By Meg Griffin
When asked to write a blog post on children’s, YA, or professional books that have influenced me, I quickly said yes. This would be a piece of cake. I would write about the first book that I ever stayed up all night to read – Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, in third grade. The fact that one of the characters was named Meg, an uncommon name back in the early 60s, only made it resonate more with me. Oh how I loved the March sisters and their sense of family closeness which was lacking in my own. But wait, that book is so old-fashioned and really doesn’t seem to speak to today’s students. Read more
If you or your students find grammar a dull or tedious subject, then Grammar Matters is a must have for your professional bookshelf.
At the Philadelphia Reading Council’s Fall Event at St. Joseph’s University, Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty engaged educators in a “let’s talk, let’s practice, let’s learn” style workshop to model ways of delivering grammar instruction using mentor texts. From prepositions and participles to pronouns and punctuation, Lynne and Diane led participants through activities, conversations, and Your Turn Lessons that highlighted the importance of teaching grammar and conventions of writing in ways that empower students, enable them to become more confident and proficient in their writing and communication skills, and embark on a lifelong journey of loving the sound, the power and the importance of words.
The Matchbox Diary is a story of intergenerational sharing that occurs when a little girl meets her great-grandfather for the first time. In a house filled with old and interesting things, great-grandfather invites her to select an object and he’ll tell her its story. A cigar box filled with tiny matchboxes grabs her attention.
Each matchbox holds a small keepsake that her warm-hearted, hard-working grandfather preserved in his desire to keep a diary before he could read or write. The matchboxes stored moments of hope and struggle, opportunity and setback, sacrifice and reward in this immigrant family’s journey from Italy and their first years in America. The interconnected stories provide an historical context and weave together a family history passed down now to another generation.