Monday, May 7, 2007

Book Group

I want to explain why I love the 2 books I read.

The first, “Tallahassee Higgins”, is about a girl who goes to live with her aunt and uncle while her mother moves to California to try to get a break into Hollywood. The book describes Tallahassee’s search to find out more about her mother, her father, and her life as she adjusts to living with her aunt and uncle. I identified with Tallahassee because, although my mother never abandoned me, I moved around often, as did Tallahassee, until 7th grade. I know what it is like to constantly switch schools and have to make new friends, never feeling like you belong; I did it my entire life! Some years we’d move 2 or 3 times in the same year. I went to 12 schools in 13 years- you do the math!

The second, “Dear Mr. Henshaw”, is about a boy who writes to his favorite author. I identified with him because his parents divorced, and he describes his feelings regarding the situation in his journals. In this story, the dad drives an 18-wheeler, and the boy and his mom feel like the dad loves his truck more than them. In my life, my dad is an alcoholic, and I have always felt my dad chose alcohol over his family. Also, in this book, the boy feels lonely because his mom works a lot to support the 2 of them, as was the case for me.

I know this isn’t a typical entry, but I felt compelled to share why I have always loved these 2 books in particular. Looking at them from a teacher’s perspective, they are wonderful to read if a new student comes or if a student is moving away. Also, if children come from divorced families, as is more common these days, these books will help children to know they are not alone in their feelings. I look forward to reading some more of my childhood favorites and sharing my thoughts about them. . .

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