I just finished reading May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. Beautifully written in verse, this book reminds me of a combination of Little House on the Prairie, Thank You, Mr. Falker and Love That Dog.
May B's family sends her away to help a neighbor and his new wife adjust to pioneer life. After a short time, May finds herself left abandoned in the sod house on the prairie during a blizzard. As May struggles to survive, she thinks back to her time at school and the relationships she had with two very different teachers. We also find out that she has a learning disability which diminishes her dream of becoming a teacher.
I have been reading/thinking about mentor sentences and their use in writing as well as responding to reading in my classroom. Which sentences speak to me, resonate with me, make me think about something a little deeper? Although this is a book of survival, it is also a book about determination and having dreams. I heard these sentences loud and clear:
"What does it matter those things that hold me back? What does it matter when I make mistakes? They don't make me who I am."
How many times do we have students who hold back from doing something because of their struggles or mistakes? How many students think those struggles make up who they are and influence who they want to become?
Mr. Falker, Miss Sanders, and Miss Stretchberry are my role models. When we start school in five weeks, I know I will have students like May B. I hope I can reach them, encourage them, and inspire them to realize "...there's no shame in hoping for things that might seem out of reach." Everyone has dreams. I can't wait to share mine with my students, learn about theirs, and achieve them together.