Category Archives: Schmidt’s Pick
This week I’ve dedicated my posts to series – why I’m burned out on them and why my students can’t get enough.
I might need to revise my post from Tuesday, April 24. I’m not burned out on series. I repeat – the series lives!
As a middle school teacher, I reserve the right to change my mind. I’ve changed my mind. Looking for the May Schmidt’s Pick, I grabbed Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl off a pile of books in my office. I had just finished Fear by Michael Grant and wasn’t too keen on starting another series – especially a series that a) hasn’t been finished yet and b) consists of 500+ page books. But I knew this isn’t really about me, it’s about my students and providing them with access to books they’ll actually read so they may actually beat the odds and read more than 1 book after high school. Literacy is important to me. That’s no shock to anyone who knows me, so if I have to “take one for the team” to keep the kids reading, I’ll do it.
As much as I love young adult fiction, a steady diet of one thing is bad, and so I’ve found myself reading a lot of adult fiction during the late winter and spring. At first I told myself that it was because I had “homework” for Booktopia 2012, which I recently attended in Manchester, VT. Me being me, I did feel compelled to read the latest books by all of the authors in attendance, and I did start some of the back catalogue as well. However, as I look at my nightstand, desk, coffee table, and pretty much any flat surface that holds books in my house, I realize that I’m still grabbing adult fiction. This is not Booktopia’s fault. I recently read Marisa de los Santos’ newest book and A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve – neither author attended Booktopia. So why am I grabbing adult and leaving YA to sit collecting dust?
Monday will start my first full day sitting and watching someone else teach my class. I’m not sure how I feel about this. In theory, I’m pretty excited because I get to shape the next generation of teacher. In theory, I can use my 19 years of experience, my knowledge of young adolescents, my knowledge of literacy – both best practices and theory – to help mold this young teacher-to-be. That thought alone is pretty awe-inspiring. So what could be wrong with that?
The blizzard has slowed to flurries with an occasional snow squall. I am happy to report that aside from the book I’m listening to on Audible, I am only reading one book at the moment. And while I want to start a whole bunch of new books, I’ve just started a new pile. This pile is really just my TBR (to be read) in an ordered list instead of the books sitting nicely in no particular order on my bookshelves or in bags on the floor. Sadly, I have outgrown bookshelf space in my office, and my YA are relegated to the floor since they are transient anyway. My house is one stop before my classroom and then my students’ hands. I don’t devote a lot of shelf space to them. They get the floor.
This month alone I’ve read 14 books, and 10 of them were YA and another two could cross over from adult to YA. Book number 15 is on the coffee table. The cold and snow has helped me read this many books. But quite honestly, good writing has keep me reading.
“April is the cruelest month” ~ TS Eliot
I happen to think Eliot is wrong. March is the cruelest month. It’s a long month. There are no holidays to celebrate. Nothing bright and cheery to break the monotony of the days. To add insult to injury, there’s daylight savings time. Just when I’m able to drive to school in bright sun, the time springs ahead, and I’m suddenly leaving for school with headlights blazing through the darkness. Moreover, the temperature is fickle. One day it’s 80 degrees, and the next? Snowing. I detest March.
And so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to look at my blog calendar to see no blog posts for this month. If you look at my book tally for this month, I’ve fallen off significantly from January and February. As March winds down, I’m looking forward to the earth’s rebirth. And I’m looking forward to some reading rebirth.