"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

30 August 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

Every August I have to resist the urge to buy massive quantities of pencils, notebooks, and especially crayons. I was/am one of those nerdy types who is excited for school to start. Since I went to college, then grad school, then taught, my life revolved around a school year schedule for 25+ years, so it's weird now to know that September doesn't mean a new notebook and freshly sharpened pencils and cute erasers that I won't use because it will "ruin" them.

Here are my top ten favorite school stories, in approximate age-appropriateness order:

  1. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I love Chrysanthemum. I love her music teacher and her parents and this whole story. I make my storytime kids listen to it every year because it's such a sweet story. Henkes's other works are equally adorable and appropriate for this topic. 
  2. Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard. I remember loving this story as a child, and as a former teacher I can somewhat relate to Miss Nelson's troubles and admire her solution.
  3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. This book, amazingly, was popular when I was a child and remains popular today. 
  4. Ungifted by Gordon Korman. This book; I love it. The story is funny and sweet and has plenty of lessons embedded in it without being preachy, and the main character is adorably hilarious. This one would make a great classroom read-aloud.
  5. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. This is an excellent book for kids who have read everything or think they are super "advanced" for their age or just for kids who like clean reads. 
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. I still remember where I was sitting when I read the first book in this series. The magic of Hogwarts and the wizarding world still sucks me in every time. 
  7. The Wednesday Wars by Garry Schmidt. I read this book out loud to my seventh grade students, and they loved the way the main character thinks and all the hijinks he gets up to. 
  8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This is a hard book to read, but it's important and it's good and necessary. I have needed this book, and I make sure to recommend it as appropriate.
  9. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. This book is right up there with Harry Potter in my list of books that I love and often re-read. Just as many people imagine themselves being Harry, I think many people can imagine themselves as Ender, too.
  10. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This book is another one that I have savored, as it's magical like Harry but definitely darker than Harry and has many allusions to Narnia as well. 
What is your favorite school story? Do you have one you read every year?


Giovanna said...

Speak is a great book! I also loved the movie :D You are right, everyone should read it! Great Top Ten! :D My Top Ten Tuesday!

AJ Sterkel said...

Great list. Harry Potter will always be my favorite series ever.

Aj @ Read All The Things!