Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Pull of Gravity Goes to School(s) #2

Las month, TPoG was in the fabulous Jennings Middle School in Indiana.**

This month I feature another awesome group of 8th graders from Megann Tresemer's class from Holmes Middle School in Cedar Falls Iowa.

It's hard not to LOVE them when they found this perfect resting spot for TPoG:

Yoda never gets tired of this book. ;)

According to Ms. Tresemer,

"Yoda held the book in between classes. Students loved holding him while I read aloud. He had quite a calming effect!"

And better than that, here's Yoda reading aloud to the kids:

Hah! Come on, I mean, how can I not give them brownie points?! :)

But enough about them, let's hear what they had to say about TPoG:

I asked, is TPoG a good read aloud? If so, why? If not, why not?

Anna:  "What made the book a good read aloud was that it included a boy and a girl as the main characters."
Morgan: "It made us want to keep reading.  We didn’t want our teacher to stop reading at the end of the chapters."

Meghan:  "I think The Pull of Gravity was a good read aloud because the author made us care about Nick and Jaycee and made us want to find out more about how they were doing."

Mitch:  "It was a good read aloud because there were good endings to chapters. The suspense made you want to keep reading."
But, he added, "What didn’t make it a good read aloud was the unanswered question at the end about ..."
Sorry, I edited out what he said because it contained a spoiler. But I hear you, Mitch. You're not the only person that storyline frustrated. You know where to find me. We can talk... ;)
And, a super duper **BONUS ALERT** Ms. Tresemer weighs in on what made it a good read aloud for her!
Mrs. Tresemer: "What made The Pull of Gravity a good read aloud was that it had a male and female main character, their voices were real, and it had funny parts in amongst the serious. The Star Wars references were so fun for me to read aloud!
Reading aloud, I did change some of the swear words, but the kids could always tell when I wasn’t saying the word that was on the page. Also, I skipped over some of the making out on the bus. I just told them today that I didn’t read all of that, so I’m sure many of them will be checking out the book to read what I skipped! J
I think the girls enjoyed the romance between Jaycee and Nick, but because it came through Nick, it wasn’t too flowery for the boys. I think they secretly enjoyed it, too.
Also, many of my students had read or a teacher had read aloud to them Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick last year, and we had many connections between the two books that we could talk about."
Wow, thanks for that. I'm often curious what the teachers edit when they use it as a read aloud. :)

Okay, onward! I asked who their favorite character was, and why:
Mitch says, "My favorite character was Scooter. He was a realist who wasn’t put down by the truth."
I love that, Mitch! Yes, yes he was!
Ilsa: "I really liked Nick’s mom because she was mean at times but she was also comforting. That is something a lot of moms are like, I think."
Nick: "Jaycee was my favorite character because she’s weird but in a way that works."

And, Jordan agreed: "Jaycee was my favorite character because she said things straight up as they were. She had kind of a weird personality, but it fits her." And, she wasn't the only one:
Michaela: "Jaycee was funny, and I liked how she could read Nick’s mind. She’s just kind of like different. That’s cool."
Morgan: "Jaycee is really up front about things. She doesn’t really care about what people think about her. I don’t like it when girls try too hard."

A brief break to see Ms. Tresemer's class being awesome.

So, did you have a favorite part?
Kristin: "My favorite part was when they were kissing on the bus with the candy lips because it fit their personalities."
*sigh* Me, too, Kristin. Me too.
Michaela: "I liked the part when they woke up and they didn’t know what happened to the bus. It was really intense."

Lupe: "I didn’t like when it said Scooter died and then there was the flashback to the funeral because I was like, what?"

I hear you, Lupe. I get mixed reactions on how it was handled. Some people love it, and some people, not so much. Apologies. (I wanted you to experience how it can take you by surprise even if you are expecting it, you know?)
Ilsa: "I loved the part about the water tower and when he’s delirious."

Kayla: "I liked it when they see Nick’s dad and (womp, womp, womp, spoiler deletion ;)) at the restaurant because it was a nice twist. I didn’t see that coming."

How about Of Mice and Men? Did it make you want to read it, or not so much?
Madison: "The Pull of Gravity made me very much interested in reading Of Mice and Men."

Woohoo! *throws confetti!*
Okay, guys, anything else you want to tell me about The Pull of Gravity?
Jordan: "There should be a sequel. I want to find out more about Scooter’s dad…how he (womp, womp, womp, spoiler deletion). I just feel like there’s more you could dig with between Nick’s dad and (...) and then what happens between Nick and Jaycee and if his dad ever comes back."
Well, Jordan, Mitch agrees: "You had better have a sequel coming to answer the unanswered question."
Let's leave Mitch with the last word! :)

A HUGE thanks to Ms. Tresemer and her awesome 8th graders for welcoming The Pull of Gravity into their school year.

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