I love so much about my job, and one of my favorite things is the joy of sharing an outstanding book with my students. My favorite novel for older readers is Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. Here is a review written by author Tanya Lee Stone for the New York Times. I really can’t say it any better! I can add that I love to share this book with students because it exemplifies excellent story-telling. Schmidt’s writing brings vivid pictures to a reader’s mind, and the voice of the main character is strong and true. In addition, Schmidt gets students curious about Shakespeare before they even realize it!
You might be asking yourself where cream puffs and collaboration play into the sharing of a favorite book. One of the other things I love about my job is the collaborative relationship I have with our public librarians. Cheryl Sloan, the Youth Services Librarian for the Charlotte Public Library, joined forces with me over the past few weeks in offering a “lunch bunch” book club for students. Together, we read The Wednesday Wars and explored Shakespeare’s work as it related to the story line. Students were able to bring their lunches, sit around a table from one another, and just talk about what they were reading. This was voluntary for them, and included no formal scripts on our part. What we found was that the students who participated enjoyed just having this time to talk about a book in a “no-strings-attached” kind of way. Their questions led the direction of our discussions, and we enjoyed watching them discover something new.
Cream puffs play a role in the book club because Cheryl and I always provide dessert for our participants. Of course, we like it best when we can use the desserts or snacks to tie into the themes of the book we’re reading. Tricky of us, right? Believe it or not, cream puffs are very important to The Wednesday Wars story. Of course, I cannot tell you how. I must leave you guessing. And let you know that you, too, can borrow a copy of the book to read on your own!