Some people bite their nails or eat too much dessert.  I don't have a problem staying away from my nails and I certainly don't eat too much dessert (the streak is now at approximately 6 years), but I do have a habit of buying books.  I guess it's not the worst habit to have, but it can be a little the tune of over $250 last year (I just did my taxes yesterday and actually saved receipts this time!).  I guess that I can begin to justify my purchases knowing that I benefit from my purchases both personally and professionally, and my students certainly benefit from all of my purchases (I do take requests....and purchase most books with a particular student in mind).  It's dangerous having a very large bookstore less than five minutes from my current location, but I have found some good websites to help save some money and save some books from finding their way to the landfill.  Now, since I just finished Peace, Locomotion (loved it), I just have to be patient for my thirty books that should be in the mail by now!

Currently loving Jacqueline Woodson and looking forward to


Everything I have read about writing has advised to read.  Wait, what?  It's so ridiculously similar to exactly what we are trying to teach our students at school.  In order to become a better writer, one must continue to read.  For my students, this is to better understand the craft of being an author; for the obvious characters, setting, and plot, but even more specifically how the author develops his or her characters, why he or she changes the setting, and how the author gracefully builds tension until reaching the climax and then gradually resolves the problem.  For anyone who is trying to break into writing professionally, the advice is the, read, read....

Last week, I finished Carl Hiaasen's Flush and this morning, I finished Gary D. Schmidt's Wednesday Wars  (I would recommend both!).  Up next, is Jaqueline Woodson's Peace, Locomotion, which I am very excited to read because of the unique format in which it was written.  Additionally, Woodson has received honors several times from Coretta Scott King for writing regarding social change (my personal favorite...I frequently check Coretta Scott King award winners for my next read).  Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading and writing over spring break (as well as enjoying the opening to the baseball season)!!


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