Filed under 1 | Comments (10)
52. The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
The 13 Clocks is a fun fairy tale. It reminds me of The Princess Bride (perhaps PB was modeled after 13 Clocks?) A prince arrives at the castle of a mean, mean Duke, incognito, to find a way to win the hand of the Princess. The Duke sees through his disguise (via his secret spies) and sends the prince off, as he has many other princes in the past, on an impossible mission. But the prince has a helper, the Golux, who is helpful, though he often makes things up.
A new addition to my favorite books of all time list!
53. Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton
Alice is four inches taller than anyone else in her class and she
doesn’t like it. One night, she overheard her parents talking with her
friends about her height. Alice cried and cried until she finally fell
asleep. She began to dream. In her dream, she was among other tall
girls. The girls helped her imagine what it would be like when she was a
grownup. Everything looked wonderful. Alice had new happy feelings about
The pictures in this book are very child friendly. The story reflects
the feelings many children have about being tall and could help readers
come to understand the benefits of height.
54. Our Abe Lincoln adapted by Jim Aylesworth
Jim Aylesworth hits the high points of Abe Lincoln’s life in his
adaption of a popular song of Lincoln’s Day, “Our Abe Lincoln,” sung to
the tune of “The Old Grey Mare.” The story is very simple but should
reinforce the most cogent parts of Lincoln’s life with young children.
The pictures are clever and appeal to kids.
55. Work Hard. Be Nice. By Jay Mathews
I always love to read about schools where kids do well. This is one such story.
It’s the story of the KIPP program that began in Houston in 1995, started by two committed Teach for America teachers.
Here’s a brutal fact: If poor children are going to learn at the same rate as affluent children, they need more school days. Ugh. That hits me where it hurts. This is a brutal fact teachers can’t bear. One of the perks of being a teacher is summers off. Summers kill poor children’s achievement. Eek.
So, give me another way we can improve student achievement without taking away our summers? Yep, KIPP has another answer: longer school days. Another brutal fact that we teachers can’t bear. Please, give me something else?
Well, KIPP teachers help kids with their homework…in the evenings! Eek. This is getting worse and worse.
KIPP offers answers to improving student achievement among poor children, but the answers are not easy.
56. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
When I first heard about this book, the plot sounded derivative, already used in books like Ender’s Game and Surviving Antarctica. I kept hearing so much good buzz about it that I went ahead and read it anyway.
The plot is derivative, but with the book’s great characters and a heavy dose of hearty action, The Hunger Games is a strong read. Like most dystopian novels, this one pushes the warning buttons on the reader’s brain and sends your brain synapses a jolt that keeps the reader thinking long past the close of the book.
I’m looking forward to book two.
(JMHO, but I can’t see this book in libraries with younger readers. Lots of violence.)