Where Has The Summer Gone?

IMG_0652When I last blogged I was packing my bags for a week in Florida.  I was able to spend time with my family and finally conquer my fear of the TOWER OF TERROR!  I hadn’t been on this ride since it was changed from one drop to multiple drops way back in 1996.  That is me in wearing the black shirt in the front row.  I learned that my 20 year fear of this ride was unwarranted and it just held me back from some good times.  Isn’t that usually the lesson we learn when we finally get the nerve to conquer our fears?

So here is how the reading went on this trip:

MsBixby

This book continues to be the buzz on Twitter and other literacy blogs and it continues to get glowing reviews.  There are many parts of the book that are great…and then there are two parts that make me hesitate recommending this book to elementary children.

The first chapter of this book is amazing.  It is fast paced and funny.  I LOVED the explanation of the six types of teachers in the world.  The story moves quickly into the boys quest to give their beloved teacher the good-bye party she deserves.  Here are the two things about this book that I wish I would have known before I read it:

  • On p. 107 Brand tells of the mascot his family made up for April Fool’s Day: “The April Fool’s Jackass, a magical donkey who would sneak through your windows on March 31st and dump a basket of goodies in your bed.”  The word Jackass is then sprinkled through the next couple of pages.  Funny?  Yes.  Appropriate?  I don’t think so.
  • On p. 157 the tooth fairy is not written upon in a positive way to children: “Adults are always telling you you can be whatever you want when you grow up, but they don’t mean it.  They don’t believe it.  They just want you to believe it.  It’s like a fairy tale.  Like the tooth fairy…”  I will let you read the rest on your own.   I personally believe in the magic of the tooth fairy and would not want children who are not ready to read on.

I am surprise that other educators have not mentioned these two events in their reviews. Am I being too cautious?  Let me know your thoughts.

MissPeregrines

While Ms. Bixby’s Last Day was fast paced….Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was S. L. O. W!  I had the audio version of this book and even listening to it on 2x speed didn’t even help.  The main character doesn’t arrive to Miss Peregrine’s house until halfway through the book.  This is Mystery and then Fantasy book complete with time travel.  While it wasn’t my cup of tea I am sure there are plenty of readers out there who cannot wait to see the movie coming out on September 30th.

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If you can only buy one Donalyn Miller book, this is the one you should choose!  Why I like this book better than her first book, The Book Whisperer, is because more research is sprinkled throughout the text to support her teaching decisions.  I loved so many of the ideas mentioned such as having book doors, students planning of future reading, and To Be Read lists just to name a few.  I will be looking to get a paper copy of this text soon!

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I was able to get my unplayed podcast down to 0 and discover a new Podcast called Found.  In Found they share letters that have been found lying around and try to track down the original authors…sometimes 20 years later!  So fun.  Oh, and today I just subscribed to a few more Podcast after seeing this post.

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So, that leaves one text that I packed that I did not get to!  Ah…The Armor of God remains on my To Be Read list.

How is your summer reading going?

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