This week I was again able to meet my reading goal. Woot! Woot! It is amazing to me that when you really set your mind to something how easy it is to attain your goal. Even though it wasn’t always during the times I had originally planned to read, I made sure to read just books for at least two hours per day. That total doesn’t include reading the newspaper, blogs, or from online news sources. I am thoroughly enjoying getting back into reading mode. With any luck, this will be just the beginning of staying on this path.
The first book that I read was actually recommended to me by a sophomore at the high school where I was completing my library internship. I have never been one to choose biographies over other choices of reading material, but I decided for this class that I need to stretch myself as I sometimes ask my students to do. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls is a story about a young girl’s struggles through life that hooked me front the beginning. Jeannette was raised by a sometimes absentee and alcoholic father and a mother that was more consumed with herself than raising children. This book showed the strength, determination, and ability to overcome dire life circumstances to become a talented and productive member of society. What an inspiration she is! One of our English teachers actually got to hear her speak years ago, and some people felt as though she didn’t really understand homelessness in America. Jeannette’s parents eventually became homeless and stayed that way by choice. They had children that were willing to support them as well as investments in land worth millions of dollars that they refused to sell. For a first stab at reading biographies, this one was truly a winner.
Next I chose to read “Rules” by Cynthia Lord. I worked with Special Education students for many years, and this book also hooked me immediately. Although I had only intended to read for a little bit that evening, I ended up hitting what I consider the “point of no return,” and I read it in one sitting. It was an inspirational story of the kindness and patience that it sometimes takes even for loved ones to know how to handle difficult situations occurring raising children with disabilities. The young characters showed strength in character that many adults don’t possess. I would definitely recommend this to others. This would also be a wonderful book to complete as a shared reading in a classroom to teach students about compassion and understanding as well as not judging a book by its cover. By this I mean, they need to realize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses in life. It is how we choose to treat others that are different than ourselves that matters.
Another genre of book that I haven’t taken much time to explore is graphic novels. When I worked at our local high school, I worked with a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome that in general didn’t enjoy reading; until he found graphic novels that is. He talked and talked about some of the books he has read. My sixth grade class studied the Holocaust this spring, and my book club group read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Therefore, I decided to read the graphic novel “MAUS” by Art Spiegelman as it is a topic that interests me. It took me a little bit to get used to the format, but once I got going I did enjoy the book. I enjoyed it enough that after reading the first one I immediately tackled “MAUS II” as I wanted to know what happened next. J I would definitely recommend this format of book to students that might struggle with traditional texts. My hope would be that if they became interested in this format of reading that they would eventually transition to other types of reading material.
The final book that I completed this week was “The Ghost of Spirit Bear” by Ben Mikaelsen. I read Ghost of Spirit Bear last year for one of my methods courses, and I had not seen the sequel until I was shelving books during my recent internship. Since I enjoyed the first book, I decided to read this one as well. The author did not disappoint me. It was another book this week that I read in one sitting as it kept me interested from start to finish. This is definitely another book that I feel could be useful in my classroom.
Sunday night I started reading “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. My daughter actually recommended this book to me, and she said that it is her second favorite book of all time. So far I love it. I will update you on my opinion of the book next Monday!
I also started my final library internship today at a public library in Sheridan, Wyoming. While shelving books I pulled out a few more to read over the course of the next few weeks. Interning at a library comes in very handy for me with taking adolescent literature at the same time.
Have a wonderfully fun, reading filled week… Until next time…