Well, gee, if my kid doesn’t have the coolest second-grade teacher ever!
After school this afternoon, I heard him head outside into the backyard. It’s perfect this time of year, with the lilac and jasmine in bloom and the sun finally making an appearance. I guess I figured the kid was off riding his bike or climbing trees, but when I peeked, there he was, sitting in the faded Adirondack chair with a huge stack of books at his side. That’s when he told me that his teacher had let everybody in the class pick out ten books to take home as a gift from her. Sweet, sweet, sweet.
It’s true, there’s an undeniable lack of diversity in the books that makes me a little sad, but that’s not to appreciate the fact that he picked out some real gems. Made me nostalgic for my own childhood days when my father worked at the San Francisco Chronicle. He was able to buy the publisher’s review copies at 1/10th the cover price and he would come home just loaded down with an assortment of titles–anything, really–that he thought I might read. And really, I would read anything, so it was a win-win for us all. But it was through this very random methodology of selection that I discovered some of my very favorite authors and books.
I remember reading tons of Gordon Korman, starting with his Bruno and Boots series. In fact, I’m still reading Gordon Korman today…more than twenty-five years later. Just picked up Pop from the bookstore not too long ago. But it’s his Don’t Care High that holds the most special place in my heart.
But a few other books I recall with fondness: Center Line by Joyce Sweeney, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, and Into the Dream by William Sleator.
If you get a chance, give ‘em a read. I know, I know…nice pictures, huh?