Booktalk Titles – Mrs. Torre

Alender, Katie: Bad Girls Don’t Die
Creepy dolls, possible ghosts, and a little sister acting very strange.

Alonzo, Sandra: Riding Invisible
Yancy takes off on a modern Western adventure to get away from his brother who is one mean dude. A journal with cartoons!

Deuker, Carl: Payback Time
Mitch is bored with the sports beat on his school paper until a new and mysterious athlete catches his eye.

Emond, Stephen: Happyface
Sometimes a tortured soul hides behind a joyful exterior. Another journal with cartoons!

Goodman, Allegra: The Other Side of the Island
Life on Island 365 isn’t quite as tranquil as Honor expected.

L’Engle, Madeleine: And Both Were Young
Phillpa finds boarding school in post-war Switzerland difficult…until she meets Paul.

Sedgwick, Marcus: My Swordhand Is Singing
What’s up with Tomas and his mysterious wooden box?

Springer, Kristina: The Espressologist
Jane Turner is a teenage barista with a gift for matchmaking. But what about her own love life?

Thompson, Kate: Creature of the Night
Turns out the Irish countryside might be more dangerous than Dublin.

Trigiani, Adriania: Viola in Reel Life
Viola can’t stand her new Indiana boarding school…until she starts filming it.



  1. Nathaniel B said,

    October 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I have started reading this book and I am on page 52. So far this book is extremely good! I still don’t understand what the shadow queen’s part of the book is for but I am sure to find out very soon! I would recommend this book to people who like to read horror stories because it has some gore and has some pretty scary parts! This book really is keeping me reading! Great book!

    • Ms. Ryan said,

      October 8, 2009 at 5:18 pm

      I’m glad you like it so far. Because you mention the shadow queen, I know you’re talking about My Swordhand is Singing, right? I totally agree, great for horror fans. SO awesome that you commented, N.B.! I was so happy to see the little “comment alert” appear in my mailbox. Has anyone else tried the books on this list? I know you have! Come on, share your thoughts!

  2. Mrs. Torre said,

    October 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I’m so happy you commented too, N.B.

  3. MMS Student said,

    October 14, 2009 at 1:02 am

    the book My Swordhand is Singing is AWESOME!!!!!!!everyone go to the library and get the book NOW! the book is so fantastic there are no words to describe it. not one single tiny little word. when it got to an action part in the story my heart missed a beat! (i won’t tell what part, that would give it away)anyone who is reading this, get off that chair, go to a place where books are, and start reading My Swordhand is Singing!!!I totally love horror books. The shadow queen is really getting interesting. Hope that you will read the book I’m talking about. can’t stop thinking about it! quickly, someone get an ambulance for when i faint….(oh and let it be a good ambulance. Oh I’m just kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ms. Ryan said,

      October 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

      FYI, there is a sequel to My Swordhand is Singing. It’s called The Kiss of Death. You definitely need to read the first novel first because the same characters appear in both stories, or at least Peter does, as does the Shadow Queen. She has a big role actually. Creepy…

  4. Mrs. Torre said,

    October 25, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I just finished The Book Thief, and it lived up to all the recommendations I received, including Ms. Ryan’s. It is a powerful read.

    • Denise Ryan said,

      October 26, 2009 at 11:14 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Mrs. Torre. Do you think it’s a good book for seventh-graders or is it a better choice for older students, in your opinion?

      • Mrs. Torre said,

        October 27, 2009 at 11:43 am

        Great question, Ms. Ryan! First off, the novel is over 500 pages, so readers need to keep that in mind. Secondly, the subject matter is difficult and heavy…but so important and moving. My “final answer” would be to have interested readers try it out and decide for themselves. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting it in 8th or ninth grade.

  5. Dylan C. said,

    November 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I got “Genius of Unspeakable Evil…” in an Airport in Nashville, Tennessee( is that how you spell it?) as a book to tide me over on the plane ride home. Our plane was delayed, and I ended up finishing it before we even landed in New York! I suggest this book to anyone who loves a good laugh, and even a little psychology (He’s a strange boy…). Overall, a great read!

  6. Mrs. Torre said,

    November 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Great hook, Dylan!

    List of titles I recommended in class last week:
    Pieces of Georgia by Jen Bryant (for girls)
    Pool Boy by Michael Simmons (boys…girls too)
    Crash by Jerry Spinelli (boys…girls too)

  7. Lauren C. said,

    November 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I just finished a really great book; Its called the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I have heard of it so many times and I know there is a movie too, but I never decided to read it. But when I did, I found my self constantly wanting to read more. I finished it within a couple days! There are two other books in the series, and I already reserved the second one at the Darien Library. I figured that I could use a good chapter book for when I drive down to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. Has anyone read this book? If so, then what do you think of it?

    • Denise Ryan said,

      November 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Lauren,
      I haven’t read any of the books in this series, although the movie was filmed near my mother’s house, and I kept driving by the set out of curiousity! It’s such a popular book, and I notice that people who check out out of the library almost always return for the sequel. That’s the always a good sign.
      Maybe I’ll give it a try over Thanksgiving Break.

  8. Mrs. Torre said,

    November 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm


    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is one of my favorite series. An aspect most students (and I) like is that the story is told from four different points of view, one for each of the girls, so it’s almost like four books in one. The girls are all so different!

    The movie (I only saw the first one) was very good.

    Enjoy the rest of the series.

    Mrs. Torre 🙂

  9. Nikita S. said,

    December 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I just finished reading A Mango-Shaped Space and it was so awesome!!! I couldn’t put it down! I brought it with me when I went to Florida for Thanksgiving to read on the plane and I was almost done by the time we got there! Actually, it was so good that I actually took the time to read it while I was there. I wish it were a series though – I want to read more!

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