Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If I Was 13 and Artemis Fowl Was Real, I Would Totally Arm Wrestle My Daughter To Date Him

As usual, it's all thing Artemis Fowl over here at the house of th Book Bench. My ten year old daughter happily, happily, ecstatically got her hands on the newly released latest in the series, The Atlantis Complex. She is parcelling it out, just a few chapters a day to make it last longer. To fill in the gaps of non-Atlantis Complex time, she is reading the graphic novel version of the second book in the series, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. We have read the original novel and listened to it on CD and it is my favorite in the series. Hayden loves it because she loves the pixie villain, Opal Koboi who is deliciously evil. However, the graphic novel is like a thorn under her saddle because Opal does not look at all the way Hayden pictured her. That is irritating her no end. I'm worried that whenever the movie is made, she (we) will be disappointed

I do not have much time for "fun" books like the Artemis Fowl series because I am busily preparing for the classes I'll be teaching this fall. By the way, "this fall" means this Thursday as that's the day teachers report back to school. Anyhow, I did find a way to sneak a little Artemis in when I teach The Great Gatsby. I plan to do a lesson on Byronic heroes and have the students decide whether or not Jay Gatsby qualifies as one. Artemis is one of the many examples of contemporary Byronic heroes I will present to the class.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Great Gatsby- Love It or Hate It?

I have just finished rereading The Great Gatsby. I will be doing it with my juniors this fall. It's one of those books that evokes strong responses from people even years after they've read it. Responses along the "Favorite book ever!" or "I hated that book lines!" Which camp do you fall in?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Black and White Brought Me Back

Because my parents are the greatest grandparents in the world, they have taken my three children to Maine with them for four days so I can lesson plan and prepare for my new teaching gig. Because I am the world's worst procrastinator, I am posting here on the blog. Don't be frightened by the dust and cobwebs- I know it's been awhile since I've written here. The summer has been an embarrassment of riches- hiking, biking, swimming, job interviewing, reading, and refereeing fights between the kids. Earlier today I did begin to focus on the curriculum for my junior English class which has a unit on modernism and postmodernism and I had an Alleluia moment. For years I have wanted to find a way to bring David Macaulay's picture book Black and White into the classroom. It is nonlinear, challenging, full of puns, and perfect for postmodernism. So now I will take my leave of this blog to go back to lesson planning, but not until I advise you to check out Macaulay's brilliant postmodern picture book. Read it with a kid you like. It will give you plenty to discuss!