It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Be sure to visit Teach.Mentor.Texts, Jen and Kellee are the host of this wonderful meme.

Three Books I Loved:

How to Catch a Star-Oliver Jeffers

How to Catch a Star

The Library-Sarah Stewart

The Library

Crow-Barbara Wright

Crow

My FAVORITE Book of the Week:

Hattie Big Sky-Kirby Larson

Hattie Big Sky

What I’m Reading This Week:

Same Sun Here-by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

Same Sun Here

Reading Along I-94: The Pull of Gravity, Part 4

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Jen: We’re back! Last week we let off after discussing our impressions of Nick’s Dad from The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner. Now we can continue our discussion by getting back to Nick’s mom’s role in the situation.

Back to moms…the poor mom! I would be curious to see what happens with Nick and his mom and brother when he gets home. That’s where the 31-year-old mom in me comes out because I can imagine how I would react if it was me and hope she would be strong.

GAE: What would “strong” entail for you? Would Colby’s answer be different? Colby? And more importantly, would Nick’s? Would my kids’?

JEN: Well, the mom is all supportive of the dad but he’s not being honest with her. I would hope she would give him a piece of her mind. I feel like Nick is the kind of kid would side with his mom. I feel like the dad not being honest with them whether he’s sleeping with MaeLynn, in love with MaeLynn, or just needing MaeLynn as support. Once you aren’t truthful, don’t you lose people’s trust?

COLBY: I’m all about “till death do us part”, and now that I don’t know what the mom knew and what she didn’t know, I’m all confused. I like thinking about what Gae said about kids not being privy to everything that has to do with parents’ relationships.

JEN: I thought the mom thought the dad was really in New York and really doing his article. But I could be inferring. So if the dad totally betrays the mom and is off sleeping with someone else or in love with someone else, doesn’t it kind of suggest that has has given up on the “til death do us part” of marriage? And then if he wants to come back it would just be lots of time spent patching up his relationship with his wife then and getting her trust back, right? I’ve never been in that situation but I don’t know if I could give my trust again. It would be really really really really hard.

It’s true that we are adults talking through this and with our adult brains analyzing the situation but I think kids would realize how Nick is a nice kid and hopefully see that the parents’ relationship, however they interpret it, is not healthy.

GAE: This is not a non-sequitur (and no Googling/cheating): Do either of you know what I do for a living (I mean, a real living, when my books aren’t making me millions *coughs*)?

COLBY: Are you an Olympic swimmer?

GAE: *shakes head NO*

JEN: I was going to say swimming in frigid waters!

Now I’m thinking a divorce lawyer…

GAE: *touches nose* But moreso, a divorce MEDIATOR. And I don’t know much, but what I do know are these two things: 1. When parents come to me to get divorced and one parent has cheated, the kids don’t care in terms of it affecting whether they want their parents to stay together. It’s almost primal (or something) that that’s what they want. So whatever we as adults think of what happened with Nick’s parents and MaeLynn, I assume that what Nick would want most is for his parents to stay together IF they could and could be at all happy. 2. The second thing I know from all my years of mediation training, is that grown up kids, looking back, would rather have had their parents separate or divorce than stay together and be unhappy. Look at how complicated and competing those two things are. I just find it all so fascinating and layered. I’m not sure what my point is exactly except that I think that whatever happens when Nick gets home, his first hope will be that even if his dad effed up, his mother and father my try hard to repair things. Does that then compete with Jen’s hope that his mother will be “strong?” Can strength come instead from understanding, rebuilding, forgiving, etc.? I’m interested that it hasn’t come up how much Nick’s father sacrificed early on by giving up the work and city he loved to move for the mom… although Colby sort of alluded to it at some point. Phew! Done.

JEN: I just hope the mom is “strong” in the sense that she is true to herself and expresses herself and how she feels. It is so interesting to hear how your experiences in real life become part of the story you wrote as an author. Here’s another question, should the parents then try to stay together knowing the kids are just going to rather them be separate later, or should they separate knowing it’ll be hard now but the kids would rather that when they are older.

And I have to say that the dad is part of the decision-making so if he did sacrifice living in the city it must have been for good reasons and he chose to go along with it, right?

Okay, I can stop complaining about the dad in the book now. I just hope readers and Nick learn from the parents’ relationship.

COLBY: Well, I think we know how Jen feels about the dad:) I think that the dad probably went along with it because he loves his family. I’m guessing that he had no idea that it would end up turning him into FatMan2.

GAE: So would it be a stretch to say you felt any sympathy toward him? Be honest. Either way. (LOL, I like that Jen is answering even though we already know HER answer!) Oh wait, Jen is now surprising me… :))

JEN: Sometimes it is so hard for me to have sympathy when I have never been in a situation like that. I have no idea how I would respond but I hope I would be able to talk to my family and make things work.That’s another thing I like about books, it helps me develop empathy. If I encounter someone who is in this situation in real life, I know I’ll think back to this book and try to be understanding.

COLBY: Jen, you are making me defend someone that I don’t agree with. That makes me laugh. As a man, I think that FatMan2 (I like calling him that) doesn’t feel like a man. He is fat and not really working. Nothing wrong with being a little fat, but he was pretty much on top of the world, and now the things that once defined him he now feels like a loser (I need to clean that sentence). I’m not trying to defend him, but I think that when lives get turned upside down people sometimes have to look somewhere else to fill a void that they are not getting somewhere else. He should have turned somewhere else.

Do you think the mom should have handled things differently?

JEN: Yes and no. I think the dad should have been able to talk to his wife and work on things together but even if the mom had tried and tried and tried it sounds like the dad wanted to do things in his own way. And if he was relying on MaeLynn I’m going to guess he might not have been open to working through things with his wife. It seems like he was closed off from her. The mom could have played a role in helping him but he would have had to have wanted her help.

GAE: I LOVE how my totally made up fictional story has you type-arguing with one another! I love all the stuff we all read into books. I love how in TPOG, we really have NO insight into what the mother knows or doesnt know but we’ve made assumptions that fit our understanding of the world, sometimes to a stereotyped degree. Like the assumption the mom doesn’t know vs. the mom gave her blessing and said, “you go do what you need to do and tell me when you figure it out”. We don’t know! but we view the world in a particular way – from years of anecdotes or whatever… and we bring that to the table. It makes you realize why none of us read a book the same way. Or view any art the same way. So much has to do with what we subjectively bring to it.

JEN: It is amazing what books can do. I love that we all interpret books in our own way based on our own experiences. They have the ability to justify or expand our lives and our understanding of people.

COLBY: The power of talking and sharing books is CRAZY AWESOME.

JEN: Gae, thank you so much for joining us AND, more importantly, for not telling us what really happened to the characters in your head. I have no idea how you restrain yourself from telling readers how you believe them to be and letting us work things our for ourselves. But I appreciate it.

GAE: This was pretty amazing for me! I think it’s not my job to tell readers how it is because how it is, is however it is FOR THEM. RIght?

JEN: Exactly! I just think it’s amazing that you are able to do that.

GAE: Thank you for letting me do this! Really. It was totally utterly awesome. And for reading and talking about my book. It means so much to me.

COLBY: Thanks for writing books for young adult readers that don’t suck (and for hanging out and chatting with a couple of teachers).

GAE: Well, I’m glad TPoG doesn’t suck. Let’s see how the next one is… ;) When there is a next one. Wish me luck. It’s written . . . :)

COLBY and JEN: We’ll be eagerly waiting! Thanks again!

 

Here Come the Girl Scouts!

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My new favorite way to share books on my blog is to ask my fourth graders what they thought. Early in the year they really struggled to share what they liked about books. I think that we’re getting much better.

My students were excited to share what they liked about Shana Corey’s Here Come the Girl Scouts!

*I loved her book because it really showed a lot about Daisy and how she created girl scouts.

*I am a Cub Scout, but I always wondered what Girl Scouts did. This book answered it.

*Every sentence gave you a lot of information.

*I love biographies because of this book!

*I love Here Comes the Girl Scouts because……I love the drawings and how she told us how Girl Scouts was started. I was always wondering how it started. Shana Corey is awesome!!!!!

*I think that it is a great biography that is very detailed.I liked the page that talked about the Girl Scouts  badges.

*The pictures are very fantastic and they went well with the words.

*I loved her biography, because she didn’t dread on with all the parts that don’t need to be said. I love how it is in the form of a picture book, because then it is a fast and fun read, and you can see pictures of the adventures, so it is way more awesome. EPIC AWESOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really love her books.

*I loved the book. It was awesome (not like other biographies).

*I like how the book is set up. It’s like she knew exactly where to put every part. It is really cool how she knows these facts, and how she knows how not to make it boring.  I use to hate biographies, but now that I have read this book, I finally want to give biographies a chance.

*I liked Here Come the Girl Scouts because I liked how Daisy wanted to help. I thought it was very descriptive. I liked the person Ms. Corey wrote on because I hate being a proper lady.

*I LOVED here come the girl scouts it made me think that scouts is not all about fun it’s about being helpful and fun.

My fourth graders really loved visiting Shana Corey’s Website. They couldn’t believe that she is and editor for Jenni Holm.

The One and Only Ivan

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I don’t know how to write a review for The One and Only Ivan. Trying to come up with the right words for a book that I love so much is hard. The bottom line is that I want every middle grade reader to have access to this book.

A library without Ivan is a library with a hole. The One and Only Ivan is a book that is accessable to most fourth grade readers, at the same time, I feel like sixth and seventh graders will be able to take so much away from Katherine Applegate’s story.

As of today I believe that 7 of my students have read Ivan. The cool thing is that all of them seem to be getting emotional at different parts. Each reader is connecting with the story in their own way. I love this book.

I understand that this isn’t much of a reivew. I’m sorry. Earlier I said that a library without Ivan has a hole. I felt a little like my blog without Ivan also contained a hole. I’m hoping that I’m able to work up the courage to maybe write a more complete review of Ivan in the future (maybe on Nerdy Book Club), but in the meantime, please read The One and Only Ivan. I believe that it is Applegate’s masterpiece.

Right now I’m reading Applegate’s Home of the Brave.

Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman

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I had a blast on Saturday attending Anderson’s Children’s Literature Breakfast. The breakfast allowed me to catch up with Nerdy Book Club members, and it gave Mr. Schu and I an opportunity to film a #nerdbery video together for the first time.

Best part of Shen of the Sea was being able to record the #nerdbery video with “EXTREME LIBRARIAN” Mr. Schu. Be sure to check out Mr. Schu’s blog: Watch.Connect.Read.

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I forgot to take a picture of the book before I returned it to the library, so I had to just take a picture with cover from the Internet.

Shen of the Sea

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? 2/20/2012

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Be sure to visit Teach.Mentor.Texts, Jen and Kellee are the host of this wonderful meme.

Three Books I Loved Last Week

Green Eyes by Abe Birnbaum

Green Eyes (Family Storytime)

Here Come the Girl Scouts by Shana Corey

Here Come the Girl Scouts!

One Cool Friend by Tony Buzzeo

One Cool Friend

My Favorite Book of the Week

Listen to my Trumpet! by Mo Willems

Listen to My Trumpet! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

Reading This Week

Crow by Barbara Wright

Crow

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Home of the Brave

Reading Along I-94: The Pull of Gravity, Part 3

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JEN: Colby and I are so excited that we get to talk to each other again about The Pull of Gravity but even moooore excited this week because Gae Polisner herself is joining us!

COLBY: OMG! I can’t believe Nerdy Winning author, Gae Polisner, is joining us. This is crazy awesome.

JEN: Hi, Gae!

GAE: Ta da!!!! (Too much?)

I’m really excited to be here. I’ve been reading your posts like a fan, then realizing you’re talking about my book… quick funny story. Any time I have to try to do anything to promote my book lately, my mother says, “Did you tell them you won a Nerdy?!” True story.

JEN: That is so cool! Moms are awesome. And Nerdies are awesome. I think it is definitely something you should be proud of. The Pull of Gravity is a great book.

COLBY: I think Gae gave the Nerdies some clout. I love that you bought a shirt. :)

GAE: And a movin’ mug. (I think the Nerdies gave ME some clout! Power to the Nerdies.)
And moms are awesome, Jen.

JEN: I have a Nerdy Book Club sticker that I put on my water bottle. I love it! So far, Colby and I have talked about the relationship Nick has with Scooter and then the relationship he has with Jaycee. I think it’s time we talk about the relationship that Nick has with his dad. I’m actually kind of confused by the dad so I’m excited we get to talk to Gae about this…maybe she can answer some of my questions or wonderings.

GAE: Jen, I hate to say it, but I’m kinda happy you were confused about the dad. In some regard, that’s his purpose in the book. At least in my mind. I’m kind of fascinated as a parent myself about how our kids only see us one way and as one thing. They don’t see us as individuals with our own longings, disappointments and problems. But we are. Hopefully, our parenting rises above… but not always. And I kind of wanted to explore that. And what the impact is. Does that make any sense? The dad is my most complicated character.

JEN: It totally makes sense…but I’m glad you clarified for me. Sometimes I wonder if authors are trying to mess with my head. When I read Laurel Snyder’s Bigger Than a Breadbox I was so appalled by the mother in that book. She is so selfish and she really has enough troubles that she just can’t be there for her kids, especially her daughter. After I had my own kids, my perspective on books totally changed. There are two other books that I think of right away: A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban and The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. Both of those really struck me because the parents are so important in those books, and in The First Part Last, especially, the parent is a young man raising a daughter all on his own. It made me realize how important I am as a parent. I totally love that through books I can experience how a kid feels when their own parent isn’t being the best parent because it helps me grow as a parent.

COLBY: If I lost my job as a teacher, I could totally see myself ending up like Nick’s dad. It would be so hard to lose your identity like he did. I’m not sure if I would gain 100 pounds or lose 100 pounds, but it would not be pretty.

I often have to force myself when I’m reading to think about the intended audience. So often as I read MG and YA I think about the book from the perspective of a 30 year old dude (me), instead of the kid the book was written for. While I was reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio I kept wanting her to tell a section of the book from one of the boy’s parents perspective, but she didn’t. I was sad, but looking back, I don’t think kids needed to see that perspective.

GAE: I love when I’m Skyping with or visiting classes and we talk about the Dad. Inevitably, someone will bring up how mad they are at the dad and then another kid will chime in that he or she was mad, but kind of understood. It’s actually that thought process that I’m hoping to bring to the read… that adults can make bad choices but that doesn’t necessarily make them bad people, and it especially doesn’t affect or change the fact that they’re still trying to do their best as parents. And to some extent, I want that teen reader to consider also taking some responsibility to be mature and listen and understand. Which Nick doesn’t do. And he pays the price by having things unfold in a more difficult way. Yes?

JEN: WAIT! I have to clarify something before we go on…so at the beginning of the book I totally get that his dad is upset and I can forgive him for leaving, especially because he does try to write and communicate with Nick. BUT am I wrong to infer that he’s totally sneaking off to be with Scooter’s mom? Because after that I can only think of him as a really big (use your imagnation). I know people make mistakes but some things are just wrong. I don’t see that as being Nick’s fault…

GAE: First of all, nothing is NIck’s fault, but there is some element of him putting his head in the sand. Second of all, the only thing we completely know is that MaeLynn is alone, dealing with the death of her son, and Nick’s father goes to help her. Whatever else may be going on, one can’t fault the Father for helping her. As for sneaking, we don’t know WHAT Nick’s mom knows, do we? I can tell you this. As a person married for 18 (!!) years, there are lots of things that happen between my husband and I that I would go out of my way not to make my kids privy to. Having said all that, I am not defending the dad for anything with MaeLynn, I am just suggesting that it’s possible you have made some assumptions. And I love that! I love that each reader will make their own assumptions and bring their own ideas and perspectives to their read. But we all have varying views on such things. I know the kids from divorced parents, seem to give Nick’s dad a little more leeway. Coincidence?

COLBY: When I first read the part with Nick’s dad, I totally made all those assumptions. I have to ask: Gae, do you know what really happened with Nick’s dad?

GAE: I love when people ask me that question as if they are real people. :) (yes, I know what I think happened with MaeLynn and Nick’s dad. And, let’s just say, it wouldn’t make Jen happy. And we’d have to keep going back to clean up her language ;))

JEN: I have to remind myself that authors know everything that happened but only want us to know so much. It would have been hard for me as an author to be purposefully vague about the dad’s story. I think that I noticed most about Nick’s relationship with his dad is that it made his good relationships with Scooter and Jaycee and even with his brother stronger. I think he realized that he could trust Jaycee and that his brother would be there even more for him and that he would have them even while dealing with his dad.

GAE: First, I just want to say that it’s so cool to even hear you (and others) angry about the Dad because it means I wrote it well enough to elicit real emotion and that’s ,first and foremost,,what one hopes to be able to do. Secondly, I don’t think that I was trying to be purposefully vague, so much as I didn’t think it much mattered whether the Dad was just emotionally attached (more? in love) with MaeLynn versus having an affair with her or whatever. The issue for me was that, whatever was going on, Nick’s parents marriage was in trouble. That was the only point truly relevant to Nick. Once our parents’ marriages are in trouble, it doesn’t really matter why or how much.

JEN: I guess I thought you were being purposeful in not telling his whole side of the story because as readers we really have to get what Nick sees of the story.

We’ve only just gotten started in discussing Nick’s parents in The Pull of Gravity and we have much more to share on the topic, but we’ll take a break here to let you share your thoughts on the character of Nick’s dad (or you can vent or rant, too). Thanks for joining us, Gae! We look forward to continuing this conversation next week!

A 4th Grader Reflects on Reading Schu/Jonker Top 20

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Hi! I am Emily from Minges Brook Elementary, in Battle Creek, MI. I am here to tell you that I finished the top 20 list on Mr. Schu and Mr. Jonker’s blogs, and I’m very excited that I did.

It was an amazing experience, although I had a few minor challenges along the way. I had to stop books and start others, or read things that really didn’t appeal to me. For example, I don’t really like Informational, and I had to read Amelia Lost. It was very hard for me, you might think differently and that’s fine, but I thought that it was very hard for me, so I don’t recommend it to kid’s in K-5 grades. I don’t think it will interest them earthier.

There weren’t challenges around every corner though. There were books I loved too. One of my favorite books on the top 20 list is…………… WONDERSTRUCK!!!!!! I loved Wonderstruck so much and I think that it’s one of the greatest books I have read. Another book I loved was Bigger Than a Bread Box!! This book was such an amazing book for kids to read because it’s about real life problems. Divorce. It seems like almost every kid in this country has divorced Parents. It hurts so many people, and is one of the cruelest things I can think of. “That bad” you could be thinking right now? After Reading this book and talking to others, I have learned YES it’s very bad. A lot of kids could really relate to that.  That’s why this is such a good book for children. Bigger Than a Bread Box can change your life, and it has definitely changed my life and some of my classmates lives. Thank you, Laurel Snyder, for writing this lovely book.

 OK. Now I have to tell you why I did this challenge. A–I wanted more of a variety of books to read because I read too many of the same books. B–I really wanted the prize. The prize was a book from Mr. Sharp of our pick but, it has to be on the list. I choose Bigger Than a Bread Box!!!!!! I choose it because it was an amazing book that I can let my friends read and they can know how hard life can be with divorced parents. My friend Katie is going to read it and she doesn’t divorced parents and she can now know what it is like. Wait!!!!!!! I never got the chance to tell you that instead of one book I got two books form Laurel Snyder!!!!  (I got Bigger than a Breadbox and Penny Dreadful!!!!) And then to make things get even better, I got them both signed AND SENT FROM LAUREL SNYDER TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so exited the day they came in to Mr. Sharp. I got up at 5:00 AM the day I knew the package had arrived.  I couldn’t wait to get to school!

Although the prize was AMAZING, there was so much more I got from this experience. I learned about things like Amelia Earhart, or about people having divorced parents, so now I know how hard it is to have divorced parents. I learned so much that I wouldn’t know before. I’m so excited that I did that challenge because now I know so much more, even if books were very hard to read at times. I learned that sometimes there are books you think you don’t like, but it’s still worth it to give them a shot.  I learned as a reader, that you should read more of a variety of books, instead of just one genre.  I was able to try out books I would not have known about otherwise. It was awesome.

Last of all, I want to encourage all of you to read these books. So, what are you doing looking at this, go get the books from the library already!!!!!! ( Or purchase them. They’re THAT good.)

 

 

Why We Love Babymouse

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A couple of days ago I got a tweet from Mr. Spraul that broke my heart. He bought 3 copies of the popular graphic novel series, and he can’t get his 4th graders to buy in to the wonder that is Babymouse. Today I shared the situation with my fourth graders, and they were very concerned for Mr. Spraul’s students. We set up a Google form on our class Wiki and students answered the question: Why do you like Babymouse?

Below you will find their responses. I hope Mr. Spraul’s students find Babymouse to be as enchanting as my students do. 

Babymouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did someone say Babymouse? I love Babymouse I am like the stalker of BABYMOUSE. I love love love love Babymouse. Please tell me you all like Babymouse. If you don’t you just made me shiver. Well please enjoy BABYMOUSE, FOR ME!

I love Babymouse because of all the adventures she has: Queen of the World, Beach Babe, Burns Rubber, I love how Jennifer L. Holm made Babymouse and I hope you will like her too!!!!!!

I love it because it is an adventure book that has all this crazy stuff and Babymouse is funny with her life.  I think you guys would love Babymouse.

I love babymouse because it can teach people to read and it is really good. Plus, I love Jennifer Holm. I love Jennifer Holm because she is really pretty and she inspires me. And also because I love all the wonderful books she has created.

Babymouse is awesome and funny. All Kids should read a Babymouse.

Babymouse is funny and I love it so much. If I didn’t know about Babymouse I would die.

I like how she gets woke up late and the narrator says, “Babymouse I think the bus is here.” She always has to. walk to school. I like Babmouse Skater Girl because she gets relly tired and she goes crazzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyyy.

What I love about Babymouse is that she is funny, and she imagines stuff that I like to do like surfing. That is in Babymouse Beach Babe. Another reason is because it has a song in one of the books and it that is really funny too :)

I love Babymouse because she has a great imagination and I how her locker brings her on adventures.

Babymouse is funny. I like how her locker has every in it. Do you like cupcakes ? Babymouse loves cupcakes !

I like Babymouse because there is epic awesomeness in the beginning and middle and even the end. I want to be able to read the book Babymouse For President.

I like Babymouse because it is funny and you will make you jump off your feet and laugh. And it is made by Jennifer L. Holm one of the best novelist EVER.

Everything!!!!!!! Well because it is funny, entertaining, AWESOME, EPIC and creative.

Hi! I love Babymouse because she has so many adventures. It doesn’t just make you love reading, but it also has life lessons, like with you and your friends.

What I like about Babymouse is that it has lots of imagination. It required a lot of skill to write Babymouse. You should at least try it.

I love Babymouse because………It is funny, it is a graphic novel. and I love it.

What I love about Babymouse is how it’s a very good adventures and because it’s pink and well, I like the color pink. Also the writing in Babymouse is awesome!!!!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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I feel that Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a book that should be required reading for all humans. Yup, everyone needs to read this book. Teacher, parents, students, and everyone that works with kids should of course read this book, but I can’t think of anyone that would not benefit from Auggie’s story.

August Pullman was born with a severe facial deformity. Wonder is the story of Auggie joining school for the first time in fifth grade. Wonder will rock your world. It will cause you to think about every movement, facial expression, conversation, and ineratction that you have had with kids that are not like “everyone else”. Wonder will change your life.

You must read this book.

You must.

While reading Wonder I kept thinking what people on Heavy Medal (a blog that discusses the Newbery Award)would say about the book. It felt like I was looking for the book’s weakness. Probably has something to do with the fact that I read it Newbery weekend. Thankfully, I was able to remind myself that Newbery really doesn’t mean as much as some(me) make it out to be.

My job isn’t to look for faults in a book. My job is to enjoy the story, savor the message, and fall in love with the characters.

My calling in life is to put books like Wonder in the hands of children. Being a kid is hard, and books like Wonder will help kids, learn how to be better people. I’m 30 and I’m a better person because I read Wonder.
I had to stop reading Wonder with 3 pages left because I was sobbing. The thought of the book ending broke my heart. I didn’t want Auggie’s story to end. Three days later I was able to finish this 5 star read.

I’ve realized Auggie’s story will never end. I’ll carry his story, and what I learned from this beautiful fifth grade boy, into my classroom every day for the rest of my career.

You need to read this book. Now.