About SamiK

I'm a Library Director for a small(ish) Texas town with a desire to share my love of books and the library with my community.

Currently, I am working towards my MLS (Master of Library Science) from Texas Woman's University (my alma mater!).

When I'm not treading through a pile a school work and work work, I make precious memories with both my handsome men at home. Whether we are playing with the sand between our toes, making a campfire, or just taking in a movie at home, every moment is unique.

Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

My Blog Designer

December 3, 2015

LS 5603 - Genre 6 - Fiction and Fantasy




1. Bibliography

DiCamillo, Kate. 2013. Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Massachusetts: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0-7636-6040-6
DiCamillo, Kate. 2013. Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Listening Library.

2. Plot Summary

    Flora is strange. At least, that is what her mother thinks, and believing the squirrel, who survived a recent vacuum attack, can communicate only makes her more strange. Did...he...just...type...a...poem?! Holy bagumba! Could Ulysses really be communicating or even a superhero like Incandesto in Flora's comic books that she reads?  

3. Critical Analysis

     Flora Buckman, our ten year old protagonist, can be easily related to. What makes her stand out is what makes her loveable, and at an age when readers are becoming more aware of what others think of them, it is reassuring that our main character is proud to be herself. Women, young and old, can find themselves somewhere in Flora.
     The book is centered around good versus evil and depicts how things are not always what meets the eyes. It is a story of life, family, friendship, trust, and growth. Filled with an unforgettable cast of wacky characters, there are lessons to be learned from everyone.
     I could not help but fall in love with Flora's enthusiasm and love for her comic books. They influence the entire style of the book, from the language to the plot to the illustrations. Yet, it is her personal growth seen in her slow realization that maybe she is not such a cynic after all that makes her such a loveable character.
     This is the only audiobook I have listened to in its entirety, but it will not be the last! I downloaded it from Audible to my iPhone and listened to it on my daily trips to work. I will admit that I chose this book because it was only a four hour listen, and for an unabridged book, I was won over! At first, I thought reader Tara Sands had a voice that was too distinct to give life to all of the characters, but I was wrong. She had a different voice for each and was consistent in her telling. The only sound affects, heroic theme music, highlighted Ulysses moments as a superhero.
    I read the book after listening and was surprised to find the illustrations. They are something I would have missed if I had only listened to the audio. Cambell captured the characters and style of the novel perfectly!

4. Review Excerpts

  • Reviews from  Booklist, Washington Post, SLJ, Horn Book Guide, and Publisher's Weekly.
  • Bestseller lists : NYT, Amazon, PW, USA Today, and Barnes & Noble
  • PW Best Children's Book in 2013
  • ALA Notable Books for Children in 2014
  • Bluebonnet Award nominee in 2014
  • Newberry Medal in 2014.
  • "Sands's ability to create colorful, over-the-top characters is an ideal match for DiCamillo's quirky novel, and the voices she produces here are pitch-perfect.-PW, 2014

5. Connections.

  • Gather other Newberry Award winners to read such as El Deafo and The Year of Billy Miller.
  • Students create their own comic strip of a superhero.
  • Display with other books by Kate DiCamillo such as Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux.


1. Bibliography

Green, John. 2012. The Fault in Our Stars. New York: Dutton Books. ISBN 978-0-525-47881-2

2. Plot Summary

Hazel, survivor of Stage IV cancer, is diagnosed as clinically depressed. She has no excitement for life. Until she meets Augustus Waters.  Soon, the two find themselves on a journey to meet Hazel's favorite author while discovering life and love.

3. Critical Analysis

      I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more, and I cried some more. This novel captures a reality that most will never know yet many do too well.
     Main characters Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are both easy to connect to. You have the survivor that has allowed the cancer to take everything from her, and you have the patient who continues to choose life and make the most of it. When the two meet, it results in a beautiful story of an unpromised life.
    Unfortunately I had watched the movie but never read the book, so the voices I heard were of Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Although there were differences, as all book to movie adaptations, I was not let down by any.

4. Review Excerpts

  • Reviews in Booklist, SLJ, Horn Book Guide, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Publisher's Weekly. 
  • Bestseller lists : NYT, Amazon, PW, USA Today, and Barnes & Noble
  • SLJ Best Book of the Year 2012
  • PW Best Children's Book 2012
  • "Beautifully conceived and executed, this story artfully examines the largest possible considerations life, love, and death with sensitivity, intelligence, honesty, and integrity.." Booklist, 2012             

5. Connections

  • Display with other John Green books, such as the Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherinces.
  • Have students pair up and write each others' eulogy.
  • Gather with other coming-of-age stories such as Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.


1. Bibliography

Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. 2007. Babymouse : Puppy Love. New York: Random House.  ISBN 978-0-375-83990-0

2. Plot Summary

Babymouse has her goldfish, again. She wants a dog, but her mother refuses until she has tried pets that require less responsibility. One day she finds a stray dog, whom she names Buddy, and begins to train him. She soon discovers how much work a pet can be.

3. Critical Analysis

      The Holm siblings return with another installment of their beloved Babymouse. Young readers easily identify with. The graphic novel has simple yet appealing illustrations.  The language used is clear and an easy level. The simplicity of the pictures and storyline serve as a gateway to reluctant readers.
     The humorous dialogue between the adolescent Babymouse and adult narrator offers a comedic tone. Moments in the book that offered laughs were intended for older readers and adults (i.e. the Charlotte's Web reference). Kids love them, and now I see why!
      However, I personally was not a fan of the content. Babymouse is irresponsible (a new pet every day? Who does that?!) and has a bit of an attitude (disrespectful towards the obviously adult narrator on occasion) that, as a parent, I felt could have been avoided. This does offer an opportunity to parents to discuss these issues with their children in order build communication and trust between them.

4. Review Excerpts

  • Reviews in Booklist, Chicago Sun-Times, Horn Book Guide, and SLJ
  • WINNER 2006 - Gryphon Award
  • WINNER 2006 - ALA Notable Children's Book (first graphic novel)
  • WINNER 2006 - New York Book Show Awards

5. Connections

  • Display with other Jennifer and Matthew Holm graphic novels, such as others in the Babymouse series and Squish.
  • Use to begin a discussion on responsibility.
  • Have student create their own graphic novels in groups about a new pet.

Rating System

IT WAS AMAZING!!!! You should be at the book store right now buying it! :)
I really liked it. You should def check it out and give it a shot
It was ok. At least read the synopsis on the back.
Eh....It was alright. It's borrow from a friend material.
Leave it on the shelf!!


Grab My Button

Moonlight Mayem

Jake Project

2012 Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Samantha has read 6 books toward her goal of 24 books.