As some of you have already established, my birthday is coming up. I'm turning 25 on January 26th, and, instead of celebrating with my friends or asking for gifts I don't want, I'm asking for something for my students:
Books for our rolling class library.
As per DoSomething.org, here are some facts about literacy in America:
You-- and all teenagers-- deserve better than this. I want you to read. I want you to succeed. I want you to prove anyone who has ever doubted you wrong, and I want you to do well in life.
I know you can. This isn't just wistful thinking. I believe in you.
I've created a wish list of books on Amazon that I want to add to my rolling class library. (You haven't seen it yet, but I got an awesomely pink rolling trunk to act as a rolling library in my 3 classrooms.) Ideally, 25 of the books on my list will be gifted to us and we'll be able to work some sustained silent reading time into our busy class schedule. If you have any you want me to add to the list, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to me in class.
So, when you're on your phones and instagramming/ tweeting/ Facebooking/ anything-else-ing, share the link to this blog post or my Amazon wish list. Use the #MsBarbours25th hashtag on social media, please.
See you in class!
Holy high school flashbacks, Batman.
Fangirl, another book by Rainbow Rowell, blew my mind. It focuses on a girl named Cather (Cath) who is a super popular fan fiction writer in the world of Simon Snow, who seems to be the equivalent of Harry Potter ten years ago. Cath and her twin sister, Wren, used to write fan fic together, but Wren has grown up to be a more social butterfly than her sister. This book deals with so many issues-- growing up, starting college, the anxiety of moving away from home, deadbeat parents, relationships, friendships, dining hall food... I could go on and on!
I love this story because, even though it's fiction, it's such an honest depiction of growing up, geekdom, and fan fiction. It reminded me so much of my own teenage years, and my friendship with my high school best friend. You all should rel
Also, Rainbow Rowell is rad. She responded to my tweets when I fangirled over this book and said I was going to recommend it to you all.
I noticed quite a few of my students reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell last year so I decided to give it a shot this summer.
Eleanor & Park is built around finding common grounds between people of different backgrounds. It actually reminded me a bit of the 1986 film, Sixteen Candles, but with more of a focus on music and comic books than socio-economic class. It definitely tells a sweet, honest, sometimes painfully truthful tale of teen romance without making the story built on first love and relationships.
I really enjoyed this book, and it ended up breaking my heart a little bit at some points.
Definitely give this one a try!
Without giving away too much, Where She Went by Gayle Forman is the follow up to If I Stay, the last book I talked about in my summer reading adventures.
After staying up late and reading If I Stay in one night, I downloaded Where She Went to my Kindle the next morning and finished it in a few hours.
The story picks up a few years after where its prequel left off. I don't want to spoil the ending of If I Stay, but just know that this book is told from the perspective of Adam. It further explores the story of Mia and Adam, adding new layers to their tale following Mia's accident, and exploring what it means to pursue your dreams when your dreams are inevitably changed forever.
I definitely recommend this story. It's a fairly easy read that stays true to the love you develop for the characters in the first book.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman was such an incredible book. I actually read it in one night, and then downloaded the sequel, Where She Went, and read it the next morning.
In If I Stay, Gayle Forman tells the story of Mia, a talented cellist teenager who is in a horrific car accident that leaves her an orphan left in a coma. The entire story is told with Mia's soul (I guess?) floating around and seeing everyone she loves try to encourage her to either stay alive or join her family.
I really loved this book and the characters Gayle Forman created. I felt like I was interacting with them as I read the story. This is definitely something you'll start reading and be unable to put down.
Oh, and the movie adaptation of the first book comes out August 22nd. I'm probably going to go see it and bawl my eyes out. I totally cried while I was reading this book.
The first book I read this summer off of my summer reading list was It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. (Trigger warning: this story-- and my review-- deal with depression and thoughts of suicide.)
The story is told through the perspective of Craig, a 15 year old boy who experiences depression and suicidal ideations. It discusses his stay in a psych ward in a matter-of-fact, almost hilarious way.
I really enjoyed this book. I think you will too-- just be warned that it has a lot of emotional triggers, especially if you've interacted with depression or suicide before.
I've gotten a few emails asking how to access the FHS summer reading lists. Here ya go!
To access the Franklin summer reading:
1. Go to franklinboe.org
2. Click the "Students" page.
3. Click "Summer Reading/ English Supply List."
4. Click the appropriate summer reading list.
(i.e. if you are going into 12th grade Honors, click Grade 12 Honors)
To access my reading suggestions:
Click the "Reading Suggestions" link at the top of this page!
Happy reading, Warriors!