Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog. Visit to see all the other slicers' post. It will make a terrific day for you!
If you read my posts through the week, you know I've fallen into a routine. Mondays I review books, Tuesday is the Slice of Life, then there is Poetry Friday, and more lately, Saturday Celebration. I try to keep it simple, and enjoy the communities in which I participate. It's a plentiful, varied, and a learning week, about people's stories, what they read, what poets they enjoy, including all the writing talents observed and the amazing books shared.
However, sometimes it's important to break the habits for something a little different. This time, even after the Monday Reading sharing, I need to review another book. I've neglected reading some posts tonight, and other obligations in order to finish a book. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is one of the best books for upper middle grades (perhaps into YA) I've read in a long time. I literally have read almost 200 pages in the past day in order to finish!
I love books especially that touch me and teach me through the characters in those books. There are several connections I made to it. There is tragedy and people, without hesitation, step up to do what is needed. There is sadness, yet this young girl, Willow Chance, finds hope, even after terrible loss. "And so I take small sips that taste salty, like drinking someone's cloudy tears."
In addition, the book showed something of value in all the characters, something I often wish authors would do more. Each character was treated with respect for their unique qualities, even in the imperfections. They were given a point of view from which to speak in different chapters. Willow says this at the end of the book: "If there's anything I have figured out in the last months it's that you can find labels to organize living things, but you can't put people in any kind of group or order. It just doesn't work that way!"
Celebrating who a person really "is" in small ways and large is something to keep in a special part of our hearts. I keep thinking of different storybook characters winding down their rocky roads, and yet, with acceptance, find happy endings. Our work as teachers is to allow the student not to be held back, but to be empowered by who they are. This book, Counting by 7s, celebrates that acceptance.
Some of you know I'm attending the NCTE convention in Boston this week. On the top of a very long list is "meet Holly Goldberg Sloan". And I plan to share adventures with you in the coming weeks-promise!