Tag Archives: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
20 May

Books set in summer seem to be finding their way to me. Thoughts about summer are certainly making their way to me, and my students. I was grateful for the return to rain after three weeks of summery weather – it helps keep students focused.

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The main character of Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s  Shouting At the Rain also appreciates a good storm.

Publisher’s Summary: Delsie loves tracking the weather–lately, though, it seems the squalls are in her own life. She’s always lived with her kindhearted Grammy, but now she’s looking at their life with new eyes and wishing she could have a “regular family.” Delsie observes other changes in the air, too–the most painful being a friend who’s outgrown her. Luckily, she has neighbors with strong shoulders to support her, and Ronan, a new friend who is caring and courageous but also troubled by the losses he’s endured. As Ronan and Delsie traipse around Cape Cod on their adventures, they both learn what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved. And that, together, they can weather any storm.

As a teacher of 6th graders, I see this sort of relationship struggle frequently. Kids come into 6th middle school with friends from their neighborhood and elementary school. Middle school is a bigger pond. Some friendships endure. Some are abandoned. Some take a new shape. Watching my students negotiate this can be tough. Right now I am watching a good kid fall under the spell of someone with, shall we say, less of a work ethic. I have a feeling he will be all right, but I am am watching him and will intervene if I think I need to.

 

Fish in a Tree…meh

17 Jul

Albert Einstein is purported to have said “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” There is no actual evidence that he said it.

This quote, regardless of its origin, is the source of the title of Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s newest book.

Unknown

Although this book seems to have been given a lot of praise, I found it to be a rather mediocre “issue book”.

Ally has moved around a lot and attended a lot of schools. She has mostly learned how to hide her learning disability. When her teacher goes on maternity leave the substitute is the one teacher who can see her potential. Aside from the lifesaving teacher trope, we also encounter the brainiac, the mean snobby girl, and the encouraging friend. I also felt that, although Ally is supposed to be in 6th grade, the characters seemed younger.

So, I clearly didn’t love this book.  A lot of other people do. I leave it ti you to make up your own mind.

Randy Ribay

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