Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Incredible Book!

I just finished reading The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. It was recommended by Franki at A Year of Reading.

This book is incredible! Franki did a great job reviewing the book so I won't do that here. I can only encourage everyone to read it. I want to read it again right away but I think I might wait a bit and move onto something else on my "next read" stack. I have a feeling that it will keep enticing me to jump into the reread. I may wait until I can get a couple of kids to read it with me. That would be so much more fun!

Get it! Read it! NOW!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Book That Made Me Cry

I just finished reading Waiting for Normal and literally cried!
Read it if you haven't already.

What books have touched you this way? Let me know.

The really good books stay with you for a long time. This one is definitely taking over my brain and my heart. The story weaves itself into my thoughts since I put the book down.

So I have been thinking about how some of our students are "waiting for normal" as they learn. Do our most struggling students wish for things to be normal? Do they recognize that something is different about their learning? Do they connect with people like Soula, Elliot and Rick who give them the courage to keep going? Do our most struggling kids need these kinds of relationships?

How can we help children be as resilient as Addy? Who is in their corner cheering them on, finding their strengths, and celebrating who they are? Mrs. Rivera, the music teacher, Grandio and Dwight were there for Addy.

I will be thinking about this story for some time. It was a mixture of "sad" and "happy" that left its mark.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mom's Reading

My mom came for a visit last week. It was great to spend five days with her. We only live two hours apart but during the school year it is a challenge to get together. She needed a break from "the same four walls" so she came to our house. We went on some great shopping trips and simply enjoyed each other's company.

On one of our shopping adventures we stopped by Half Price Books. My mom is an avid reader who is always looking for a bargain. She found about 10 books that she wanted to purchase. So I considered it a successful trip to the bookstore.

That evening she started reading... and reading... and reading. I had forgotten what a model she was for me as we were growing up. She has favorite authors and favorite series. She buries herself in the book and can do little else until she reads those last few words.

It was a pleasure to see her unwind, relax with a book, eat meals that someone else cooked for her and smile. What a great week!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Reading and reading

I have been reading and enjoying the summer pace but have neglected the blog. So I will catch you up on my reading for the last month.

After finishing The Glass Castle I decided to reach for a children's book. I bought The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff when the local bloggers met to kick off the 48 Hour Book Challenge. It was such a fun read with such an important message about honoring the gifts we all have.

Next, I read Greetings from Nowhere by Barbara O'Connor. Wow! Such a story of comfort about bringing people together and building friendships.

I slid over to an adult novel that I picked up at Powell's bookstore in the airport on the way home from Oregon. For some querky reason it caught my eye. I loved every page of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. It is a historical novel about the woman who had an affair with Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect. The story is based on the truth but embellished so beautifully by Nancy Horan. For me, the story was less about a love affair and more about a strong woman finding her way in the early 1900s. I would definitely recommend it to others looking for a good adult read.

I spent a couple of days skimming and scanning one of my favorite professional books - Going Public by Shelley Harwayne. It is always an inspiration to me during these summer months when I have time to slow down, reflect, and plan for the next school year. Her every word is a tribute to the lives of children.

And now I am reading Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor. I am only about one third of the way into the book but I love the characters she weaves into this story.

So I am a satisfied reader... I even have had time to read the daily newspaper and my favorite blogs. What more could I ask from these glorious summer days?