Monday, August 06, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? On the Road to Mr. Mineos

Thanks to Jen and Kellee at TEACH MENTOR TEXTS for hosting IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?

On the Road to Mr. Mineo's
by Barbara O'Connor
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
on shelves October 2, 2012

This week, we decided to share a book that we've both read recently, On the Road to Mr. Mineo's by Barbara O'Connor.  On the Road to Mr. Mineo's is the story of a one-legged pigeon. It is also the story of summer in a small town in the South. We both LOVED the book and have passed it along to other friends who have loved it too.  Because the plot defies simple summarization, we'll try to give you a feel for the story by interviewing each other about it.


If you were going to sum up this book in one word, what would it be? And why?
My word is CONVERGE. Each strand of this story is like one of those thin strips of plastic that we wove together into keychains once upon a time at summer camp. Every character's separate story converges with the others at the end. Each character's life becomes woven with the lives of the others at the end. Plus, converge sort of rhymes with Sherman, who is the one who brings everyone together. It also sort of rhymes with journey, which (although I was only supposed to pick one word) is my second pick for the one word that sums up this story.

What do you think Sherman was up to? Why wouldn't he go home and why did he finally decide to go home?
Great question! Sherman is a homing pigeon. He is hardwired (supposedly) to fly away, and then fly home again. Maybe this is a story about all the amazing things that might happen when we act unpredictably, when we break out of our molds. Or maybe it's just a story about a pigeon who doesn't go home, and who unintentionally weaves a story out of all the lives he touches. Why did he go home? That's easy. Why do we all go home in the end? The ones who love us most are there.


Who was your favorite character, and why?
Favorite character is hard in this one because I felt like I knew and loved every character by the end.  But I think I loved Stella first. So I'll go with that as my answer if I have to pick a favorite.  I liked Stella immediately. I liked that she was kind but tough. I liked that she so committed to that pigeon, no matter what that involved. I loved that she had the spunk to stand up to her brother and to take charge of almost everything. She is a tough girl with a soft heart.

And I want to pick another favorite. I loved Mr. Mineo. I loved how much he cared about the pigeons. I loved the way he talked to his dog. I loved the patience he had and how well he seemed to understand Sherman.  

Compare (or contrast) this book to another of Barbara O'Connor's books.
Greetings from Nowhere is one of my very favorite Barbara O'Connor books. I loved it immediately and read it aloud to my class the month it came out. I am a character-baesd reader and this book was character based. It was about many different people--every one of which I loved--who were on their own journey. But people who somehow connected when they needed each other most. I loved everything about this book and I see Mr. Mineo as being similar.  There are differences--Greetings is a bit quieter of a book. But both books are about individual people trying to find their way, individual people who are on different journeys. But in both books, something connects these people in a way that changes each of them. And I love that. This idea probably is the idea in every one of Barbara O'Connor's books ( a reason I love her work:-) but these two stand out for me.


  1. It sounds terrific, Franki & Mary Lee, & thanks for the interesting way you told about it.

  2. That sounds like an interesting book, and i like that you interviewed each other about it.

  3. I enjoyed reading this so much! Thank you for such thoughtful insight.

  4. This looks great. I really want to start looking for book trailers to add to my blog. I think kids will respond really well to them, but I also think teachers might choose different books after watching a trailer.

  5. Fun! I haven't read this book yet but I've seen it here and there. It sounds so interesting! I love books with lots of characters and where their stories intertwine by the end of the book. Definitely going to bump this up on my TBR. :)

  6. Cannot wait until I can get hold of a copy of this book! And I love this "dual-review" style.


Comment moderation is turned on.