It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/9/13


This week on my blog, I posted a review of the final two chapters of Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild, shared my list of 12 Reasons English Teachers Should Tweet, tackled “What If I’m Not a Good Teacher?”a question from one of my Methods students, and collected links to my favorite online reading in my Sunday Salon post. 

eleanor and park

I finally finished Eleanor and Park! It only took me two months to get through this book. I loved the first 100 pages or so, but then I got so incredibly weary of the psychodrama between Eleanor and Park and had to force myself through the last 230 pages, though I thought it did pick up in the last 30 or 40 pages. I understand the rave reviews as well as the criticisms, but for me, this book was about 100 pages too long.

fire in my hands

I’ve been reading at least one poem a day for my #nerdlution. I liked several of the poems in Gary Soto’s A Fire in My Hands quite a bit, but none so much as “Oranges.”


Desperate for an audio, I picked up the first one I saw that I hadn’t already read: Firegirl by Tony Abbott. It was a serendipitous find.

systems to transform your classroom

This week’s professional development reading was Nancie Atwell’s new book, Systems to Transform Your Classroom and School. I found the content rather slight. For hard-core Atwell fans only.

a storm called katrina

A Storm Called Katrina, written by Myron Uhlberg and illustrated by Colin Bootman, is an excellent picture book about a New Orleans family coping with Hurricane Katrina. My older son was riveted by this book.

utterly me clarice bean

I read Utterly Me, Clarice Bean, out loud to my oldest son, and I loved loved loved it.

julian secret agent

We also read Julian, Secret Agent out loud this week. I really liked the first book in this series, but Julian, Secret Agent is terrible. An incoherent plot, no character development, and clumsy sentences. Very disappointing.

terrible thing

A Terrible Thing Happened, written by Margaret Holmes and illustrated by Cary Pillo, is a good choice to read with children who have experienced trauma. Sherman, the racoon main character, sees something terrible, and experiences symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The author chooses not to name the terrible thing, which makes this book accessible and applicable to children who have experienced different types of trauma. Sherman works with a therapist, talks about what happened, draws his feelings, and begins to heal. I have a feeling my kids are going to want to read this book many times.

4 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/9/13”

  1. Firegirl is a classroom favorite – wonderful for book club,too. I love the power of Soto’s poetry, so this collection goes onto my “find it” list. Thanks for sharing today.

  2. I loved reading Clarice Bean aloud too. I remember tackling much of it with my daughter one sick day. So fun. Sorry you didn’t love E & P – I guess what spoke to me in a big way was how you just don’t find these characters all that often. Poor is often not handled and not handled like this. So I was impressed.

  3. My 11 year old daughter who is going through a Poetry Unit in her literature class has spoken highly of Gary Soto’s poetry which their teacher read aloud to them. I haven’t read Eleanor and Park yet, will wait til next year. 🙂 I am a huge fan of Lauren Child. 🙂 Particularly loved her Who’s afraid of the big bad book. 🙂 Have a great reading week.

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