Tag Archives: Book Review

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day + Interview with John David Anderson

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day + Interview with John David Anderson

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

I followed the rules a lot in school, so I get it when Brand, Steve and Topher are sweating it out faking voices on the phone to skip a day of school. But I like to think I would have done it too for my favorite teachers: Miss Sellers, Mr. Yoder, Mrs. Hayworth & Mrs. Robbins.

The boys are on a mission for their favorite, Ms. Bixby, who has had to cut the school year short because of an illness. The class knows she is going to have to leave, but it turns out she has to leave so fast, no one gets a chance to say a proper goodbye, and that doesn’t sit well with the boys.

They devise a plan to:

  • Jailbreak themselves from school
  • Make their way across town to where they think they can find Ms. Bixby
  • Collect gifts along the way they have determined will have meaning for Ms. Bixby…because these things have meaning for THEM.

What they don’t count on…is having to jailbreak Ms. Bixby too! Sometimes, breaking the rules is the only way to set things right again when life isn’t working out the way you want it to, especially when you do it for a friend, even when that friend is a teacher.

A great book about the kind of teacher we all want to get – I hope you all get your own Ms. Bixby this year.

Favorite Quote: Topher:  “If I’m going, I’m taking the rest of you with me.” I would have said that about my friends in Middle School too…I hope you make the kind of friends this year that will make you want to say it too.


Some Favorite Teacher Thoughts from John David Anderson:

indyPL Kids: I think there were two things I liked about my favorite teachers: they listened, no matter who was talking, they told the truth, even when it was hard, and they had a sense of humor. What was your favorite thing(s) about your favorite teacher(s)?John David Anderson 250

John David Anderson: Sense of humor was a must, certainly! I also remember the teachers who had a passion for their subject. A science teacher who could go on and on about carbon atoms with religious fervor. A literature professor who nearly cried when he talked about his favorite books. I think energy and enthusiasm are contagious. I’ve had teachers who have gotten me interested in everything from probability to the 2nd Punic War. I also like teachers who give out candy.

indyPL Kids: Does Miss Bixby have some of these traits that you remember?

John David Anderson: I think Ms. Bixby certainly has passion and compassion in equal measure. But I think it’s the truth-telling part you mentioned that makes her stand out in my mind. She’ll hit you with the hard reality, but then she’ll talk you through it and hug you afterward. Plus she can juggle.

indyPL Kids: My favorite book teachers are Miss Frizzle, Miss Nelson/Viola Swamp, Mr. Ratburn, Mrs. Twinkle, Mr. Slinger, Mr. Scary and Mrs. Olinski. And now Ms. Bixby! Do you have any favorite teachers from books?

John David Anderson: Mrs. Olinksi, yes! Also Mrs. Edmunds from Bridge to Terabithia. Severus Snape–you didn’t say they had to be good teachers, just favorites. And Yoda.

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The Heroes of Olympus #2: The Son of Neptune

The Heroes of Olympus #2: The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune

 

When Rick Riordan released this book cover in the weeks leading up to the book’s publication, I think the cover had fewer clues in it than The Lost Hero, but maybe you will notice something important that I didn’t see. I remember really liking the title of Chapter One – “Percy”!

The Kids’ Blog readers continued here the discussion they started about The Heroes of Olympus on the Kids’ Blog Post: The Heroes of Olympus #1: The Lost Hero.

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The Heroes of Olympus #1: The Lost Hero

The Heroes of Olympus #1: The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero

When this book first came out in 2010, Rick Riordan himself revealed the secret for how to get a sneak peak at that first two cahapers.  He said in his blog on June 1, 2010:

“Right now, there are only “locked” sample chapters from The Lost Hero. Bronze coin keychains, like the symbol above, were given out at BEA  (Book Expo America) with the pass code, and for the present, that’s the only way to unlock the chapters. If you weren’t at BEA, or can’t find someone who got the coin, don’t worry! In a few weeks, we’ll open the sample chapters for everyone.”

If you followed this blog back then you didn’t have to find someone with a keychain – that someone found you! Thanks to Joe who gave us this terrific bit of information in a comment…here is what Joe said: “if you go to camphalfblood.com the password is newhero you can read the first two chapters… cant wait”.

I tried it at the time and it worked! Several other kids read it to. We were able to read 47 pages worth! The comments on this post are the conversation the kids had about the book…for the next several years! They returned to talk about other books in the series and to check in with each other. Thanks again to Joe! What a great summer reading experience that was!

  • Rick Riordan’s Blog Myth & Mystery

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