Dear fellow bloggers,
Your blog will be a place for you, me and your friends to consider books, reading, authors, and writing. You’ll think about your books in informal book posts directed at other blogger/readers, and we’ll write back to you about your ideas and observations. Our posts and responses will become a record of the reading, thinking, learning, and teaching we accomplish together.
Each book post should be at least 500 words and written as a personal, critical response to one book. You will write one of these posts each month. You’ll also respond to other students’ posts once they’re up.
It’s up to you which book you’ll write about. It can be a book you loved or hated. It can be a 3-star book. You might think about these questions as you decide: Which title would be most enjoyable to revisit as a fan? What book that you abandoned – or remained hopeful to the bitter end – would be most enjoyable to revisit as a pan (a negative review)?
Once you’ve decided, return to the book. Skim it, and select at least one passage you think is significant, in terms of how you reacted to the book’s theme, problem, character development, or plot, or to the author’s style. Choose a chunk of text that you think shows something essential. In your letter-post, copy the passage you chose, and write about what you think it shows about the book, the author, or your response to either.
Also, tell about your experience as a reader of the book. Describe what you noticed about how the author wrote. Pick out three choices the author made, and explain what you thought of them. You might discuss the themes you saw, or how the author surprised you. Pose your wonders and questions about the author, the characters, the structure, the voice, and yourself as a reader. You can use these starter phrases to help compose your thoughts.
A note about AGENCY: the best sign that you’ve written a good book post is that you’ve learned something new about yourself or your book in the process of writing it.
Make sure to include the date, the title of the book and its author at the top of your post.
I can’t wait for your first book posts to learn from you, learn with you, and help you learn more about the power and pleasures of books.
-Mr. Owritten with help from Nancy Atwell’s The Reading Zone, 2007