stephanie jones

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

I just loooovvve Barbara O’Connor

In families, fiction, great books, social class, teacher education resources, teaching reading, teaching writing, Uncategorized on July 21, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I cried this afternoon.

Yes, a “children’s chapter book” hooked me from the first sentence and I read until the final word.

And cried.

And laughed.

And smiled – a real, genuine, can’t stop my muscles from doing what they’re doing smile.

I read Me and Rupert Goody this afternoon and had to tell you all – again – that Barbara O’Connor is an author I’ve been looking for for many many years. Too bad she wasn’t around when I was a kid…

I’ve already shared some Barbara O’Connor titles I discovered last summer on past posts, and I’ve read two more of her books already this summer:

Me and Rupert Goody (1999)

How to Steal a Dog (2009)

Scholastic must’ve recently discovered her as well – How to Steal a Dog is published by Scholastic and it’s gotten a lot of attention via school book fairs and other media. This surprised me, actually, since I find O’Connor’s books to be beautifully written and set in working-class or poor communities where issues of race, gender, dis/Abilities, religion, work, age, family structures, morals, and intelligence are richly woven into the lives of the characters. Not your typical Scholastic book – but I’m glad she’ll have a wider audience of readers now and maybe, just maybe, more kids will be introduced to diverse working-class and poor lives through her narratives.

I read O’Connor’s books to Hayden, my seven-year-old (and read them to her as a six-year-old as well), and I have heard of teachers using them in grades 3-8 depending on the book and the purpose. I recommend them for all ages of readers, and truly enjoy reading them on my own. I laugh, I cry, I shake my head, and I can’t put them down.

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