Category Archives: Coming of Age
I am a reader.
Reading isn’t a hobby or something I do to pass the time. Reading is a lifestyle for me. It always has been. It was probably one of my first identities.
I have a stack of books sitting on my desk.
Okay, who am I kidding pretty much everywhere I go I have a stack of books within arm’s reach—even in the kitchen (of course the kitchen’s book stack is cookbooks). But the stack of books sitting on my desk right now is a little more important to me than the other stacks of books in my house. These books, with the exception of Prairie Fires and The Great Halifax Explosion are all books I’ve read before—most numerous times—and were formative in some way. The top two books are lovely leather bound Word Cloud editions of Anna Karenina and The Wizard of Oz (full disclosure, I have only read Anna Karenina one time, but it really sealed my love of Tolstoy’s writing). The next two books are anniversary editions: Little House on the Prairie (75th Anniversary Edition) and Harriet the Spy (50th Anniversary Edition).
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.
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.
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.