August is a weird time for me. I’ve been away for students for a long time, back to school shopping has begun, and the days are getting shorter and shorter.
A little over a week ago I started a middle grade novel. A few pages in I thought to myself: another book about “mean girls”. Really? I’m so sick of reading about mean girls. I put the book down and got on Twitter. When I got their I saw this tweet.
Reviewers say: “Not *another* sad animal book!” or “Had my fill of theme X!” You are adults. You have been reading a long time.
— Linda Urban (@lindaurbanbooks) July 31, 2015
Thank goodness for Linda Urban. You see, middle grade books are not about you and me. They can never be about us. I can never make books about me. Blogging, reading, teaching, designing my classroom- none of those things are about Mr. Sharp. These things, all things education related, are about my students. My readers. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read a book about a certain topic. I should go into each book thinking about what kid I can hand this off to. How might this book change a life?
After reading Ms. Urban’s tweet, I picked my book back up and to be perfectly honest, I fell madly in love with it. The characters, the setting, the plot I loved all of it. My head was spinning with all the ideas for how I could use the book in my classroom, and all the students that I taught in the past that would have LOVED the book.
Today, I’m going to start reading a new middle grade book. It’s a book that none of my friends have read, and that I have heard nothing about. I can’t wait to see what I find in those pages, because chances are this book will change the life of a reader or two. I just need to get it in the hands of kids.