Monthly Archives: February 2015

Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Success!

With so many changes in our county this year, Mrs. Lukkarinen and I have had to rethink many of the things that we do in the media center on a daily basis. Unfortunately, one of the things that we have been able to do less of is blog. Despite our challenges with our 1:1 iPad implementation this year, we finally feel like we are getting back into the groove and carving out a new normal juggling our traditional responsibilities, programs, and activities with our new role as iPad gurus.

One activity that we have kept at the forefront of our program this year is our Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl team. As reigning state champions, we have worked even harder on our books, questions, and buzzers to prepare for our competitions this year.

Liberty County HRRB Champs!

Liberty County HRRB Champs!

Due to a death in my family, I had to miss our season-opening competition against Liberty County High School on January 23rd. I had no reason to worry, however, because our team defeated our cross-town rivals 480-100 in six rounds of competition. The first place team in our county bowl earns the right to advance to the regional competition each year.

Southern Regional HRRB Champs!

Southern Regional HRRB Champs!

Last Saturday, February 7th, our team competed in the Southern Regional Bowl held in Valdosta. Once again, our team did not disappoint! For the third year in a row, our team defeated the other six schools in the competition to earn a spot in the Division II Bowl in Statesboro later this month. Our team once again showed that hard work pays off, outscoring the second place team 470-270.

We have our sights set on that state trophy once again. Our mantra this season is “compete for the repeat!”

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The Tyrant’s Daughter

The Tyrant's Daughter

By: J.C. Carleson

With my ever growing list of books that I want to read, I feel like every review I write starts with the statement that it is a book I have wanted to read for some time, so even though this is true, I will skip saying it about this book. I don’t even remember when I first heard about this book, but I couldn’t wait for it to come in our order so that I could get my hands on it. However, another issue I run into with my job is that I put all sorts of books on a fictional “I can’t wait to read this book” list and then I promptly forget about all the books I want to read. So as I was browsing the shelves during a spine poetry lesson before Winter Break, I once again stumbled upon this book and quickly grabbed it to take home. And I am glad I did!

This is a fantastic book about a topic we hear about every day on the news, but from a very different perspective. The main character is the king’s daughter. The author never states exactly where the family is from, and is sure to explain this literary choice in an author’s note at the end of the story. However, the war, death, and damage to the country is universal to many countries around the world today. Being that the story is told from the perspective of the king’s daughter in a culture where women are not in the know, the reader learns about the events and tragedies that the country has suffered as Laila learns about them. She eventually learns that her father was not exactly the man that she thought he was and he caused many of his people to suffer during his reign. She moves to America with her family and learns during her time here that she never really truly belongs. But many things need to change before she and her family can even consider going back and reclaiming what is rightfully theirs. Through all this change, she also finds out her mother is not exactly the woman she thought she was. She is tougher, but also more fragile. She learns much about herself through the story. It was eye opening to me as a reader, and I know I will be watching the news with a different viewpoint from now on because of it.

Although the author claims that the story is fiction, it is definitely based in fact. Insert the name of any country in the Middle East right now, and this story would fit their history. And although I know that there is death and senseless killing, all these people have families and that is the perspective that I will now have. What a wonderful read!

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I Hunt Killers Trilogy

I-Hunt-Killers-covers

by Barry Lyga

Recently I said that I wasn’t a huge fan of trilogies anymore (in case you missed it, I feel that it is an author’s way to sell more books and make more money), but I guess I just had to come across the right one. And boy, did I ever find one! I read I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga last year as one of our Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl books. I thought it was pretty decent. And while it was good, I can’t say that it was my favorite Helen Ruffin book. However, I was willing to read the second in the series (Game) to see the outcome. And I was very pleasantly surprised! And maybe even beyond pleasantly surprised. I have to say that it was fantastic! In my experience, it is rare for a second in a series to be even better than the first – but as I read all three of these books, I couldn’t seem to put them down.  Each one was better than the previous one.

What the first installment lacked in suspense and twists and turns, Game definitely had those and then some. And because Game was so wonderful, I could not wait until Blood of my Blood came out.  The story line in the second two books is insane! There are so many surprises that I literally carried the book with me wherever I went so I could read it if I had a few minutes to spare.

I had to know what happened to the main character, Jazz. His dad is Billy Dent, the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper. In the first book, Jazz is asked to help the town of Lobo’s Nod solve a series of murders that are following similar patterns as his father’s murders. Without giving anything away, Billy Dent is a manipulator. This manipulation is even stronger in the second book. In this book, there is another series of murders that can’t be solved by the police and they seek Jazz to help again. The only difference this time is the murders are in New York City. So not only does Jazz have to help the police navigate the clues, he also has to navigate a strange city that he has never been to. The third and final installment brings in the family connections and wraps the story up nicely.

Throughout all three books, Billy (Dear Old Dad) plays with Jazz’s mind and the consequences are severe. There are many people who are killed, some of them in graphic ways and described in detail. The psychological aspect to this book is amazing! I was in awe trying to figure out how the author came up with such a creative plot full of grisly detail. If you like mystery books that are full of suspense, this is a series that you should definitely pick up.

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