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15 October 2012 @ 09:46 am
F Is for Framework  
The book I am reading with my ears this week is CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein.  I have already read the book (during one long flight from Anchorage back to Houston), and I am still bowled over by this novel.  As I was listening to it during my pre-dawn drive, I did what we know all good readers do:  I was making connections to other books.  Aside from building reading ladders (or as CCSS calls them Model Frameworks), this is useful when a student asks us for another book recommendation.  In this case, I was noting titles about WWII.  I could extend this to books about ANY war or books about CONFLICT or books about COURAGE.  That is the lovely thing about books that are layered and complex: there are multiple themes we can explore.  (and as a side note, any time I see a question along the lines of:  what is THE theme in this book, I want to scream.  Last count, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE had at least 5 easily identifiable themes;  I am sure I am not done exploring those)

So, for those of you who have not read CODE NAME VERITY yet, hie thee to a bookstore and rectify this situation.  Unreliable narrators, story not unfolded in chronological order, red herrings, intensity:  you name it, this book has it in spades.  So, here are some other titles that came to mind as I was giving this a read with my ears:

RESISTANCE, GN
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
GN biography of Anne Frank
NIGHT
BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY (note title carefully or you will be wondering how I tied it to a framework on war)
ROSE BLANCHE
FAITHFUL ELEPHANTS
HIROSHIMA NO PIKA

This is just barely scratching the surface.  I have here historical fiction, picture books, biography and autobiography, graphic novels, and more.  An additional note:  this is my second reading of the book.  It holds up wonderfully to a re-reading.  I suspect if I read it a 3rd and 4th time, I would uncover even more than I found in my initial reading.  This is not what CCSS PD people would call "close reading."  For that I would have to have a highlighter and be ready to make annotations in the margins, etc.  I wonder, though, which is more beneficial to the development of lifelong readers:  marking up a text until it is meaningless or re-reading a text to make even more connections to other texts.  Hmmmm, quite the conundrum (NOT!).

Happy Monday.  May you all find a book that speaks to you today.  You know the commercial from Pier One with the knick-knacks calling out to the shoppers?  That is what books do for me:  they call me.  And now, if you will excuse me, there is a stack of picture books on my desk calling out, "read me.  No, me.  Me first!"
 
 
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Current Mood: impressedimpressed