Monday, April 3, 2017

Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen - It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jumping back into blogging after the kick start of Slice of Life in March. On Mondays I used to share what I had read the week before. That has fallen off the wagon lately - partly because I was too busy to blog, partly because I was just reading less. But, I want to start again. Here's what I read last week:

While they were all good (and I think everyone needs to read The Hate U Give, excellent YA book), let's talk about Triangle.

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen last paired up for one of my favorites - and my students loved it too - Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. When my current class of seventh graders were in fifth grade, we did a Mock Caldecott unit and Sam and Dave was one of our nominees. The fifth graders loved it. We read it, and reread it, and had theories. It was seriously one of the best reading experiences ever.

Those fifth graders are now seventh graders. I wasn't sure what they'd think of Triangle. I really liked the book, but I don't think this is a book you can review without reading it to kids. It changes everything. 

Monday morning I asked my first hour to gather around. I held up the book and their conversations immediately began - where was the title? Author? Illustrator? I asked them, based on the cover, can they guess one of the creators of the book. Immediately I began to hear, "Klassen" or "The hat guy." I grinned.

Before I could even begin, I reminded them of Sam and Dave. the kids that weren't in my fifth grade class asked what on earth all of the kids were talking about. I promised to read it to them later. 

We began Triangle. This was not a quiet peaceful reading experience. The kids were talking back to the book. Hooting with laughter as Triangle ran to play a sneaky trick on Square. Laughing as Square and Triangle faced off. Rolling as Square tried to get into Triangle's house. These twelve and thirteen year old kids acted like they were young again. 

When I finished, they shouted - where was the rest of the story? I explained it would be a trilogy and they asked if I had ordered the other two. When I shared that they hadn't been written yet, there were some loud complaints. They loved this book so, they didn't want to be done. Immediately they begged me to read Sam and Dave. I, of course, complied. 

Moving up to seventh grade, I knew I would still share picture books. I hoped that the kids would enjoy them, but I could not have predicted the love they would have for them. I think when you are a pre-teen or a teen, life can be stressful. Having the opportunity to gather around your teacher, share a story, and just relax and laugh is good for their soul. 

Have you read Triangle? More importantly, have you read it to a classroom of kids? If not, remedy immediately. It will absolutely make your day.

I love joining Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers each week to share my reading life.