Lots of students signed up! Plenty of teachers jumped on board too! I got them all going and then, finally, I got my group. I didn't play favorites, I took the leftovers: Six boys, seventh grade, all labeled 'struggling readers.'
At our first meeting I touted their luck. They got the reading specialist, the one in charge, the one who held the key to all the books available. While the other groups were selecting from 3 or 4 titles, they would get to choose from the whole lot!
And they chose one of my favorites. "Trickery," my fellow den leaders called. It was my secret wish, my fingers crossed, eyes tightly shut hope. My boys picked When You Reach Me, the 2010 Newbery winner.
Isn't it amazing when you re-read a book you've loved and are reminded why you loved it? I read a lot of books. I wish I were a more tenacious writer and told about them all here. I should have written about When You Reach Me. Though the fancy gold seal and mandated library purchase now trail the glowing reviews, I should have told you that the last chapters will leave you breathless. You'll want to read it again. And maybe, if you're lucky like me, you'll get to read it again with those seeing it new. Magical!