I have a new female heroine to add to my list of strong role models for elementary age girls after reading Close to Famous by Joan Bauer. Foster McPhee is a twelve year-old girl with a serious reading disability. For years, she struggled to learn to read but by the time the story takes place, she has just about given up and she has learned to hide her inability to read. Through a series of events, Foster and her mother end up in a small West Virginia town among many people trying to realize their dreams. She is endearing, not only because she is a phenomenal baker, but also because she has courage, resilience, honesty, and perseverance.
Tony Wagner's book, The Global Achievement Gap, inspires me to pay attention to the seven skills that students need to learn in order to be successful 21st Century citizens. He lists:
· Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
· Agility and adaptability
· Initiative and entrepreneurialism
· Effective oral and written communication
· Accessing and analyzing information
· Curiosity and imagination
I would suggest that resilience and perseverance should be included in this list and Foster is an amazing character to inspire young woman to establish and achieve dreams!