Every Tuesday morning from 8:15-9:00 our whole school reads. Everyone. Teachers, too! It is beautiful. We can read whatever we want to read. We also get to talk about what we are reading. Really, it is beautiful. A whole middle school reading makes my book loving teacher heart so happy! My 8th grade monsters love to read, too! It’s all win, really! As soon as I got my hands on Andrew Smith’s latest, I knew what I’d be reading in class. I knew that 100 Sideways Miles was the perfect Tuesday book! Except I was wrong.
It wasn’t a good choice to read in class. Why? Because I couldn’t stop laughing. And the monsters shushed me. A lot. They were not amused. I tried again the next week and it wasn’t any better. I would point to my book and smile, but they were annoyed. I mean, I am the teacher, after all. When it was time to book-talk, I had to explain myself, but I didn’t want to give anything away. You try telling a room full of monsters that you were laughing because this kid named Finn who has seizures because a dead horse fell on him. Or that his mom died when the horse fell on her. And the cussing. Don’t even get me started on the cussing. My inner Jersey girl just dies laughing when I read about Cade’s Stop Trying to Make Us Stop revolution. Let’s just say there are a lot of perfectly placed f-bombs and it only gets better. Once Julia enters the story, it gets even more interesting. True love, a rough past, intense teen longing, and a road trip.
Yeah, I’m used to getting ‘the look’ from them when I talk Andrew Smith & it’s pretty epic! Then I show them the picture of us and tell them he signed the book for them. It usually goes something like, “This book is completely messed up & so freaking awesome. I just can’t tell you anymore. Yes, I know it’s signed & you need to read it immediately!” Then I make some obnoxiously annoying gesture indicating my head has exploded. Works every time. I keep buying more copies of his books. They get passed around like contraband and it makes me insanely happy. Do they make “I Heart Andrew Smith” t-shirts? Because I need one.
Here is the epic picture of us from the Decatur Book Festival this year. I know I’m smiling like a crazy person. I was so fangirling!
So, yeah, this wasn’t a typical book review. I get that & I’m fine with it. Let’s call it an OMG Read All the Andrew Smith Books post, that happens to feature 100 Sideways Miles. Go read it right now!