It’s funny how most of my favorite camping memories are about food. Like the time, two days into a camping trip in Big Sur, friends pulled profiteroles from deep inside their cooler like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat. They warmed rich, creamy chocolate sauce on the fire and drizzled it over the ice-cream-filled pastry puffs. We devoured the unexpected treat around the campfire, licking every last bit of gooey, rich chocolate goodness from our fingers. Decadent, delicious, unforgettable.
It's National Ice Cream Month! It's also July, and it's also very, very hot. And while we love all the regular kinds of ice cream just fine (you can pry Chubby Hubby from our still-warm, heatstroke-dead hands), we wondered what would happen if worlds collided and books became ice cream (not literally, though, because that would be gross). Get your hybrid freezer/bookshelves ready, because here are six tasty samples!
If Camp NaNoWriMo were an actual camp, this would be the week of Color Wars, final bonfires, and tearful goodbyes. We'd all be wrapping friendship bracelets around each others' wrists and promising to keep in touch during the school year. But as bittersweet as the end of the session may be, Camp NaNo has a considerable perk that normal camps don't: a manuscript draft!
Yes, your wonky little Word doc now qualifies as a manuscript draft! It's a momentous occasion that many would-be writers never reach, and one that deserves a little end-o-camp Jamboree. But when the embers have died down (and you've taken a good long break to give yourself some fresh perspective) your next quest, should you choose to accept it, is revising. A first draft is wonderful and pure and (if my experience holds) kind of a mess. It needs some TLC before it can become a book.
There's no Camp Revision-a-wassa to see you through the process, but there are great books to help you shape your manuscript into a story that's worth a whole arm's worth of friendship bracelets (yes, even the cool kind with beads and feathers woven in). Here are my favorite picks—read them, let the ideas stew for a few weeks, and then plunge back in to your book.
With the end of the school year comes the summer reading list: the list of books that students will be tested on in the fall. The specific books obviously vary from school to school, but during my stint as a high school teacher, the summer reading list always faced the same challenges. Our department would argue about the purpose of summer reading, and we would end up standing divided, each with certain books in our corner.
While some of my colleagues struggled to find selections that were both 1) not adapted into movies and 2) not on Sparknotes, that generally limited the choices, and seemed wrong to me. It usually resulted in summer reading becoming a pointless assignment, with no real connection to the coursework in the coming year. It also did little to foster a love of reading for the students. It was a punishment assignment: a reminder that they weren’t free from the grasp of school.
Because for many students, the cycle of summer reading was the same: cramming it all in before a test, downloading study guides, or writing a vague essay that could be about any book.