I have participated in The Nerdy Bookclub’s #bookaday challenges before, but only in a peripheral way, to remind myself to read more when I’ve the time, and to get through a stack of books that’s been languishing. What is #bookaday, you ask?
I’ll introduce Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer and most recently, Reading in the Wild. Pretty sure I’ve mentioned her before.
Donalyn is a true mentor for teachers as they work to help students find their own place as readers, and her work focuses on the importance of a passion for reading and an engagement in sharing what we read with others.
That is where the #bookaday challenge comes in – as teachers, we find it all too easy to get too busy to read for ourselves, and it’s hard to help students become regular readers if we don’t engage in it regularly, too.
Here’s this year’s challenge from Donalyn, posted on The Nerdy Book Club blog. Here you’ll find other excellent posts by teachers and authors of children’s literature. You can see what others are reading for this challenge by following the #bookaday hashtag on Twitter.
Here’s my first #bookaday post, in which I’ll share a bit about the books I’ve read this week.
Fortune’s Magic Farm, by Suzanne Selfors
It was fun to read my personalized copy, which I got from Suzanne at a NaNoWriMo event at our local library this fall. I loved the heart of this story – I loved the characters and the crazy, everyday things which made amazing stuff happen. I can’t wait to read more of her work (this was my first Suzanne Selfors book, though my students have greatly enjoyed her work).
Identical, by Ellen Hopkins
Chilling, twisting, turning. Recommended by a very mature student, her favorite of Ellen Hopkins’ books. This is most definitely not for your average middle school student. In a Twitter chat with another teacher, we agreed that even some high school students weren’t ready for this content. Read Crank by Hopkins to understand the heart of where her work derives.
Dot to Dot, by Kit Bakke
Having one’s mother taken suddenly, traumatically, at age twelve is a horrific thing. But Dot’s Aunt takes her on a journey of healing and discovery that is just what she needs to come through to the other side of crippling grief.
Told with heart and a realistic adolescent voice, I know my students will find this a lovely book. Top it off with poetry and history and a bit of whimsy, and you’ve got the makings of a book I’d want to share with everyone who loves the classic female writers, Wollstonecraft, Shelley, Austen, Wordsworth, and also thoses who love to read about strong women.
Cress, by Marissa Meyer
Loved Cinder and Scarlet, though Cress as a character didn’t quite capture me. Looking forward to the next tale in this series very much!
Anton and Cecil, by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin
I wish I could have loved this book! I mean, what’s not to love about a book featuring sailboats, cats, pirates and friends?? I just couldn’t seem to engage with the writing, though the story finished in a satisfying way. I seemed to be thinking always of my young students and considering whether it would capture them, I guess.
Right now I’m reading The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, by Alexander McCall Smith. I’ll just say that if you’ve never read any Mma Ramotswe books, you’d best get started. I’ll share about this one and The Red Pyramid next week (finally getting started on the Kane Chronicles, at the urging of so many of my students!).
In the meantime, I hope you can take advantage of these days of summer to lose yourself in a good book.