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Monday, November 26, 2012

IT'S MONDAY WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Thanskgiving weekend. The weather has been gorgeous in Colorado, so I spent a lot of time outside, but I did get a little bit of reading done. Rebecca Stead's LIAR AND SPY was at the top of my list- I've been seeing it on lots of Newbery lists for several months, so I finally put it on reserve at the public library. It did not disappoint!

When the book opens, Georges (pronounced George) and his mother and father have just lost their home, and moved into a new apartment. The first day there, Georges and his dad are in the basement and notice a sign that says SPY CLUB. Through the Spy Club, Georges comes to know Safer and Candy, two homeschooled kids who live in his apartment, and learns a lot about truth and friendship…

What intrigued me about this book was the bullying thread that ran throughout. Georges is an outcast at his middle school and is subject to some really unkind treatment by other students. Even so, he manages to maintain his center and sense of okay-ness. I think back to myself in middle school-- I wasn't bullied, but even so, I remember feeling like I never quite fit in, and hating it. I lived for 3:00, when I could escape to ride my horse, and hang out with other kids who were more like me.

As I was reading, I kept thinking about WONDER. The message in that book is really powerful, but I think the message in LIAR AND SPY is equally as powerful. I could see myself reading aloud  WONDER, then following it with LIAR AND SPY. I think the two books together could open up some really amazing conversations about the way we treat each other…

Reading has always been an escape for me. When I need to get out of my life, I just find a good page turner and lose myself in it. Recently I have come across Lisa Scottoline, a new to me author who writes those kind of books for adults (If I taught high school I would be book talking some of these because I think they could get reluctant readers into books). The first day of break, I read SAVE ME by Lisa Scottoline. SAVE ME is the story of a mom who is in an elementary school cafeteria when an explosion occurs. She is faced with the dilemma of rescuing her own daughter who has gone to a bathroom to hide from some kids who are bullying her, or saving the other children who have just bullied her daughter.  She makes her choice, then has to deal with repercussions from other parents and the media. In the attempt to clear her name, she uncovers a secret…

On Saturday, I started ENRIQUE'S JOURNEY, the book for ONE BOOK, ONE DENVER. ENRIQUE'S JOURNEY is nonfiction, the story of how a young boy travels from Central America, via train, and crosses over the border, to find his mother, who has left her family to earn a living working as a housekeeper in California. I'm not very far into this--- got bogged down in the author's prologue and almost decided to return it to the library, but then read a little more when I was waiting in line at the car wash, and decided to try it again. That's at the top of the pile for this week.

I am deep into CYBILS judging, also read lots of poetry, but will probably blog about that later this week. Some of the ones I read were EDGAR ALLEN POE'S PIES by J. Patrick Lewis, FORGET ME NOTS: POEMS TO LEARN BY HEART, selected by Mary Ann Hoberman, and THERE'S A BANANA IN YOUR EAR by Michael Rosen. Piles and piles of poetry on the TBR stack this week as well.

3 comments:

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I have the Stead book on my to-be-rad list, Carol - interesting to think of pairing it with Wonder. The themes sound somewhat similar - and would really appeal to my sixth graders. Thanks for sharing - and let's hope the good weather in Colorado holds up!

Linda at teacherdance said...

I love your idea of pairing Liar & Spy with Wonder, Carol. They both have different looks at bullying. I like Stead's writing, and hope it will get a good look from the Newbery Committee. Thanks for telling about the 'adult' book. I look longingly at a few books just for me in my stack-maybe someday?

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

I've read so many great things about Liar and Spy and I can't wait to find it and read it for myself. My ten year old daughter read Wonder and enjoyed it immensely. The different voices seemed to have worked with her. Like Linda, I also look longingly at your adult titles, I have bookshelves here of adult lit just waiting to be loved and read - ahh, our dilemma as bibliophiles: too many books, so little time. :)