Once upon a time --for about nineteen years-- I taught seventh grade. One of my fondest memories was being witness to the eagerness my students exuded when given a chance to buy their very own Scholastic paperbacks. Scholastic always had great offerings. I would get a stack of small newsprint brochures, and the kids would place their orders. They ordered new stories and classics. In recent years, I have been teaching mostly seniors. These students do not order paperbacks. They read and write texts -- seemingly re-inventing Sanskrit! We just read the standards. And oh, the torture they endure! Yes, there are those who read outside of class, but I am sometimes afraid to ask just what they are reading. Oh for the days when my students wanted books and not cell phones!
I have been hearing from some of my colleagues who are still working with seventh graders about Michael Morpurgo's WAR HORSE, yes, published by Scholastic. Here is a story of a horse which may alter everything you ever thought you knew about horses. It was written for an adolescent audience, but it is galloping on its way to the classics shelf! You may have seen the feature broadcast yesterday on CBS's Sunday Morning all about the stage play based on Morpurgo's book. Click here to see how War Horse has been transformed for the stage. This play is my number one destination if I can get to London this summer.
While reading up on the production in London, I discovered more news. Not to be out done by the stage or the genius of the life size and truly realistic puppetry of the play, Steven Spielberg has the movie in the making, and we may see it as early as September 2011!
The Colonel and I have a small collection of original World War I posters. I first saw this one in a catalog we have. Though Fortunino Matania's (1881-1963) Good-bye Old Man is my all time favorite, I have only been able to find a reproduction of it. I know it was published first in the magazine Sphere, and also in several books of the artist's work. I have been looking for an original poster since 1979. I had better find a poster for the play and movie WAR HORSE.