“Rabid Rabbit Readers” —- try saying that five times fast

country bunny golden

I’ve often heard the expression “teaching is a marathon, not a sprint,” an indication that teachers must allow time to pace themselves throughout the school year. But based on my experiences, that’s a whole lot easier said then done. First-year teachers are often thrown into a developed, engrained curriculum plan for a school’s reading program […]

Graphic-novel memoirs

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The creators of these graphic-novel memoirs use words and pictures to revisit experiences from their youth. Their work relates sometimes-difficult, sometimes-comical stories with poignancy, bittersweet humor, and expressive art. At the age of four, in 1975, Cece Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. In her characterful, often amusing graphic-novel memoir El Deafo, […]

Fierce females

coyle_vivianapple

Katniss, they feel your pain. The following protagonists have the weight of the world on their shoulders — and, in at least one case, it’s just as the world may be ending. Katie Coyle’s Vivian Apple at the End of the World takes place in a near-future America where the cultish Church of America has […]

Series for the elementary set

beauvais_sleuth on skates

Discover some new favorite characters or keep up with old ones. These series installments can stand on their own or perhaps start a new series obsession. Sleuth on Skates, first in the Sesame Seade Mystery series by Clémentine Beauvais, introduces a type-A, roller-skating kid detective from Cambridge, England with a large vocabulary and a highly […]

Novels to supplement history | Part 1

Sundiata

This year, I started a new role as the 8th grade Humanities teacher. I began the school year with an ambitious “Novels of the World” plan that would flawlessly integrate every Common Core standard in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking along with the world history. Then reality hit me in the throat. I realized that […]

Thinking about school as a privilege

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys

As our year in second grade began last fall, my students and I spent some time thinking about why we go to school. In our first few weeks together, I tried to help my students understand that going to school is a privilege that has not always been (and is still not) available to everyone. […]

New year, new leaf

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The new year gives me a chance to turn over a new leaf (like this one, created for our January 2007 cover by Lois Ehlert) and get back to a more regular schedule with this blog. We have several posts ready to share with you, some of which have been waiting in the wings for […]

We need diverse books because of Ferguson

source: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/

I have no idea what actually happened between Mike Brown and Darren Wilson in those unfortunate moments — and neither do you. Some people lie. Some cops lie. Evidence can be portrayed or interpreted in multiple ways. Let’s stop pretending that we (or our news sources) are the sole possessors of indisputable facts. But don’t let that cause you […]

Read like the Obamas

woodson_brown girl dreaming

Over the weekend, the Obamas did some shopping at the DC indie bookstore Politics and Prose to support Small Business Saturday. Here’s what they bought. And here’s what The Horn Book thought of their selections when they were originally published. Reviews are from The Horn Book Guide Online and The Horn Book Magazine. Cronin, Doreen […]

Last adolescent lit class

The Fault in our Stars

For our last class, students are reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I offer as a “dessert book” after their hard work this term, and also as a comparison love story to Eleanor and Park from our second week. The class will also read Katrina and Rachel’s take on “What Makes a Good Love […]