Every month of this school year I have made a trip to the opposite side of the state from where I live. I travel this distance to work with teachers K-4 to develop their understanding of writing workshop. I spend three days working with different grade levels each day. The days are busy with discussions, discoveries, and modeling lessons in classrooms. But after school I am on my own. The teachers return to their busy lives and I am left to my own devices.
I create my own entertainment. I have discovered a place I must go every time I am here. It is called Hastings, it is a book, music, video store. Some of the books they get are discounted, deeply. I plan my trip there very carefully. I need a lot of time to comb through every shelf, looking for a title or author that I don’t have, but need to have.
First, I check the bin of bargain books. Today I found Necks Out for Adventure by Timothy Erring. I already own this book. It will be perfect for a person completing their student teaching. This one will be a gift. Next I go to the bargain shelves. I moved Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett to the small cart the store so conveniently provides. This will be use for voice and it shows how you can weave facts into a story, plus the format is unusual (postcards). I have worked my way around several cases of the bargain books.
I move to on the nonfiction section. This has been a treasure trove of books by Steve Jenkins (I love his books!). Again I win, but this is not for me. The board book Move is perfect for my friend to read to her grandchild. On the next shelf down I find another board book that I must get for my friend, Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. She was just complaining that she was tired of the same old books, so this will give her some fresh material.
Now, I move to the shelves where new and used books are intermingled. With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada is on the shelf at a great price. Score another one for me! This book uses fairy tale characters writing letters to tell the story, perfect for inferring and letter writing. What’s this? Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray. I have Mud by her, so this could be a companion book, but it is also a great model for a slice of life story. Kindergarten kids will relate to this.
The most expensive book ($8.49) is on the next shelf. Help Me, Mr. Mutt by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. Another letter format book and so funny. I can see kids using this as a mentor for creating their own letters to an advice column. I decide to splurge on this one, usually I don’t go over $4.99.
Do you see why I love this place? Sigh . . . this is my last visit this year. Hopefully, I will be back working with the teachers again next year. I will miss my monthly visit to this store. The good thing is they will have five months to stock the shelves with new titles for me to comb next year. Cross my fingers that this was not the last trip forever.