Sunday, March 4, 2012

Read Along on I-94 - Same Sun Here - Part 1

This month we are doing Reading Along I-94 a totally new different way! As I read Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani, I dogeared pages with quotes that I really loved. (I know, I dogeared the pages - but it was an ARC and it felt good.) At the Anderson's Breakfast, I gave Colby the book with a hand-written letter explaining that his challenge this month is to try and figure out which line or sentence or group of sentences on the page made me dogear the page.

To follow along, read the book and see if there are any quotes that stick out to you.  Here are the pages to look for quotes: 2, 77, 87, 145, 189, 206, 250, 253, 262. Of course, I think it would be great if you shared your own favorite quotes as we go along! By the way, you can read my review of Same Sun Here from last month if you are interested. (If you have the book, turn to page 2 and take your guess before reading on!)

COLBY: p. 2- “He may have smelly feet, but he is still my favorite human being. I say human being because I have a favorite dog (his name is Cuba) and a favorite parakeet (her name is Xie-Xie).”

JEN: You got it! Actually, this is the line I liked specifically:

“He may have smelly feet, but he is still my favorite human being.” -Meena

I thought it was such a real statement that a sister would make but at the same time it struck me as funny because it doesn’t seem common to talk about smelly feet very often - in real life or in books. I grew up with a sister but now I’m the only girl in our house. With my husband and two sons, I’m sure I have smelly feet and smelly feet conversations in my future. I just love that Meena is so honest with River right from the beginning.

COLBY: I’m glad I picked the line you were thinking of. It was hard. I really like to be right.

JEN: I thought you would like my challenge for this month because it’s like a game! You are 1 for 1 right now!

COLBY: I was also amazed how honest and open Meena and River were right from the beginning. They seem like kids that usually might not be so open. They remind me a little bit of our book club. Sometimes I think that it is a little easier to be open through written text. It gives you a chance to think before you express yourself. This makes me think of Hound Dog True. In HDT, Mattie has an easier time expressing herself through the written word than she does orally. Quincy on the other had just plops words out like they are nothing. I’m thinking that Meena and River are more like Mattie than Quincy.

JEN: I completely agree...there is something almost magical about writing words down: you really think about them before you write or you can change what you have said if you want and it’s almost as if the person you are talking to slows down to read your words. Writing commands attention while spoken words can be shouted from rooftops and people won’t always give you their full attention.  

I also love how great this sentence is a Snatch of Text. How fun would it be to have kids think of their favorite person and then coming up with something not so ideal about that person to start? What a great story starter, too.

Look! Tony Keefer just used a sentence like Meena’s in his Slice of Life from 3/1/12 when he talked about his dad:  

“He may not be the funniest guy on the planet, but he joked around constantly.”

COLBY: Tony Keefer is a funny dude.

Our discussion is short and sweet this week...but now you have time to catch up and guess what quotes will be coming next week! If you use the line above to talk to students about starting a narrative about their favorite person, please share them with us. Colby and I will be asking our own students to try this activity and then will be mailing them for our students to share. Thanks for reading along with us!

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