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19 February 2015 @ 02:13 pm
Quite contrary  
Mistress Mary, quite contrary so the nursery rhyme goes. I could be Mistress Mary. I am quite contrary. Some might call it being a devil's advocate. But, really, it is my contrary nature. I can be contrary to popular opinion, contrary to myth, contrary to popular perceptions. And Mistress Mary of the nursery rhyme was contrary to religion. So am I. Often I chalk it up to being older (and not necessarily wiser). I am better able to be contrary and to be accepted. Call me eccentric. What does all this have to do with books and reading? Lots.

First, despite being someone who has a constant TO-DO List, and grocery lists, and scribbled lists of ideas, I really do despise making book lists. That has come to the forefront this week as I contemplate the list of readings for my children's lit classes this summer. Students read somewhere between 75-100 books for the course even in the summer when semesters are 4-5 weeks in duration. I designate about 20-25 of the titles for in-common reading. Others are selected from categories (Caldecott winners/honors, CSKing winners/honors, NYT Bestsellers, etc.). I aim for a variey of genres, forms, and formats. I try to have books that span the history (well, at least the last 75 years or so) of the field. I want cultures represented (#weallneeddiversebooks). So, while some books remain on my list year after year, others change with each passing year). And now it is time once again to get that list in shape. Students are already asking for them (and it is not even Spring Break yet).

So, this Mistress Mary has to begin the process of creating a list.
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