Friday, April 24, 2009

Are you Reading Together?

Amanda and I finally finished our first read-aloud book for the Read Together challenge. We started strong with Pieces of Georgia, but then we had Spring Break last week, and with our regular schedule thrown out the window, we stalled. Fortunately, we picked back up.

This was a great book to share together. I especially enjoyed reading a whole novel of free verse for the first time (in National Poetry** Month, no less). At first I read a little differently, because of the way it was written, even though it didn't rhyme. But then I settled into a more natural rhythm, still taking some cues from the ends of lines and stanzas.

Thirteen-year-old Georgia's voice was strong. She was sweet, talented, shy, and curious and questioning.

The book is her journal, which her school counselor has asked her to keep as a way to connect with her mother, who passed away years ago. Georgia finds that there are a lot of things she's wanted to share with her and it proves to be important as she enters her teen years to help her figure out who her mother was and who Georgia is now.

On her 13th birthday, she receives an anonymous gift -- a membership to the nearby art museum. Her art teacher has also encouraged her to apply for a special art program, so the months are filled with her experimenting with different techniques, often inspired by her visit to the museum and the Wyeth's works along with Georgia O'Keefe (her namesake). This would be a great book to read alongside a study of some of these American artists, because getting a youngster's perspective on them piqued my curiosity as well as Amanda's.

Speaking of the Read Together challenge, I think I'm going to make it a monthly thing. I know that accountability is always good for me, so on the first of May, when you post your results from Read Together, if you want to post May goals, that would be great.

If you didn't officially join-in this month, you can jump in anytime in the future.

I have found the accountability great in encouraging my perseverance. When we finished this book, Amanda said, "We need to get another book we can read together." I was glad that she is enjoying this effort as much as I am. I was already prepared with The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which we started today.

Keep on keepin' on!

**Are you checking out the 30 new poems from great poets each day this month at Gotta Book? If not, go catch up. I especially enjoyed a recent one from Jane Yolen.

1 comment:

Code Yellow said...

We just received a shipment of Read Together books and we have had a ball reading together - Scaredy Squirrel is a HUGE hit. Not only has he let us giggle together, but he has motivated my very young reader to read on his own when my "over and over" button has been pushed too many times. :) I'll post more results on our goal at the beginning of May, but just wanted to pop in and say that we are really enjoying the purposeful reading that your challenge is giving us.

And thanks for the poetry recommendations...Pieces of Georgia sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

Happy Reading!