens in my writing, I breathe a sigh of relief because I know that the self-proclaimed word nerd herself, Annette Lyon, will tell me what I did wrong and how to fix it. Heck, half the time she can tell me exactly why what I've done is in error because she's already studied the problem or looked up its history in the OED she got a few years ago.

When Annette doesn't make it to critique, we all fret over those really technical points of grammar and usage, and a flurry of emails go back and forth the next day as we discuss the question and wait for Annette to respond.

But what if Annette is on (dare we say it?) VACATION and gone off to another exotic location for weeks at a time (like her trip to Finland)? How could we ever live without her?

Annette has just given us the next best thing---There, Their, and They're: A No Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd is Annette's entry into the world of educational writing. I've ordered a copy to keep by my computer at home, and I'm seriously thinking I might use some of my grant money next year to buy a few copies for my classroom. (No other grammar book since Warriner's has taught so much!)

If you'd like to get you own copy, visit the online ordering form at:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Contest - Book Giveaway on Good Reads

I'm giving away three copies of When Hearts Conjoin on Come on over and join the contest at:

If you've already read the book and you're a member of either Good Reads or Shelfari, I'd appreciate it if you leave a rating and review.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Local author pens Conjoined Hearts with Herrin twins' mom

Herald Extra: Spanish Fork Press

People all over the world watched the story unfold in 2006 as the Herrin twins, Kendra and Maliyah, underwent a twenty-five hour surgery to separate their shared lower bodies. And just two years later, in the fall of 2008, a local author was given the opportunity to team with Erin Herrin, the mother of the twins, to help co-write a book to share their story with the world.
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli is an accomplished educator and writer. She currently teaches English at Payson Junior High in addition to being a writer. Staheli is also a part of the Write Wise program founded by Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen. Staheli has been able to teach and edit other authors work with this program. Evans was so impressed with Staheli and her work that he knew she would be perfect to help Herrin write a book about her experiences.
"I have worked with Lu Ann in our Write Wise program," said Evans. "I knew I could count on her and knew that she would be a natural fit in helping Erin share her story."
Staheli and Herrin began working on the project in August of 2008. They started out by sending each other information via the internet and talked over the phone. Staheli began putting together the information into a story form.
"When I was going through all these experiences there was no information about other families who had been through this and their experiences," said Herrin. "I really wanted to have information from other parents. The book was written so others will have that information and also because as time goes on our memories fade and I wanted something to document all of our experiences."
Staheli wrote the book from the notes Herrin wrote down during her experiences and the book is written as if Herrin had written it herself.
"It has been wonderful to work on this project," said Staheli. "The world has known about these little girls for the past seven and a half years and now they can know the whole story and that miracles do happen."
The story shares more than just the twin's experience, it starts at the beginning with the Herrin's dating and ends with an update on what the family is currently doing.
"The book is definitely an emotional book," said Herrin. "From the beginning Lu Ann was right on and worded everything the way I wanted it. The story flows so well. She has been wonderful to work with and has made the story exactly what I wanted."
The book, "When Hearts Conjoin," was released just a few weeks ago and is only available at the website All the proceeds from the books will go into a trust fund for the twins medical expenses. The book tells the families story and shares never before seen photos. It also has a forward by Evans, a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. The twins will also be featured on a TLC special in June and then on the Oprah show to let others know about their story and book.
And now that Staheli has had her first successful experience co-writing a book, she already has three more co-written books in the works. She is currently working with Alan Osmond to share his story about life lessons, David Osmond to share his story about overcoming life's battles and with Jim Karol to share his story about a man with super mind and how he uses that mind to entertain and teach others.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

When is Comes to Best of State. . .

Members of my critique group ROCK!

In 2007, Annette Lyon won the Literary Medal for Best of State Fiction,

In 2008, I won Best of State Educator K-12,

And on May 30th, 2009, Heather Moore will receive her medal for Best of State in Literary Arts: Historical Fiction for her Whitney Award winning novel, Abinidi.

How cool is that? We're three in a row.

Congrats, Heather!!!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

When Hearts Conjoin - Release Party

Last Tuesday was the official release party for When Hearts Conjoin. The party was hosted by Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box) who is our publisher. Here I am sitting at the autograph table with Rick, Erin and Jake Herrin, along with their children, Austin, Courtney, Kendra, Justin, and Maliyah. (I might have the twins' names backwards in both cases.)

We had a great time, did several newspaper and television interviews, and signed a ton of books. So many of my friends and family members came up as well. Thanks for all of your support, everyone!

Let me remind everyone that Mother's Day is this weekend and this would be a great book to get for your mother. Copies can be ordered from or I also have a case of books at home if anyone needs a copy and they are concerned the ones ordered online wouldn't make it on time.

Be sure to check out the links to reviews, articles, or other blogs about this book on my main blog page, and a special thanks to Candi Higley of the Spanish Fork Press for allowing me to use this photo.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Motherhood: Martyr or Mentor

My latest article is in Desert Saints Magazine this week: Motherhood: Martyr or Mentor?.

Let me know what you think.