Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Featured Blogger (25): Melina from Reading Vacation!

Today's Friday Featured Blogger, Melina of Reading Vacation, has been blogging for a little over six months at this point, but she is all the more extraordinary because she is currently in the sixth grade! Reading her blog, you'll wish you were that well-read and well-written when you were her age. She features a constant flow of MG book reviews and is a great example of what you can accomplish regardless of age. Welcome, Melina, to Steph Su Reads!

1. Tell us about yourself in a few short sentences.

If you are reading this, then you are probably a book lover just like me. I feel like books bring us together. What may be a little different though is that I am eleven years old and I just started middle school.

My name is Melina and I started the Reading Vacation book review blog in March 2010. I have always loved reading and I found blogging was a great way to have fun with books.

I am a Native Texan and am very girlie. In fact, I have only worn jeans one time in my entire life! I take advanced classes in school and can be on the nerdy side – but in a good way. My friends like to read too, and I am always recommending books to them.

I have an eight-year-old brother named Travis. He is super silly, but he is also very smart. He likes to read, but math and science are his favorite subjects.

2. Tell us about your blog. When did you start it and why? Where did the name come from? What interesting things can visitors expect?

I started my blog in March 2010 when I was ten and in fifth grade. Reading has always been a big part of my life and I wanted to find a way to celebrate books.

I had never heard of a blog before, but my parents showed me that there were blogs where ordinary people reviewed books. They helped me get Reading Vacation set up. Now, they monitor what I do on my blog, twitter, and email. Everything you see and read though, is done by me.

My first choice for a blog name was Reading Paradise, but it was already being used by the Eastern Mediterranean University. They have not updated it since 2006. My next choice was Reading Vacation. It just sounded so peaceful.

I have a few unique features at Reading Vacation. The Third Degree posts on most Thursdays. This is where I discuss interesting topics related to books. Recent topics were Libraries and Blog Layouts.

My new feature, Bookends, posts on Sundays. This is where I post a photo of some unique bookends. It’s random, but fun to do.

3. Melina is such a pretty name! Is there a story behind your name, and/or who are your favorite Melinas, if you have any?

Have you ever seen Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger? The character name of the girl he meets on Mars is Melina. She’s a very tough-cookie. My parents choose it because they wanted me to have an uncommon name. Oh, it is also a Greek name and I am half-Greek.

I do not know any other Melinas in real life, so my parents' plan seems to have worked out perfectly.

4. That's so fascinating! Now, name 3 favorite books and why you think everyone should read them.

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy – Girl power at its best! This book celebrates the beauty of being a girl.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – This retelling of a classic fairytale is beautiful and has amazing characters.

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa – This series draws you in because of its utterly amazing writing.

5. Excellent choices. :) You just started middle school a few weeks ago. How is it so far? What's your favorite thing about it? What is a piece of advice you'd give someone worried about going into middle school?

Middle school ROCKS! I was lucky to get the same or similar schedule as most of my friends, so I get to see them all day long. I love my teachers and language arts is my favorite class.

What I like best compared to elementary school is that we have some freedom now. We used to walk down the hall in straight lines with our hands behind our back. Now, we change classes on our own. We can also choose our own seats at lunch rather than sitting at the class table.

My advice would be to be yourself and everything else will fall into place. It’s not nearly as scary as everyone makes it out to be.

6. What's your favorite non-reading/writing/blogging thing to do?

Play with my brother, Travis. He has the bestest personality ever and he is always happy. Travis is so FUN!

7. Tell us some new things you've discovered recently that you really, really like.

That’s easy – I just started middle school and I totally love it so far.

8. What are some possible jobs you'd like to have in the future?

My dream is to have a bookish job. At this point, I am not sure what that would be. Perhaps working for a publisher, being an agent, or being a publicist.

So many book bloggers seem to be aspiring authors, and some of them say that they can see me as a writer. Maybe….anything is possible.

9. What are some things you just LOVE to receive for presents? :)

Books, things for my room, and earings.

10. And finally, tell us two interesting things about yourself that can spark conversation.

In the last 6 months, I have read over 33,000 pages!

I am 4 foot 5 inches tall, easily making me the shortest girl in my school.


Thanks so much for answering my questions, Melina! I hope you take the chance to visit this talented young lady's blog and say hello! :)

Friday Featured Blogger is an occasional feature on my blog where I interview bloggers whose blogs I respect, admire, and wish to promote. Check out other featured bloggers here!


  1. Great guest post. I've just been over to visit Melina at her blog too. What a lovely, bright and cheerful young lady she is!

  2. Yay for Melina and spreading the book love at such a young age! That's very impressive. I'll definitely head over to visit her.

  3. Great post!

    Melina-- You are very impressive! I wish blogging had existed when I was your age!!

  4. Wow, she most definitely is a well-read and eloquent young lady. :) I think it's awesome that her parents helped her get into the book blogging world.

  5. Melina here!

    Thank you for all the sweet comments.

    Thanks for the fun interview Steph!

    Readers are Leaders!

  6. 33,000 pages is fantastic! You're a lovely young lady. I was the tallest girl in my school which wasn't a good thing. Glad you like middle school. I love playing with my brothers too, and great picks on Goose Girl and Iron Fey - I'll have to check out The Cinderella Society! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow - only once wearing jeans...I probably wear jeans more than anything.

  8. What a fun interview! Melina, you're awesome, and so is your blog! :)

  9. Thanks for highlighting this blog! Kids are so amazing!

  10. Melina is incredible! I am always so impressed when I run across her! Wonderful interview - great idea to spotlight other bloggers! :)

  11. Sorry I'm a few days late. I love Melina's blog! I found out about her first when she visited From the Mixed-Up Files, and I subsequently checked out her blog. I also shared it with my 7 year old daughter, and we actually found some good recommendations for her! I always wanted to know Melina's "story", and was glad to read about her here. Thanks to you both for a lovely interview!


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