Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

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I read this book in the middle of summer, in July of this year. I loved it!!! It was a book that stands out. You could easily pair it with To Kill a Mockingbird but Wolf Hollow is unique as well. The writing is very crisp and the plot moves along at a steady pace. The author does a great job of characterization as well. It is truly a very “literary” novel! I finally understand why some readers comment that it is an adult novel for children. Are there more adult OR children’s book like it? If so, I would like to read them.

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

img_0628When I was doing student-teaching last year, my cooperating teacher told me that this is a good book to read for teachers. I started to read it then but I didn’t finish. Well, I am glad I read it now! It is a sweet book about a student who is frustrated in school, and the difference between how it feels inside and what the outside world sees. It made me reflect a lot on who I am as a teacher and how I see students who “misbehave,” and to try to be a little more understanding.

The teacher in this book is a sympathetic teacher called Mr. Daniels. The way he interacts with this kid named Oliver in his class is how I want to interact with my students. (And really, all children.) Oliver is this hyperactive kid who is always talking but is really a kind soul. Mr. Daniels develops a signal with Oliver to show when it’s time to tone it down. His way of talking to kids– a variety of kids that is so representative in today’s classrooms- is just amazing. When a mean girl makes a comment, he doesn’t correct her or say that it is wrong, but signals to the class that they are moving on from it. He never gets angry or frustrated and I have to learn from him. He is always complimenting his students and his praise feels genuine and particular to the student. I can go on and on about how he is the kind of teacher I hope to be. (He is like Phil my master teacher!! 🙂 )

I love the classroom community Lynda has created. It feels so realistic and in real life, every kid is as different as they are in this fictional story. They are hugely flawed but a little praise, attention, and acknowledgment go a long way. It is still time-consuming to build rapport with students, and some kids are not going to like positive attention at first because they are not used to it. However, sooner or later there will be a difference.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

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Time travel is such an interesting concept. What do you mean time is not linear? Is there a way to come back from time travel 5 minutes before you left? If you did, wouldn’t you see yourself coming back?

This was a quick read that brought as many questions as it did answers. There are Christian and science ideas in here that will give the reader a lot to think about. Basically, IT controls your thoughts and once you’re taken by IT in Camazotz, it’s like you don’t have free will anymore. It reminds me a little bit of The Giver, where society is perfect, everyone is the same, and nothing ever goes wrong. It it did, it would be fixed right away. But it is not the world that we want to live in.

It reminds me of this other book that I’m reading now called Pachinko. In it, the pastor Isak Baek once explained that a God who does everything we thought was good, would not be a God. He would be a puppet. There are things that we will never understand and that will never make sense to us and that’s okay.

The other thing that I thought was interesting is when Meg realizes that adults are not perfect. Meg’s dad is fallible just like everyone else, but that does not mean he doesn’t love his kids. Meg has to save her brother Charles by herself. There is no other way, and no one else can do it. Despite being scared, sometimes you just have to go straight ahead and do the thing that scares you. In my case it could be going on a roller coaster, facing a group of kids who don’t like you, needle pricks, and a lot more. I’m not a brave person but sometimes it’s not about being brave. You have no choice but to do it. I am super grateful that I got to read this book after so long.