Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SOL February 25 - Preparing for Slicing with my Class

I'm excited, nervous and slightly dreading this upcoming month.  I've been intermittently Slicing since June and also posting books I've read for the "It's Monday! What are you reading?" blogs.  But I have not been very consistent, especially since things started feeling VERY busy at school, which seemed to happen about the first week in September.  Now I have challenged (actually required as part of their schoolwork) my class of middle school students to write every day in March.  I'm a little worried about the logistics of helping to make it all work, but we've been blogging about books all year and posting poetry and Slices of Life a few times a month for each other to read.  I actually believe that most to all of my students will post more than the target 25 times, and many will be successful in posting each day.

But what I'm anxious about is me.  My days feel so busy that I do not write as often as I hope to and it is so easy to just put it off for more pressing needs (like my family obligations or sleep or exercise or homework or..or...or). So this is my slice for today.  The part where I carved a few minutes to write (albeit at the end of the day it was "due"), hoping I find this time everyday, for thirty-one days, and can proudly co-write with the amazing class I work with every day.

Good luck to all the participants for the next month in the individual and classroom challenges.  We wil learn so much about ourselves and the people around us!


Monday, February 17, 2014

It's Monday! What are you Reading? February 17 2014

This week I read far far away, a YA book by Tom McNeal. I also have the rest of the week off so hopefully I'll get some other good books read.

It starts...

"This is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and an ancient ghost."

Tom McNeal does a wonderful job of incorporating the typical aspects of the Grimm fairy tales, while making it seem like a modern day story in a small town.  The character's are enjoyable, the story takes several twists and turns, and as in Grimm's original tales, there are some very real and slightly disturbing moments (although no one gets their eyes pecked out by birds or cuts off body parts to fit a glass slipper).  It is a enjoyable read, especially if you have a penchant for a good fairy tale and the Grimm stories.

far far away is a modern day Grimm fairy tale set in modern America, complete with mischievous children, heroes, villains, and a ghost.  The ghost is actually the spirit of Jacob Grimm, set to wander the Earth trying to solve the riddle of why he has not "passed on." The only person who can hear him is a lonely teenage boy in a small town.  After a prank goes wrong, Jeremy Johnson Johnson is shunned by most of the townspeople, except for the girl who made him take part in the prank, a kindly neighbor, and the town baker.  The baker makes Prince Cakes every few months and there are rumors that they are enchanted.  One other mystery, children from the town, and surrounding towns, have been disappearing for over twenty years.  The authorities believe they are runaways, but as with most fairy tales, the real reason is much more sinister.  far far away has love, friendship, loyalty, a misunderstood villain, a lonely boy, a ghost, and enchanted pastries.  What more could a reader want?