My focus this month is to explore writing invitations, mostly through newly published picture books, but possibly some other mentor texts as well.
bookshelves: audio-book, award-winner, characters-with-disabilities,friendship, inspiration, character-development, intermediate-kids-book, young-adult-book, sports, strong-girl-character, resiliency, grit,romance
This is one of those books in my classroom library that I hadn't read, but kids raved about and recommended. I finally got around to listening to it on audio. I can see now why they loved it so much. Jessica, a track star at her school, loses her leg in a bus accident and thinks she will never run again. When she returns to school, her teacher seats her next to Rosa, a girl in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy whom everyone seemed to ignore. Jessica realizes she's wicked smart in math and fun to be around. They pass notes back and forth, and Rosa tutors Jessica to help save her math grade. Eventually they become friends. The two of them make an unlikely running team, but they end up surprising and inspiring everyone. This is a great follow up to our 5th grade common read, OUT OF MY MIND.
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Today I'm straying from picture books. This excerpt from The Running Dream from Linda Rief's wonderful new book, The Quickwrite Handbook, provides a powerful mentor text. I've used it a couple times at professional learning experiences with teaching, and it always inspires heartfelt writing (and even a few tears)! This is my attempt:
I AM A READER.
That's what I do.
That's who I am.
Reading made my soul expand,
gave me glimpses in the mirror
and gazes out the window.
It was that tree in my backyard and the one out by the creek
where I fell in love with reading. Both tree and book gave me shelter
from the rain and shade from the sun.
Anticipating the first page.
Breathing in the air of characters.
Turning pages sticky with stories.
I loved devouring series after series under those trees...
Nancy Drew, The Black Stallion, Little House on the Prairie, The Dark is Rising.
Reading gave me a break from my own mind.
It made me feel alive.
It still does. I'm still a reader.