Author Archives: Gary Anderson

Review: EL DEAFO by Cece Bell

Cece Bell’s new graphic novel El Deafo is a masterpiece. After a brief childhood illness leaves her deaf, Cece makes her way through elementary school and middle school with a large apparatus under her clothes and cords leading to her … Continue reading

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Just Keep Going: Writing Strategies for Elaboration

In one of my first class sessions with a group of college writers, I gave a survey asking what issues they wanted us to definitely cover this semester. The most common concern was how to add length to their pieces … Continue reading

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Eight Quick Book Reviews

If Only by A. J. Pine Although romance isn’t exactly my default reading genre, a guy needs to stretch, right? If they’re all as good as A. J. Pine’s If Only, I might dabble in this again. Everything I want … Continue reading

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Review: SLOUCHING TOWARD FARGO by Neal Karlen

If you followed the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League in 1996 and 1997, you probably remember that your team included several memorable characters. The team leader was a convicted felon with Hall of Fame credentials. His name was … Continue reading

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Review: A WHOLE LOT OF BAR-B-Q AND OTHER BASEBALL STORIES by Mike Shannon

As I write this on June 13, 2014, the Chicago Cubs, my favorite team, are twelve games under .500 and twelve-and-a-half games out of first place. I search the standings for signs of hope. A winning record at home and … Continue reading

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Goodbye, Fremdland

On the last day of the last year at the school where I’ve worked for a very long time, it seems sort of oddly perfect to be sitting by myself in a room monitoring detention students who are not here, … Continue reading

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The Journal Topics

Today members of our Expository Composition class wrote their final journal entries and handed in their well-worn spiral notebooks. I’m so proud of how many words and pages they wrote, and the profound wisdom and entertaining writing found in those … Continue reading

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#engchat on Monday, May 12: “English Teachers and Families”

On Monday evening, May 12, I hope colleagues near and far will join me for #engchat on Twitter. The topic is “English Teachers and Families.” We will focus on how the lives of families—those of our students as well as … Continue reading

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Review: THRIVE: 5 WAYS TO (RE)INVIGORATE YOUR TEACHING by Meenoo Rami

I’ve read quite a bit lately about the many issues plaguing education. What a refreshing change to read a book by an author who understands all of that, sees through the morass, and cares enough about her profession to help … Continue reading

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Our Book Graffiti Wall

As a big believer in the power of choice in nurturing young independent readers, I’m always looking for interesting ways to activate and motivate students in that direction. Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild (Jossey-Bass, 2014) gave me quite a … Continue reading

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