May 6, 2013

What are you Reading? Monday

Linking up with Jen to share what's on my nightstand right now...

First of all, I want to give y'all an update on Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. My students are a week into this book today, and we are on pace to finish by Friday, which means it was the PERFECT length to finish the year strong.

My students are SUPER invested in the this story. They've asked a TON of really good questions, which have led me to believe this would be a great book to lead into our research unit. So many of the questions my students have asked could turn into research projects, so it might be a great mentor research project.

I'm really glad I decided to teach this book now because it's definitely holding my students' interest, and they are giving me great things to consider for the future. For example, I think I'll share the documentary at the END of the unit next year and only give them a teaser before we crack open the book. Of course, the documentary doesn't give all the details, but I think there's even more investment if they don't know what will happen next.

I think for next year, I'm going to read this book with my kiddos for our non-fiction unit. According to what we read in class today, you can still get partial transcripts from the court proceedings as well as many of the articles that appeared in national magazines and newspapers at the time. I think it will be much more meaningful for my students to study the elements of non-fiction in this context rather than with unrelated or irrelevant articles, which I admit I used this year.

As I put together a more comprehensive unit, I want to put it together for my TPT store. As of now, I only have random handouts and assignments in there, not whole units. I feel like this is the first unit I've created completely on my own because there just aren't many resources available, so I want to make it available for others to use. Keep your eyes on my store! (Okay... I'll let you know when I post it!)


The second book I'm reading was a suggestion from my bloggy twin, Erin, from I'm Loving Lit. I call her my twin because we have the same name, content area, and age group. AND we live in the same state, about an hour away from each other. Crazy, huh? Anyway, she aways has the best reading suggestions, and she talked about this book Out of Easy during a past linky party.

I'm not very far into the book yet, but I love the way Ruta Spetys has described New Orleans, as Erin promised. The story folows Josie in the French Quarters in the 1950s. She has big goals to escape her life, with a neglectful mother who is a prostitute, but apparently there's going to be a big murder that somehow threatens her plans.

I'll let you now what I think when I'm done, but I'm not going to lie... it may take a while! It's a rather large book! :)


  1. Out of the Easy sounds like my type of read. I visited New Orleans for a week sometime in 2011, and I fell in love with the place (best beignets!). Will have to check Ruta Sepetys' works out - I've read a lot of good reviews.

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying Out of the Easy! I'm not going to lie either.. it took me a good 2 WEEKS to get through it and I usually finish a book in well under one week. BUT blogging has sure slowed my reading down, and end of the year duties.. I can see summer in sight! :) I'm so glad to hear about your update on the Emmett Till book. I've added it to my wishlist (and they're usually honored) for next school year to get a class set. So I'll be SUPER interested in any resources or products that you make with the unit!
    :) Erin

  3. I'm going to have to read this Emmett Till book. Have you read Marilyn Nelson's book of sonnets about Emmett Till? I assign that in my Adolescent Literature course and it's always a favorite. (Also, nobody in the class has a clue who Emmett Till is before they read Nelson's book. SIGH.) Chris Crowe's book sounds like an excellent companion, esp. as my students want me to add more nonfiction to the course. Thanks!!

    1. I tried to send you an email about this, but google is telling me you're a non-reply blogger. Do you have an email address you're willing to share so I can tell you what I did with the book?