Monday, March 23, 2020

I Need a Good Book! #SOL20

I received an email Sunday with the subject: "I need a good book."

Hmmm...this should be interesting as we are not in school right now.

This email from my student went on to say, "Remember how you said at the beginning of the year you wanted to get to know our personalities so you can help us pick out books. Well, I think you know me pretty well, and I need help finding a book that I will stick with and enjoy.

Yes, you do have trouble sticking with a book, and I know you help with this.  But how am I going to help you when I can no longer physically suggest and hand books from our classroom library to you?

"The last book I read was A Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, and that was a great book. Now I need a new one. If you know of any good books you think I will enjoy reading, please send them to me because I'm in need of a good book."

Yes, Long Way Down is a great book. 
Do I know of any good books?!? Of course, I do, but how am I going to get you a book?  

I suggested a new-author-to-me, Elizabeth Eulberg, whose books I won in a Twitter giveaway and look really good. But still, how would I get them to her. Then I suggested The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I told her about the online app from our public library and suggested that she try it.

My heart was breaking because here was a student who needed my help with choosing a book, and I could not look at our classroom library, pull out book after book, and make suggestions. I take this part of my job seriously, and I felt hopeless.

I did what I could with what I had.

Today I get another email with the subject:  I found a book! 

She used our online app from the library and checked out The Poet X. I know she will LOVE this one! 

She ended the email, "I hope we get back to school soon."

Yes, so do I.

Please join Two Writing Teachers and the annual Slice of Life March Challenge.


  1. Love this conversation that you captured as a slice. I'm thrilled you're able to be accessible to your students so that they can reach out to you for help. Kids really need that right now!

  2. I really love how you portrayed both sides of this conversation using the layout and font choices. What a testament to your classroom that students are reaching out to you during this time for book recs 😊

  3. I love how you wove her conversation and your thoughts together in this piece. I also love that you found a book even though you weren't able to hand her several in person.

  4. School looks a little (okay, a lot) different these days. It challenges us to find new ways to do the important work. You met that challenge head on and were successful. Bravo!

  5. First, I'm so glad that they found a book. Second, I hope we all get back to school soon. I could feel the struggle you were having with yourself when they first asked their question.

  6. I’m sure you must have smiled from the heart when you read that email.

  7. I'm so glad she was able to find a way to get a new book! Poet X is such a good choice!

  8. Poet X is a great choice!
    It’s hard not to be there with them. Perhaps this is opening her to new avenues of reading she might find more engaging and empowering?

    She might like Sonya Sones books and Chasing Brooklyn, which should also be available electronically. I have quite a few who basically only read novels in verse, so the struggle is real!

  9. This remote learning is getting to me. I don't have nearly the student engagement I had a week ago. I'm so glad your student reached out to you.