Heading into this summer I gave out a SUMMER VACATION IS FOR READING postcard to each student.  You know why? It gets ME excited, and is cool for the students who decide to respond. I tried not to count–or take personally–the postcards that were dropped on the floor or in the classroom or hallway accidentally left behind.

You can see my previous POSTCARD posts here, here, and here.

I’ve recently received the 6th postcard from Jack A.

image image (1)



There is an awesome website for the Boone series. Cool games, downloads, and videos… like this one:


This book has received tons of praise and rewards. From Fitzmaurice’s site:

Reviews for A Diamond in the Desert

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is a Bank Street Best Book for 2013

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT has been chosen as a 2013 Judy Lopez Memorial Awards Honor Book

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is a VOYA 2012 Top Shelf Fiction choice for Middle School readers

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is a nominated title on the 2013 ALSC Notable Children’s Book List

A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT is an Indiebound Kid’s Next List pick for Spring 2012

From School Library Journal: (starred review)

A Diamond in the Desert. By Kathryn Fitzmaurice. (Viking 978-0-670-01292-3). Gr 5-7‚ Based on actual events and narrated by 12-year-old Tetsu, this story paints an effective picture of the harsh reality of what life was like for thousands of Japanese Americans who were moved to relocation centers after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The chapters are delineated by place and time, grounding readers in Tetsu’s journey and are broken down into short sections, some only a paragraph or two in length, affording a manageable way in which to digest the information. From the opening pages, in which readers learn that Tetsu’s eight-year-old sister, Kimi, refuses to use the open-stall bathrooms at the relocation center unless a pillowcase is over her head, blocking out sights and sounds, to Tetsu’s adjustment as man of the house after his father’s arrest, readers are immersed in the dusty, barren world of The Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, AZ. Hope appears with new neighbors Kyo, Ben, and their father, all of whom share Tetsu’s passion for baseball, and they are soon engaged in a project to build a diamond in the desert. A team is assembled, and the author interweaves the spirit and familiarity the game brings with the grim reality of the life of the interned, culminating in Kimi’s disappearance and recovery and the Gila River baseball team’s win of the Arizona State Championship. Moving the story forward with fluid language and vivid imagery, Fitzmaurice hits home with this important piece of historical fiction.


Playing for Pizza

Yes, Mr. Grisham has a Facebook page. Interested? Click his picture below:

John Grisham

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Sooooooo…Whose postcard will be next?

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