Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Good Dog!

Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories
edited by Ann M. Martin
Henry Holt, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher

Where should I put this book in my classroom library -- on the shelf with the dog books, or in the tub with the collections of short stories?

Actually, it might be fun to create a display with this book and the books of the nine authors who contributed stories to the book! Wouldn't it be fun to compare Jon Muth's Zen picture books with his story of the sculptor Brancusi and one of his white dogs?

There's a real mix of stories in this collection. One of my favorites is the story (by Pam Muñoz Ryan) that gives the collection its title. Lily is telling this story, and she is a TALKER, which makes her a great story teller. I can imagine studying this story in writing workshop to think about voice in writing. (Also, it begs to be compared to Because of Winn Dixie!!)

If I gathered multiple copies of this book from the library, the whole class could read the book jigsaw style -- one story per group -- and then have cross-group discussions, and finally a whole class discussion. It would be interesting to see how many kids would go back to read stories from other groups, based on the discussions.

As you can see, this is a book with lots of potential!


  1. Mary Lee,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have already checked for the title at my local library and will add it to my shopping list too. I love to use short stories in both reading and writing workshop. One of my favorite collections is Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant. Do you have any other titles that you recommend? Thanks! ~ Theresa

  2. Theresa,
    Stay tuned. I'll stop by school this afternoon and edit the post with a list of all of the books in my short story tub!!! Or maybe that's a post for tomorrow -- even better!!

  3. Ohhhhh short story tub..... Thanks!!
    Love it!! I didn't know what to do with those!!
    Thanks- I will check back!

  4. Jigsawing with short stories is brilliant. I am so inspired! And the idea of compiling a display of books by all the contributing authors is also great! I can see this turning into a rich week-long literature study...a perfect follow-up for our Stone Fox week. Thanks for the inspiration!


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