Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

If you are a teacher of comprehension (and aren’t we all), it is worth your time to join a book group of your own! October 20, 2008

Filed under: books,literature groups,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:57 pm
Tags: ,

A couple Mondays ago my monthly Book Club met and even though I haven’t finished (or honestly done more than start), I went to hear the conversation about the book, The Painted Drum by Lousie Erdich. Today as I look back, I’m actually really glad I hadn’t read the book because it really allowed me to watch and listen to the members in an adult version of what we ask students to do in Literature Discussion groups. It was fascinating to get to watch the conversation flow and to see that one reader had even made a chart for herself to help keep track of the characters and their relationships to each other! Just like in class, there is usually one who prefers to listen rather than share. Interestingly enough though, the members of the group never assume she hasn’t read the book, is incapable, or unintelligent (quite the opposite!) as we would with some students who we would push to participate, or perhaps take effort points away.  

I often take away some new understanding about the book, a character, or problem than when I had come to the conversation. There was even a book that I had read the first quarter of, abandoned in annoyance, only to participate in the discussion, decided I was looking at the book from the wrong point of view, finished it and actually enjoyed it. Without the discussion, it would have just sat as dust collector on the shelf.  

If you belong to a Book Club, feel free to comment on any benefits you feel you get as a teacher of comprehension.


the dead & the gone: a “sequel” to Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:37 pm
Tags: , ,

the dead & the gone is a great read! I put sequel in quotation marks, because it is not necessary to have read Life As We Knew It first. You could read each book independently or in either order. I found dead & the gone to be very gripping and liked the pace of the book. The book is set in New York City and the main character is a teenage boy by the name of Alex. Alex’s mother is at work and his father has returned to Puerto Rico for a funeral when the moon is pushed out of orbit by an asteroid.  Suddenly he is in charge of two younger sisters and having to worry about where they will get their next meal. The lengths he must go to keep his remaining family safe are great.

I do feel Life As We Knew It Was a slightly stronger book overall, but the dead & the gone is definitely worth reading and sharing with YA students.