Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I entered the world of Kidlitosphere because I wanted to find different books for Read Alouds. Boy, what a wonderful world it is. I recently finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It was one of the best read aloud books I have ever done. It was fun to watch the faces of other adults when the book is described. Yes, the look of shock and “What are you thinking?” is not easily masked. A while back I was at The Bookies and we were talking about the book and someone said “It will be in the cannon of children’s lit!” I agree.

The Graveyard Book
is not your normal read aloud. It starts off with a gruesome scene, but what follows is what makes it a hit. When I finished the book the class clapped and said read it again. I had 29 third graders at the tip of my tongue. What power in Mr. Gaiman’s words. Here are just a few things my students had to say about this book:

“I like graveyards and dark stuff. The Graveyard Books is wicked!” OK, F is really into vampires!
“It was creepy.”
“My favorite read aloud this year was The Graveyard Book because Bod is able to see ghosts and I like to imagine that.”
“It always had a good ending of the chapter.”

My read aloud time is right before lunch. It is not long enough, but we make due. The book is full of cliff hangers which made it fun to stop at key points because it was lunch time. Towards the end of the book the suspense builds, but it was time for lunch. The reaction to me stopping was so loud that the art teacher came out of her room to see if there was a fight. They were ready to get me!

I read the book before I did it as a read aloud. I enjoyed it more the second time. I can’t wait to find another book that will excite us in the same way.

Last day of school tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A few Off the Summer Reading List

I just read Carol' s list of her summer reading list. Truthfully, that's her weekend reading list. I don't have mine in order yet, but thought I would share the beginning. My first goal is to finish Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, it is hard to do adult reading during the year! My first three, I am taking them on my trip, are:

  • The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt
  • Time Was Soft There A Memoir, A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. by Jeremy Mercer
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

P&P and Zombies took forever to come in. (Remember The Boy Reader!) The first printing sold out before it was released. I'm reading this one first on the plane to Scotland. As time permits I will add more. It is fun to see what others are reading. We never want our stacks to get small!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Inspiration from a Boy Reader

It has been way too long since I have posted. Sorry! I normally write about books I have read or what they boys are reading for book club, but this post is different. One of my boy readers is quite a young man. He is a bookaholic, an awesome soccer goalie, a spaz that can’t sit still, a swimmer, you get the picture. A normal nine year old, however, this one has a soul and since of justice far larger then most adults.

A few months ago he asked me if he could do his independent project on marriage equality and equal protection. Big issues for a third grader, but it is my job to support their passions. He wanted to plan a rally and do a report. Of course I thought he meant a little rally in front of the school for a few students and teachers. Nope! He wanted it at the State Capitol. This Saturday is the rally. He arranged speakers, obtained the proper permits, and even inspired a film company to do a mini-documentary on him. We have no idea what the turn out will be, but given that it is posted on many sites in the Denver area I imagine it will be bigger then a few students and teachers.
The picture is of Ethan asking Senator Bennett for support!