10.30 {BookFlix Friday} The Graveyard Book

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


It IS Halloween eve.

The jack-o-lantern is carved…

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There is no better day to share…

It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack–who has already killed Bod’s family.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

I found some more cool book covers and pictures to go along with this:

 

One of the coolest things is that Neil Gaiman made available the videos of him reading the book aloud. Here is the playlist:

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10.27 Whatever Wednesday: Student Guest Blogger—Angela C. Dances!

Whatever Wednesday

a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’: a cool quote or poster, a video, or simply a picture.

Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.


 


{Eat the Book: Angela C., one of my students this year, started telling me last week that a music video that she danced in was just released. “Can we show the class today?” she asked.

I paused, thinking teachery thoughts… “How about we show it next Wednesday on the blog—and you can do a write up that goes along with it?”

It didn’t take too much to sell her on that idea. With the beauty of Google Docs, we did a little collaborating—and voila! A masterpiece. ENJOY.}   

Angela Dancing2      Over the summer I had a chance to be a part of the making of a music video in the city of Buffalo.  The song is written and performed by a local artist named Drea D’Nur.  Her song is called “Break me Down” and I am so glad that I got to be a part of it. But before we get into that let’s talk about how I got into the video. It’s a very interesting story.
Drea D’nur knew a dance teacher at my dance school, Miss Robin, who she asked to be the dance director. She also asked to pick some dancers  to be in it. People got picked by dance categories— there was modern, African, crump, ballet, and hip-hop, which I was in.

            It was a lot of work and there was a lot of footage.  Angela3Not all of it made it into the video which is sad but true.

         Alongside the music video I got to perform live with her at the Tralf Music Hall. The places we shot the video were very local. One of them was the Japanese Gardens at the Buffalo History Museum. Another one was a bridge and just roaming through the trees and screaming chants.

         There were also a lot of extras. My dad got to be in the video just because he
was there. My friend’s mom also got to be in it. It was so official that I had to sign a contract. I’ve never done anything like this before but it was really cool. If I could, I would want the chance to do it again. Now that we’ve done all this talking about how it began let’s’ actually see it!

 

(See the bullets below the video that tell where to find me in the music video.)

I can be seen in the video…

  • There’s a glimpse of me at 30 seconds
  • There’s another glimpse at 54 seconds
  • There’s another glimpse at 2minutes and 30 seconds and 3 mins
  • You can clearly  see me at 4 mins
  • You can also clearly see me at 4 minutes and 11 seconds
  • You can also see me at 4 minutes and 26 seconds

This song and video expresses the struggle and minds of African Americans who have been targeted by police for a long time—specifically the past two years. A lot of African Americans have died or gotten hurt by the police because of race including MIKE BROWN, TAMIR RICE, FREDDIE GRAY, SEAN BELL, OSCAR GRANT, RESHISKA BOYD, and a lot more. Drea D’nur wanted to show how they thought and acted through the power of dance and song. Hip hop and African represent not being able to break them down, crump represents the anger they have, modern  represents the fear and lost hope of those people, and ballet represents the people’s soul.

Drea D’nur did not only want you to like her song, she wanted you to experience what they experienced and feel what they felt. Drea’s lyrics “can not break me down” are showing and expressing not only how they should feel but how we should as well. No one can break us down. We need to be strong and stand tall because nobody can “break me down”.

{Eat the Book: Thank you, Angela, for taking the time to not only share the video with us, but to explain how you got involved and what it means to you. Powerful stuff. And now your words and video will be “out there” to be seen by many. Congratulations.}

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.26 It’s Monday! What are you Reading?


Guess what today is!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

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Lots of websites and blogs and the newspaper and student writing… but I did not finish a book. Students, it’s your turn to give me the reminder that I always give you (and that most of you can say together now):
If you didn’t ring the bell this week, you should plan on finishing a book next week.
If you didn’t ring the bell last week OR this week, that is an alert to you that you are probably falling behind in your reading and not meeting the reading expectations.
 How many books did students in each class read last week?
What are they reading now?
Check out our Padlet to see students’ BOOKselfies.
Click the links below at 10:00ish and 12:30 respectively to see all students’ posts.
BTW—guests are invited to post a BOOKselfie too.
Period 1&2 
20 books read
Period 5&6
12 books read
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For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what YOU’RE reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Did anyone leave a comment on last Monday’s post???

There were also a few on Friday’s post.

Time for some reading&tweeting

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One of the cool things about Julianna’s post on BookFlix Friday last week is that the author actually got to see what she wrote. Gotta love Twitter!

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This one’s waiting for me at the library after school…
 
 
 
 
Thanks,
David Etkin

10.23 {BookFlix Friday} Student Guest Post: The Pegasus Series by Kate O’Hearn

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


The Flame of Olympus
This series is recommended by my student Julianna M. She suggested that I feature it on {BookFlix Friday}—and I suggested that SHE write the blog. So she did. Here is Julianna’s BOOKselfie with her favorite series followed by her recommendation and the blurbs she found online for each book.
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From Julianna:

   Kate O’Hearn, an international bestselling author, brings you a series about a normal girl with a new friend Pegasus. She makes many new friends along the way to Olympus as they fight for Olympus’s very existence. Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, said, “A winning mix of modern adventure  and classic fantasy.”

   In a fantasy story about Greek Mythology connecting with the real world  it will leave you wanting more! There are four books already published in the series. The fifth book Pegasus: Rise Of The Titans, will be out December 1st, 2015. Each book will make you love the series even more. It is such a heartwarming story that touched my emotions. It’s little intense in some parts so I don’t really recommended for younger kids. But, it’s such an amazing story!

You can visit the author’s site by clicking here.

What? You want another trailer? Here is a fan trailer:

Each book title below links back to the publisher page.
The Flame of OlympusPegasus: the Flame of Olympus

When Pegasus, the majestic winged-stallion of myth is struck by lightning and crashes on to her roof in the middle of a ferocious storm that blacks-out New York City, 13-year-old Emily’s life becomes that of legend.

Needing help to treat the seriously wounded stallion, Emily befriends the local school bully, Joel. Working together, they quickly discover that Pegasus has more than lightning burns. He has multiple wounds from a terrible fight as part of a spear is still sticking out of his rear flank!

Together with Pegasus, Emily and Joel face epic battles with gruesome four-armed monsters, desperate chases from a corrupt governmental agency, and captivating flights astride the beautiful winged-stallion in a heroic quest to save Olympus before the ‘Flame of Olympus’ is extinguished forever…

Olympus at War

Pegasus: Olympus at War

Emily and her winged horse face a war of Olympic proportions in this second book of the Pegasus series.

Emily, newly recognized as the Flame, is living in Jupiter’s palace on Mt. Olympus. Her friends, Joel, Paelen, and—of course—Pegasus, are there as well. The only person missing is Emily’s father, who is still being held prisoner by the CRU back in the human world. Emily wants to go find him, but Jupiter won’t allow her to leave. However, Emily does have access to a winged horse…

Determined to rescue her father, Emily and her friends make plans to sneak away from Olympus and back to New York. Then Cupid, Emily’s sort-of crush, decides to come along as well. It will be hard enough to hide a winged horse from the prying eyes of the CRU, but a winged boy as well? And when the gruesome Nirads begin a new invasion, old grudges are unearthed, new enemies are discovered, and Emily and her friends become entangled in a conflict more dangerous than they ever anticipated.

The New Olympians

Pegasus: The New Olympians

Emily and her companions, including the winged horse, Pegasus, must confront a legion of Olympic enemies in this third book of an action-packed series.

When Emily’s father and the goddess Diana return from a visit to Earth, they bring with them disturbing news. There’s a horse called Tornado Warning that’s winning all the races, with times faster than anyone’s ever seen. What could this mean? Emily, Joel, Paelen, Pegasus, and the sphinx Alexis return to Earth to investigate—and discover a CRU plot to clone Olympians and Nirads using DNA retrieved from their previous time in the human realm.

The CRU has already created dozens of Nirad warriors, Dianas, Paelens, Cupids, and Pegasuses. Now they want to create their own Emily clone—even if the original is killed in the process. Can Emily and her friends put a stop to the CRU’s plans before Jupiter finds out and carries through on his own threat to destroy the Earth?

Origins of Olympus

Pegasus: Origins of Olympus
Emily and her winged horse, Pegasus, face an ancient challenge of Olympic proportions in this fourth book of an exciting series.

A deadly plague has struck Olympus. While the Olympians fade one by one, Emily’s heart breaks as she watches, particularly when Pegasus begins to slip away. Determined to save him, she embarks on an investigation that takes her back in time to the origins of Olympus and to the deadly battle between the Olympians and the Titans.

In the present, she must face the full force of the CRU. In the past, she must confront Cronus, the father of the gods and leader of the Titans, who is intent on destroying his offspring. When Emily encounters the full power of the flame and a discovery that could change the face of history, will she make the right decisions? And in the race against time to save Pegasus, will Olympus find its true hero?

(On sale December 1, 2015)

In order to save Olympus, Emily and her winged horse, Pegasus, venture to Hawaii—and a Hawaiian volcano—in this fifth book of an exciting series that puts a modern thrill into ancient mythology.

The ancient rivalry between the Olympians and the Titans has been rekindled. However, this time the Titans have a secret weapon—a weapon that rivals the Flame of Olympus. The balance of power is tipped in Saturn’s favor now that he has found his own Flame of Titus. Olympus is almost in his grasp! And just when the Olympians need Emily most, she finds her own grip on the flame weakening.

If Emily is going to save Olympus, she will have to save herself first. To do so, she and Pegasus must head to the Diamond Head volcano in Hawaii to track down the one thing that can rescue Olympus…but can they get there before the Titans or the CRU beat them to it?

10.19 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #IMWAYR #Marvels


Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

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OH my goodness.
I could hardly stop reading this Sunday afternoon.
(It was a welcome distraction after watch the terrible Bills game…)
I can’t wait for someone else to give it a shot. But MAN–This is one heavy book… my arm is sore!
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Brian Selznick has created a marvel. So clever. I’ll share one little part that I really liked:
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Check out this cool review in the New York Times by the Peculiar Children triology author Ransom Riggs.
When you read the book, you’ll see that the house where much of the story is set is kind of like a character itself.  It is based on a real house—which was the inspiration for the book. 
Have a look. 
And from Instagram…
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 You can find more cool BOOKish things by following Scholastic’s Instagram.
 How many books did students in each class read last week?
What are they reading now?
Check it out:
Today we are going to continue using a site called Padlet to post BOOKselfies.
Click the links below at 10:00ish and 12:30 respectively to see all students’ posts.
BTW—guests are invited to post a BOOKselfie too.
I’ve added mine to the Padlets.
Period 1&2 
books read
Period 5&6
books read
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For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what YOU’RE reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

…The very decorated
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I’m sure you know other books by her:
Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 9.57.14 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-18 at 9.57.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 9.57.38 PM (Images from Google search)
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Thanks,
David Etkin

10.16 {BookFlix Friday} CELEBRIdots and #TheodoreBoone

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Not so fast! Before we look at the trailers, let’s take a look at the students who made their mark by submitting their very own CELEBRIdots in honor of DOT DAY. Enjoy the slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


A perfect murder.
A faceless witness.
A lone courtroom champion knows the whole truth…and he’s only thirteen years old.
Meet Theodore Boone.

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.
But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.
Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer will keep readers guessing and pages turning.

Read one…

Read the whole series!

Bookcover Book 1

Bookcover Book 1

Bookcover Book 1

And for more Boone fun, visit the website by clicking the image below:
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10.13 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #IMWAYR #Crenshaw


Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

 Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 8.25.24 PM

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
This is a strong follow up to Applegate’s Newbery-winning The One and Only Ivan. Applegate chooses again to tackle an issue with her novel. This time, it’s homelessness.
Jackson and his family are having a tough time making ends meet. They have come up with all different ways to deal and cope with the situation, but it is wearing on them. The last thing Jackson wants is to have to live in the family van again. Yet that’s exactly where they’re heading.
How can Crenshaw, Jackson’s imaginary childhood friend, help? You’ll have to read to find out.
This certainly makes me think more about how much financial struggles affect my students. The affects are far-reaching. I hope my AlphaStudents and families will be up-front with me as much as possible so I can be understanding of these difficult situations.
You can follow they MacKidsBooks Instagram page here.
Here is the site set up for Crenshaw.
Did you know you can follow MY Instagram account too??
 How many books did students in each class read last week?
What are they reading now?
Check it out:
Today we are going to continue using a site called Padlet to post BOOKselfies.
Click the links below at 10:00ish and 12:30 respectively to see all students’ posts.
BTW—guests are invited to post a BOOKselfie too. I’ve added mine to the Padlets.
Period 1&2 
16 books read
Period 5&6
15 books read
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For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what YOU’RE reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

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See?
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I came across a beautiful poem inside:
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds

Continue reading

10.9 {BookFlix Friday} An Eagle in the Snow, The Marvels

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Just born this week:

Michael Morpurgo’s extraordinary new novel is out today!

Click the book to visit the author’s site.

An Eagle in the Snow is a beautiful moral thriller about the man who could have stopped World War Two.

1940. Barney and his mother, their home destroyed by bombing, are travelling to the country when their train is forced to shelter in a tunnel from attacking German planes. There, in the darkness, a stranger on the train begins to tell them a story. A story about Bobby Byron, the most decorated soldier of WW1, who once had the chance to end the war before it even began, and how he tried to fix his mistake. But sometimes the right thing is hard to see – and even harder to live with…


 

From author Brian Selznick, who brought you

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznickWonderstruck by Brian Selznick

 

 

 

Comes:

Marvels standingshot

Tap book to visit author’s site

Two stand-alone stories—the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose—together create a beguiling narrative puzzle.The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage. Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale’s strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past.

In this magnificent reimagining of the form he originated, two stand-alone stories—the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose—together create a beguiling narrative puzzle.

The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage.

Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale’s strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past.

A gripping adventure and an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two narratives connect,The Marvels is a loving tribute to the power of story from an artist at the vanguard of creative innovation.

10.5 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #IMWAYR #TheWorstClassTripEver #SunnySideUp

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

 Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 8.25.24 PM

Click to visit author’s site

In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip to Washington, DC. Wyatt, his best friend, Matt, and a few kids from Culver Middle School find themselves in a heap of trouble—not just with their teachers, who have long lost patience with them—but from several mysterious men they first meet on their flight to the nation’s capital. In a fast-paced adventure with the monuments as a backdrop, the kids try to stay out of danger and out of the doghouse while trying to save the president from attack—or maybe not.

I wasn’t expecting this to be a thriller spy espionage-type book, but that’s exactly what it was. It was mixed with a lot of humor, which is what I WAS expecting. If you like books where kids try to save the day—and the POTUS—then read this.

Now in stores!

From SLJ:

Gr 4-6–The Holm siblings, of “Babymouse” and “Squish” (both Random) fame, and colorist Pien, of American Born Chinesefame (First Second, 2008), have created a must-have graphic novel based on true events from the Holms’ childhood. The year is 1976, and Sunny Lewin will be spending the summer with her grandfather in Florida. Artistic details in the panels, such as the style of the clothes and the cars, give readers a good sense of the time period. Sunny arrives in Florida feeling hopeful that it will be an exciting summer, but her enthusiasm quickly fades when she realizes that she has to sleep on a squeaky sofa bed and her grandfather is too busy dragging her on boring errands to take her to Disney World. Sunny’s days start to look up when she befriends a boy from the neighborhood; together, they read superhero comic books and find lost golf balls and missing cats for reward money. Overshadowing Sunny’s summertime adventures are events from the past year that have led to her last-minute Florida trip. She loves her older brother, but when he takes drugs, he makes poor choices and unintentionally hurts her. Sunny feels confused and responsible for her brother’s erratic behavior. This title sensitively portrays how drug abuse affects loved ones through visual imagery and realistic dialogue. VERDICT A humorous yet emotional story with a memorable protagonist and detailed full-color art that make this a perfect choice for fans of Raina Telgemeier.–Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

What did I think? This says it all. (Notice that abbreviations are acceptable in Twitter—there are only 140 characters/spaces permitted. Sometime we have to get creative.):Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 11.05.25 PM

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 How many books did students in each class read last week?
What are they reading now?
Check it out:
Today we are going to try using an app called Padlet to post BOOKselfies. Click the links below at 10:00ish and 12:30 respectively. Hopefully this works.
BTW—guests are invited to post a BOOKselfie too. I’ve added mine to the Padlets.
Period 1&2 
14 books read
Period 5&6
21 books read
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For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what YOU’RE reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Library pickup on Friday:
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Thanks,
David Etkin

10.2 {BookFlix Friday} #Crenshaw #DotDay

Today is BookFlix Friday!

Few things can draw a reader to a new book like a book trailer can.

Get the popcorn ready.

Lights…Camera…Action!


From the author who brought us

 

Comes the new book:

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

Here is a section of text available on Applegate’s site:

An excerpt from Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

I went to my window and opened it. Carefully, I pulled out the screen. Our apartment was on the ground floor. A few feet below the window, a cushion of grass waited.

“Good-bye, Crenshaw,” I said.

He opened one eye a bit, like someone peeking from behind a shade. “But we were having such a lovely time.”

“Now,” I said. I put my hands on my hips to show I meant business.

“Jackson, be reasonable. I came all this way.”

“You have to go back to wherever you came from.”

Crenshaw opened his other eye. “But you need me here.”

“I don’t need you. I have enough to deal with already.”

With a great show of effort, Crenshaw sat up. He stretched, easing his back into an upside-down U. “I don’t think you understand what’s going on here, Jackson,” he said. “Imaginary friends don’t come of their own volition. We are invited. We stay as long as we’re needed. And then, and only then, do we leave.”

“Well, I sure didn’t invite you.”

Crenshaw raised an eyebrow. He had long, whiskery brows like strings on marionette.

I took a step closer. “If you won’t go, I’ll make you go.”

I put my arms around his waist and yanked. It was like hugging a lion. That cat weighed a ton.

Crenshaw dug his claws deep into the quilt my Great-aunt Trudy made when I was a baby. I gave up and let go.

“Look,” Crenshaw said as he extracted his claws from my quilt, “I can’t go until I help you. I don’t make the rules.”

“Then who does?”

Crenshaw stared at me with eyes like green marbles. He put his two front paws on my shoulders. He smelled like soapsuds and catnip and the ocean at night.

“You do, Jackson,” he said. “You make the rules.”


 

Celebri-dots

Since we read The Dot yesterday, I thought I’d include some famous dots that this book inspired. Do you know these authors and illustrators?

Matthew Cordell – 2014

Sharon Creech 2015

Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Holly Goldberg Sloan

Laurel Snyder

Tom Angleberger – Origami Yoda

Kate DiCamillo

Peter H Reynolds

Jeff Kinney

 

So… Do you have a DOT in you? Extra credit if you create a cool, original DOT on your iPad. Use Notability or any other art app you want. Have this ready to go by TUESDAY.