Number one - I LOVE being the yearbook adviser! I've been doing it since January for West Desert High on a volunteer basis. The school district is strapped for cash and, as a former yearbook editor myself there is NO way in you-know-where that I'm leaving this up to the sole teacher that's left to guide the kids on how to produce a quality publication. After hearing about last year's debacle, I saw that they needed someone who actually knows what they're doing. And I really enjoy it! Even though I'm not getting paid for it (it would be great if I was, but it probably won't happen because of budget cuts - they're down to only one teacher in the school; they aren't going to fork out money for something like a yearbook adviser), I'm thinking of things we can implement next year and of lesson plans and how to teach the kids to use PageMaker - I'm even planning a mini-summer-yearbook-camp to put on for them (don't know how I'm going to manage it, but I'll think of something). I'm getting into it!
Number two - As I was catching up on my friends page, narniadear
was highlighting her top 10 children's books
- from when she was a kid and now that she's an adult. She also mentioned that Shannon Hale
has been keeping track of the School Library Journal's
list that they are compiling. So, being inspired on all counts, I've decided to list my top 10 books that I read as a kid and children's books that I enjoy now that I'm sorta, kinda, mostly grownup (I don't consider myself a full adult - I have too much fun being a kid still. Shoot, I'm still giddy about the high school yearbook!) By the rule that Shannon Hale puts in her post, these are books geared for 8-12 year olds. Not YA or picture books - that squishy area in the middle somewhere.
(I'm not sure if these are in any particular order - just the 10 that I find to be the most important to me)Top 10 Books from Wildcat's Childhood (when she was actually, physically a child)
10. "Mitch and Amy" by Beverly Cleary - This was my first chapter book! When I was in second grade, my mom thought I was old enough to start reading chapter books, so we went to the library and she told me this was one that she liked when she was a kid. I read it out loud with my mom and then I went on to the Ramona books (which are wonderful in their own right), but this is the one that started it all.
9. "Ramona the Pest" by Beverly Cleary - Funny story - there's a girl in Ramona's kindergarten class that has blonde curly hair (Ramona says she has "boing-boing curls" and she always wants to pull one and watch it spring back). Well, I didn't have boing-boing curls as a kid, but then I grew up and my hair curled naturally. I read this book so many times that I always think of that when I'm trying to coerce my hair into doing something other than poofing out. And I always think about her teacher telling her to sit in her chair "for the present" and thinking that she's going to get a present. All the Ramona books are wonderful - and the spin-offs (Harry and Beezus, Ribsy, etc.). Beverly Cleary was a big part of my childhood.
8. "Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume - I'm the oldest in my family and I can relate to Peter Hatcher's annoyance with his little brother. This is my favorite of Judy Blume's "Fudge" books.
7. "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder - Another series that my mom got me hooked on that I wore out my library card on. Made even more significant by the fact I grew up on a farm. Also fueled my history-nut-ness. I was really mad at my teacher when I tried to classify it as a biography in a book report (because it was LIW's life story in novel form) and she made me change it to a "Growing Up" story. (I was just reading the Amazon page for LIW and the audiobook version of "On the Banks of Plum Creek" is performed by Cherry Jones, who plays President Taylor in "24")
6. "Charlotte's Web" by EB White - I even had a little piglet I named Wilbur because he was the runt! I never felt bad about killing our farm animals because of this book, though. Again, I grew up on a farm and I figured that farm girls read stuff like this (my mom did - goodness, I didn't realize how many books my mom recommended to me!)
5. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl - Oh geez - who hasn't read this one? I thought because I loved chocolate that I must love this book. And I do. Some people say it's creepy, but I think it's just quirky and fun. Maybe that says something about me...
4. The American Girl series by various authors - I have to point out that I'm talking about the Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha and Molly books. I haven't been able to read much of the newer ones, but I think those are getting a little too PC for my tastes (Kit's all right, though). I used to check these out of the library and bookmobile ALL THE TIME!! Then my aunt bought me the first three Samantha books for my birthday and it was over. I learned so much of history from these books, which is why I'm such a history nut today. I even have the Kirsten doll (which has now been retired *tear*).
3. "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by CS Lewis - I admit, I didn't read the rest of the series until I was in college (I couldn't tell you why that is), but I loved LWW as a kid! I was always so mad that the kids went back to real life in the end. You're a freaking king or queen of Narnia! Why would you leave? But then I got the rest of the story and it's okay :)
2. "The Hobbit" by JRR Tolkien - We did a Reader's Theater of in 6th grade and I was inspired to read the actual book over the summer. That led me to want to read the "Lord of the Rings" - which I did NOT finish and didn't attempt again until high school (I actually finished the whole trilogy then). LotR may be about the end of the world, but "The Hobbit" is just a fun little tale of a creature being swept up in a great adventure and coping with it the best he can.
1. "The Giver" by Lois Lowry - This one is actually on the School Library Journal's list. My 4th grade teacher read it to our class and I've loved it ever since. I first bought a copy in 1995, but that has since been demolished because I read it so much. I bought a new copy a few years ago and was happy to find that Lois Lowry wrote two more to go along with it. "The Giver" is a classic - it paints a picture of what could happen if we forget our history and if let we the quest for "equality" go too far. That's what I got from it, anyway - there's more - I could give a whole treatise on what you learn from the little bitty book. Lowry said that it was about preserving our memories for the next generation and what could happen if we forget (which, I guess goes along with my history comment). And it's written in a way that kids can understand. You get more out of it as you get older. I think it's something that everyone should read.
I think that's good for now (Scout is on my lap and she's licking my hand while I'm typing. It's distracting to have the dog want to play while you're trying to work). I'll probably do my "Top 10 Children's Books Now That I'm an Adult (sort of)" when I've had time to think about it. And there'll probably be a little overlap (kinda).