"What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do." – Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
This month was better for meeting with my reading buddy – we only had one week off: his school vacation week. Which happened to be the same week of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Thankfully, all of our schools were on vacation that week, so that was one less worry for people (think about it: schools would have had to go into lock-down – scaring both the children and their parents – or they would have had to evacuate which could have caused more panic, too).
Anyway, we’re almost done with Zac Power #3, probably have about 10 or so pages left to read. A. seems to really enjoy the books, which is good, since I think these are much more appropriate than the scary books (I think you all know how I feel about those by now, yes?). The program coordinator found book #4, so I think we’ll have enough time to finish that to wrap up the year together.
We only have 3 weeks left and then an end-of-year celebration, so I’ll only see him 4 more times until next fall when the program starts again. I need to figure out what book to get him as the end-of-year gift… any suggestions?
P. L. Travers
Kindle edition (borrowed from library)
Most people should know the story of Mary Poppins (whether from this book or the Disney movie version). You know, the magical Nanny who takes care of some kids in England? They have some silly adventures and have ridiculous parents?
Anyway, let me start by saying Disney’s Mary Poppins is my favorite non-animated Disney movie. I love the music and Mary Poppins and the funny things she does. Having said that, I was surprised that the book and movie were so very different. Of course, I expected differences (the movies are never the exact same!), but I was not prepared for the significant differences such as: Jane and Michael having twin siblings, the different adventures within the book and most importantly, Mary Poppins herself.
Quite frankly, I didn’t think she was a very likable character at all, and Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins is so endearing and everyone loves her (“It’s a jolly holiday with Mary”… right?). She was very vain and not very nice at all in the book. I tried very hard to rid myself of the Disney version of the character and after a short time, it was easy enough to do considering the different personalities of these two women with the same name. But I had a hard time trying not to compare certain scenes and wondering when a beloved scene from the movie would appear in the story only to never find it.
In the movie, the kids and parents (or at least the father), all learn a lesson and have a better relationship and Mary Poppins really does care for the children; in the book, I didn’t get that feeling at all on either of these points.
I’m glad I read this just to see the inspiration for the movie, but I’ll stick with Julie Andrews, thanks! I don’t plan to read any of the other books in the series.
So today did not pan out for reading. I alerted the program coordinator that I might be a few minutes late due to a meeting set up. (As an admin, I sometimes have to help set up a meeting, making sure all the technology is good to go). So we go to the room and there’s no projector. Oh, by the way, the meeting was in a different building from where I sit. So I had to go back to my building to grab a projector, then go back to the meeting room and set up the projector, which had a minor difficulty but was sorted out. Then I trucked on over to the school (a little more than a 10 minute walk). As I walked in the door the program coordinator approached me and told me he wasn’t in school today. She didn’t find out until the last minute because the teacher hadn’t turned in the attendance sheet. So I walked on back to work.
I was so looking forward to saying that we finally finished the scary stories book. (I even had a draft of this post that opened up with: We FINALLY finished that scary stories book! Huzzah! - Imagine my disappointment when I had to delete it!)
A few weeks ago I went through the book bin at the school and picked out about a half dozen other books that we could read, and we talked about them last week and decided to keep them all in our folder. So, now I’ll look forward to finishing the scary book next week and start something more entertaining.
Earlier in the month we had a session to meet with the teachers to learn a bit more about our student and if there were any specific we should focus on during our sessions. Unfortunately, my student’s teacher was out that day, so I got to sit in with a different teacher. I learned that they’re studying medieval history (You’re probably thinking What? In 3rd grade? I was thinking the same thing). And I also learned that the 3rd and 4th graders have reading buddies in the kindergarten class…how cute is that? I never knew that, so I talked to A about it the next time I saw him and he didn’t seem to be too excited about it, but I’m not sure why.
Also, January was reading mentor appreciation month.
Normally I post this on the last day of the month, but since the last day of this month is also the last day of the year and I have a few other posts in the works, I figured I’d post this now, so I won’t have numerous posts on the same day.
Anyway, I’ve only met with A. twice in the month of December. I was on vacation the first week and then last week was Christmas and the school is on vacation.
We’re still reading the collection of short horror stories that he brought in. Some of them are strange. Hopefully we’ll finish it soon and we can move onto something new!
I’m pretty sure this is the book we’re reading. Apparently, there are a lot of these scary stories books out there, and there is no description of the individual stories within the book, so without having the book in front of me, I’m guessing this is the cover we have (plus, I remembered the name Charbonneau and the other installments of these books had different authors….)
Do you have any suggestions for books I can introduce to A. in the new year? Whether scary/horror or otherwise? He ended up really enjoying Jumanji, even though it was a short book (and honestly, I thought the movie was more exciting); so maybe some type of adventure stories?
Hi Everybody! Long time no see. I hope you’re all doing well. This time around, not only have I been craptastic at posting, I’ve been pretty stinky at reading blogs too, so I hope to catch up on some things soon, but I certainly won’t be able to go back to the last posts I read…it’s been too long.
Anyway, I wanted to post today because I have some exciting news: I’ll be starting the reading program up at the end of next month! I re-applied earlier this month and got confirmation that my reading buddy, A., also signed up again. And the cutest part is that he asked if I would be doing it again too. (Collective “awww”). Anyway, he’ll be in 3rd grade this year. And we will be paired up again, if that wasn’t clear. (They say they always try to pair returning mentors and reading buddies as long as schedules allow, etc.)
His birthday is in October and will occur before we meet again, so I plan to bring him a birthday card, too. I’m really looking forward to starting the program and hope that my very busy schedule will allow it to continue…nevermind, I’ll MAKE time.
Okay, that’s it for now. I’m hoping to get at least one more post up here before my monthly wrap-up, and I’m hoping that will actually be on the last day unlike the past couple of entries…maybe I should set an alarm?
Goodreads Synopsis: It was Friday night. Mr and Mrs Darling were dining out. Nana had been tied up in the backyard. The poor dog was barking, for she could smell danger. And she was right – this was the night that Peter Pan would take the Darling children on the most breath-taking adventure of their lives, to a place called Neverland, a strange country where the lost boys live and never grow up, a land with mermaids, fairies and pirates – and of course the terrible, evil, Captain Hook. Peter Pan is undoubtedly one of the most famous and best-loved stories for children, an unforgettable, magical fantasy which has been enjoyed by generations.
The old favorite, newly repackaged-Wendy, John, and Michael Darling’s adventures in Never-Never Land with Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up. (This one sentence was the whole synopsis for the version of the book I have, so I decided to find a better synopsis for a different version posted on Goodreads, which is what you read above).
Let me preface by saying that Peter Pan is my most favorite animated Disney movie. I’m not sure why, but I just love the idea of having such a grand adventure. Part of it may have stemmed from when my 5th grade class got to put on the play (I was the narrator). We had so much fun preparing for it. Another reason could be all the different movie versions I’ve seen. I would be lying if I said my friend Krista and I had never acted out scenes from Hook before (during our sophomore year of college…just sayin’).
I took my niece to see the Theatre 360′s performance of Peter Pan, which was truer to the book than the Disney movie we all know and love, last year for her birthday when it came to Boston last fall. Unfortunately, the crocodile scared her so we left at intermission. (Also, Captain Hook did slit a guy’s throat right on stage, which was followed by “what just happened?” courtesy of the 6-year-old boy sitting behind me… I wish I could convey the tone of voice he used because it was hysterical).
So it took me two days to read this (but it could definitely be done in a day if you have the time!). Anyway, Disney definitely took some liberties/used artistic license when creating the cartoon. I feel that Disney made Peter Pan more likeable than he was in the book. As an adult reading about him, he seemed like a cocky little know-it-all (even though he didn’t know much). The book was still very enjoyable, though. There was more in the book than in the movie versions, though there were elements from the book in Hook. For example, in the book the lost boys pretty much forgot their parents and Wendy, John and Michael had begun to forget them. In Hook, Peter’s son Jack has trouble remembering his parents the longer he stays in Neverland. Also, the make believe meals were also the same in the book and Hook. (and I definitely pictured Dustin Hoffman every time Hook appeared).
I enjoyed the narrator though, and how he described the lifestyle. Especially, Nana. To me, it seemed that Nana was described as a human in dog form, what with her abilities to take care of the children, etc.
The (half) play that I saw by Theatre 360 was definitely more in line with the book than with any of the movies.
Peter Pan is a fanciful story that I still enjoyed nonetheless. I think it is one that everyone should read because, let’s face it, we’ve all had that moment (or two) where we wished we wouldn’t grow up.
I know my last two posts about this fell on the last day of the month, but I was pretty busy this weekend and unable to do it ’til today (which, as you know if you read one of my posts from earlier today, I now have the time!)
Anywho, here’s the March re-cap of the reading program.
A. and I got through 2 more books during the month of March.
He really enjoyed the Scary Stories book which was a collection of different scary stories. The Batman book had been put in our folder by the program coordinator. I think it was a little too young for A. since we have been reading chapter books (we read it in only a few minutes).
Good news: since I got a new (permanent) job at the same company, I will be able to finish the program. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to continue if I didn’t get a job with the company, but now I don’t even have to worry about it. (Whew!)
The first and second grade students were learning about ancestry and they invited family and the volunteers to attend a presentation they put together last week. So I went with another fellow volunteer. It was cute. They sang a few songs and each student got up and talked about a place in the world important to their family and why it was important. I didn’t tell A. I was going (mainly because I had forgotten about it until the day before) so it was a surprise for him to see me. I think he was happy I was there. He introduced me to his mom.
If we both participate in the program next year, we will probably be paired up again.
I just realized as I set up the draft for this post that it is the last day of the month and I did the same for my first reading buddy post…completely unintentional. But now that it has happened twice, well I guess I’ll have to keep doing it that way.
Since January 31, A and I have only read one book. It took a few sessions, plus we did not meet last week due to school vacation. We finished this book within the first few minutes of the reading session this week.
Magic Tree House #8: Midnight on the Moon, Mary Pope Osborne
As you can see, A wanted to stick with the Magic Tree House series.
I mentioned before that I’m on contract at my current job. The contract ends at the end of March. Is it wrong that I am sometimes more concerned about whether I’d be able to finish the reading program than the fact that I may not have a job? But, some good news: I spoke with the program coordinator and she said that it would be great if I could continue with the program even after my contract is over. I wasn’t sure if it was something that would be allowed since I would no longer be a part of the company, but she said it wouldn’t be a problem.
And other potential good news: I did find a job at the company (a full-time permanent employee position) and applied for it. I have had a few interviews and I’m waiting for a response. So fingers crossed for that!
That’s pretty much it as far as my reading buddy goes this month. We don’t have a session next week because it is Super Tuesday (March 6) and the school is used as a voting station for the city.
I mentioned in my very first post that I participate in a volunteer program through my work. Once a week, we visit a local elementary school and meet with a reading buddy. It’s a one-on-one meeting where they get to eat their lunch and we read to them.
I wanted to talk about the books I’ve read with my buddy, whom I’ll call A. He is in second grade and a real cute kid. He likes to talk about video games and his siblings, but I think he enjoys the one-on-one time we have. He has a few older siblings and I get the feeling that he probably doesn’t read too much at home. January is/was National Mentor Month (or something like that) and the program coordinator had the students color thank you cards for us and write a little message inside. A wrote “Thank you for letting me choose my own books.” At least, that’s what I think he wrote, it was a little hard to read his writing.
I let A pick a book to read and then we go to our assigned room to sit down so I can read and he can eat. Because we only have a half hour to read, the books we read usually carry over at least into the next week, though we have had a few last 3 weeks (and some are read in one meeting or less).
Since the beginning of the year, which, if I recall correctly was sometime in October, we have read about a half-dozen books together. He seems to really enjoy the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. Here are the books we’ve read (in the order we’ve read them).
I’m a stickler for order and whatnot, but A doesn’t seem to mind reading the Magic Tree House books out-of-order. It bugged me slightly in the beginning, and I asked if he wanted to start with the first one, but he said no. I think he said he had read it before. (I hadn’t though ! hehe… and there is a theme that runs through them, they’re all connected, but oh well…it’s what A wants to do!)
This is the first year I’m participating in this program (because I wasn’t working at the company at the start of the previous school year). This is also A’s first year in the program. A few weeks ago he told me that he wanted to tell his mom he wanted to sign up for it again next year. He also said “Wouldn’t it be funny if it was the next school year – like, the summer went by and it’s September again – and we got paired up with the same reading buddies?…They probably don’t do that.” (in fact, they DO try to keep pairs together if both are participating the following year…however, I am a contractor at the company and my contract ends soon, so unless my contract is extended or I get hired, I won’t be doing the program again.)
What are some books you liked as a child or read to your children?
Do you have any suggestions for books I can read with an 8-year-old boy?