“Embrace everyone and everything that helps you become a better version of yourself and you will live a life uncommon.” – Matthew Kelly [The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic]
AR 5.5 [7
Review and Comments
Applewhite family can be described as unique or extraordinary, but those words really
don’t capture the nature of the family well enough. Idiosyncratic is the word that expresses the
dynamics of the Applewhites much better.
A few members can even be described as egocentric. Each person in this extended family has such
a distinctive personality that their individual stories are quite interesting. Their creative passions seem to divide the family,
but when a theatrical crisis occurs, the Applewhites have to pull together and
eventually resolve those problems.
is introduced to the family by twelve year old Edith Wharton, or E.D., as she
prefers to be called. She describes her family as “a spontaneous group of people
who love chaos and crave freedom.” Her
family even decides that the children’s education should be different because
after all they are not like other people.
Their motto is: “Education is an
adventurous quest for the meaning of life, involving an ability to think things
through.” So, they start the Applewhite Creative Academy where “creativity and
individuality are paramount,” and the children develop their own study programs
to accommodate their personal interests.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
Review and Comments
Choosing a name for a child can be quite a challenging decision for parents. Mr. and Mrs. Mouse considered this obligation thoughtfully and chose the name that was “absolutely perfect” for their new precious baby. They named her Chrysanthemum – the perfect name for their perfect daughter. As Chrysanthemum grew, she too found her name to be perfect whether it was written or spoken. As a matter of fact, she often repeated it to herself because she liked the sound of it so much.
When it was time for Chrysanthemum to start school, she was very excited and full of enthusiasm as most children are. The first time her class heard her name however, they laughed. Some students, three girls in particular, continuously made comments about her name and thought of different ways to tell her it was unusual and weird. Unfortunately, Chrysanthemum listened to the harsh comments of the girls and it wasn’t long before she didn’t think her name was perfect anymore. She even had the drastic thought that she should change her name. Alas, the next day of school was not any better. The three girls treated her the same way, and she felt truly dreadful. She shared all of this with her parents and they assured her that her name was indeed absolutely perfect and then tried to help her see why those girls would say such hurtful things. Continue reading Be Who You Are Perfectly: A Review of ‘Chrysanthemum’→
The Kids of the Polk Street School series is written for young readers who are eagerly beginning to stretch their reading skills to chapter books. This is quite an exciting time of new goals for children. Each book focuses on a student in Ms. Rooney’s second grade classroom.
The Beast in Ms. Rooney’s Room
“Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times, in all circumstances.” – St. Vincent de Paul
3.2 [Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which a student reading on grade could read the book independently]
Grades 3 – 5
Review and Comments
The Beast in Ms. Rooney’s Room, the first book in the series, introduces readers to several typical second grade students. Richard “Beast” Best is one of the students beginning the new school year in Ms. Rooney’s class – for the second time. Because of this, Richard has to deal with a lot of concerns before he feels comfortable in a class of younger children. What will he tell his old classmates about why he was left back? Why does he have to feel so big next to the other second graders? Why does he still have baby teeth? Why can he only read ten words? Why does he get in trouble so often? The reader understands more about Richard’s struggles through his relationships with other students who eventually support and accept him. Inevitably, there is also an irritating student who attempts to upset Richard’s adjustment to the new school year with hurtful remarks. Continue reading A Review of Two of the ‘Kids of Polk Street School’ Books→