Best Book I Have Not Read

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

First Trip to Dakar, Senegal March 17, 2012

Filed under: Africa,Dakar,Senegal — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:28 pm

Satellite photo of Dakar

My husband and I are preparing to travel to Dakar, Senegal at the end of the week. We’ve had our shots, have our malaria pills, have packed and repacked our suitcases and now wait with nervous and excited anticipation for the journey to begin. From Ohio, it’s about a fourteen hour trip. That includes a several hour layover in New York before boarding the second flight. From New York or D.C.  to Dakar, the flight is seven or eight hours. I think when most people ask me about the flight, they are expecting a much longer travel time. It’s not that far! You should definietly come and visit in the next couple years.

We will have the opportunity to stay in Dakar for most of the week and I’ll be able to spend several days at the International School of Dakar meeting with the current curriculum coordinator, meet more staff, and orient myself to the important work they have already accomplished in the past several years. I’m also looking forward to just getting the lay of the land and probably making some silly mistakes without the kids there. I’ve been working on brushing off my very rusty French, but I can read it much better than I can speak it.

We are taking the opportunity to spend a couple days south of Dakar in Saly on the Petite Cote coastline. Having not traveled together without children since our honeymoon, we are looking forward to some time just for us. Bandia Park animal reserve is on our itinerary for the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Petite Cote


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Filed under: book reviews — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:35 am
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Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a must-read. It is an amazing book that belongs in the homes and classrooms of as many children as possible.

The strength of the characters and the important message about kindness will have children hanging on every word as a teacher or parent reads it aloud.

Auggie (short for August) Pullman is a regular ten year old boy. He loves his dog, his X-box and Star Wars. You would think he is very typical. That is until you see his face. Auggie was born with severe facial abnormalities that are shocking to most people. Until this year, Auggie has always been home-schooled. He is finally well enough to attend public school and it’s with excitement and trepidation that Auggie goes to see his school for the first time.

Wonder is the story of how Auggie navigates his life in school for the first time. It’s also his sister’s story, as well as other people’s stories who are lucky enough to get to know Auggie.

Don’t wait for it to come out in paperback. Go buy it today and start sharing it with students and children. I love the cover and the illustration at the beginning of each person’s part of the story.

Wonder was named Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids February 2012, as well as receiving starred reviews from: School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly.