Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wendy Mass Thinks I Rock!

It's not everyday that this school teacher from Iowa gets the opportunity to meet well known children's book authors. Lucky for me, once a year, my fifth grade students get to meet an author through a program in our school called Cedar Valley Youths Read. In years past, I've met the likes of Christopher Paul Curtis and Gennifer Choldenko. Will Hobbs and Cynthia DeFelice were authors I met but was not familiar with. Our students get to meet them in an hour long Q&A-type session and then the general public is invited back to a book signing and meet and greet. This past year, we had the pleasure of meeting and hosting Wendy Mass!

Wendy Mass wrote one of my favorite children's books ever, JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE. Recently, she's written popular books like EVERY SOUL A STAR and 11 BIRTHDAYS. She was very down-to-earth and the kids loved her!

One whole week was a long time for the Jersey mom to be away from her twins, but our committee of teachers and librarians are so thankful for authors like her, who will devote their time to come meet our little readers.

Summer Reading

I'm taking a break from reading Newbery winners (I know, I lasted long didn't I?). It's not permanent, it's just that I have my hands on so many good books published this year already that will more than likely be on the radar when Newbery discussions heat up this winter. I am currently reading The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan. I will then re-read The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz (because the first time through I didn't understand what all the fuss was about). Then I will dive into The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry, Keeper by Kathi Appelt, and last but not least, everyone's early front-runner, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia.

Once those five are read, I will continue on my mission. I'm hoping to knock out the 1920's and 1930's this summer. School caught up to me, my attention span thinned, and I really have no idea what to say about THE DARK FRIGATE. It was under 200 pages but it read as if it were 500. It was old. It wasn't as exciting as it could have been. And I love pirates!

I'll comment on it sometime. As for now, I'm off to read something a little more current!