Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book #21 of 2012-Done!

I just finished reading Wonder by R.J. Palacios, and it was a gem! I strongly encourage anyone who has school-age children, or even teenagers to read this book with their child/teen. The intended age for readers is "Middle Grades", but I think it is a message that all of us need to hear at any age. The resonant message is that when you are given the choice between being right, and being kind, always choose kind. 
"Greatness, lies not in being being strong, but in the right using of strength. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts." If we all chose to be a little nicer, I really do think the world would be a better place. not perfect, just better. Maybe people would smile more, laugh more, think more of the influence their words and actions have on people.
I would be lying to you if I told you I didn't cry in this book. I actually started bawling at the end of the book. It was a great way to start my weekend. Buy it!
Just as an aside, I have read 4 books (a lengthy number of pages into them) that I gave up because I didn't love them. I am only brave enough to name one of them. The other three will remain a secret because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. If you look at my previous posts, you will see at least one of them. 
Have a great weekend. Here's to a little more kindness.

Much love,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wasting time...

I hate the feeling of wasting precious time on a book I do not love. I think it is fine to not adore every book you read, I just hate the feeling of disappointment that you wasted all that time when there are other wonderful books out there. Sigh.... First world problem, I know.

On another happier note, I was at the library yesterday when this little boy, no more than two or three walks confidently to a shelf, pulls out Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and sits down at a table by himself. I won't tell you about the part where I obsessively worry about where his mother is. Wait, I just did. Anyway, he starts reading the book to himself. It was the most adorable thing I have seen and heard in a long time. Absolutely precious. I eloquently told my son, "I die of cuteness." He said, "me too." Equally adorable. I actually forgive that mom because she is obviously doing something right, and because when I finally spotted her, she seemed to be browsing for her kids. Fine lady, you win.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My New Adventure Begins & Book #20!

Starting Monday I will be a full-time reading specialist! I am thrilled to begin this new adventure, and excited to see all that will come from having the opportunity to teach children to read, or in some cases, read well. My goal is to instill a love of reading in my students so that they will continue to read long after they exit my doors. I also finished Book #20 last week.
Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai was a story about a Vietnamese family who flees the country during the war. A beautifully woven tale of a refugee family. It reminded me of a student I once had who refused to speak. I assumed he refused to speak because he was so traumatized (a complete assumption) by his experiences in a refugee camp in Cambodia. Reading this made me think of why some remain silent. If you have any English Learners in your classroom, it is worth a read. Written in a sort of free-verse, poetry/prose fashion. Very easy read. 
Have you heard of this one? It is getting rave reviews, so I decided to pre-read it in the hopes that I would use it for our GATE students as a book club. Wonderful book. I am not done with it, so you'll have to wait to find out my final verdict. 

It's the weekend, so enjoy! Be blessed.