Reading Along I-94: Mitchell Is Moving

Each week my good pal Jen Vincent and I chat back and forth in a Google Document about a book we are reading or a book we have read. This week we talked about Mitchell is Moving by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.

Mitchell Is Moving

JEN: MITCHELL IS MOVING IS ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS! I adore Mitchell and Margo’s sweet story of friendship. I think I discovered this book in 2nd grade but I can’t officially remember. What I do remember is loving it and reading it over and over again.

COLBY: I have never heard of Mitchell is Moving. It is always fun to learn about the books that my friends enjoyed as young readers.

JEN: In Mitchell is Moving, Mitchell decides he wants to move two weeks away. When I think of how far away places are, I definitely think in time distance. I’m about 40 minutes from O’Hare airport or 15 minutes from Great America. My brother lives in Wisconsin where things are super far away down long country roads, and he describes everything in terms of mileage. I like that Mitchell thinks in time distance but that he says two weeks away. He’s just so funny.

COLBY: I remember you asking me once if I thought in minutes or miles when it comes to how far away something is. I’m glad that I live in a place where we think in miles and not time. Can’t imagine living in a place where it takes more than 10 minutes to travel 10 miles.

JEN: I love how Margo freaks out when she finds out that Mitchell wants to move away. It’s really hard when a friend moves away. I can see wanting to do anything in my power to make that person stay. Margo really shows Mitchell how much she cares. I love the picture with all the different ways she’ll make him stay.

COLBY: I think when friends move away it is hard. We have a rather large Japanese population at my school because of a factory in our town. Japanese families often come and work at the plant for 2-4 years before heading back to Japan. I hear students talk all the time about their friends that had to move back to Japan.

JEN: You still live in the town you grew up in, right? I’m pretty close, in the same county, but a couple of towns over from where I grew up. The furthest away I got from home was when I was in college. Even then, I was only an hour and a half away (I have absolutely no idea how many miles that is!).

COLBY: I live in the town next to the town I grew up in. My parents have lived in the same house their whole marriage. I cannot imagine living far away. This book made me think about how far two weeks away would be if my wife and I got in a car and started driving. We could probably make it to somewhere in South America in two weeks. That is really far away.

JEN: I’m so glad Mitchell and Margo are able to stay friends. It’s great to have at least one best friend in your life. On Tuesday, I volunteered at the Scholastic Book Fair at my son’s school. He goes to kindergarten with my cousin’s son. Her and I both volunteered at the same time so we could catch up and visit. My cousin, Silvia, and I have always been close. She’s the kind of friend who totally understands me. If we haven’t seen each other in a while, we can pick up from where we left off so easily.

COLBY: I grew up in a very small town (one blinking light-zero stop lights). I never had to experience a close friend moving away. I don’t think I would have handled it very well.

JEN: I’m definitely a believer in the old Girl Scouts song, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” 

COLBY: That sounds like a fun song. I will have to Google it.

JEN: I was just thinking about how funny it would be to make gingerbread houses and little clay dinosaurs and to make a little Margo and Mitchell scene. In high school, I took an art class and we learned about a technique called batik. You take hot wax and make a design or drawing on fabric. Then you die your fabric. Afterwards, you iron the fabric and the wax comes out of the fabric. Where the wax was, the fabric stays the original color but everything around it is dyed. It’s a really nice style. When I was in that class, I made a batik with Mitchell that I made into a pillow. I wish I knew where that pillow was! It kind of looked like this owl onesie I found on Etsy ( …except mine was Mitchell.

I love celebrating books by taking the artwork and creating something new. It was fun to wear my pointy red had when I met Jon Klassen and for Katherine ( to give him little bear and rabbit ornaments. It was such a moment of art inspiring art. I love it.

COLBY: Did you know that I lost my red hat that you gave me at NCTE last year? I got home and couldn’t find it. So sad:(


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