An Author in Our Midst. . .

16 Nov

Holy Smokes: Something cool happened today.

Ryan M came up to me after math with a quick story that he’d written during some free time in math class. “Would you read this, Mr. F?”

It took me a few periods to get through, but when I did, I was BLOWN AWAY. Check it out and tell Ryan what you think of his work. I know I was IMPRESSED.

Mr. F


The howling wind whistled through the trees as if sending a message. It was a cold, December night in the old village. The portal would open in just five minutes. Everyone was waiting in the town square, circling the fire they had started.

“Five minutes,” Will thought, “I can wait that long.”

The citizens had been trapped in this dimension for four years now. It had felt so long and so boring. “How many minutes NOW?” a voice from the back called.

“Just two more,” a woman in the front answered.

Will had lived with only his sister Brooke for the whole four years. He hoped that when he got back, his parents would recognize him.

“One minute!” the same woman called.

Brooke held his hand tightly. She was only five. She was an infant when the disaster had occurred.

One boy in the front started a countdown: “Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven.”

(“What if it doesn’t open?” thought Will.)

“Four. Three. Two. ONE!”

A bright yellow glow lit the dark town. A loud inhale came out of many people. “The portal’s only open for one minute! Come on!”

Everybody shuffled into the glowing circle until it shut off. Darkness. Nothing. Only three or four people had made it in. The fire had gone out.

The rest were left in the shadows wondering.


Middle School isn’t THAT Bad, Is It?

6 Nov

Hi, this is Kenna writing yet another review for this amazing blog. This one is the best book of all time, Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by a certain famous author by the name of James Patterson.

Maybe your parents have heard of him? He’s usually known as an adult author but recently has stepped out of his comfort zone and written this tween/children’s book.

This exciting novel isn’t just full of words; it’s also full of tons of illustrations. It’s not a picture book though, so don’t worry about your mom telling you, “You should be reading higher levels than picture books.”

The book is about a 6th grader named Rafe. He is a good kid but finds middle school extremely boring with all of its restrictions and rules.

So what if you changed the rules around? What if the rules were challenges instead? What if you took the rule book and tried to break every rule in the book?

Rafe does EXACTLY that!

With his best friend, Leo, they turn the rule book into a game with points and prizes.

But sometimes being bad has disadvantages, like cute girls hating you, an evil dragon torturing you in detention, or family problems giving you trouble at home. Rafe has to deal with all these while still making school bearable.

For all those readers who take things literally, middle school is not bad. It is so fun! Especially if you have teachers as good as I have.

I would rate this book a WAY75!

It is truly awesome!

60 Second Book Hook: Stormbreaker

4 Oct

Check out Fletcher’s 60 second book hook about the exciting adventures of Alex Rider in Stormbreak, by Anthony Horowitz.

60 Second Book Hook: Among the Hidden

4 Oct

Wow.  Want to see an example of a REALLY GREAT 60 Second Book Hook?

Check out this one from Karen, who writes about Among the Hidden by Margaret Petersen Haddix—a book that should creep you out if you are a third child in your family.


Pushback on The Lightning Thief!

1 Oct

Alright, Naughty Book Fans:  Something REALLY cool happened today!

Mr. Hodgson–a sixth grade teacher in Massachusetts–saw my recent 60 Second Book Hook on The Lightning Thief and has created his own pushback video.

Check it out:

Interesting stuff, isn’t it? 

I think the BEST point that Mr. Hodgson makes is a point that I hadn’t even considered:  Percy, in many ways, is a role model for kids with ADD.

That’s powerful, isn’t it?  I mean sometimes we think that kids with “disabilities” or “disorders” can’t be heroes.  By intentionally creating a hero with a “problem” that so many kids struggle with—and to show that weakness as a strength—DOES have real value.

I also like Mr. Hodgson’s comments about Annabeth.  Sometimes I worry that there aren’t enough strong, confident and assertive girl protagonists in stories written for kids.  Annabeth fills that role really well.

So what do YOU think?  Can you give some practical examples of things in The Lightning Thief that are worth admiring?

More importantly, are YOU ready to record your own 60 Second Book Hook on the title?

I’m still not convinced enough to change my Way 0 rating, but Mr. Hodgson has definitely nudged my thinking.

Mr. F

PS:  Did you see the other interesting lesson learned here?  When you share your thinking online, it can be challenged by others—and that’s a GOOD thing!

Mr. Hodgson has forced me to think twice, hasn’t he?  More importantly, he’s pointed out important facts that I’d overlooked.  That’s cool—and it wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t willing to open myself to others.

60 Second Book Hook: The Lightning Thief

30 Sep

So I didn’t have any time tonight to get a new student review posted or to write one myself—I was too busy reading nonfiction—but I wanted to give you something new to explore here on I’m Always Right.

The good news is I whipped up a 60 Second Book Hook on my least favorite book of all time.

Check it out here:

There’s something here I want you to notice:  The reviews on I’m Always Right don’t always have to be of books that you liked.  Remember that as long as you can articulate WHY a book isn’t all that hot, you can post a negative review too.

In a lot of ways, those types of reviews are more fun simply because they give us all something to debate!

Mr. F

Maze Runner: Read it or else!

26 Sep

So Danielle has finally reviewed a book that I have wanted to read ever since seeing this interview with the author – James Dashner – who said his inspiration for Maze Runner was Ender’s Game, one of my other favorite books of all time. From the sounds of it, Maze Runner is definitely worth checking out.

Anyone else read it? Leave a comment and tell us what YOU think.

Mr. F


I love my Kindle.

Now I love it even more because Maze Runner is on it.

Maze Runner is a Sci-fi book with mystery mixed in with it.

This book starts out with Thomas, a boy who only has enough memory to remember his name. He is taken up by some kind of elevator into Glade, a place where boys are ruling. Glade is a place with houses, farms, and woods, surrounded by a giant maze that moves its walls consistently, and in the night, lets horrible monsters called Grievers loose.

Boys come to Glade every month, like Thomas, in the elevator.

But this time, after Thomas, something happens that’s never happened before: A Girl.

After she arrives, everything goes wrong, the supplies stop coming. The Grievers start to eat one boy a night. Thomas and his friends have to figure out the maze before it’s too late.

This book is one of those books where you are totally surrounded by the sights and sounds of the book. That is my favorite type of book. My Kindle recommended this book to me.

I like constant action, mystery, and this book has it all! Like all books, it’s not perfect. It can be confusing at times, but this book is still on my top 10.

My Rating for Maze Runner:  Way 90