Emergency Reading, Books on the Wagon, Books on the Wall

I showed up to Reading Race Day without a book on Friday.   Every other Friday, my 7th grade students read against the clock.  I project an on-line countdown timer set at 20 minutes while everyone reads as much as they can.  We figure out who’s read the most pages and the most words.  Since I read with my students, and don’t always win, I get a lot of reading done.  I have three English classes.

The kids really love it.

But Friday I forgot my book.

So just before I turned on the countdown clock I grabbed the small stack one of the small stack on my desk only to find it was about a homeless girl with a new puppy.

This can’t end well, I thought.

Almost Home, by Joan Bauer is a very quick read, if you’re an adult reader.  I almost finished the book, setting a record at 78 pages in twenty minutes my personal best.  I explained to my students that it does have a lot of poems in it.  The main character writes poems in her journal which she sometimes emails to her former teacher.

Afterwards, one of the girls in my class came up to me to ask if I liked it.  She said she’s read it three times already; it’s her favorite book this year.

Here’s hoping the new puppy comes to a happy end– I’ll find out later today.

The book I meant to finish reading on Friday was Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels.  When I told C.J. about this book, he said just laughed.  It’s the perfect life for me.  Parnassus on Wheels is about a 19th century woman who leaves the farm where she lives with her celebrity author brother by buying a traveling book salesman’s wagon.  The wagon has bookshelves on both sides that open up to make a bookstall and a living compartment inside the wagon between the bookshelves.  The outfit comes with the horse to pull the wagon and a dog who sleeps inside.  There’s even a small stove/oven inside the wagon.

C.J. says it’s my dream home and my dream job rolled up into onefalse bookcase almost done.

He’s basically right.  It’s sounds like heaven.

C.J. is almost done with the false bookcase secret door.  If you look at this not very good photograph, you can see the areas that still need a little work, but it’s already great.  It was a big hit at the little party we had yesterday for some of the teachers at my school–two English teachers found the MLA Handbook on the third shelf on the left.

Depending on where you’re standing in the living room, it looks very real. (That’s Clovis in the picture.)

So, today is a post party day.  I expect to be spending a good deal of time on the sofa reading, or drifting in and out of sleep while trying to read.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately.



6 thoughts on “Emergency Reading, Books on the Wagon, Books on the Wall

  1. “This can’t end well”–so true. No dog book for kids ends well. But what if this one does? I’ll be waiting anxiously to see what you say about the ending.

  2. I am also waiting anxiously for the end of the girl & her dog’s story. I wish I had a job with built-in reading breaks, even every other week. Or a traveling book store job. The bookcase looks amazing! Does the cat nap with you on the sofa?

  3. You can always become a middle school English teacher….. ;-P

    The cat naps with us when we sit in the chair. He’s not coming out of the room yet at least not on his own but we have taken him into the living room to show him the sofa.

  4. I want that bookcase door! I actually know someone who could probably paint something similar, but she doesn’t live near enough to me to make it feasible. I know just what door I’d put it on too.

  5. Those are real books there, well, spines from real books. It can be done much quicker than how C.J. is doing it, but his looks much better than the ones we’ve seen on Youtube and at the homeshow.

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