Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Last summer, someone pointed me toward HOW TO STEAL A DOG. The book jumped right onto my list of all time favorite super great reads, and I've devoted this year to reading all of Barbara O'Connor's novels. She is the woman! Aside from the fact that she has pictures of the world's cutest puppies on her blog, she writes such good stuff.  Her characters are the kids I teach and love- most of them don't have "perfect" parents, they aren't straight A students, lots of them don't even have best friends. Barbara O'Connor's chararacters are kids who have tough lives, find help and support in unlikely places, and are somehow managing to make it through. They give my kids hope. 

Marvin is one of those kids. He loves, loves, loves music and wants to learn to play the piano. Marvin's dad thinks music is for sissies, and wants his son to play baseball instead. Marvin finds support for his passion from a neighbor, Wylene, a reclusive neighbor who works in a handkerchief factory and loves music as much as Marvin, from Sybil, another kid who has a less than traditional life and is somehow remarkably sane and grounded, and from his grandmother, Hazeline.

This is a novel about following your passions. It's a novel about self-acceptance. It's a novel about surviving with less-than perfect parents, in a less-than-perfect world. And it's a darn good read!

1 comment:

Kyle said...

I look forward to this book. One of my students played a piano recital for the rest of the third grade classes the other day. He will enjoy this book.