Friday, November 29, 2013

Ruby Holler

"You are now entering Ruby Holler, the one and only Ruby Holler! Your lives are never going to be the same—"

"Trouble twins" Dallas and Florida are orphans who have given up believing there is such a thing as a loving home. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple who live in the beautiful, mysterious Ruby Holler, but they’re restless for one more big adventure. When they invite the twins to join them on their journeys, they first must all stay together in the Holler, and the magic of the place takes over. Two pairs of lives grow closer and are changed forever. (source)

Sharon Creech has done it again! I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I often had to check and make sure that I was reading a book that is at a fourth grade reading level and geared for children. There was so much in it that was just amazing!

When Dallas and Florida go to live with Tiller and Sairy, they have a hard time accepting that they aren't going to starve and be put into the dark, damp, cobweb infested basement for the many things that they do wrong, and believe me, they do plenty wrong. Chopping down the tree Tiller planted when their kids were born, chopping a whole in the barn roof to allow light in, breaking a window, breaking the porch rail, losing the bucket down the well, are just a few to mention. Every time they do something wrong, they get ready for the punishment, but it never comes in the form that they are expecting.

Instead of being thrown in the basement, Sairy, especially try to teach them with love. For example, when the window is broken, they are told that they will be taught how to fix it. Or when they chopped a whole in the roof for a window, the response was simply, "Why didn't we think about that." The twins just don't know how to handle this and just think that the two older people are just old and crazy!

Finally, Florida can't take it any longer and asks Tiller why he doesn't get mad when they goof up. It takes Tiller a few moments to answer, but his response is wonderful. He tells her in his own calm, Tiller way, "...Maybe I'm too old to get mad, or maybe what you consider goofs aren't what I consider goofs-- it's just stuff that happens."

So often my first response is to get angry and punish when a student does something wrong, when what simply needs to happen is a teaching moment. I have been thinking about this a lot lately with some changes that have happened in our building this year at school. I have really stopped to look and see if my current style of discipline is affective or not. I often forget that sometimes the students need to be taught and not punished.

I loved the characters and the bond that they had with each other and who they were as people. The transformation from the beginning to the end was heart warming.

I feel that I could go on and on about this book, but we don't have time for that, and it might take away from the book.

Not only will this book be promptly placed on my bookshelf, but will be read again and recommended to anyone who will listen!

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