The week began with our final battles in Round 1. Since Monday is the day for the weekly scheduled meeting of the high school book group (Bookmarked), everyone was there for these battles. Up first, was one of my favorites of 2013, Rose Under Fire. I know that historical fiction is a hard sell to my students, but Alexandra and Kayla who read this work seemed to love it as much as I did. The strong female characters and the different picture that the book paints of the Holocaust resonated with them. Unfortunately, it could not manage to defeat The Thing about Luck. Darla stepped up with a script in hand so she wouldn't forget anything and described the story about a girl of Japanese descent working as a migrant farm worker with her family That the protagonist feels good luck just seems to evade their family time and time again spoke to the students. I guess they could feel her pain. Twice as many students selected Kadohata's work over Wein's. Author judge, Malindo Lo, agreed with the PFTSTA students. She thought that The Thing about Luck was the superior book. Click here to read why.
|Members of Bookmarked trying to decide which book appeals to them|
|Students stood at the podium to make presentation, made it feel official|
Below is a student talking about The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata:
I wasn't sure if we could keep up the momentum through eight book battles, but we did. Vy and Ella did a great job of describing the environmental fantasy The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. They liked the humor and all the twists and surprises. Agreeing that the book was not predictable made it a hit in their eyes. The boys, Logan and Harris, who read What the Heart Knows, a poetry book, had a tough hill to climb. Poetry is not high on the list of loves in our science and technology school. Though both boys really found something to like in the poems, and they each chose their favorite poem to read when they tried to defend it. It just wasn't going to happen. Three times as many students selected True Blue Scouts as What the Heart Knows. I am happy to have the poetry book on the shelves in the library, but I know it is not the title that is going to get checked out unless a teacher assigns it during a poetry unit.I guess my students are as smart as Sheila Turnage, the SLJ author judge. She also went for the humor in True Blue Scouts as her book of choice. Click here to read her wonderful recap of both titles and why she went for Appelt's book.
|Reading one of the poems out loud|
|Using the Activotes to select their fav book|
|Middle school students watch the books battle it out|
So that ends, Round 1. We have decided to move Round 2 to an online round. I have collected blurbs from all the students about all the winning books. I am going to create an electronic survey for the students to use to vote. Watch next week for the students comments and winners posted on this blog.