Pixar This by Ryan Hanna

Nerdy Book Club

I had a sad conversation this summer.

I’m a regular at my neighborhood diner, The Echo. During the school year, I go on Saturday morning and read. My favorite server (l’ll call her Tanya) asks me about the books I’ve been reading, and then gives me her latest recommendation on a piece of receipt paper.

In the summer, I’m able to go to The Echo more and look forward to it because of the friendship I’ve developed with the owner’s eleven-year-old son (let’s call him Evan). He works at the restaurant to earn his allowance. Evan is a reader and enjoys books, but as I found out last summer, his school uses a program that assigns points to books, focuses solely on leveling, and moves students up an arbitrary scale in order to earn prizes. Evan and I spend time chatting about his hobbies and his reading, in between his…

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2 thoughts on “Pixar This by Ryan Hanna

  1. I am a retired teacher with 30+ years of classroom experiences with the younger grades. What level my students were on seemed to be important to determining how good a reader they were, at least when it came to evaluating them (on what used to be called “report cards”). Being the maverick that I was, I often had my small groups reading the “wrong” level books. If I wanted to emphasize a particular concept (i.e. why the author chose a particular title), the perfect example might be levels below where they “should be” reading. If I had a group of reluctant readers, I sometimes chose a book based on what would interest them, even if it was a difficult book, since I could provide the scaffolding they needed to succeed. There does need to be a purpose for kids to be reading–but that purpose need to be: BECAUSE IT’S FUN!

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