Friday, April 04, 2008

Celebrity Reading Week

Today I'm headed back to Junior High. Thank goodness it's only for thirty minutes or so, as I'm part of Celebrity Reading Week for a local school. Not that I don't love visiting schools (I do), I'm just thankful I don't have to get a smelly locker and navigate hormones and cafeteria mystery food while trying to understand sixth grade algebra. Okay, that's not all true. I rocked sixth grade algebra.

Anyway, not sure what I'll read to them this afternoon. Last year I read Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are which is one of my favorite children's books ever. I also read a short (kid appropriate) section from Potter Springs, which they seemed to enjoy. It's the bit about Mr. Chesters at the gas station, if you've read the book.

One of my favorite things about events like today is letting kids know that pursuing writing and staying in school pays off, and that if they're really lucky/blessed/struck by lightning, they'll walk into a bookstore one day and see their story on the shelf. Or better yet, on one of those front tables in a big ole stack at Barnes & Noble with a sign that says, "Great Reads." There's nothing like it. If you want a glimpse of what it feels like, check out my photo album here. There's a pic where I'm all shiny faced and excited, standing with cool salesguy Dan at BookPeople in Austin. First book I saw on the shelf, ever. Thus the delirious expression.
It still makes me laugh.

Have a favorite kids' book? A painful/funny sixth grade memory?

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9 Comments:

Blogger Kern said...

I remember what I read in the 6th grade like it was yesterday. My best friend, Joel Muro, and I traded Hardy Boy mysteries until we had both read the entire collection. (54?) Apparently, they are not so cool anymore. I also read The Amityville Horror that year. It is still one of my alltime favorites. I can also remember the smell of bus 59B, my daily transportation for 6 years. In 6th grade, I was appointed Fire Captain which reserved the back seat next to the extinguisher every day. What a luxury!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Lana Gramlich said...

I was delighted a few years ago when one of my fave books as a child was reissued. It was "Jenny and the Cat Club" & reading it again all these decades later brought me back to being 6. :)

2:50 PM  
Blogger "Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

In the fourth grade, my teacher got me hooked on reading Ramona Quimby books or anything else by Beverly Cleary. I also fell in love with reading Shel Silverstein's poems. As for a painful memory from sixth grade, in a word: cliques. Girls should skip that grade.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Mathilda said...

For one of my all time favorite author moments: Google "Brotherhood 2.0 January 22" (WARNING: LANGUAGE!) in which John Green wins the Printz award for young adult lit. His wife picks up the camera while he is on the phone with the award committee. Hilariousness.

6th grade: I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.

Tomorrow: I take my 4 hour long comprehensive exam for my MLIS degree. PRAY!!!

7:10 PM  
Blogger Travis Erwin said...

Where the Red Fern Grows is my favorite kids book and I loved sixth grade.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Searcher Amy said...

My favorite book from that time would have to be "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell. A classic that cried out daily for me to re-enact scenes. I picked clean the shrubs in our backyard of all foliage, making the leaves into food for my brother (in the book) and I. My father was not pleased.
Memory from 6th grade: As an adult I have great appreciation for my teacher. We had multiple people of the same name. Ready for a fun one everyday: Tim 1, Tim 2, Amy 1, Amy 2, Brian 1, Brian, 2, Terry 1, Terry 2 and Terry Sue. All in one class! Can you imagine?

3:21 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Kern, I was on the safety patrol in 5th grade and got to officiate the crosswalks, all while wearing a snazzy orange sash w/badge combo.

Lana, I haven't read Jenny & the Cat Club, but it sounds like 6th grade heaven.

Bluebonnet, I loved Ramona! One of my favorite scenes was when she tried to get her father to quit smoking. He asked her, "Who is this King of Nosmo?"

Mathilda, I hope you rocked those exams! And on the dolphin thing, I think you and Searcher Amy have lots to talk about.

Travis, Where the Red Fern Grows is one of the best books of all time. Big Dan and Little Ann, perhaps the best fictional dogs, ever?

Amy, the leaf-picking reenactments kill me. I'm laughing.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

Anything by William Steig (Syllvester and the Magic Pebble, Amos and Boris, etc.) or by William Joyce (Bentley and Egg, Dinosaur Bob and the Family Lizardo, etc.) or anything by Van Allsburg. A hundred others, but those are my favorites.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Billy, I heart William Steig. The Magic Pebble is a terrific story--just read it to my nephews a few weeks ago.

9:15 AM  

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