February Reads: The Centurions of 2011

I surprised myself with 14 titles this month, most of which were read at the beginning of the month when I was out of school due to weather. I’d like to get back to the place where I’m reading a book a week, but it seems like the readings for graduate school are becoming more and more demanding.

Here’s my list:

Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps #1) by Obert Skye
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Into the Gauntlet (39 Clues #10) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Storm Warning (39 Clues #9) by Linda Sue Park
The Emperor’s Code (39 Clues #8) by Gordon Korman
The Viper’s Nest (39 Clues #7) by Peter Lerangis
In too Deep (39 Clues #6) by Jude Watson
The Black Circle (39 Clues #5) by Patrick Carman
Beyond the Grave (39 Clues #4) by Jude Watson
Hot Hand! by Mike Lupica
The Sword Thief (39 Clues #3) by Peter Lerangis
The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl #6)

Matilda by Roald Dahl is one of my all-time favorites. I still have my original copy of the book from when I was a child, and it currently looks like this:


I do have another copy, one with a modern cover. The original cover of this version was yellow. I only took a picture of the front; there’s no cover on the back of this edition either. It was very much loved.

I read the majority of the 39 Clues series, partly because I got them from the library, and partly because I wanted to know what happened in the end. It wasn’t a bad read and I recommended them to my brother, who likes mysteries.

Going Bovine won the Printz Award, and I like to read award winners. We happened to have it in the library at my school, so I picked it up as well. This is one I’ve decided needs to be in my classroom library. I’ll admit that it was a little trippy. The main character has Mad Cow disease (and now I know what they’re asking me when I go to donate blood). As his mind is degenerating from this disease, he sets off on a cross-country trip in order to save the world. It’s a story about living life rather than just getting through it, with a main character who has been compared to Holden Caufield (which pushed reading Catcher in the Rye up on my list–probably spring break time ). This novel was probably my favorite this month.

I know I didn’t talk about all of the novels, but before I wander away for this month, I do want to mention Identical by Ellen Hopkins (@ellenhopkinsya on Twitter). I’ve read a few novels in verse before–All the Broken Pieces and Home of the Brave–but I was skeptical going into this one, though I’m not sure why. I tore through the book during a cheerleading competition last weekend. I had to think about it, but decided that Identical is appallingly beautiful. I love how Hopkins uses poem layout to aid in the storytelling.

I was talking about Identical on Twitter last week and compared it to Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club.  @yaloveblog chimed in and agreed with my comparison. The subject matter is difficult, but I think it’s would be a great read for high schoolers.

Book fair starts on March 4th, so I’m hoping that I’ll have some great new titles to read next month (btw, yes, I do realize that I’m one of those people who buys more books than can feasibly be read before buying more books. Don’t judge.)


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