My goal for the second trimester was to read at least five young adult novels, two nonfiction books and to continue my plan to finish reading a very old book (well, it’s actually a collection of books), the Bible, by the end of the year. I also wanted to read some of the books my students have so vehemently recommended and to read a biography. As the trimester ends today, I have met some of those goals and have fallen short of a few as well.
I only read three young adult books, and one of them was one I’d read before and I read it as a read aloud (although, technically, I read it three times because I read it to three classes). In addition to “Freak the Mighty” I read “The One and Only Ivan” (to my daughter) and Jerry Spinelli’s “Crash.” I didn’t read two nonfiction books; I read one: “Bomb,” which I really did enjoy. I have not read any of the books that have been recommended to me – like any of those “Escape from the Furnace” books – and I recently picked up a biography on Martin Luther, which is sitting on my bedside table, largely untouched since I got it from the Stratford Library. I’ve been stuck on Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth” for quite a while. I got several copies to offer as a Book Club choice for my Humanities class during our China unit, and although I struggled with it at first it is becoming a book that I am really enjoying (it did win the Pulitzer Prize in the 1930s), but I don’t think it is for middle-school students. So I’m actually glad I’m reading it because I don’t think I’ll offer it.
In regards to my plan to finish the Bible, I am doing well on that. During the holidays, I finished the four Gospels, which was a happy coincidence, and I have read all the books of the New Testament up to Hebrews (which was mostly Paul’s letters). So I am clearly on track to finish that by the end of the year.
So, for the third trimester, I need to read eight books to meet the challenge that I threw out to all my students at the beginning of the year: to read 30 books. I haven’t read anything from the genres of historical fiction, science fiction, mystery and biography, so I have to read at least one book from those genres. And I really need to read some of the books that have been recommended to me. So, as much as I’d like to see some more Book-Talks in the third trimester, I don’t think I’ll be reading anything that will be recommended – I have enough to read already.