At the beginning of class last Tuesday, students were asked to summarize what was currently happening in the books that they were reading. They typed their answers into a Google form, with reminders to incorporate the sentence variety and conventions we’ve been working on in class. I’m especially happy to see the use of appositives in the responses!
Most importantly, I’m happy with the level of engagement I’m seeing with most students and their books. Spending time in the library and in silent reading has given me insight into students’ reading lives. I’m learning who is familiar with which authors, who reads reluctantly and who reads willingly, and who throws up big roadblocks to reading…and perhaps why. Several students and I are now working on finding books that will get them interested again after many, many months of not reading any book at all (true confessions have been one of the benefits of this return to library visits and reading time).
Some of the many intriguing plot summaries from last week:
Ben on Perfect Season by Tim Green:
“A new kid, Chuku, has just moved in and is a potential star wide receiver. He met Troy, the main character one day at the Jets facility and Troy was impressed. Since Troy has to attend a poor school because his dad ran away with all of his money, he tried to “recruit” Chuku to attend and he did. So now, with a hall of fame player, Seth Halloway, as their coach, they are looking forward to a perfect season.”
Jane on Size 21 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot:
“Heather Wells, a college dorm monitor, has been hearing strange screams going down the elevator shaft and she has been finding people dead at the bottom. She knows these types of people wouldn’t elevator surf (jump from elevator cars to the next) so she calls the police, and of course they don’t believe her and no one else does either. She starts to investigate and finds the president of the colleges son as a suspect.”
Joseph on Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins:
“Gregor is getting ready to go on a hunt to find the Bane — the biggest baddest rat in the Underland — and kill it. Gregor knows that he has to do this even though the prophecy calls for his death. Him and Ripred, a rat that is on the humans side, are going to do whatever they can to kill the Bane and let Gregor keep his life, but it will be very hard.”
Francesca on The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler:
“The main character, Penny, just arrived at a new school in Hog’s Hollow. She and her mother baked cupcakes for a party and they have just arrived to set up the party room. An embarrassing accident happens and the birthday girl, Charity, now hates Penny. She then ‘welcomes’ Penny to her new school with a locker full of pennies.”
Kevin on The Fourth Stall, Part II by Chris Rylander:
“Earlier in the book, the protagonist Mac and his best friend Vince, along with a few other assistants, conducted a mass cheating operation for the SMARTS test, the book world’s equivalent of STAAR, where they corrected every answer. Unfortunately, everyone failed the test, despite the corrections. As the punishment for a failure on this scale results in the school being closed down, Mac and Vince must find out who is trying to take the school down. If they can’t–it’s the end of the world.”
Dahlia on The Chase by Janet Evanovich:
“FBI agent Kate O’Hare was captured by Carter Grove’s elite private security agency called Black Rhino. Nicholas Fox, her partner and international con-man and thief, is caught, and even though her bosses know what she’s doing, she’s on her own. Kate successfully talks her way out of the tricky situation, finds Nick Fox, and heads back to the states, finds Carter Grove in possession of stolen paintings, and arrests him, with help of a rag-tag crew and her dad, ex-Navy Seal, Jake O’Hare.”
Sam W. on Hothead by Cal Ripken, Jr:
“The main character, Connor, has a big baseball game coming up against his biggest rival, Billy Burrell and the Red Sox. Connor runs into Billy at school, where Billy starts to threaten Connor about ‘accidentally’ hitting him during the game. Connor then watches as he walks off and walks right into a locker door, sneding Connor home laughing. Connor then finds the tires on his bike slashed with some jagged glass, which only could have been done by the one and only….. Billy Burrell!”
What are you reading now? What’s happening in your book?