Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last chance to vote on a year's worth of books

Voting has been open since the end of August, and you have only one more day to vote. Anyone reading this blog is welcome to vote, so click on your favorites of these twelve ... and also your least favorites in the next poll down the sidebar.

From The Other Side of the Bridge to The Freedom Writers Diary, we've traveled the globe together. Help me remember (in the comments) where we've been.

The Other Side of the Bridge (OSB)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (BSP)
Cold Comfort Farm (CCF)
Pictures of Hollis Woods (PHW)
In Lucia's Eyes (ILE)
People of the Book (POB)
The Camel Bookmobile (CB)
Windfalls (WF)
The Devil in the White City (DWC)
Jim the Boy (JTB)
Suite Française (SF)
The Freedom Writers Diary (FWD)
We have completed a year together, but I think that's enough ... at least for me. I'm sorry, Shirley, but the interest just isn't here. Thanks, Marylyn, for your major effort to make Book Buddies work during August. Thanks to those of you who have read and commented on books we've shared. For now, however, I have decided to devote more time to writing ... and to leading the writers in the Chattanooga region who (foolishly?) try to write the draft of a novel in the 30 days of November. Read about it on Bonnie's NaNoWriMo* 2008 blog.

Essencia Island will continue to be a place for book buddies to talk to each other, so drop by there anytime you want to chat.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Superstar Teachers

In reading the Freedom Writers, I was quite impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of the author. She is the teacher everyone would have liked to have had for themselves and their children. Has anyone had or has one of their children had a teacher that made such a difference in the life of themself or their child? I have had some good teachers and mainly mediocre ones which was the experience for my children as well with none being truly outstanding. This is the same way with coaches. I have read stories and seen movies of a coach that makes a difference in the lives of the team, but again none made the mark of the ones in the lives of my children. Of course, if such teachers were the rule rather than the exception, it wouldn't be worth reading a book about her.

October Book

While visiting on the phone with Bonnie last night about the next month's selection, I suggested that until our group becomes more active again that we just go with the selection that she is reading as part of her face to face book club. For October, they are going to read Profiles in Courage. I read that years ago, but am game to reading it again. How does that sound to the rest of the crew?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

FWD ~ Freshman Year

1. Why do you think Ms. Gruwell refers to the Nazis as the most famous gang in history? Why does this comparison make the students listen to her?

2. Why are the students so unwilling to associate with anyone outside their own ethnic or racial groups? Where does this intolerance come from?

3. Why is trust such an important part of a teacher-student relationship?

4. Respect and trust are not only a problem among the students. Teachers and administrators at Wilson High School don't support Ms. Gruwell's teaching methods. Why do they refuse to trust her?

5. Why are the students so filled with anger at the beginning of the book? Do you think their anger is reasonable?

6. Have you ever kept a diary or journal?