I absolutely love this book!
My last year in 2nd grade, I made it a mission to get all my students reading. We did it. I was so frustrated by those few students that just never could find a good book to start and finish. I know we all have those students. There are so many great books (way more and far more colorful and exciting than when I was their age!) and it just boggles my mind they can't find one. It made me feel like I was failing if I could not connect them with a great book!
I had read somewhere about a way to describe books you may choose: Too hard, just right, a "vacation" book, or way too easy. I loved the idea of a "vacation" book. So, I seized it! There was a student in my class who was reading at 3 levels above grade. His parents were desperate to have him read anything other than a book about baseball. I agreed! One of my read-aloud books was from the "Jigsaw Jones" series. This boy happened to really like it! I got him hooked. Once he started reading it, the whole class wanted to do so, as well. I told him, "You know this book is a little easy for you, but consider it a vacation. If you don't like it, you don't have to go there again. But you may be surprised. I love these books. There is always some very funny parts and I feel like I can relate to the characters. I'm eager to hear if you think this next one is one I can read to the whole class. Let me know." He went for it. I teased my class that we had a reading fever going on. Students were reading at home, and coming in each day eager to add to their growing lists. The only thing they had to do to be accountable to me for what they read, was to add the title, author, date started/ended, and color happy, plain, or sad face to rate the book. I added a section to list names of friends who might also like this book. I started with cards that were hole punched and added to ring that was attached to their desk. Honestly, I could not keep up with copying the cards. I ran out way too fast. I will say that big wads of paper on the back of chairs also got to be a hassle... So, I moved on to the 3-ring binder. I used number tabs (each student has a number) and it made it easy for them to get to their page(s.) Life got so much better then. And my little friend who read only baseball was reading all sorts of great books, on-level, below and a little beyond. I never was so happy!
So get this book, check out the blog above to see what other teachers think and are doing with the book in their own classrooms.
I cannot wait to start my own book journal. Thanks for reading all of this!