Today is the first of four days of training on teaching Reader's and Writer's Workshop in the middle school grades. Although I am quite familiar with teaching the workshop model, all of my work has been done in the elementary grades.
All of the participants got an introductory email yesterday, letting us know where to park, what time to arrive and asking us to bring a title, sketch, or a copy of a "favorite book of our childhood". I decided that since it's middle school, I need to choose something I would have enjoyed during those years.
Being a voracious reader in my youth (in eighth grade, I was voted most likely to win a read-a-thon), I have too many favorites to choose from. In fact, I still have some of the exact books that I loved so long ago.
John Christopher? It was the very first post-apocalyptic teen fiction I read. Alien tripods that control humans thoughts somehow through metal caps.
Three boys that travel across Europe to escape the capping ceremony and hopefully find a band of guerilla resisting the metal triangle evil aliens.
One of my favorite things about the book — then and now— is trying to figure things out, where the boys are, what remnants of our society they are encountering. It makes me feel smart, which I like.
Madeline L'Engle? I'm not sure whether it's science fiction or fantasy, and I'm pretty sure I didn't understand the underlying science, but I do know that it was plain good.
Meg, Calvin, Charles Wallace, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsis, Mrs. Which, mitochondria, a fight between good and evil. It was all delightful and I read it over and over again.
Then there is a bunch of books featuring magic by Edward Eager. I learned about Ivanhoe from one of the those. And we can't overlook Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner, who also wrote the book that the movie The Parent Trap was based on.
Oh! And The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series by C. S. Lewis. I always wanted to know what Turkish Delight tasted like.
Homer Price, Finn Family Moomintroll, Key to the Treasure, A Taste of Blackberries, The Forgotten Door, Snow Treasure, Detectives in Togas, the Zanboomer sports series, The Great Brain series. . . And these are just the books that I still have on my shelves.
I could go on and on and on. What's your favorite chapter book from your childhood?