Monday, October 3, 2011
The third graders are listening to the last chapters of The SOS File this week. They laugh hysterically when "Pumpkin Man" (who has been stung by yellow jackets and has an incredibly swollen and red face) bursts from the girls' bathroom stall, scaring the female inhabitants. They sigh in understanding when the author of "Held Back" is revealed to be their teacher. But it is the story of "White Lightning" that draws the most commentary. The story's author is Ima Writer, and she explains to her teacher that she is really Brianna Thompson and is using a pen name. The children love to discuss this. We talk about Lemony Snicket, Carolyn Keene, and somebody named Ima Reader (whose name appeared in their readers' notebooks. As the story progresses, Ima Writer confesses that her horse is not really named White Lightning (which really would be a stretch, given the horse's slow manners and movements); his name is Bob. One astute listener noted, "The horse has a pen name, too!"