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Choosing the Perfect Book to Begin the School Year

Every summer I scour the book shelves looking for the perfect book to begin my school year.  You know, that one book that sets the tone for building the classroom community. The one that encompasses the theme for the year. The one we refer back to time and time again.   

One year I began with the book Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days by Stephen Manes. This is the story about how being perfect is boring, about how being perfect is no fun! Another year, I kicked off with the book The Most Magnificent Thing, a story of perseverance and creativity. Throughout the year when students struggled I would often hear them say “It’s not my finest moment” and  “But Mrs Harvey, some parts of this wrong are right!”

As I began to think about this school year, I started to list all my possible themes…

There it is! Everything has a silver lining!!  Since March 16, 2020, I have found myself repeating this over and over.  Having all my sons home under one roof has been MY silver lining of this pandemic.  I continue to tell my boys to find their silver lining in all this craziness. Why can’t I do the same with my students?

This year my goal for the students is to turn the negatives into positives.  I am going to have my students see the good in things that may not be “so good.”  The Magical Yet, written by Angela DiTerlizzi and beautifully illustrated by Lorena Alvarez, is the perfect book to begin the 2020 – 2021 school year! Written in verse, this book encourages readers that anything is possible.  We all have things we can’t do, YET, but  “don’t give up now! There’s a major game-changer a most amazing thought re-arranger!”

Amy Harvey

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