Tag Archives: Brett Vogelsinger

April 07

Top Ten Picture Books for Secondary Students by Brett Vogelsinger

Today’s Top Ten list shies away from graphic novels, as book lists on this topic have already appeared on this blog.  Instead, it explores wordless picture books, creativity manuals, engineering or nature explorations, and books that feature primarily photography. I call this shelf in my ninth-grade classroom library “Illustration, Photography, and Design.” 100 Diagrams That […]

January 04

Retro Review: It’s Not Me, It’s You Is A Needed Ray of Sun by Brett Vogelsinger

After finishing a string of beautifully crafted but oh-so-heavy YA novels, the kind that have the word “devastating” in the book jacket blurb, I decided it was time for something lighter.  I browsed the “Light and Humorous” section of my classroom library, which is, I admit, a bit anemic, and came across came across Stephanie […]

November 25

The Daily Read — How It Changed Our Culture by Brett Vogelsinger, Lauren Johnston, Kevin Shillingford and Michelle Ambrosini

In February of 2016, Penny Kittle came to town.  The majority of our secondary teaching staff — a big crowd in a district of 20,000 students — had the opportunity to listen to her presentation on cultivating “book love” among our students.   What we could never have foreseen was the unbridled enthusiasm with which […]

June 13

Inviting Writers by Brett Vogelsinger

It’s no great revelation to readers of this blog that contact with writers — be it via Twitter, Skype or an author’s visit — inspires our students.  When writer’s “break through” the barrier of the pages they write and become living, breathing people to our kids, suddenly it’s easier for our students to see themselves […]

May 27

Intrinsic Gimmicks by Brett Vogelsinger

I’ll be honest: as a kid, pizza had a strange power over my mind. So when my elementary school participated in a reading incentive program that earned me little star stickers on a badge and those badges led to pizza, let me tell you, I could read like the wind, blasting through books in a […]

November 18

Pool by JiHyeon Lee – Review by Brett Vogelsinger

Pool is a wordless picture book, the publishing debut from South Korean artist JiHyeon Lee. This beautifully illustrated work tells the story of a quiet boy who wants to go for a swim in a suddenly overcrowded swimming pool.  At first he is tentative, and it looks like he might leave, but then he takes […]

October 30

The Autobiography of a ________________ Reader by Brett Vogelsinger

Each year, my ninth-grade students spend part of their first day of class creating a list of books that have shaped them as readers.  I want them to explore their “reading lives” a bit, so I ask them to recall a picture book they loved, a book they never finished, a book a teacher read […]

July 06

The English Teacher Who Almost Quit Reading by Brett Vogelsinger

I remember my creative writing teacher in tenth grade lamenting the fact that she had such a difficult time convincing her colleagues in the English department to read.  The school district was working to integrate some newer titles into its approved reading list, and she felt it was, ironically, the English teachers holding it up. […]

May 21

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk – Review by Brett Vogelsinger

Some books have a what I consider a “cover identity crisis.”  Covers communicate mood and genre and setting — and then there are those covers that confound.  The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is one such book with a confouding cover.  In hardcover, it features three cartoon-art friends, tiptoeing forward in what first appears to […]

August 01

An Open Letter to the Class by Brett Vogelsinger

November 2013: Three months into my first time teaching a new curriculum in a new grade.  You’ve been there, so you know the moment when you’ve run the beginning-of-the-year energy well dry and suddenly winter break seems a long way off.  Still, I knew that part of my own goal in switching grade levels from […]