On the blog:
- Late to the party, but I did get my first #cyberPD reflection posted
I almost didn’t read The Nature Fix because the reviews made it sound like I already knew the gist: nature is good for us, and spending five hours outside in nature every month will cure much of what ails us. I’m totally on board with that, and I wondered, what else is there to say? An awful lot, it turns out. Williams travels the world interviewing scientists, government officials, psychologists, researchers, program guides, and others whose work gets people outside in nature and examines the ways that being in nature sharpens our senses, improves our physical health, lowers our stress levels, and restores our emotional equilibrium. She herself is a guinea pig in many experiments and reports firsthand on the physiological, mental, and emotional benefits of the “nature fixes” she is exposed to. I was especially struck by the chapter on kids and ADHD. One little-known piece of research from the Finland education success story: children in Finland get up to 15 minutes of recess every hour! No wonder they excel in school! The description of the outdoors academies that Williams visits makes me long for such opportunities for ALL children. The Nature Fix has something important to say to each of us. A must read.
My son and I just completed The Crossover as our read-aloud, and it’s really good read aloud. While I was glad it won the Newbery, it was a bit of a meh for me when I read it myself when it first came out, but read aloud, it really shines. The death at the end still doesn’t entirely work for me, but I do think Alexander does a reasonable job of bringing the book to some kind of closure after such a plot explosion.
I Walk With Vanessa is, as the subtitle promises, “a story about a simple act of kindness.” One little girl notices her classmate, Vanessa, getting bullied on the way home from school. She resolves the next morning to walk with Vanessa, and many other children join in. Entirely wordless and surprisingly powerful.
Kate Messner’s The Brilliant Deep is a fascinating story about coral reefs and how one individual has made a difference in rebuilding them. I found the artwork very appealing, and I learned quite a bit about coral reefs too.