June 28, 2011

5 Years and 200 Books: A Celebration

Dude, this is awesome.  Mister K has reviewed 200 books, and you're here reading about it.  It's hard to believe I've been plugging away at this blog for five years.  It started as a project for an educational technology class while working on my Master's degree, and I enjoyed it so much I never stopped.  201 reviews later, and here we are.  It's been good for me to have this creative outlet, and to be able to share my reading with more than just my fourth grade students.  From the feedback I get, it seems like this has been a helpful resource to many parents and teachers, as well as my target audience of upper elementary and middle-school students.  If I've helped one person find a good book, then it's all been worthwhile.

It's been fun working my way into the blogosphere community of those who are passionate about children's literature.  There are many excellent blogs out there, with amazing people writing them. Two of those are my blogging buddies Ms. Yingling and Momo, who have both been quite supportive of my blog over the years with their thoughtful comments and interesting questions.  I've also enjoyed watching some of my students take the leap from readers to book bloggers over the years.  For people who would much rather have our noses stuck in books than pressed to our computer screens, we've done a nice job of building a community of book lovers in cyberspace.

Keeping this blog has pushed me to read more widely than I normally would.  Rather than re-reading favorites, I'm always on the lookout for new books to read and share.  I don't review every book I read, in fact I read as many adult books as children's lit, but that's another story.  There are many books that I abandon, or finish but don't have the heart to write about.  While there is a lot of good children's lit out there, there's certainly a lot of junk, too, and it's often hard to tell which is which at first glance.  That's part of why I love sites like this, and the reviews that are showing up on the bookstore and library sites.

While I think every teacher should be at least as well-read as their students, it's obviously not that simple, especially when your family and obligations grow.  With my own Little Dude two years old now, I spend much of my home time reading to him.  His favorites right now? Here are today's top picks:  Zany Zoo, Punk Farm, and The Gruffalo  (Lucky for me, he has good taste, because the daily favorites get at least a half-dozen readings each!)  How do I pick out the books I review?  They are either books I've bought from a bookstore or Scholastic book order because they looked good or I heard a good review (I hope to read all the books in my class library, but it keeps growing!) or ones I found at one of my local libraries, where I browse the shelves weekly.

On this red letter day, I thank all of you who took the time to read this when you obviously have plenty of other ways you could be spending your time. You are why I write these reviews, and your continued support by visiting and sharing my site brings me great joy.  Take care, and keep reading!


Kyle said...

Mister K-
I enjoy your blog. Keep it up.
Mr. K

Ms. Yingling said...

Congratulations! I'm glad that you kept with it, and I'm sure your students are helped by all of your reviews and book recommendations as well. Go have some ice cream with your little dude and celebrate!

Momo said...

Huge congratulations Mr K I love your blog. You have led me to purchase and more importantly read and share huge numbers of books I might otherwise have missed.
In fact I just lifted my head from The girl who could fly - I am speechless with delight about this gem!!!

Thanks for mentioning little me in your 200 celebration. Why do I love your blog :
1. You get right to the heart of a book
2. Your reviews are just the right length I think I say too much sometimes
3. I love that you rate your books and you are organsied with your tags
4. I totally appreciate your honesty
5. I love that you are open to all kinds of books - you are an open minded reader...

Give your little dude a hug from me. I would love to send him a few Australian picture book treasures.

Congratulations again - your blog inspires me and is one reason I keep blogging away myself. When I read your blog I feel like I am chatting with an old friend.

Happy Reading
also you need to know my library motto (I saw it in Alberta so it is not original)
Read only on the days you eat!!!