13 Clocks; Work Hard. Be Nice.; Hunger Games

February 21, 2009

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

being tall.


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.)


10 Responses to “13 Clocks; Work Hard. Be Nice.; Hunger Games”

  1.   Tony Peters on February 22, 2009 8:28 am

    I want to read Hunger Games so badly,I just have too many other books to read right now.

    Tony Peters
    Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

  2.   boxerbootie on March 11, 2009 8:43 pm

    Sounds good.

  3.   christian louboutin online on January 26, 2010 12:39 am

    Great articles and it’s so helpful. I want to add your blog into my rrs reader but i can’t find the rrs address. Would you please send your address to my email? Thanks a lot!

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