Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Three Investigators: Alfred Hitchcock Mysteries

When I was a kid one of my favorite series was The Three Investigators: Alfred Hitchcock Mysteries. The series is very similar to The Hardy Boys. Three friends, Jupiter Jones, Bob Andrews, and Pete Crenshaw start their own Private Eye Agency. What was cool was that their headquarters was in a salvage yard. It was, also, fun to have the stories take place in California. The first book The Secret of Terror Castle still sticks out in my memory.

Yesterday Ethan showed me the book he is reading. He said “these were my grandma’s!” (I read them much later!). I got so excited. I told him how much I loved the series when I was a kid. I started to search for them on line, but it looks like I will have to order them as single books from many places. Wow, a new summer project. I will keep you updated as I reread these wonderful mysteries.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I waited until Opening Day to read this book to my class. (Usually, I go to the game, but they traded Holliday. It is my own protest.) Their first question was “Were you upset when the Dodgers moved?” They are mean! I’m not that old. You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax by Jonah Winter is a beautiful and informative book about baseball. It is a brief biography about a legend. The “Brooklyn” English is fun. The kids loved it.

In today’s Denver Post there was an article about Evan Netzer. He is a third grade teacher in Windsor Colorado with a boys book club. He does it twice a month! How do you that? Here is the link to the article. It is exciting to see boys book clubs getting press.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Special Visit

Yesterday was an exciting day at my school. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Senator Michael Bennett came to see our little school. They spent time in my room having a round table discussion with some of my kids, and I got to give the Secretary the gift from the school.

I know my blog is about boys and reading, but I needed to write about this visit. Our school has worked very hard to be a part of school reform. We are one of two schools that have innovation status under a new Colorado law. It is risky, but important to have control over what we can control.
(My CCIRA chair is in the last picture! Thanks Pat.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Brimstone Network by Tom Sniegoski

Most of the books we get for our Guys Read Book Club are paid for by the A to Z Grant. It is part of the DPS Foundation. We are very lucky to get his grant. Last Wednesday people from A to Z came to see how their funds are being used. I called the guys in at the beginning of lunch to give them a heads up, and to warn them to be respectful. Something happened during the rest of the day. I, strongly, suspect that the real boys were taken and replaced with well behaved articulate cylons. They were skin jobs.

They still rolled around and fought over Dorritos, but what came out of their mouths was, well, not what comes out of 8-10 year old boys. Last year the conversation was “I like this book!” That’s it no more details. Wednesday as they were discussing The Brimstone Network by Tom Sniegoski there were comments like “ I like the symbolism of ….”, and “ I am having hard time deciding if this is better then The Lightening Thief because…..” They loved the book because to be compared with The Lightening Thief is about the highest praise a book can get.

Of course some of their favorite parts had to do with the end of the book and how the hero saved the day. I will not give away the ending, but the graphic retell of the demise of the bad guy had a big impact on our visitor. The expression on her face was perfect “Oh my god , they are such boys!”