Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dear Parent (Who Does Her Son's Homework For Him),

I'm sorry you did not like the grade that I put on your Junior's book report assignment. Yes, "homeschool" is one word in this context. And yes, I realize that I marked a LOT of places where commas belonged. Yes, I have been teaching commas this year; it's just that Junior is not interested in using commas. On the bright side, at least "his" sentences from the book report are complex enough to merit commas. This is remarkable, since normally he does not write so fluently. He must just enjoy writing more at home.

Thanks for all your "support" with Junior's homework this year,

Speaking of books, if you have a boy who likes to get dirty, eat gross things, do dangerous stunts, and is afraid of girls, I have a book recommendation for you. How Angel Peterson Got His Name is a read-aloud book I am ending the school year with. I highly recommend this book, written by Gary Paulson (a major student favorite) which offers tales of his childhood adventures, told in a very humorous light. The kids and I have laughed out loud reading this, and I mean more than once. Here is an excerpt, in which the author is talking about county fairs in days gone past and the sideshows that they used to have,

"And there would be the 'Wild Man from Borneo!' show that had a half-naked man in a pit, wearing rags, who would pretend to be the missing link trapped in the jungles and bite the heads off live chickens."

Dan interjected here to say, "That sounds just like my bus driver."

I laughed out loud and asked, "I take it you don't like your bus driver?"

He replied, "No. It's Monica, and she's pretty mean."

The story goes on another tangent to talk about fairs in medieval times, at which time they did some bizarre things, such as "hanging a live cat from a post and killing it by beating it to death with your face." Need I say more about the suitability of this book for young boys?

And if you don't need a great book for a boy, but would like one for yourself, consider the one I just finished, Water for Elephants. It's a fiction story but has a lot of truth in it related to circuses. I must go on record saying that I do NOT like circuses (never have), but I loved this story about a Cornell-taught veterinarian who joins the circus, instead of taking his final exams. I loved the ending of this book, which ties up all the loose ends nicely.

Now, it's your turn. What would you recommend for my summer reading list?

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