Friday, September 19, 2014

Diving for Books

Quality teaching depends on the teacher and her books.  Oh, not the math, etc., although they are certainly important and need the good teacher.  No, the books!

I had been teaching for years in the elementary zone, first grade through fourth grade.  My personal library filled a dozen boxes or more when I moved from classroom to classroom.

But then it was time to teach middle school.  I looked forward to the challenge, but I had no library, no books to share. It was a scary time for me.

Every year (it seemed) a roving discount bookstore would appear in an empty big store building.  So many treasures, but I had never sought the appropriate books for older children.

I found a handful of books that were Newberry** and/or Caldecott*** award winners.
Do you have more?  The owner led me to the store room where cardboard bin-dumpster-sized boxes.  He handed me a step stool and pointed to an industrial flatbed cart.

I dived in, finding books, and tossing good candidates to my nine-year old daughter.  I would not allow her to do the diving, for fear of an avalanche.  Book after book were tossed to her from me, now almost invisible in the boxes, all nine of them.  

Soon I had class sets of awesome books and amazing individual books.

I was ready.
Moon Over Manifest book cover.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

Johnny Tremain
Source: Barnes and Noble
Elijah of BuxtonRothmc cover.jpg
Barnes and Noble
Theses two books segue nicely.  

**Caldecott Awards are the highest awards given to children books.
***Newbery  Awards are also highest awards given to books with exceptional illustrations and writing. 


  1. This made me think about my favorite children's books. One day Martin Waddell came to a local bookstore and read his books. It was beautiful and his books were a top favorite of mine ever since.

    1. What a privilege to see the author read his books! Tomi da Paoli read his books at my favorite store (which closed after the B&N super book stores arrived.).

  2. Which reminds me....we have a 'Friends of the Library' sale coming up soon.

  3. i love children's books---i especially enjoy each year looking in thrift store or used book store for a Christmas book----i always give one of my girlfriends a special one each year

    1. Children books are fascinating and can introduce the excitement of reading to a child. Many bloggers are teachers, librarians, retired teachers, and parents, so this post is for them.

      When I retired, I donated the dozen boxes of books to a Christian school, keeping my favorites for myself (and gr-kids).

  4. Ooooh. Your poor daughter would have been in danger from the avalanche emerging from those boxes if I had been there. A good children's book is a thing of joy and beauty. For them and for the child in me.

  5. She was a good catcher. As fast as I tossed them over the rim, she caught them. If I got going too fast, she let me know.

  6. haha you sure worked on her hand eye coordination that day, plus got lots to read

  7. Your'e an English teacher? I did not know that.

  8. Oooh, I love Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. The sequel is pretty good too. Have you looked into all those MG writers who give away books on Goodreads and their blogs? That might be a way to acquire some others.

  9. Dear Susan, I've read three of the four books the covers of which you've posted today. I so admire your fortitude and your love of sharing books with children. I believe that "books" can make the whole difference in the way children grow into adulthood. Peace.

  10. Susan, I couldn't find your email. You're the winner of the $5 Amazon Gift Card I gave away on Bish Denham's blog last week. Please email me at tikihuttime AT gmail DOT com. Congratulations!


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!