Why a good book is a secret door

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Author: Sabrina Dunham

Blog 7

Blog 7



  1. In this chapter, it was a lot about how each child reader has a “preference” when it comes to books. Each student will have a different idea of what kind of books they want to read (i.e graphic novel, short story, novel, young adult, etc).  In general, I loved that theme of the chapter, because it’s something most teachers wouldn’t really think about when they begin teaching. I know for me, at first, when I thought of my first days teaching, I was planning to know WHAT I would teach and just assume it was curriculum and that it was set in stone. But Miller helped show me that since each child is obviously different, they might be able to learn better if they see things a different way. I tend to be a visual learner, but not everyone is like that. Some kids really like just the cut and dry note taking and studying. While others prefer pictures, or even oral studying so it sticks in their brain. So Miller speaking out children having different book preferences also helped me think of other preferences my students my have in other areas in class.
  2. Like I stated before, I am a much better visual reader than just staring at words for hours on end. That’s why I enjoyed the graphic novel we read this semester more than any of the other book. When I read, my mind already makes a “mental movie” to help me follow along, so having pictures already laid out for me made it even easier.



  • My YA novel was “We Are Ok” by Nina LaCour. I decided to focus on the main character, Marin. When reading, I found out that she is blond with “tiny freckles across [her] cheeks” (58). Her mother, Claire, passed due to a surfing accident when Marin was a child. She never really knew her father, she is told he was from Australia. Gramps is her grandfather and the person she lived for the majority of her life until she went to college in New York. It’s no surprise when you find out the plot of the book, you can guess Marin is a pretty sad young adult. Marin’s voice, to me, I would describe distinctive and strong. Marin is particularly nostalgic when she reflects on her past and you can tell she isn’t happy, and her reflections seem almost like a wanting to be back there. Then on the other end, when she describes the present, the sentences are spare and short, and reflect the winter cold and the isolation that she clearly feels.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s on the more sad side, but it’s a great book to help young adults relate to things they may be feeling. I wouldn’t exactly have a freshman in high school read it but definitely someone maybe going off to college for the first time could relate and it would help a lot of younger people see that what they may be feeling is more common than they might have thought.
Blog 6

Blog 6

Reading the article, I was just loving that the author was helping us future teachers with almost any problem with kids I could think of. The “unmotivated”, the kids who don’t get why we even read certain books, and more. They just went into amazing detail on how beficitial a graphic novel can be. The use of pictures give the child a sense of ease because, at least for me as well, reading a book with all those pictures makes it seem less challenging, and like we aren’t reading a full novel.


In my novel “Smile”, she included everything a graphic novel needed. I loved this book. It flowed so nicely, super easy to follow, and helped someone like me who usually creates a picture in their head when reading, put that picture in front of you. I loved being able to read like a mini movie. If you took out the narration, I would have been fine because sometimes, it wasn’t even necessary.

Make for Inside Out and Back Again

Make for Inside Out and Back Again

For this make, I decided to do somewhat of an ice breaker. I would do this activity at the beginning of the year, making this book one of the first books we read that year. I would begin by having the students write a short journal entry on who they are and they’re background, like where their families are originally. After this, I would be bring a large poster board with a map of the world on it.  Then each kid would put a pin on the world map on where their ancestors are from. Once all done, we would have a world maps with each of their pins on it to represent how they come from all over the world. Hopefully this would be done with a 4th or 5th grade class, where they know a little about where they are from.

The goal for this activity is not only connecting the book to real life, but to help them get to know each other and see who they have things in common with. This, as an icebreaker, could be useful in helping them open up and making the classroom better as a whole. This would tie in writing, geography, and even social skills. This could lead to other activities for the book, espicially when explaining the war in the book, and where exactly Vietnam is. And showing them where Ha came form in the book and where her family ended up in America, hopefully they can see how far and long of a move they made when they left their home.

Blog 5

Blog 5

When I choose this novel, I first was intrigued when I read what it was about. Hà, a ten-year-old girl flees her home in Vietnam with her mother and brothers, to escape the Vietnam War and try to restart their lives in the United States. Although she escaped the horrors of the Vietnam war, Hà and her family struggle to find their place in the United States.

What I first loved about this novel was the pictures it makes you visualize and poems that appeared in it. Written as a series of short poems, it is a sparse and bluntly honest story of Hà and her journey to adapt into the american lifestyle. With this novel, it would be the perfect story for young children, because it would be super helpful as a way to give them insight on the world around them and the constant domestic wars all over the world. It also would give amazing help to the students who might have come over from over seas as well, as a way to get them and their fellow classmates comfortable with each other’s way of life.

so much depends


the bright warm


shinning through a

white window

showing the beauty

of the outside world