I recently received a surprise book in the mail, which I passed on to my friend Louise, as it sounded like her type of book (and I already have a towering pile waiting for my attention). Happily, she also agreed to review it. Here then is her review...
Both as a former third-grader and as an adult who reads stories to children, I thoroughly enjoyed Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done (rhymes with phone). Parts of Close Encounters are laugh-out-loud funny, others are moving, and one chapter in particular is downright sad. Done’s sense of humour had me giggling out loud on the bus and gasping with laughter at my desk. His descriptions of the trials and tribulations of a male third-grade teacher are priceless.
One thing bothered me though—the author’s tendency to address his female students as sweetheart and honey. It creeped me out. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to the professional stance now expected of adults working with children, but I wouldn’t dream of calling my audience members by anything other than their names.
Aside from that, I would recommend this book to anyone who knows a third-grader, remembers being in the third grade or just needs a good laugh. The stories in this book ring true, and the author is honest and generous in his telling of them. Done says that he started this book when he wrote some tips for a niece who was going into teaching. I think other new teachers might benefit from his 20-plus years of experience.
For other reviews of this book, head over to these blogs:
A Bookworm’s World • Better with Books • Bonggamom Finds • Fabulous Miss S • Mama’s Mouth • Selfish Mom • Starting Fresh
Thank you to Hachette for sending me this book for Louise to review!