Stuck in the Middle
|Reading the right book at the right time|
is like finding your soul mate. The best
part, is this can happen over and over
and over again!
I teach 4th and 5th grade students and when they hear about YA books they want to jump in and read them right away. I know 3rd graders in our school who are dying to get their hands on The Hunger Games. When I hear this I cringe. Many of you know that I struggle with the notion of letting anxious readers pick up any book they want to read. Instilling a love of reading is more my priority than matching an appropriate reading level. However, matching a young person to a book that fits them is where it is really at.
To overuse the metaphor, "If the shoe fits," I actually have a shoe story. I recently purchased a pair of boots for an upcoming trip. I never splurge on things like quality boots but with the help of my fashionista sister, I was able to pick a pair that were moderately priced and that I liked. (It helped that they were named poet boots.) I waited anxiously for them to be delivered, opened the box as soon as they arrived, threw those suckers on, and wore them to school the next day...despite the 80 degree weather.
Man, were they gorgeous boots! I got multiple compliments and felt like I was finally fitting in to this city of haves and have nots. However, a problem soon arose. The boots were too big! I didn't want to admit it at first but my feet were wiggling all around in there, bumping the sides, struggling to take steps. Yep, they looked good but they sure didn't feel good. By the end of the day I was ready to walk barefoot through the streets of Hollywood.
I went home only to discover that I could not return them because they were worn down from my struggle to move all day. Rats! Now I had no boots to wear and no idea what to do with these fabulous and uncomfortable pair. The rest of the story goes like this. I hopped online, found another pair that were smaller in size (the last pair! oh miracle of miracles!), and had them rushed to me. I gave the other pair to a friend who was pining over their beauty. Now I have a pair of shoes that not only look good, but they feel good too.
So what is the moral of this story? Yes, there are some YA books that are gorgeous, sexy little things on the shelves at your local bookstore. Yes, lots of people
Need some help finding good Middle Grade books? I have read two in my two days of Spring Break so far. Check out these great books!
I just finished reading this book that was suggested by one of my students. She was right, it was sooooo good. I have found that by 5th grade, my students start getting really concerned about what others think about them, who likes who, what happened over the phone/email/Mindcraft game. This books tells what it is like when it all happens at once. I love Raina's honest struggle with fitting in and how she gets the courage to make life work for her, even if it takes a few bumps along the way.
Other favorite middle grade books? Here are some of mine!
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Coraline and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo (and anything else this woman writes!)
Happy Middle Grade hunting! Don't let these amazing books get lost in the glitz and glamour of YA Lit!
|Good books, like good boots, go with anything...|
including pjs and breakfast.