1. talking about the book outside of class...recess, lunch, to parents, the principal...LOVE this!
2. not wanting to stop reading when ELA class has come to an end.
3. asking to take the book with them to the next class...not a favorite of my incredible teammates:(
4. buying the book with their own money or going to the public library to check out their own copy. 5. demanding that Hollywood turn the book into a feature film!
The texts this has happened with...every novel by Jerry Spinelli, The Lottery Rose by Irene Hunt, and the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. These just happen to be books with characters they connect with and a plot that draws them in and keeps their focus...a reading teacher's DREAM!
I love the way Jerry Spinelli writes because he clearly understands his audience. Some of my favorite titles are: Stargirl, Crash, Wringer, and Maniac Magee. His chapters are short, his writing is detailed, and his humor is witty. I find that students LOVE these three characteristics about his novels, as well. In addition, his characters are relate-able and he writes about issues that are relevant for adolescents-bullying, family challenges, and navigating friendships. His books are also amazing for read-alouds, which even BIG KIDS enjoy. His autobiography Knots in my Yo-Yo String: The Autobiography of a Kid is a perfect BIG KID book if you are looking to give your students a high-interest autobiography. Share this interview with your students as a way to show just how fascinating Jerry Spinelli and his stories truly are...he might even inspire some novel writing in your classroom!
Irene Hunt's novels have been around for awhile, but her descriptive writing is timeless. The Lottery Rose is a perfect pick for your BIG KIDS in grades 6-8. If you are looking for an attention-grabber, Irene Hunt does not disappoint. It is about a boy named Georgie Burgess who is abused by his mom and her boyfriend. He is eventually taken from his home and brought to this wonderful school for boys. It is not a "rainbows and lollipops story" as I tell my students. At times it is a very emotional read. I love that Georgie has all of the odds stacked against him, but is able to grow into a compassionate human being. Reading this novel with my students helps them to grasp the idea that we don't always know what someone is dealing with in their life and it is important to be kind to others ALWAYS!
Suzanne Collins, writer of the Hunger Games Trilogy, is the way to get your kiddos to connect with science fiction. While some of my students have seen the movies before reading the book, they will share that the books are so much more elaborate and detailed than the movie, and therefore, they love the book more. She hooked my students, for sure. Share this interview with your Hunger Games-loving students. Students are so intrigued to learn how down to earth Suzanne Collins is and just how she came to write the Hunger Games Trilogy.
- Jerry Spinelli
- Irene Hunt
- Suzanne Collins