We're back! After our slightly-less-than-orthodox start last week (are we ever going to start a term up normally this year?!), we are right back in the swing of things - planning, teaching, collaborating. It's great! And since I went off on a little tangent last week and shared books about snow instead of things that I actually read over the break, I thought I would share a couple of novels that I read with you. Both are part of our school district's Battle of the Books and both were great reads! Super happy I brought them home with me when I actually had some time to enjoy them.
A Mango-Shaped Space (Wendy Mass) - What a wonderful book! A Mango-Shaped Space takes a look at a young girl with synesthesia, a condition that causes her to see colours for letters and words. I loved the way this book explored the way Mia's feelings about her condition develop and change; nothing felt forced or awkward about Mass' portrayal of a teen coming to grips with who she is and who she wants to be. I can definitely see many kids making lots of connections to this book! A great choice for discussing differences, loss and friendships.
The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate) - When I first picked up this book, I was a bit non-plussed; I just couldn't get in to the writing from the perspective of a gorilla. The more I read, however, the more the book grew on me and by the end I found the sweet, somewhat sad, naive voice of Ivan, the shopping mall gorilla, to be truly endearing. Although it is a sad story in many ways, the ending is uplifting and leaves you feeling if not happy, at least very encouraged by Ivan's prospects in life. Interestingly, this story made a good companion to A Mango-Shaped Space as it too explores the concepts of differences, loss and friendships. It would be really interesting to read both with a class and have them draw comparisons between the two. Hmmmm....
Looking forward to hearing what some of the kids thought of both of these. If you've read them, I'd love to hear what you thought too!
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!