Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Fun at the front door July 26, 2010

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , ,

One of the things that I love about our house (and my puppy hates) is the slot for mail in the front door.

No more forgetting to get the mail for multiple days at a time like at the old house. The puppy does love getting a flyer and ripping it up, but hates the intrusion of the mailman putting mail into the house. You can’t miss the mail this way. What I did miss was the two small packages on the front porch were a fun surprise. Courtesy of Penguin and Razorbill, there were two ARCs:

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Ironically I had just been looking at the write-up for The Replacement because I remembered it from ALA-one of the creepiest covers I’ve seen in a long time. Usually creepy does not equal “read me” in my book, but…

It did come in the mail, there is a quote by Maggie Stiefvater and the front, and the first chapter has completely pulled me in. I do find myself holding my breath waiting for something scary, but I did make it through Lies for Pete’s Sake.


Andrew Lost series July 19, 2010

Filed under: book reviews — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:28 pm

A quote from the Washington Post best describes the Andrew Lost series, “Andrew Lost books are gross and disgusting. That’s why we like them.”

We listened to books #1-4 On the Dog, In the Bathroom, In the Kitchen, and In the Garden, driving home from Michigan.  Usually I enjoy listening to the kids’ books on CD. This time the gross factor had me turning the volume on only in the back of the van and still having to go “la, la, la” to block out a few things I could still hear. My son LOVED the books. Gross and interesting is right up a rising third grader’s alley.

I had bought the first book in the series for him at the end of the school year in my never-ending quest to find “early reader/easy reader” series to hook him. He suffers from wanting to pick books to read “to himself” that are WAY too difficult for him (A common problem for parents). I want him to pick Capital Mysteries #1 Who Cloned the President by Ron Roy, because it’s at his level for being able to read successfully on his own, and he wants me to buy Guardians of Gahoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky because he saw a movie preview for a movie based on the series.

Capital Mysteries printed by Random House for Young Readers. It’s considered a “Stepping Stone” book.

Guardians of Gahoole– for grades 4 to 8, or 5th to 8th, depending on the source.

Needless to say, neither of us left happy, but with a compromise that his sister helped me find for him. Since he hadn’t read On the Dog on his own, I though maybe listening to it would be enough of a hook to get him to continue reading the series this summer. We will see….


Summer is always a little crazy… July 13, 2010

Filed under: ALA,book clubs,KidLit,reading workshop,summer reading,TCRWP,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:42 am

I enter summer, knowing full-well it’s going to be crazy. It’s always too fast, and make me wonder how I manage to work full-time during the school year. This summer has proven to be crazier than normal. In case you are interested, here is a week-by-week breakdown of the craziness.

first week June-last week of school for kids; swim team starts

second week of June-hubby and kids go on vacation with my family to NC. I have an extended contract so I stay to finish up the 2009-2010 school year. Breathe a sigh of relief that all the administrative team seems to be staying in place for next school year.

Realize that I miss having multiple dogs in the house and add another puppy.

third week of June-

Monday evening-our superintendent announces he is leaving for another district.

Tuesday mid-day-my direct supervisor (Director of Educational Operations) announces he has accepted a job in another district (ARGH!)

Wednesday and Thursday-lots of extra meetings

Friday-leave for D.C for my first ALA

Sunday-return from D.C. with van full of books!

Board member steps down…

last week of Junemidweek: first set of house guests arrive. So happy to see my college roommate and her family! It’s always too long between visits.

last week of June-end of week: one set of house guests leaves, another arrives two hours later-So happy to have Guy’s cousin, wife and baby visiting us! They have the happiest baby on earth! It’s also beginning of arrival in town for husband’s family reunion AND 25th high school reunion.

Fourth of July weekend-house guests, street fair, family reunion AND pack to leave for Teachers College

Our beloved Director of Technology dies unexpectedly of a heart attack.

First week of July– 17th annual Reading Institute at TCRWP. (Great learning opportunity-if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of TC’s institutes, you WON’T be sorry! )Hot beyond belief in NYC (103 degrees at 6 p.m. near the former World Trade Center site (see photo).

get home Friday night very late after multiple delays with flight

Our Director of Student Services accepts another job.  We are a small, relatively stable district. We go years without anyone leaving.

Saturday-all day class at Muskingum University. Approximately 18 hours after leaving Columbia University’s campus in NYC.

Sunday-drive to Michigan and back to deliver son to summer camp. Wish I was staying for a week of Lake Michigan!

Second week of July-let the meetings continue….new board member and interim superintendent named-whew.

What I was looking forward to was a month of reading on my screen porch, with a lap full of puppies. In the plans were-the new Units of Study for Reading books by Lucy Calkins, The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen for my upcoming book club, and as many ARCs from ALA that I could manage. Progress is slow, but I have started the first book in the reading series (such a great resource), finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Fantastic!), and at least checked out the book club book from the library. I’ve also learned to type with the lap full of puppies. Unconditional love and affection is worth a few little potty-training accidents.

Instead, I’m reminding myself daily that with each new challenge there lies opportunity. Here are a few of my favorite change quotes:

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

“Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.” Brian Andreas, Story People artist