why this book?

How will you use this book?

How will you use this book?

This May I will teach a class, Evaluating Children’s Literature.  I  am fortunate to teach women who are currently in the classroom teaching kindergarten-third grade.  This year they will be commenting on specific books on a blog that I have set up.  It will work like the Slice and they will all comment on a post that I have written about a book.  The teachers in this program will be getting twenty-one picture books and short novels.  The professional text we use is  Mentor Texts (Dorfman and Capelli). I hope that this assignment will get my students interested in blogging and that they will also come up with ways to use these books with the children in their classrooms.  Here is a sample of one of my posts about a classic that is still relevant in classrooms of today.  

I pick one classic for our class every year. Why exactly did I pick this book?  Is it because it is one of the titles from my childhood that I remember  so clearly being read aloud by my wonderful elderly teacher Mrs. Feltman? Or is it because this book was stickered blue in the library in my hometown?  Blue indicated the age that we should be before we read a particular book.  A blue sticker indicated that either a second or third grader could read this book. The library ladies deemed it so.  Back in the ’60s I was elated that it was blue because then my mom would approve.  Or maybe it was because this book would literally change the trajectory of my life, as a reader and as a human being.

The Hundred Dresses, first published in 1944, literally slayed my heart.  Wanda Petronski who lived way up in Boggin Heights walked to school and was told to sit in the back of the room because of the mud on her feet.  She was teased by the popular girls in ways that crush a soul.  If you have never read it aloud to your class,  please consider it tomorrow.

“No young person…will ever forget it.” -Book Week

PS  Eleanor Estes brought me into the reading club.  I began reading Ginger Pye, Pinky Pye, and all of the Moffats books.  I will forever be grateful.


About Nanc

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

7 responses »

  1. Ah yes, I remember The Hundred Dresses. I wish I could be in your course.
    Your post prompted me to get out a book I “found” today while organizing and cleaning. I brought it back from Ashland and didn’t read it before school started, titled Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book — Life lessons from notable people from all walks of life edited by Anita Silvey.

  2. It’s been a long time since I’ve read 100 Dresses, but it is a powerful book. It sounds like good class you are teaching. Have you taken part in #TitleTalk on Twitter? It would be another good resource to introduce your teachers to.

  3. I didn’t read that book until I was an adult. It crushed me the way those children treated Wanda. I connected it to The Chalk Box Kid by Bulla. Sounds like a great class for the teachers. Teachers need to be voracious readers. I’m always shock to find they aren’t.

  4. I’m with you about 100 Dresses and I think that it’s one of those brilliant books that’s not for the age of the children who can read it. I love what you are doing for your class and like you, I hope that some of them will be inspired to stay blogging and using mentor texts. What a great assignment for teachers!

  5. The 100 Dresses is so moving. I’m so glad that you included your memory your teacher sharing it with you. Because we never know how our choices will impact our students, it’s important that we make informed decisions. Your class sounds like a wonderful opportunity for your students to be able to pick wonderful books to share with their students.

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