My reading for the week is going to be mostly professional nonfiction related to a course I’m taking on the Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts. If you haven’t yet seen Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins et al, the first chapter makes some good arguments for viewing the standards in a positive way.
But one of my assignments was create my own reader’s notebook for a nonfiction book of my choosing, and fortunately I had a copy of Faith McNulty and Steven Kellogg’s If You Decide to Go to the Moon at my house. I’ve reread it several times over the years, as a librarian, a parent, and now a graduate student looking at those “complex texts” the CC standards require. It’s an unusual book: a mix of fiction and nonfiction elements, a second person point of view, an oversized square format with a double foldout. Paired with a more traditional nonfiction book about the moon or space travel, If You Decide to Go To the Moon would make a perfect text for looking at the ways different authors present similar information (that’s Reading: Informational Text Anchor Standard 9 in case anyone is wondering). And it does hold up to repeated rereadings: McNulty’s elegant writing reads aloud beautifully, and Kellogg’s illustrations make a stark contrast between the emptiness of the moon and the lush, living surface of the earth. I’m glad I read it again; there’s always more to discover in a good book!
Pathways to the Common Core image is from readingandwritingproject.com
If You Decide to Go To the Moon image is from barnesandnoble.com