I recently finished the book, Appleblossom The Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan (the author of Counting by 7's) Let me start by saying I will read anything that H. G. Sloan writes. What an amazing author! Appleblossom is the sweetest little possum you ever did read about and she totally changed my feelings about possums. They just don't seem quite so nasty anymore:). Just look at that cute little possum waving to you on the cover below. She was drawn by Holly Goldberg Sloan's husband, Gary A. Rosen.
I started reading this book on Monday and found myself headed back to school tonight (Wednesday) after dinner so I could find out what happened to sweet little Appleblossom in the "monster's house." I have always thought that I didn't enjoy fictional animal books. I may be the only person in the world who doesn't like Charlotte's Web. I am beginning to wonder if it is because of the sadness I felt as a little girl when I read about Charlotte's life. I may have to rethink what kinds of books I enjoy. I sure enjoyed Appleblossom the same way I fell in love with Toes.
On another note, this year my school reinstated SSR time to end our school day. I have noticed a BIG change in my own reading. I have read several articles that say that SSR doesn't improve reading and I have even heard of school principals that do not allow SSR for that reason. I beg to differ. This is what I know...in the past few years I have not read as much as I have in the past. Several reasons come to mind-I have three teenagers, I was focused on integrating a MakerSpace into my library programming, my school district went 1-1 and I was working hard to integrate tech in meaningful ways, I was learning about and implementing genius hour, and have I mentioned I have three teenagers. So what is different this year? SSR! I am spending the last 20 minutes of my day reading and I have found that I am getting so involved in the books I am reading that I just can't stop reading them! I think that is what SSR does. It give kids a chance to read for pleasure and get lost in a great story. Simple pleasures in a busy world. Please, just give kids time to read!
Below are the books I have read this school year alone, probably about the same number of books I read all of last school year. Most importantly, I have enjoyed each and every one of them for different reasons. Two were sequels to books I had read last year. One was a quirkly little historical fiction book and another was one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time, Circus Mirandus. The Paper Cowboy was a really emotional read as it dealt with really tough topics and Absolutely Truly, had me looking for the next book in that series. Tomorrow I will start another book and with it I will find joy or sorrow or danger or mystery or adventure or even talking animals:).
One thing I know for sure, I will book talk Appleblossom The Possum and one of my kiddos will walk out with a sweet little book to enjoy during SSR time.