Reading For Rewards Is Not The Way To Go – Brandon Blom

I am a huge fan of Brandon Blom. His energy is addicting. He had a lot of success getting rid of Accelerated Reader when he was a principal. Brandon is this week’s guest on ON Question With Mr. Sharp. I just had to ask him if he had any advice for administrators that want to get rid of Accelerated Reader in their schools.

Follow Brandon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandonkblom

Brandon talks more about getting rid of AR in this blog post: http://www.brandonkblom.com/2016/12/no-ar-no-big-deal.html

Check out previous episodes of One Question With Mr. Sharp in the playlist below.

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5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview: Pablo Cartaya

Early this year I read Pablo Cartaya’s The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. I LOVED IT. Spending time with Arturo’s family in Miami was the perfect way to start summer. I hope you find value in my interview with Pablo.

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

  • Can you tell us a little bit about THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA?

Thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora fights a greedy land developer who threatens to tear down his abuela’s restaurant. In the process, Arturo has his first encounter with love, discovers poetry, and learns the importance good old-fashioned community activism. Family is at the heart of this book. Plus food. Lots and lots of food .  

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  • What is the best part about being an author?

Can I give you two best parts? One is creating characters that allow readers to dream themselves into a story. The other is getting to talk to young people. I learn so much from young people.

  • What’s the hardest part of being an author?

The hardest part of being an author is also one of the greatest parts. Revising! Revising can be brutal but it’s necessary.

  • If you could spend one day living in the world of a book, which book would you pick?

I would totally pick Twenty-thousand Leagues Under the Sea written by Jules Verne! What adventure awaits us, Captain Nemo??

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  • What advice do you have for the young creators in my classroom?

Never be afraid to fail.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview: Elly Swartz

A few weeks ago I FINALLY read Elly Swartz’s Finding Perfect. It seems like my friends have been raving out it forever, and I’m glad that I finally took their advice and read the book. Finding Perfect is awesome. If you haven’t read it, you should probably change that.

Elly was kind enough to answer a handful of my questions. You’ll find the interview below.

 

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about Finding Perfect? (5)

To Molly Nathans, perfect is:

  • The number four
  • The tip of a newly sharpened number two pencil
  • A crisp, white pad of paper
  • Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines

What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Slam Poetry Contest. Complicating Molly’s plan, is that Molly has undiagnosed OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and as time goes on, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep her world from spinning out-of-control.

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2. What is best part about being an author?  (2)

Hands-down connecting with readers! Nothing makes my heart happier than hearing readers share their personal connections with Molly and her journey.

3. What’s the hardest part of being an author? (3)

Authenticity comes from fully embracing the emotion my character is experiencing as I write. So when that character is in a dark place, those moments are hard. When writing, Chapter 36, My Numbers are Showing, the mom part of me wanted to scoop in and hug Molly, but my writer side had to feel Molly’s despair and vulnerability, and allow her the space to discover her own strength.

4. If you could spend one day living in the world of a book, which book would you pick? (1)

Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson.

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5. What advice do you have for the young creators in my classroom? (4)

Dream big! Work hard! Follow your heart! And embrace the journey!

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Curriculum Guide

http://images.macmillan.com/folio-assets/teachers-guides/9780374303129TG.pdf

Librarian and Educator Giveaway

http://www.curiouscitydpw.com/2016/12/01/finding-perfect-novel-giveaway/

Unfolding Identity Project

http://www.curiouscitydpw.com/2016/12/01/finding-perfect-the-unfolding-identity-project/

Finding Perfect Audio Trailer

Twitter

https://twitter.com/ellyswartz

@ellyswartz

Website

http://ellyswartz.com/