Dear Mrs. Cleary,

I think I was born a reader.

Great Nana and Me circa 1974 (during my brother’s birthday party)

 

Some of my earliest memories were of my grandmother reading to me, trips to the library, story hour, and pouring over my favorite books. I read before I entered kindergarten (which was a big deal then–not so much anymore). I had a kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Knoller, who realized that there were a few of us who could read, and she rummaged around in the storeroom, found some Dick and Jane readers, and did reading group with us. Now imagine my surprise when I got to first grade and was stuck back in phonics books learning sounds. As a six-year-old, I remember thinking, “Why am I doing this? I already know these things.” Thankfully, I was pulled out for speech, and Mrs. Schuh, realizing I could read, took the time in speech to let me read. I loved being pulled out of class to go read!

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A Novel Forged by Voice and Determination

My Bias
It is only fair to you, Dear Reader, that you know that I have known Erica George for a long, long time. I first met her in 1999 when she was an eighth grader walking into my English language arts class for the first time. Even then, she was a writer. The year I had Erica our curriculum had changed, and students no longer had a period for reading and a period for language arts (which was a writing class). Instead we were trying to cram everything into one 42-minute class. And I felt like I wasn’t doing her or any of my other writers justice because we lost the time to work in our notebooks. We lost time to explore. And we lost writing choice. Gone was the time when we could take a deep breath and emerge ourselves in words. However, as I followed Erica’s journey from student to ELA teacher to writer author, I learned that my students will most likely succeed in spite of me and not because of me.

Posted in Words/Language | Tagged as: , , , , , , , ,

On Pointe

After reading The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, I decided to check out her back list. I chose Pointe and Little & Lion to add to my classroom library. Pointe initially intrigued me because the protagonist dances. I can’t think of one single book in my classroom library that features dance as part of the book and yet I have a lot of students involved in dance. The tagline on the cover also grabbed my attention: “First he stole her heart. Then he took her friend. Now she knows the truth.” 

Book Cover

Posted in Coming of Age | Tagged as: , , , , , , , ,

Stealing Power

“With a smart and stealthy heroine who should appeal to Gallagher Girls fans, Carter’s story is fast-paced and popcorn-ready” (Publishers Weekly).

In my last post, I explored the problematic relationships found in Pretty in Pink and The Anatomy of a Misfit. I was (and still am) concerned about the images we present to our girls about being female. I’m still bothered that Andie and Anika did speak up and yet they were silenced. But not all portrayals of female characters in YA are still stuck pre-second wave Feminist Movement

Posted in Coming of Age, Uncategorized | Tagged as: , , , , ,

Pretty Misfit

Yesterday morning I was up early and flipping through the channel guide looking for something mindless to watch. My brain was still half asleep, and I just wanted the tv equivalent of comfort food. I was surprised to see that Pop TV was showing Pretty in Pink. Admittedly, this was not one of my favorite 80’s movies, but I could resist the pull of the Duckman, so I flipped to it.

Posted in Coming of Age | Tagged as: , , , , , , ,
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