Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom


not if i see you first

Not If I See You First
Authors: Eric Lindstrom
Published: December 1, 2015 by Poppy

GoodReads Summary: The Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Erid Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

Review: The story is about a girl who is blind and a runner. I feel like I learned so much for this book from the physical and mental strength of this young girl. Frankly, I can’t quite find the words to express how much it taught me about life. The narrator is feisty, and I appreciated her candor about her disability. I came to realize how incredibly frustrating it would be to deal with the same reactions from strangers every day, particularly when she feels perfectly capable. This is a great book to teach empathy.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: We don’t talk about disability in literature enough. I would love to put students in literature circles, with all of the texts focusing on disability. It would be interesting to have whole-class discussions about the way disability is present in each text. It might be particularly interesting to include texts that feature mental and physical disability. This might lead to good discussions, like: What is disability? Is a disability always visible to others? What is normal?

Discussion Questions: The narrator of the text is unlikable. How does this add to the story? Why might the author have written the text in this way?; Do you think Parker’s rules are fair? Why do you think she has this list of rule?

We Flagged: I flagged this section because it shows Parker’s dry humor:

“‘So you’re blind, huh?’

I cock my head toward the unfamiliar male voice coming from the seat directly in front of me. Low-pitched a bit thick around the vowels. The voice of a jock, but I just keep that as a working hypothesis awaiting more evidence.”

Read This If You Loved: The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, Girl, Stolen by April Henry, Blind by Rachel DeWoskin, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Recommended For:

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Dewey Bob by Judy Schachner


dewey bob

Dewey Bob
Author and Illustrator: Judy Schachner
Published September 8th, 2015 by Dial Books

Summary: Dewey Bob Crockett is a durn cute raccoon who lives by himself in a house filled to the brim with the wonderful objects he collects. Buttons, wheels, furniture and bricabrac adorn his cozy quarters and keep him busy as he finds and fixes, turning trash into treasures. But there’s something missing from Dewey’s collections—a friend! He tries gathering up some critters and bringing them home in his shopping cart, but that doesn’t work out so well. In the end, a friend does come Dewey’s way, and, with a little DIY help from this clever raccoon, returns again and again.

Combining art and heart with storytelling genius and a lilting twang, Judy Schachner’s tale of unexpected friendship will delight readers young and old.

Author Judy Schachner Introduces Dewey Bob: 

My Review: Dewey is a little different than the other raccoons, so he finds himself in a beautiful home with a lot of things but no friends or family. Although Dewey is a bit untraditional, he finds himself a friend who will warm your heart!

Judy Schachner has a way with story telling. She brings her character’s voice to life, this time with a little bit of twang and rhyming. By being able to hear the character’s voice, the book is more engaging because you connect with the character more. Additionally, her illustrations in Dewey Bob are brilliant. They are a mixture of her what I believe is pencil and watercolor illustrations with found object collage. It is perfect for Dewey’s story.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Dewey Bob gives many opportunities for discussion while reading aloud. You can discuss the difference between Dewey and the other raccoons, how the book is structured, Dewey’s rhyming and accent, Dewey’s friend, and even the illustrations. Each page really has opportunities for you to talk to your students about what is happening. This book is going to be a favorite read aloud for many.

Discussion Questions: How is Dewey Bob different than the other raccoons?; How does the author choose what goes in speech bubbles and what was in her prose?; How does the collage illustration help with the experience of reading Dewey Bob?

We Flagged: “‘No pants for me! No pants for me! Cuz’ I’m gonna live in a big oak tree,’ he sang, looking straight up at his future home.

The place was empty as a hatched egg…and filthy, too! But a little dirt didn’t scare Dewey. ‘I’m a mean, clean, washin’ machine!” said the li’l raccoon as he scrubbed the place spotless. Then he took a long soak in the tub with some of his favorite buttons.”

Read This If You Loved: This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris, The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty, Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Lauri at Dial Books for providing a copy for review!!**

Text Sets for Teachers: Growing Pains: Looking at the Subject of Coming of Age


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Growing Pains: Looking at the Subject of Coming of Age
Text Set for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
created by Andrew Johnson

We must all grow up order to fully enter the world as an adult. In some cultures, growing up is a rite of passage. In others, it is a series of events—a gradual process. Everyone grows up in different ways and is influenced by the different circumstances and environments. There is no one singular point in people’s lives when they can decidedly say that they came of age. It simply just happens. It comes to pass through the experiences that change who they are and what they value as individuals. Growing up not only changes how we think about others, but it also changes how we think about our own identities and places in society.

With that said, this text set is immensely important for exposing students to how others manage to grow up and progress through their lives. Students in middle and high school want nothing more than to be older. They want to be grown, even though a part of them also wants to secretly stay young forever. They may have been told at some point in their lives by a parent, teacher, or other adult to “grow up,” but do they really know what this means? How do they know? This text set will take a multicultural, multi-faceted view on the process of growing up in a world that can be strange, harsh, and also very, very enjoyable.

Anchor Text (although other texts may be used!):
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Graphic Novel
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
american born chinese

Other Texts
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Little prince

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (excerpts) by Stephen Chbosky
perks of being a wallflower

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
house on mango street

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (excerpts) by Mark Twain
tom sawyer

The Body by Stephen King (novella)
the body

“If” by Rudyard Kipling
“Lightspeed” by Grieves
“In My Life” by The Beatles
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost

Short Stories
“Lost in the Funhouse” by John Barth (excerpt)
“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut

“Manhood for Amateurs” by Michael Chabon

Wizard of Oz (part of a prior unit)
Mean Girls
Rain Man (clips/part of introduction to ASD)
Stand By Me (adaptation of Stephen King’s The Body)

TV Shows
Boy Meets World (any and all applicable clips)
Girl Meets World (any and all applicable clips)

Articles/Internet Sources
The Teenage Brain by National Geographic
Should Growing Up in Compton be Considered a Disability VICE
Kids are Growing up Way Too Fast – Manhattan Institute
The Definition of Disability by Deborah Kaplan
Talking About Disability – A Guide to Using Appropriate Language
13 Amazing Coming of Age Traditions from Around the World

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (in order to understand the anchor text better)
Autism Speaks (in order to understand the anchor text better)
Simply Psychology (Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development)

Guiding Questions

  • What does being a child mean? What does being an adult mean?
  • Why can the path between childhood and adulthood be confusing or challenging?
  • Do we ever stop “growing up”?
  • Does our environment affect how we “grow up”?
  • Is “growing up” always a good thing? What makes it desirable?
  • Who or what pressures us to “grow up”? Who or what pressures us to stay young?
  • Is maturity synonymous with age?

Writing Topics

  • Describe someone who you consider to be “grown up” or “mature”? List their attributes.
  • Which stage(s) of identity development would you consider yourself to be in?
  • Design one scenario/question to determine if someone is mature or not. What would you look for in the answer?
  • After reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Do you think that Christopher has “grown up”? What do you think he has learned?
  • Compare and contrast Christopher’s journey and possible “coming of age” with another character of your choosing (or maybe even you!).
  • What are we supposed to learn about ourselves after you’ve grown up? What do you hope to learn about yourself after you’ve grown up?

A special thanks to Andrew for this relevant, engaging text set! We think it would fit in with a variety of age levels and class texts. What do you think?

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