Tuck Everlasting Musical?

My class and I just finished reading Tuck Everlasting.  One of my favorite books, I always enjoy starting the year with Babbitt’s seminal work.  My students usually start out bored and uninterested and then become huge fans of the book as we read further.  It’s a great lesson for the kids that shows them how giving a book a chance can really be worth it.  

Imagine my surprise this weekend when I stumbled on the fact that a musical version of Tuck Everlasting is in the works!  Broadway is another one of my passions, and I really think Natalie Babbitt’s gorgeous story would translate well to the stage.  Apparently there is a demo floating around cyberspace, and you can hear one of the songs here.  “Seventeen” is sung by Jonathan Groff, one of the original stars of “Spring Awakening” on Broadway.  The composers’ website includes a few more songs from the demo.    

I would love to see this show come to fruition.  Any other Tuck Everlasting fans out there?


2008 Edublog Awards

Do you have a favorite education/teacher-related blog?  Be sure to get in your nominations for the 2008 Edublog Awards!  There are 14 categories for nominations, including Best Individual Blog, Best New Blog, Best Librarian/Library Blog, Best Education Wiki, Best Teacher Blog, and many more!

A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg

Inspired by her father’s time as a lawyer in the Civil Right’s movement, Shana Burg’s A Thousand Never Evers is the story of Addie Ann Pickett, a young African- American girl growing up in the Deep South during the Civil Rights movement.  This is the best kid of historical fiction- a realistic character who is easy to connect with, just trying to be a kid during her time.  Addie and her family live in the Negro side of town and work for white folks on the other side.  She can’t wait to start 7th grade at the junior high, even if she and her friends have to go to the segregated school 3 miles away.  But when racial tensions grow in town and Addie’s brother and uncle are swept into trouble, everything changes.  

Full of references to actual events, like the Birmingham church bombing and Medger Evars murder,  A Thousand Never Evers is impossible to put down.  I would love to use this book in literature circles along with The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963.  I think the two books would stoke some amazing conversations between my students.  

This is definitely a book that middle school teachers should not miss.  Kid-friendly historical fiction can be hard to come by, but this is the best of the best!

Stenhouse Blog

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a post for the Stenhouse blog about raising monarch butterflies in the classroom.  Well, that post has now been published.  Be sure to check it out!  



(There seems to be a formatting issue, as one of the paragraphs repeats in the middle of another, but you can get the gist.)

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

I had been meaning to read The Compound ever since it started building buzz over the summer.  Somehow, it fell by the wayside until today.

WOW.  If you are a dystopian/apocalyptic fan, this is the story for you!  Briefly, Eli and his family have been living in an underline compound, built by his Bill Gates-like father, ever since the United States was attacked with nuclear weapons.  Eli’s twin brother and his grandmother didn’t make it to the shelter in time and perished in the aftermath.

Or at least that’s what his Dad tells him.  And has been telling the family for the past six years.  With nine years to go before the outside world will be safe to breathe again (radiation poisoning is the main concern), the food supply shows signs of running out.  Eli’s father has a solution.  But the solution is too repulsive to even think about. Horrified, angry, and already suspicious, Eli begins investigating his father’s stories.  What he discovers is shocking and tears the family apart.

I could not put this book down!  While the premise is frightening and unbelievable, Bodeen makes it realistic and all too-consuming.  Get your hands on this one!  I can’t wait to pass it on to my students.

I’m Buying Books for the Holidays

Thanks to Jen for the link to this great idea!  Amy from My Friend Amy has started a new holiday idea: Books for the Holidays. The whole idea is for bloggers to put their money where their mouth is this upcoming holiday season, and support the publishing industry by buying books as gifts.  Now, I am a huge fan of giving books as gifts- just ask my little sister who is the frequent recipient of my book-giving ways.  But now I have a reason to share my booklove with even more people this holiday season!

Interested in getting involved?  Head on over to the blog that Amy set up.  Add the blog to your feed!


What You Can Do:

-Sign up for the challenge and commit to buy books as your gifts this holiday season.
-Spread the word. We have a cute button you can use on your blog. Write about it on your blog. Email your friends. Twitter your heart out, tell others on facebook…GET THE WORD OUT to encourage others to buy books this holiday season.

-Subscribe to the feed. Don’t miss a single post or request for help. Don’t be shy about offering recommendations to others when they’re looking for help. Look for posts that solicit your review links. Be active in helping others find the right book


How awesome is this idea?!  I am so excited and you should be to!  Now get out there and get involved!

Writing to Persuade by Karen Caine

At last month’s TC Saturday Reunion, I noticed that one of the TC staff developers listed in the schedule packet had a new book, Writing to Persuade: Minilessons to Help Students Plan, Draft, and Revise, Grades 3-8. I am always looking to improve my persuasive writing unit of study, because it is tested on the state test in sixth grade.  And really, anything written by TC staff developers immediately goes on my wishlist because I have had such a great experience with all the books I have read by them!

I came home that day and placed an order for Karen Caine’s book.  Of course, Amazon did delay it a few days from it’s initial publication, but I got my copy last week and it is wonderful!  Anyone who teaches persuasive writing NEEDS this book.  It is full of mini-lessons and mini-lesson ideas for persuasive writing at all levels and in different genres.  You can use the book to supplement your own unit of study or to help you create a persuasive unit for the firs time.  The mini-lessons are easy to implement and perfect for grades 3-8.  I am already planning to use some of them this week in reading, to introduce my students to good persuasive writing.  Oh, and the best part?  It comes with an appendix chock full of resources!  Finding good real-life examples of persuasive writing can be difficult, but Karen Caine has swooped in to the rescue.

If you teach persuasive writing or want to teach it in any way, get your hands on this book!