Saturday, April 22, 2017

Posted by John David Anderson Blog Tour

Last year in my fifth grade class I was blessed with an advanced copy of John David Anderson's Miss Bixby's Last Day. My fifth graders loved the book and insisted, as I packed up my room to move to seventh grade, that Miss Bixby's was certainly a book that needed to travel with me to seventh grade. When they had me again, as they were sure they would, they wanted to "see" their friends from the book. As a result of their connections with Anderson's characters in Bixby, I was certain I would enjoy his new book Posted when I saw it at NCTE. 

I was right.

I couldn't wait to travel home from NCTE last November to begin reading it, I began the minute I got back to my hotel from a dinner. It was one of those books that I wanted to keep reading, even though I knew I needed to get some rest for sessions the following day. It was that good.

Posted takes place in a middle school and follows the story of four middle school boys. Kind-of misfits, they have inexplicably found each other and formed a friendship. They each go by a nickname: Frost (the main character), Bench, Wolf, and Deedee. (You figure out the story behind their nicknames as the book goes on). Life at school has just got very interesting. A new girl named Rose has joined their team of four and the boys have varying opinions on her presence. Also, and most importantly to the students at school, cell phones have been banned completely from school grounds. As a result, kids begin to leave post-it notes on lockers to pass messages. While this begins as a harmless means of communication, it quickly spirals out of control and has negative consequences. 

When I book talked this to my seventh graders, I read several passages. Their reaction was that the kids seemed "real", and I would agree. Anderson does a brilliant job of taking relatable characters and situations and making my students immediately want to know more. Combine that with the articles I shared with them on the post-it notes that were being left in the NYC subways after the elections (one article here) and we began a discussion on writing as communication, acts of kindness, acts of kindness gone wrong, friendships in middle school, bullying, and the role of the bystander. Pretty rich conversation indeed. 

The true test of a book, however, is what the kids think when they read it. They are just as big of fans of Posted as I am. It passes hand-to-hand in our classroom, rarely languishing on the shelf. We highly recommend you check out this book when it is released on May 2nd of this year. 

Posted Blog Tour
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