Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Where Have All My Teammates Gone?
Freshly back from the NCTE/ALAN conferences and a two hour commute I tried to get together with my colleagues today. Lunch wouldn't work - neither did after school but two isolated conversations have led to a decision. I will let Arlene and Andrew comment on this tomorrow...but as I have learned at my conference if you want your kids to write you need to write. If I want you to blog on time, I must blog on time.
I won’t call it cheating, but the way things worked out I had a substantial head starts in round one. A smack and school colleague gave me Popular to read during the last school year. It definitely had a catchy idea...child discovers a book from the 50s written for teens who want to be popular. Child is precocious as is her family (picture Stargirl with a couple of cups of media savvy thrown in) at least that was the way I read it. Child precedes to follow the advice then write this nonfiction account.
I have to say the my reading lens of Stargirl sell-out soured the whole thing for me...but my colleague loved it….would the other readers in my group?
Dumplin’ I listened to on audio and found it an enjoyable listen. Willowdean is mourning her aunt's death and preparing to deal with her mother who runs the town's yearly beauty pageant. Willowdean does not fit the stereotype beauty queen image but that doesn't mean she's not going to enter. Much has been made about this heroine being comfortable in her own body and I wonder if people were reading a different book. I don’t think any of us are comfortable in our own bodies but, if we are lucky, we don’t let it get in the way of our life. This is the message I took away from this book. Willowdean learns not to limit herself as the book goes along. The voice is strong and the character feels more realistic for the times she does think about her weight, does make assumptions about others and what their body types and personalities should limit them to and when she does sometimes not take a risk. Because Johnson does that Willowdean's determination to stay in the pageant is a stand up and cheer moment. 3-0 Dumplin' moves on.