Posts Tagged ‘The Nerdy Book Club’

SOL #3

SOL #3

Recently one of my mentors, Donalyn Miller, presented a two part post on The Nerdy Book Club about books that make us cry and why we love them.  I lost my self-consciousness about this years ago while reading aloud Charlotte’s Web for the umpteenth time and crying once again.  I decided it was OK for my students to see me tear up.

Some of you may know about my student Emily.  She is a fourth grader whose mother died unexpectedly this fall.  I wrote about her here and here.  She has been reluctant ever since to read sad books.  She gave up on Love that Dog when she read that the dog died.  She gravitated to funny books like Flora and Ulysses and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

I have been reading The Crossover aloud in my classroom ever since it won the Newbery Award.  My boys went crazy over it, hooting and cheering.  No other read aloud has brought on so much enthusiasm.  They begged for more.  The book makes a wonderful read aloud with its rhythmic verse and creativity of language.


Cover of The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

When I found out from a friend that there was a (spoiler alert!) death, I became worried about Emily.  Should I stop reading?  I didn’t think they would let me.  I tried to skip a few days, but I knew I would have to keep reading.  I tried to buy the book at Barnes and Noble thinking I could just let them pass it around, but it was not to be found.  All out on Amazon, too.  The only way to finish Crossover was to keep reading it from my iPhone Kindle app.

I decided to just confront Emily with the truth.  I called her aside privately.  (Actually, she visits me every recess, so that wasn’t hard.) I told her the truth about the book.  I asked her permission to keep reading.  I told her if she got upset, she could leave the room.

Today was the day.  88% left.  Emily knew this would be the day.  She was prepared.  In the cabinet she had hidden a sign, “RIP Chuck ‘Da Man’ Bell.”  She sat close to me, so when I choked and couldn’t get the words out, she read them.  The boys were silent.  It was a profound moment.  As Kwame Alexander wrote in Basketball Rule #10,

A loss is inevitable,
like snow in winter.
True champions
to dance
the storm.


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