This month, I have committed to writing every day through the community at Two Writing Teachers. All are welcome to the March Slice of Life Challenge! It's not too late to join in or comment or just read... Many of my posts will be at my personal blog, Just Write, Melanie, but the posts that relate explicitly to learning will be on both blogs.
Over the weekend, I read The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart. It definitely hooked me with an extremely high stakes plot. Mark, the 12 year-old main character, has cancer and runs away just before he is supposed to start a treatment. He has set a personal goal to climb Mount Rainier, and even with a raging storm, continues with his quest. Dan Gemeinhart has some wonderful passages about life, and the social issues around whether to tell the truth or keep a secret pulsates the entire book. An upper elementary book club would have some intense discussions about the morality/immorality of lying!
All that being said, with a 12 year-old main character, this book is classified as middle grade fiction. I would not want any of my 8 year-olds to read it. There are some violent scenes, some terrifying scenes, and some really emotional scenes, as the book deals with death, cancer, gangs, bullying, and intense hospital scenes. It's a book that you might want to alert parents about if you're passing it along to strong readers in your elementary classroom.
Happy Reading and Slicing,