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Summer Reading for You: Thoughts on Nancy Drew, Judges, Rereading and Jessica Fletcher

As you prepare reading lists for your students to use as guides for summer reading, take time to make a list for yourself.  I just read an article in the NY Times by Mary Jo Murphy on how the three women named to the Supreme Court were Nancy Drew readers (“The Secret of the 3 Black Robes,” May 31, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/weekinreview/31murphy.html?_r=1)
I was a big fan, too and mystery is still my go-to genre for R&R and plane rides.


My sister is one of the best readers and smartest people I know.  (She’s also very empathetic, so she would make a good judge!)  She gave me Clues for Real Life: The Classic Wit & Wisdom of Nancy Drew. This book and another NY Times article, “Reaching Again for That Well-Loved Book” (June 1, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/02/opinion/l02read.html), have reminded me of the joys of rereading.  Lately, I have picked up The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene.  This summer, why not reread an old favorite that helped shape the person you are today?

 Drew carolyn keene

Sort of related…I was thrilled to meet Angela Lansbury (a k a Jessica Fletcher) at a dinner last night.  I think she’s an incredible performer. I wonder what books influenced her?

Happy Summer Reading!

Yes We Can Read – Must Reads on the Upcoming Inauguration

As the country prepares for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, here are two great books to help your kids get ready and to share in the excitement:

Yes_we_can Yes We Can! A Salute to Children from President Obama’s Victory Speech. (Scholastic Inc.)  This book takes words from the President-elect’s November 5, 2008 speech and connects them to photos from the campaign in a picture book for children from pre-kindergarten through third grade.  The book is informational and inspirational.

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My Book of the Year


Everyone is doing their lists for best of 2008 and we know that Time Magazine has selected President-elect Barack Obama Person of the Year.  It was hard to choose, but my Book of the Year is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  This is a Young Adult book that takes place in a harsh and distant future.  In this terrible new world, each district of what used to be the United States sends two “tributes”, a boy and a girl to fight until only one young person survives. 

It is for a mature reader and the setting, thrills and story makes it impossible to put down.

Like all really good books for kids, the characters are compelling.  You may want to read it during your holiday vacation.

Read up....

O No

While shelter magazines don’t provide any advice on classroom décor or any ideas that seem realistic for my office, I always liked O At Home, An Oprah Magazine, because books were part of the ambience.

O This fall’s issue is the last one—only on sale until November 24th hence the O No, but if you get a chance, take a look because the lead story pictures Oprah’s private library.  I was inspired to reorganize my own books.  I arranged them by genre or author rather than just by when I acquired them.  I also found books that I felt should be shared so they will go to teacher friends and to support various holiday book drives. 

When I taught, I so enjoyed the process of organizing books with my students.  I didn’t have Oprah for inspiration, but I did get plenty from my kids.

Read up………

“Get Carried Away” at the Library

The words  in quotes are from the ad for the movie, SATC—the full title can’t be spelled out and make it through filtering software  However, my take on the film based on the TV show (have you figured out the name of the movie yet?) is that it’s all about books and the New York Public Library.  The lead, Carrie, is writing a book about love and she checks out books from the library for her research.  While I have visited the library on several occasions, I didn’t have a card and didn’t check out books….I decided to do something about that and got a library card.  In these tough economic times, libraries can be a place of refuge and relaxation.


I’m writing this on the way back from Washington, DC where I attended a White House ceremony - the
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) honored ten outstanding museums and libraries with National Medals for service to their communities. 

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Read This: Reading Research in Action, A Teacher’s Guide for Student Success

I know it is hard to keep up on professional reading while teaching a class or managing a school. That’s why my first book recommendation of the school year is Reading Research in Action, A Teacher’s Guide for Student Success by Peggy McCardle, Vinita Chhabra & Barbara Kapinus. http://www.brookespublishing.com/

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Read Up! Books, Research & Literacy are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.