Friday, May 29, 2009

Peer Tutoring on Friday Mornings

Every Friday morning, before school starts, the peer tutors arrive with their junior buddies and the library is abuzz with the sound of young voices reading. This scheme has been running for a couple of years now and is very successful.
Here are some photos from this mornings session.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie



This book is very moving, it will make you really think about life and the things it throws at you, at the same time as making you laugh out loud and the thoughts running through this teenage boy's head. Thousands have been impressed by this book, it won the National Book Award in America last year.

It is the story of Junior, a skinny kid with glasses, with a best friend who is the toughest boy in school, and that saves him, sometimes, from getting beaten up. Junior grows up on a reservation, goes to a reservation school where the expectations are very low, his parents struggle with money, alcohol, keeping traditions alive and the sad fact that history repeats over and over for everyone on the reservation. He has a sister who never comes out of her room.

Junior makes the decision to go to the rich white school in the next town, after a teacher tells him he is clever, and this causes all manner of problems for him. Firstly his best friend rejects him, he doesn't fit in at the new school, and he walks miles and miles to and from school each day because rides are unreliable. He falls for the most pretty and popular girl around and searches for things that will make him fit in, when he has no money for the cool stuff, and knows nobody.

In this book you will come to know Junior very well, you will feel the pain when people he loves die - and this happens a lot. It does sound very grim, but this book is not a story that will grind you down. Highly recommended for everyone year 10 and above.
It would work beautifully for Wide Reading at Level 1!

Muddle Earth by Paul Stewart

Reviewed by Chris Harbrow (as part of the 50 Book Challenge)

What is it about? The evil doctor cuddles has had an evil plan to destroy Muddle Earth and be the ruler. he has had this plan for quite some time, but can he and his evil campaign be overthrown by Norbert and Roger the the wrinkled.

What did I like most about it? Even the blurb sounds stupid, it is actually quite funny!

What didn't I like? How it was a long slow drawn out process for me to read it.

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