One of the reasons I love summertime is because I equate it with time for reading!! The school year gets so busy, and while I do find time to read, it isn’t in the large, uninterrupted chunks of time that summer gives. My summer reading goals are to read children’s lit, to get caught up on my professional book stack and to also do some fun reading. So here is my take on a book from each of those categories!
This wonderful book is about middle school student, Charlie Brennan, who starts to ice fish to earn money for the Irish dance costume of her dreams. As she stands on the ice, she catches a magic fish who grants her a wish for releasing him back into the water. Charlie returns to this ice hole throughout the book to help solve her and her friends problems, but finds that those solutions cause more trouble! Charlie’s college bound sister, Abby, has problems of her own as she heads off to the University of Vermont. She becomes addicted to heroin and that throws her family into chaos as they learn to deal with Abby’s addiction and struggle to find ways to help her overcome it.
This book is a powerful read for middle school students – I even gave it to my college bound daughter to read! It’s a great example of how looking outside of yourself for the answers to your problems isn’t the best way to solve them. And that good friends and a loving family are the only things that matter.
This book hooked me during the introduction when she stated that her definition of essay was quite different from the “mechanized literacy” of the 5 paragraph essay, designed to satisfy computer scorers! That kind of writing, says Bomer, fails to allow students to discover they can love writing and that writing can engage readers. Instead, she thinks of essay as “a non-fiction prose piece whose author unveils a central idea, and invites readers to watch him or her think about that idea for a few pages.” It is much more open-ended, thinking while you are writing, kind of work.
The whole book is centered around real essay writers and how those essays are constructed. She talks about how to read those essays, and how to begin to write in that way. It does seem to have more of a middle school / high school focus than elementary, although she did have special guests compose essays for upper elementary to study! Special guests included her husband, Ray Bomer, Katie Wood Ray, Vicki Vinton Georgia Heard and others!
This was a great book worth the read. I will be returning to this one throughout the year!
This book is about a dysfunctional New York family who struggle when Leo, the oldest sibling and arguably most dysfunctional, blows most of the family’s trust fund to cover up a scandal. Each of the other Plumb siblings have had troubles of their own and were counting on “the nest” to help them out of their predicaments. The family comes together for the first time in years to try and get the money back from Leo, and in the end, become closer for it.
It was an entertaining read, but you never really get to like any of the characters. Overall, they are a sad family who have made a series of bad decisions and have to look within themselves to find a way out. It was a quick, fun read, but not anything I’d probably ever pick up again.
Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.