Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. Print.
Every time I’m called to present, teach, or participate in any similar activity, I learn something. In fact, it’s the way I seem to learn best: engaging in conversations with an educational outcome in mind. It’s even better when I co- or team-teach. To get another instructor’s perspective, to learn from their ideas and instruction techniques is pretty thrilling.
I found the group discussion on Walk Two Moons exactly like this. It was a lot of fun to talk with others about the work, to discuss our reactions to it, and share our feelings and experiences reading it. Many of our reactions were similar, and that felt validating, and exciting on a personal level.
But what I found most useful in terms of learning was where our reactions and ideas diverged. Over the course of the discussion I got a strong sense of how I approach literature– from the perspective of a high school English teacher. As I read, I found myself asking questions involving how I would present the piece. What techniques does the author use to tell her story? What motivates the characters? What literary devices are employed to bring in the reader? What are the main themes of the book? (And so on).
What I heard from my colleagues were some different questions– from the perspective of a librarian. How readable was the book, in terms of word choice? How about the use of white space, the font size, the number of words per line, and the length of chapters? Was the title attractive to potential readers? The conversation brought up other questions a librarian might have, including read-alikes, and other things written by the author.
One of the most interesting ideas brought up was in a discussion about the age group we’d recommend to this book. A group member pointed out that most students aren’t interested in reading a book about a main character that’s younger than they are. I hadn’t thought of this at all, and yet I remember having that very same feeling when I was younger. It was a brilliant observation– I’ll have to remember it!
I greatly enjoyed and appreciated the book talk for Walk Two Moons. I felt like it was the beginning of me approaching literature as a school librarian rather than just an ELA teacher. It also reminded me of how awesomely collegial and smart my fellow librarians (and fellow future librarians) are!