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Posts tagged ‘book reviews’

Books on the Blog: Maybe a Fox

Another installment of Books on the Blog with middle school librarian and media specialist Gabija Fischer!

maybe a foxMaybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt

Kathi Appelt tells of sisters and best friends, Jules and Sylvie, in her Maybe a Fox. Sylvie spends her days reminiscing about their mother who died long before Jules would even be able to remember her. Not only does Jules long to know their mother like Sylvie does, but she also longs to understand Sylvie’s own cryptic burning wish: to run faster. To Jules, Sylvie seems to run fast everywhere, even to places she is not supposed to like the Slip. Their father recites to them often, “Do not, under any circumstances, go near the Slip.”  Read more

Monday in the Middle: Wish Girl and Firegirl

Looking for a few more good reads to squeeze into these last few weeks of summer? Here’s another installment of Monday in the Middle with librarian and media specialist Gabija Fischer!


wish girlWish Girl by Nikki Loftin

 

Peter Stone, of Nikki Loftin’s Wish Girl, wants nothing more than calmness, but his home is filled with noise.  His parents shouting and his baby sister crying drive him to search for solace, and that is exactly what he finds in the valley near his new home. His solitude, however, is short-lived, for someone else has happened upon this magical valley as well. Annie, self-named “wish girl,” searching for a similar peace, finds more than that. She finds Peter. And in each other they find a listening ear, a life-changing friend, and a glimmer of hope in their seemingly hopeless lives.

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Monday in the Middle: Wonder,

Another installment of Monday in the Middle with librarian and media specialist Gabija Fischer!


Wonder by RJ Palacio

wonderRJ Palacio’s Wonder is the story of Auggie’s transition from homeschool to attending a traditional school. This in itself would be a challenge for anyone, but Auggie, born with severe facial deformities, must also combat the stares, fear, and avoidance of his peers. But the struggles aren’t Auggie’s alone. His parents wonder if they’ve made the right decision: how can they protect him from the cruelties of the world while give him the freedom to mature too? And his sister, Via, a constant source of love and support suddenly becomes self-conscious of her image as Auggie’s sister. Read more

The Writing Conference in Nancie Atwell’s Room (Part 3)

By Donald LaBranche

This post is the third in a series of reviews of In The Middle, by Nanci Atwell, Third Edition, 2015. Click here to see the previous reviews.


inthemiddleHere’s the first verse from Robert Bly’s poem “Things to Think”

Think in ways you’ve never thought before
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

When the best teacher in the world is a middle school English teacher, folks who do the same thing for a living might want to sit up and pay attention. When she has written book after book for decades telling us how to avoid becoming mere “technicians” and hold true to what is best in the teaching profession we might ask, “Have I heard what Nanci Atwell has to say?” and if the answer is no, then ask, “Why not?” Read more

Monday in the Middle: Roller Girl,

Another installment of Monday in the Middle with librarian and media specialist Gabija Fischer!

RollerGirlCVRRoller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

In Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, Astrid Vasquez and Nicole are best friends. They do everything together, like suffer through Mrs. Vasquez’s Evenings of Cultural Enlightenment. Waiting for one of these “boring” events to begin, Astrid and Nicole goof off, like usual. When the lights dim and the Rose City Rollers skate into the arena, Astrid is mesmerized. At that moment, she knows she wants to participate in a roller derby, but first she and Nicole will have to attend the Rosebuds (the junior Roller League) summer camp to learn the sport. This is all a dream-come-true…except Nicole doesn’t want to go to roller derby camp; she dreams of ballet. Differing interests highlights not only the fading of Astrid and Nicole’s friendship, but also the start of many other changes that accompany the turbulence of middle school. Astrid must develop her identity–as independent, as confident, as athletic. Bumps and bruises along her journey of self-discovery give her an excuse to give up, but she doesn’t. Instead she fights for her dreams learning invaluable lessons along the way, and ultimately she becomes tougher in many respects.  Read more