Yesterday was What Are You Reading Day at Teach Mentor Texts. As usual, I'm a day behind because Mondays are Story Time days in my library and those are busy days! My school is on Thanksgiving break all next week, so yesterday was the day to read Thanksgiving books to the little ones in Story Time. The problem is that I don't like most books for this holiday and the ones I do like I'd already read in the past few years. So, after casting about for a while, I remembered the number one rule for successful story times: Read what you really like. So I read a new book, Memoirs of a Goldfish, by Devin Scillian. I added a little discussion about how the book shows how great it is to be part of a family, even if it sometimes means things get a bit crowded over the holidays. We all enjoyed it and I was struck again by how great story can hold a class's attention.
For the Middle School I've been reading the books on our "Let's Play Jeopardy" list, including Escape from Warsaw by Ian Serraillier. This is a good story of how three children made their way from Warsaw to Switzerland after World War II in the hopes of being reunited with their parents. I expected it to be heart wrenching, but instead it was mostly two entwining escape stories with lots of action and suspense.
One of pleasurable challenges to my job is book selection. I personally select each book we buy, rather than rely on a preselected selection from a vendor like Junior Library Guild. This means that I read a lot of book reviews and do a lot of book store browsing. It was through one of these routes that I got the idea to order The Runner by Cynthia Voigt, and I'm glad that I did. It arrived the other day, I took it home for a quick perusal, and ended up reading it from cover to cover. Not only does it feature cross country running, a sport that has just been introduced at my school, but it is a "grown up story" without any offensive words or actions. I get this kind of request from time to time, today being one of those times, as a matter of fact. This story of how Bullet changes from a self disciplined but isolated and self-centered seventeen-year-old into a person who uses that self discipline to take a side and help someone else out was quite gripping. And it was based here in the Chesapeake Bay area, always a plus in my opinion!
For Paul's bedtime reading, we've been enjoying the final book in the Artemis Fowl series. We finished it the other night, and what a great conclusion to a great series! We were sorry to see it all end, though we were mighty satisfied with how things were wrapped up.
Today was an exiting day as the seventh book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series AND Reached, the third book in the Matched trilogy, were both published. After school I hustled on over to Barnes and Noble and bought them both for the school, picking up extra copies for home. You'll have to excuse me for a day or so as I dive into the conclusion to Ally Condie's engrossing dsytopian story. I was so unhappy with how Crossed ended; I sure hope Reached resolves everything more happily!