Patricia Polacco's book, Thank you, Mr. Falker, holds a very special place in my heart as a future teacher. The book is based off of true events that took place in the life of Polacco, herself, growing up. It addresses criticial issues seen in schools across the world, such as bullying or reading difficulties. Trisha, the central character of the story, craves the sweet knowledge of how to read, but she is different than most students. She suffers major difficulties in reading and begins to fall behind all of the other students. About midways through the book, she loses both of her grandparents, who were her biggest supporters in the work. The other students also begin to pick on her, calling her dumb for not knowing how to read. When her grandparents pass away, her family decides to move. For Trisha, she hopes this will give her a new opportunity to not be bullied; however, things are much worse at her new school. A boy in her class, Eric, is relentless about degrading her in class. It's not until the school gets a new teacher, Mr. Falker, that Trisha is able to see hope in the future of her reading. This book covers a diverse amount of topics that should be addressed within the classroom. Its lexile reading level is AD650L, and it can be read by most students who are ages six through nine. Honestly, I feel as though this book should also be read in the middle and high school setting. This presents a way for teachers to talk about bullying within the school and in the classrooms. Aside from bullying, this book allows the teacher to talk openly about how all students are different when it comes to reading. Some students can be considered advanced readers, and others are considered struggling readers. The teacher can highlight this very aspect by simply reading about the classrooms that Trisha was in throughout the story. The teacher could also use this book to talk about how some students can suffer loss within their families. Students could have a death in their family, or maybe they are having to move schools and make changes. This book is full of endless opportunities to talk about these issues within the classroom. In my classroom, I would definitely want to use this book to address bullying. I would read the book with my class, and then students could organize either group skits or maybe even a class skit to show the implications of bullying in school.
Here we go for DC!
1. Black Canary: Kicking and Screaming. I didn't buy some of this, like how no one knew Dinah was Black Canary. Even with its faults, though, it's a fun read and a little bit of a girl group/girl power read. Fun times, with Dinah as the lead singer in a girl band. Surprise Hero, Grrrl Power, and Newsworthy would all fit this series.
2. Deadshot: Bulletproof. Fascinating look at one of the Suicide Squad members in a solo jaunt. Awful things happen to children, though, so if that makes you squeamish... Family Ties, Surprise Hero, Parental Issues, Dead Parents, and Not Dead Anymore would all work for this volume.
3. Batgirl: The Batgirl of Burnside. Fun, fun take on Batgirl, despite her hipster costume that could be so much more effective if it was more armored. Complications with school life and balancing that with Batgirl become issues in Babs' life. Grrrl Power, School, City Boy, Diversity and and Family Ties are all appropriate squares here.
4. Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals. Nuanced reboot of Wonder Woman. I couldn't stop reading this volume, and I was cheering Diana on as she adjusted to Man's World. Grrl Power, School, Newsworthy, Parental Issues, and Not Dead Anymore would all be appropriate squares for this volume. You could argue Kink with her, y'know, tying people up and forcing them to tell her the truth...
5. Justice League of America: The Tornado's Path. A focus on one of my favorite characters, the JLA's resident android. Family Ties, Not Dead Anymore, and even Kink would work here. If you're me. Human/robot relationships are my thing, although I take them more seriously than Kink.
6. Batman: Hush. An epic mindfuck of a story. I don't want to give too much away, but, yes, this? You should read it if you can get your hands on it. Glasses Confuse Everyone, City Boy or Evil Genius are the squares I'd use for this volume.
7. Batman: A Death in the Family. Epic tale of how everyone voted for Robin to die, and then they killed him off in the most brutal way possible. Teens, Insanity, City Boy and Family Ties would all work for this square. And of course, Batman is always Dead Parents.
8. Suicide Squad: Trial By Fire. Villains do good to get less prison time, and so they don't get parts blown off. it's pretty epic watching them get corralled into this and having to try to figure out how to work together. Surprise Hero, Insanity, and Romance Gone Wrong would all work, since there is not only therapy but also a therapist falling for her patient. And all before Harley Quinn, I believe!
9. Batman: Killing Joke. The Joker tries to prove one bad day can send anyone to the nuthouse. Insanity, Evil Genius and Family Ties would work here.
10. Batman: Under the Red Hood. Is Jason Todd really dead? (Joker killed him in Death in the Family.) Or is it more mindfuckery? Family Ties, Parental Issues, and Not Dead Anymore could be used for this volume. And of course, Batman still has Dead Parents.
I'm hitting the beach. I'll do general comics later tonight or even tomorrow.
Yesterday, while I was reading Batman: Death in the Family, Troy and I were joking about why I was ahead of Jason Todd in the Game of Life.
I got the airplane booze. I also didn't have a mob voting for me to die, Troy argued. Hmmm, debatable, given how much some self-published authors hate me for pointing out that spelling and grammar are kinda essential to, y'know, book writing.
I got some lovely sexual harassment and a new nickname out of that one. They just might vote for me to die!
Then today, driving down a highway, I watched a man come onto the road, almost crashing into a car because he wasn't looking. He decided he wanted to go into the fast lane, right as I was passing him. No turn signal, no look over his shoulder, he started to turn into my lane, right where my car was. I honked loud and long, and he swerved right back into his lane. Seeing as I was going the speed limit of 50 and he was doing at least that and trying to move faster, yeah, I'm convinced that could have been a KO. Also, still a little shaky. I had to pick up a book at the B&N where I work, and so I did, but I'm lounging and taking it slow because I'm still a bit shaken up.
Also, for those who aren't aware, in the Death of the Family storyline, the fans were allowed to vote on if Jason Todd, aka new Robin, would live or die.
And now? I think now would be the perfect time to have the me version of the Jason Todd poll where you decide if I should have survived or not. There's no way in hell I'm starting that up anywhere, but I think it would be pretty hilarious if someone did. Because I'm twisted that way.