Sunday, January 3, 2016

How/Why I Read 21 Books Over Winter Break

Strange things happen in classrooms the day before a long, two week winter break.

In my ELA classroom, during the last class of the day, I declared to my 38 students that my reading goal was 16 books in 16 days (which was the length of our winter break).

Once I'd declared it, I knew I had to do it.

I knew that I could do it. (An almost every one of them believed I would do it.)

It became my personal mission. Not a bad way to spend my time off work, right?

My "to read" pile has taken over my dining room, my office and even my bedroom. I have over 240 books on my Amazon wish list. I have books on hold at the public library. My 3M app can't accept any more borrowed books because I've reached my limit. I even have a few books en route that I ordered after reading reviews from fellow teachers on Facebook. (And it continues to grow with each Nerdy Book Club winner list.)

Yes, I certainly had enough reading material to choose from.

I started first thing on Saturday morning, December 19th: the first full day of break. I read every chance I got. I read on my iPad, in my recliner chair, at the kitchen table, in bed, in the car (including audiobooks), and on the treadmill (which makes my workout time just fly by).

And I completely loved every word, page, chapter...every minute of it.

I discovered some new authors and read new books from "old" favorites. I took the opportunity to read from the piles of books laying around my house, but also checked out and borrowed books recommended by fellow teachers. I read award winners and some of those books I'd always meant to read...but just hadn't.  I read books that inspired me to read others in the series or others by the same author.

Wonderfully, when I started sharing my reads on Twitter and Facebook, other readers shared their favorites with me. I read many of them during my winter break challenge, while others are now stacked on one of the many piles "to be read" soon.

It's a wonderful thing...being part of a community of readers.

I'm proud of my accomplishment...even reading well past my goal.

Currently, I'm reading my 21st book called Everybody Sees the Ants. By A. S. King. Because of how wonderful Ask the Passengers was.

Here is the list of the books I read over the past 16 days.
What an amazing adventure, getting lost in these incredible stories.
I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Spring Break can't get here fast enough!

1. I Am the Mission by Allen Zadoff
2. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
3. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
4. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
5. I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
6. Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler
7. Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera
8.  Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin
9. The List by Siobhan Vivian
10. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
11. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
12. Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
13. Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
14. Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko
15. Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
16. The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
17. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
18. Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith
19. Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
20. I Survived Collection #1 by Lauren Tarshis
*My current read:

21. Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King

**If you want to see my short posts celebrating each one, check out my Facebook page.

Here are the books on my "to be read" list right now. Guess you know what I'll be doing.

Happy reading!!


  1. "It's a wonderful thing...being part of a community of readers." Amen! May all of our classes have this same feeling at one point or another! Congrats, Sandy!

  2. Thank you for sharing your excitement and your list! Inspiring!!!