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 Growing Innovators Who Will Change the World!

(Innovators are curious, persistent, imaginative problem solvers.  They are not afraid of failure.)




Woods Time! 



Marshmallow Challenge! (It wasn't easy!)


A Monarch for Mrs. Paige's Class to Tag!
It's time for school and we are working (playing?) hard!

It' Summer!  :  )
(I LOVE to swim!)


I was able to visit my daughter in Taos, NM!

           
     
 
I also spent a week in Colonial Williamsburg with 26 teachers from all over the U.S.
 
 
   
   
   


    






2018/2019 DCF Books I've Read!
(I'm rating them according to my taste in books; you should read them also and let me know what YOU think!!)
(Book blurbs are from the DCF Master List)

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk  (5 stars - I REALLY liked the 3 main characters - Crow, Osh and Miss Maggie; they are not typical book characters.  I also enjoyed learning about island life in Maine in the 1920's.)

Orphaned Crow has grown up with her foster father Osh on an island off the coast of Massachusetts but now she wants to know who she is and where she came from. The answer is far more complex than expected, involving a leper colony, a hidden treasure, and a villain but ultimately leads Crow to a deeper understanding of family and home. 

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate 
  (2 stars - I thought this book moved too slowly.)

Red is an oak tree that offers wishes and refuge to the people and animals of a neighborhood. Red shows great wisdom and heart as he welcomes a new family which is experiencing a difficult transition. 

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee 
  (4 stars - The main character's struggle wasn't one you find in many books.)

Halfway Normal is an original and heartbreakingly honest story about a twelve-year-old cancer survivor trying to fit in and find her voice. It is a powerful story of empathy and resilience, of moving forward and accepting yourself for who you are. 

Blooming At the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt  
(4 stars - I connected with this story having just returned from visiting Taos, NM, but I also felt the main 2 characters were very believable. )

When’s Stevie’s parents are tragically killed, she is sent away to live with a grandfather she has never met. As she meets members from both sides of her family, she learns that love, family and a sense of belonging can exist after terrible loss.

Last Day On Mars by Kevin Emerson (3 stars - I'm pretty sure I gave it fewer stars because I don't usually care for science fiction. In this book there was always some new fantastical tool right at their fingertips to help them out of a jam.)

A sci-fi thriller. Liam and Phoebe, who have grown up on Mars, are prepared to leave with 100 million passengers on board the Scorpius when their planet becomes uninhabitable but are left behind when an explosion decimates their parents’ terraforming lab. Robots, extraterrestrials, and a universal struggle for survival. The first of a trilogy. 

Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson (2 stars - I felt that the plot was too predictable.)

On a road trip to return her beloved gyrfalcon to its rightful owner, Karma and her family are in a car accident. Karma must go for help in Montana's backcountry. An edge-of-your-seat outdoor adventure.

See You In the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (2 stars - The story is told as a 1st person narrative - the narrator is recording on an Ipod that will later be sent into space for aliens to listen to to learn about earth; but it felt more like a kid talking to himself non-stop.)

Alex Petroski is planning to make his own version of Carl Sagan’s Golden Record of all the sounds of earth, launched in 1977 on Voyager 1. Alex hopes to launch his, the Golden iPod, on his own rocket Voyager 3, at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. His journey there and back again, however, is far more revelatory than expected - and his resourcefulness and kindness in the face of many troubles make you proud to share a planet with this kid.

Train I Ride by Paul Mosier (5 stars - A heartwarming story with 3 great characters - Rydr, Neal and Tenderchunks. Rydr goes through MANY true emotions in her journey.) 

Rydr lost her mother to a drug overdose and is being taken away from her grandmother who is unable to care for her. Bound for Chicago to live with a relative she’s never met, Rydr befriends Tenderchunks the boy scout, Paolo the poet, and Neal the snack bar attendant who learn Rydr’s story and share their own. It is through these connections, as brief as they may be, that Ryder finds hope, love and family on the train she rides. 

The Epic Fall of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya (4 stars - Arturo stole my heart with his bravery and his dedication to his family, especially his grandmother..., but the 'greedy land developer' wasn't very believable; he was too ornery, even for his role.)

Arturo Zamora is determined to save his family’s beloved Miami restaurant from a greedy land developer. Arturo’s family gives him the support and power to fight for the little person. 


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (3 stars - The plot was a good one [kids trying to save their home], but I thought the author added too much description [is that possible?!] throughout the story.)

The Vanderbeekers are being evicted from their beloved brownstone on 141st Street in Harlem and – worse - just before Christmas, but the five creative Vanderbeeker kids are determined to convince their curmudgeonly landlord to change his mind. Think “It’s a Wonderful Life” with spice. 

Restart by Gordon Korman (4 stars - The storyline of being a changed person after amnesia was intriguing, but the characters were too stereotypical - maybe that was needed for the plot - but it was too much for me.)

When Chase wakes up with amnesia after a concussion, he’s horrified to learn that he used to be the school's worst bully. This hilarious story is about school life, but also about family, sports, friendship, and the choices we make about who we want to become.