Tag Archives: books

Back from the Dead?

It’s been awhile, but today I was inspired to write in order to just put an idea out there, like a message in a bottle, in hopes that it will be discovered by someone who can run with it and make my dream come true.

It would be fantastic if there were a publishing house created to re-introduce older books that are out of print, but have not yet reached their copyright expiration. They could call it Vintage Printage. 🙂

In my opinion, there are some great books and series which would have a successful comeback if reprinted. With the original covers…?  Here are a few of my suggestions for books that I feel could enjoy another go before heading to their final resting place (Project Gutenberg). Feel free to list your own personal picks in the comments. 🙂


The Mushroom Planet Series
by Eleanor Cameron


Polly Kent Rides West in the Days of ’49
by David McCulloch and Charles Hargens
Polly Kent Rides West cover


Cathy’s Little Sister
by Catherine Woolley
Cathy's Little Sister cover


The Mad Scientist’s Club
by Bertrand R. Brinley
Mad scientists club cover


Wagon to a Star
by Frances Lynch McGuire
Wagon to a Star Dust Jacket









Any book ever written by Betty Cavanna
(These are just a few…)


The Family Nobody Wanted
by Helen Doss
(Which may seem like a weird choice,
but I read it in second grade and never forgot it)The Family Nobody Wanted by [Doss, Helen]
















All books Danny Dunn
by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkins
(Many are not shown…)



Wyoming Summer
by Mary O’Hara
Wyoming Summer cover















Light a Single Candle
by Beverly Butler
Single candle cover







Katie and The Sad Noise
by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Katie and the Sad Noise








Magic Elizabeth
by Norma Kasirer



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Filed under Critical Thinking, Miscellaneous, Reading, Recommended Reading, Uncategorized, Writing

Reading is Fundamental

I did my student teaching in an urban fifth grade classroom. It was a very diverse group of children, of many different cultures and backgrounds. One child, X, lived in a group home down the block from the school. He had been through several foster families before ending up in residence there, removed from his parents for neglect.

Although he was not at the head of the class scholastically, X always had a pencil in his hand. He loved to draw, and was good at it. He drew killer whales. Actually, one whale in particular: Willy, from X’s favorite movie, Free Willy.  On the top of his desk, on his notebooks, on the board when no one was looking, on the side of a giant roll of newsprint during the class field trip to the local newspaper, he drew Willy everywhere. The fact that Willy had achieved logo status was a double-edged sword for X — it made him famous with the other students, but teachers always knew whom to blame. X talked about the movie frequently, eyes bright whenever a class discussion stumbled into something that might serve as a convenient segue.

It was not hard to figure out why Willy was so important to X, taken from his family, in the clutches of the foster system, longing for home. Poignantly, Willy gets an advocate and is saved. I’ve always wondered if this boy’s hope to get out of the foster system and into a more stable situation was ever realized.

It got me thinking about what a favorite movie or book might say about each of us. Since that time, I’ve made a point of asking friends about their favorite titles, and have been intrigued with the psychological consistency of their responses. Asking an acquaintance at a party the title of his or her favorite book could be a lot more illuminating than, “What’s your sign?”

Ironically, I don’t have a favorite book, and until recently didn’t have a favorite movie. (Coincidentally, it’s also a story with whales, Whale Rider. Feel free to analyze.)

Your favorite book – what does it say about you?


Filed under Uncategorized

What I Owe to Books

I didn’t post yesterday because I was busy helping my son make a box for his Huckleberry Finn party at school today. I also made gingerbread for his whole class, because that is a food item mentioned in the book, Huckleberry Finn.* The box is actually a Valentine’s Day box, but his class skipped the official Valentine party, opting to combine it with their Huckleberry Finn experience. The boxes were to have themes, one of which was HF, but my son chose “Outer Space.” More specifically, “Zero Gravity in Outer Space,” and we were trying to get the box to levitate via magnets  and fishing line to simulate said zero gravity. In a nutshell, it was a pain in the neck and didn’t end up working.

However, the valentines themselves, which we also made, looked great. Each was a heart made out of card stock, with a little folded corner-bookmark stuck on the end, which I created from (slightly modified) directions in an origami book. As we worked together, I started thinking about all of the things that I’ve learned to do from books.

I don’t just mean textbooks, I mean regular novels and stories. For example, I can’t recall the title, but when I was little I read a book about a boy who made a flute out of a willow branch, and the story described how to do it. (You select a half inch or so thick branch, flexible but not too flexible, not brown but not green, cut it to about 6 inches long with a jack knife, pull out the core, cut a v-shape about an inch from the top, and drill a series of little holes down the front. Voila! You have a willow flute.)

Other things that I have learned from books include how to ride a horse, how to do calligraphy, how to carve soap, several magic tricks, how to knit and crochet, many card games, how to speak Spanish, Hardanger embroidery, how to make a sand candle and do plaster sand casting, how to take care of parakeets, how to rip a telephone book in half, two ways to do invisible writing and how to make it un-invisible, the safest way to climb a pine tree, how to bake a potato in the ground, how to tie knots, morse code, and how to “speak” the sign language alphabet. As well as all of the recipes I’ve made and music that I’ve played.

What are some things that you owe to books?

*Ten is rather young, in my opinion, to be reading Huckleberry Finn: Read my post: “Asynchronous Development in Book Selection”


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