Release Date: June 12012
Age Range: Young Adult
Series: Lockwood High
Always Up Beat All that is a book from two points, by flipping the book the story can be read from main characters Charli Black and Blake Strong.
Charli Black is a junior at Lockwood High, it seems like everything she wished for has come out. Best friends and her dream of becoming the captain of the varsity cheerleading squad has come throughAnd besides that, she is in love with the best boyfriend one could ever imagine, quarterback Blake Strong. But as always, when everything goes right, something goes terribly wrong. Blake is seen with a school, the trashy Jackie, and that is the start of a lot of conflicts between her and Blake..Luckily she has her best girlfriends to count on, but she also has one special best friend , Blake’s cousin, who is suddenly very kind to her and pointing out to her that she deserves better than a boyfriend who cheats…
Blake Strong doesn’t have an easy time in his life. He is a quarterback for the school football team, where his father is the coach of, and is in a relationship with Charli. Blake’s dream is to stay in the game, lead his boys to victory, and score a spot at his dream school. But his overbearing father wants Blake in the Southeastern Conference. . But all seems to go in a very different direction when the news comes that his mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. He has to find out a way to deal with his changed family life and he finds out there is more in life than just football…
I loved that this book was written from both points if view, I think it doesn’t matter with which one you start. The plot of the book was good, and I like how the focus point of it was family and relationships. I liked how the drama was build up, but the end was a bit too open. Both main characters are believable teen protagonists dealing with realistic issues in their lives, so I think it is highly relevant to so many present day teens. This is the first book by Stephanie Perry Moore I have read but this book definitely makes me want to read more of her work. Be sure to check out this fun book with two sides!
Engaging Reluctant Teen Readers By publisher Arianne McHugh
40% of US fourth grade students do not achieve basic levels of reading proficiency. This number is higher in low-income families, certain minority groups and English Language.(Source: Reading is Fundamental, www.rif.com) In American Classrooms, grades K-3 are when a child learns to read, while starting in grade 4 a child reads to learn. If 40% of students entering that range are already behind, you can imagine where they end up by the time they reach eighth grade- severely below reading level as well as reluctant to continue trying.
Teachers are struggling to engage their classrooms, which are not only increasing in size but include students at varying reading levels. The end result is that students are left behind. It’s time to stop waiting for the education system to do it “all.” Supplementing the classrooms and home environments with engaging, level-appropriate material is what will motivate young adults to open books again – and start to try.
If you give a teenager a “baby” book, he/she will not only be embarrassed to read it, they will be less than enthused with the content. Teens need books covering topics that they WANT to read about at LOW enough reading levels for them to achieve success.
How can parents encourage their reluctant readers? Consider the following:
• Covers vs. Content. We really do judge a book by its cover. Teens want to see themselves on the covers of books- and in the pages. Demographic-specific books are finally accessible, giving a wide variety of ethnicities, genres and realistic content.
• Levels. Offering levels that are low enough for the teens to achieve success is vital. Starting with low levels and low page count will increase confidence and enable them to finish a book, which will hopefully lead to another.
• Learning Style. Some reluctant readers would never attempt a text-only book, but would be interested in a graphic novel, which is more like a comic. While others may get easily distracted by any visuals yet enjoy the pure form of text. Knowing the teen is essential to helping guide them to the book that will engage and get them reading.
• Incorporating Technology. Children and teens everywhere are surrounded by technology and while this is often a distraction from picking up a print book, it can also be a way to get them to start reading. Free books are available from your local library, for “checking out” on your personal devices (iPads, Kindles etc). Some publishers offer print books that take you from the page to your computer (Patrick Carman, 39 Clues).
The message here is that we, as parents, need to do “something.” Take the time to get to know your child. Directing them to books that they will open and successfully finish is vital. By taking small steps, you can greatly support their love of reading and learning through books. And who knows, maybe in the process of encouraging your teens to pick up a book, you may be the one to introduce them to their lifelong love of reading.
Arianne McHugh and her husband, Tim, own Saddleback Educational Publishing. It is a 35% hi-low curriculum-based and 65% hi-low national book publishing company for teachers and students. Saddleback was awarded six YALSA Quick Picks awards. For more information, go to www.sdlback.com or www.strugglinglearners.com.
Win a copy of Allways Upbeat/All That! Leave a comment in the comment section (please leave your email so I can contact you if you win) or send an email to marjoleinbookblog at gmail.com to be entered. The contest is US only and open till June 25.