September 15, 2008

fall kidlit spree

Managed to start How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connell, Schooled by Gordon Korman, and ("Finally, Ms. D_C.!") Gail Carson Levine's Fairest this weekend. Julie Schumacher's The Book of One Hundred Truths was the only one that stayed in my purse and so got carried everywhere I went, and so was the only one I finished. It reminded me of Deborah Wiles' Each Little Bird That Sings, although Schumacher's protag, Thea, is older and, even as the story's narrator, far more reticent than Wiles' Comfort Snowberger. Review to come.

Also finding Fairest to be slightly less appealing than (and less reminiscent of) Levine's Ella Enchanted, which I absolutely loved. Actually, Fairest, which deals with a heroine's perceived handicap, reminds me more of Shannon Hale's Princess Academy.

Just thinking right now of how much I wish I could teach novels. The basal we use (Harcourt Trophies) provides a nice range of genres and does feature excerpts from a few notable novels but I would love to have the time and freedom to select quality works and really get the kids to start critically analyzing characters, plots, authors' purposes, etc. Making connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world) is an HCPS doozy, and using connecting skills with the full texts of carefully selected books would probably be a much richer experience than excerpt after excerpt. Not that I don't like Trophies - I do. I don't have a problem with basal readers as long as the range of selections is varied and appropriate (e.g. not boring to easily-bored fifths, thanks), as Trophies is.

Reviews to come!

Site Meter