Nora Raleigh Baskin does a great job of sharing the lives of four adolescents from very different parts of the United States. She really captures the essence of the often awkward middle school experience, and weaves a very cohesive narrative with believable connections. What ends up connecting all four characters is the events of September 11, 2001. Connections we personally make every day may seem insignificant at the time, but have a way of affecting us and often have an impact on our lives in some way. In the author's note, Nora shared that "I chose the structure of this story to reflect the interconnectivity in our society, in particular between children." This is a very well-written and powerful story that is a must read for every tween and middle school student, teacher, and parent.
I read this book in a day--I couldn't put it down! The characters are well-developed and likable. The setting is engaging and Frederick does a fantastic job of depicting life in a small New England town. There are many themes throughout the story including adapting to change, friendship, courage, and perseverance. This was one of those books that I didn't want to end! I hope that there are more adventures and mysteries in Pumpkin Falls in the future.
Nutmeg nominee author and West Hartford native, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, shared her inspiration for "One for the Murphy's" to a room full of mostly adolescent readers tonight at the West Hartford Noah Webster branch Public Library.
I found her talk very inspirational! She spoke of her challenging childhood and the fact that she struggled as a reader and a writer. Lynda gave the audience some insight into her writing process, as well as where many of the ideas for plot and characters of "One for the Murphys originated.
When she told the audience that she "never knew you could see movies in your head when you read a book" until her 6th grade teacher gave her "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume, I was moved. I can only hope that some of my book recommendations have a similar impact on my current students.
As a teacher, her message about the importance of a teacher's high expectations really struck a chord with me. I have always told my students that I expect them to work hard and do their best because I care about them and their future!
Thank you Lynda for a truly memorable night! I look forward to sharing some of your words of wisdom with my students and your upcoming book "Fish in a Tree." The students at the Renzulli Academy will LOVE the books you have donated to our growing school library:)
Check out Lynda on this year's Global Read Aloud and follow her on twitter at @LynMullalyHunt!
Open a World of Possible: Real Stories About the Power of Joy and Power of Reading by Lois Bridges and Scholastic
This year, Teen Read Week will take place October 12-18. See the website for some of the great resources and watch a short video that highlights the top 10 nominees!
This Saturday morning, I had the pleasure to participate in a free online conference sponsored by The Educator Collaborative. (If you haven't already, become a member--it's free!)
To watch the archived sessions, go to their website!! Also, learn more #TheEdCollabGathering
One of my hero's, Donalyn Miller, was the keynote speaker and inspired everyone to use more non-fiction in their teaching for both classrooms and libraries.
Here are some of the suggestions she gave to engage more students with non-fiction texts:
Some of my favorite nonfiction authors...
Additional Resources for Using Non-Fiction in the Classroom
I am a middle school teacher librarian and former classroom teacher. I have a passion for all things books and try to match my readers with high quality literature in every possible situation.