Category Archives: Coming of Age

Before and After

Meg Rosoff’s novel How I Live Now has a definite before and after. It is so definite, in fact, that the page that separates the two sections has simply a dot on it, and the chapters begin again at one. There’s much to talk about with this novel, and unfortunately, some things might be spoiled.

Posted in Coming of Age

Just Call Out My Name

September 1 marks the start of my 25th year teaching middle school. In two different districts and three different middle schools, highly qualified ceritification, standards, benchmarking, and state testing, one thing has been constant: work family. Each school I’ve been in has focused on creating a work family. Sometimes, the family is more dysfunctional than others, but through it all, we’re there supporting each other. We celebrate the good times, we mourn losses, we hold each other up.

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Nice Try, Dr. Schmidt

At the start of the summer, I signed up for a NetGalley account. Quite honestly, I didn’t think I’d be approved for an account, but I figured my role as an ELA teacher and YA blogger might help. I was quickly approved, found myself requesting titles, and then I waited. The first book I requested was rejected. I figured, “Oh well.” I certainly have a million and two titles sitting here to read. My friend Kate is an enabler recommends great YA for me to read and passes along ARCs for my classroom. I certainly wasn’t going to go without books to read.

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Preparing faces

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right.”
This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales

Full disclosure: I haven’t read This Song Will Save Your Life. I was merely looking for a quote about YA books, and of course, google gave me quotes from YA books, and a blog post from Barnes and Noble titled “12 YA Quotes that Perfectly Express the Teen Condition.” Now, I don’t know if the quotes do or not. It’s been a really long time since I was a teen. And while the biology of adolescence hasn’t changed, adolescent life today seems far more complicated than it was in the 80s.

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Baked in a Beautiful Pie

“But people forgive each other. It’s like a dance.”

“I wish I knew how to do that dance,” Adri said.

“Oh,” Lily shook her head. “I don’t think it’s that you can’t do it. I think you’re thinking the whole thing is a lose-lose. Like, what if someone actually likes you? That causes all sorts of problems. Then each time you see them, you have to try and keep them. And then even if you manage that, you lose. You end up losing. Even if you go through all the work of accepting someone and occasionally looking like a fool in front of them and then figuring out if they can accept you and you can forgive each other for everything you screw up, you lose them eventually.”

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