Long Time No Blog

So, I've checked in now and again, but have failed miserably to update my blog. I feel badly because I do feel the blog as a forum is a very useful tool on many levels. In many ways. What else I've dropped the ball on is upkeeping my Notches on the Reading Stick list. Trust me, I've read much, but have not kept track, and so I'll pick up again tonight inputing the info of a fantastic graphic biography/memoir that is a must read in any middle school classroom across the U.S. It's called Smile, and the author/illustrator is Raina Telgemeier. It's a seemingly simple story about a girl, the author, whose problems begin at the news of having to wear braces. Oh, the horror. But before they even go on, she falls on her face, literally, and breaks a front tooth clear off and jams the other up into the top gums. The next four years are one visit to her dentist after another, and beyond that, a girl having to learn who she is, who her friends are, and where she belongs. All in all, it's an awesome read, textually and visually. I will certainly require my next Adolescent lit class read it.

Others I've read but w/o a definite date when: Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (such a deep and touching and dark graphic story), Eternal Smile by Gene Yang (a great collection of graphic short stories), Zippy Fix by Graham Salisbury (a follow-up to his first Calvin Coconut shortish novel, Trouble Magnet). Some more Henning Mankell. Some Vince Flynn. Lots of picture books.

Tomorrow, too, is TTU's 6th Annual Children's Literature Festival: authors invited to meet and present to our students are Chris Crowe, Ann Bausum, and Nic Bishop. It's an exciting list of folks, and if you visit my other blog, chatandchewbooktalks.blogspot.com you'll see what all my students in Adolescent lit have researched on Chris Crowe specifically.

Also, the boys are doing very well, in spite of winter time illnesses. Finn had the croup (spelling very questionable), infected ears, and he's having a hard time kicking the congestion; Mikah's had a cold, on and off, but he's a tough kid; and Lukas is a trooper: he wakes up mornings early to get ready for school, he takes his little AR quizzes and chooses the "this is my favorite book so far" option on the quizzes every time, every book. Trust me, though: I know what AR can do to a reader, and so as soon as he says the passion for quizzes is gone, I'll opt him out. 

It's been cold in Lubbock. We've gotten our share of snow this winter. With another front coming in tonight, according to the weatherman.

In March, I'm travelling down to the Valley again to do some work with Reading Rockstars, a wonderful literacy-advocacy program tied to the Texas Book Festival. I'll visit two schools and another reading that's popped up by chance is one at, get this, Peñitas Public Library. Dig it: my little ranchito's got a reading haven. How cool is that!