This week, I enjoyed a two day school visit to Baucom Elementary School in Apex, NC. It was a wonderful old school in downtown Apex full of enthusiastic learners, avid readers, and budding young writers. I so enjoyed my time there. I remember how much such visits meant to me as a student, and it is humbling to see the kids so excited about a guest in their school. Baucom is one of those schools that just feels so good, you know? You can tell a lot about a school in the first five minutes, and I knew right away that Baucom was a fabulous learning community. THANK YOU to everyone at Baucom, from the teachers to the students to the PTA. You all made my visit special.
I made a brief stop at a bookstore (don't all bookstore stops seem brief even if it's hours??) while I was in the triangle. I was thrilled to see all the great new spring picture books. I don't know if it's just me or that particular store or what, but I saw more new, great picture books than I've seen in one place in a long time. Blogs about these books are forthcoming....
I read a great YA love story this week. THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith swept me away. I read it in one sitting and stayed up way too late to do so! In case you've not heard me say it before, I have always loved SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr, Winnie's relationship in Lauren Myracle's 13, 14, 15, and 15+1 series, and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins. Sweet, sweet young relationships, flawed and raw, make great stories. The downside of SWEETHEARTS (not as a story, but as a book I can recommend at schools) is the sexual content. I'm not opposed to sexual content in books as a rule, but I'm not going to 'push' a book at a school visit if it has anything of that nature in it. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS sounds like a book on technique, but in truth, the darling boy is French (so there's a mini lesson in modifiers for you). Lauren Myracle's depiction of Winnie's 'love' is a very young first romantic interest kind of love. It's sweet and healthy and precious and Winnie shows lots of moxie and girl-power. None of this "Girls life sucks then she meets a boy" business. I'm kind of picky about teen love stories. I like the healthy examples. The wholesome examples that allow the individuals to have a relationship without giving up their whole life. (Um, like, some demanding vampire boyfriends I won't mention by name) John Green's new book, FAULT IN OUR STARS, is also a great love story, but it's so much more than that.
That all said (could I have a longer and more involved lead-in?), I LOVED the STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith. It was awesome. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to ANY teen-ager ( mostly the girl variety). It is lovely and sweet and gripping and addresses some major issues in a tasteful, charming, healthy way. Our charming protag, Hadley, misses her flight by four minutes and ends up on a different flight (thank goodness for us!) beside Oliver. They are both struggling with MAJOR issues that will culminate in the arrival at their destination, yet in the midst of it, they find a special connection, and you will, too. This book captures all that is precious and breathless and heart-pounding about young love while our protags deal with difficult issues in their own individual lives. I fell in love right along with them. What a gift, Jennifer E. Smith! Beautifully drawn characters that you will cheer for from page one (okay, well, from the prologue). Readers, write this title down now. You don't want to miss this one. THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT now goes to the top of my teen love story recommendation list...for readers of ALL ages.
Today, we leave for Wingate University, the site of the state Odyssey of the Mind competition. I have two teams competing and three of my four children. I covet your prayers for safe travels for all the teams.
Have a great week-end. Spend it with a good book.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.
Friday, March 30, 2012
School Visit to Baucom Elementary School AND The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Posted by Donna Jones Koppelman at 6:52 AM