Monday, November 10, 2008

Accelerated Reader Gives Me Nightmares

The contest continues, and I am woefully behind, since I have to read new books before I buy them. Still, I had been dragging my ffeet on reading my way through the collection, so I picked up some AR books and soldiered on.

The Shining Company(1990), by Rosemary Sutcliffe, was actually pretty good. Prosper and his servant Conn are chosen as shield bearers and go on the war trail. Less description and more fighting than most Sutcliffe, and I liked the main characters.

I, Juan de Pareja (1965) by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino, about a slave in Spain in the 1600s who worked for an artist. It was very rich with details of the time, but it would take a huge fan of historical fiction to get through this. I like historical fiction, so enjoyed it.

Colin Thiele's Jodie's Journey (1990) was a little bit of adventure and a lot of problems. It is a very good description of a girl's struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, something from which Thiele himself suffers. This will circulate.

Theodore Taylor's Timothy of the Cay (1993) is something I had not read. By "A prequel -Sequel", he means that he tells the story of Timothy up until the time is gets stuck on the island, and the story of Phillip after he is rescued. I understand why the students who enjoy reading The Cay (1969) enjoy this.

Trumpet of the Swan (1970), by E.B. White was something that I read in the 3rd grade. Since it's been a few years (um, 34?) I thought rereading it would be good. I think I like this one even better than Charlotte's Web.

Stefanie Tolan's Plague Year (1990) and Save Halloween!(1993) were both good, but indicative of the time they were written-- the late 80s and early 90s seemed to love a new problem. Plague Year is about a boy who transfers to a new school and has a hard time , first because of his long hair and earring, and then because of a dark secret from his past. Save Halloween! is about a girl who is enjoying her school's research/pageant into the orgins and new meanings of Halloween when her evangelistic uncle comes to town and tries to stop all celebrations of "Satan's Holiday". Good, but more depressing the most students seem to want.

Whew. Now I have to go take the AR tests.

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