**spoiler alert** READ ALOUD SECTION TO HOOK KIDS: Chapter where Dan and Arthur are home alone when the twister hits, forcing Dan to retrieve his sleep...more**spoiler alert** READ ALOUD SECTION TO HOOK KIDS: Chapter where Dan and Arthur are home alone when the twister hits, forcing Dan to retrieve his sleeping baby brother from his crib and huddle in the basement bathroom shower stall, glass breaking all around, water filling the tub, drains sucking, and all the time him wondering if his mom is ok (Dan's mom went out to help elderly neighbor Mrs. Smiley get to her basement).
Night of the Twisters starts a little bit slow and is a little bit dated (1984 references to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley), but once readers get past the beginning background information, they will be hooked by the vivid description of true tornadoes that hit Nebraska in 1980. (Apparently, 2 went counterclockwise, which never happens in 99.5% of Northern Hemisphere tornadoes). The tornadoes destroy a town and tear apart Dan's family and Arthur, his best friend, is there to see it with him. They spend a night in the "woman's center" of the jail since they can't get to the road where KMart is, where most of the civilians (and Dan's mom) have been taken. The policeman who drove them to the jail loses his eyesight when a twister pops up and breaks the windshield glass and his eyeglasses. Dan is forced to drive the vehicle to the police station.
I finished this book on a 2 hour train ride and I had to refrain from laughing too loud to annoy the other passengers. So true! A second grade teacher...moreI finished this book on a 2 hour train ride and I had to refrain from laughing too loud to annoy the other passengers. So true! A second grade teacher in Harlem, Mrs. Mimi mentions those dead weight teachers and administrators she nicknames - "The Bacon Hunter" for the assistant principal whose seems to always eat a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast each day, not doing anything else - "the Fanny Pack" for the ESL teacher who wanders the halls wearing a fanny pack and complains about the reading curriculum that's been in place for 3 years ("What's a read aloud? Huh??") - and "The Weave" for the principal who asks everyone to use new Palm Pilots to enter student oral reading test data, and then emails out a note: everyone print out the palm pilot data and write it on last year's form. It's easier to read.
Any teacher will find this book cathartic and will recognize themselves and their students. Even the student who lets loose a room-splitting fart ("What did they serve for lunch?") and the student who returns from the bathroom with poop all over himself and his face, or the vomiting student who is returned from the nurse for not being sick enough. Mrs. Mimi returns this student to the nurse, asking her to hold a trashcan full of vomit, and Mrs. Mimi sends the nurse a note - "Is this sick enough?"
Or the student who titles her book "My F**cker" and Mrs. Mimi finds out the student meant to write "My Future" - Mrs. Mimi slyly steals the student's title page before anyone else can sound it out.
I loved it. All elementary teachers should read this.(less)
Interesting read, a little too much foul language for me, but an appropriate follow-up to "Waiter Rant." It's hard to believe how many drug addicts wo...moreInteresting read, a little too much foul language for me, but an appropriate follow-up to "Waiter Rant." It's hard to believe how many drug addicts work in the restaurant industry, but it's true.(less)