Monday, February 16, 2009

Literary parents at Joaquin Miller Elementary

Our recent school book fair featured a JM mom/author, Jamie Woolf, talking about her new book "Mom-in-Chief." It addresses real quandaries and covers everything that smart career-oriented women need to know in order to fulfill their parenting potential and navigate challenges with skill and grace, and brings the number of books by current JM parents to four, by my count.

There's Knowing Pains, of course, edited by 1st grade mom Molly Rosen. There's "Using Our Words: Moms and Dads on Raising Kids in the Modern Neighborhood," published in 2006 by Berkeley's Neighborhood Parents Network and edited by mom Lysa Hale.

And in the not-self-published, not-anthology category, there's The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, by JM dad Josh Braff, which came out in 2005. I FINALLY got around to buying and reading it last weekend, four years late, and am so glad I did. It's one of those books that doesn't have a hugely dramatic story arc, but offers up compelling characters to spare. I found myself really wishing I could meet the fictional dad so I could kick him in the shins, just once, before fading back into the human dimension. (With a short stop in Austen-land to hug Lizzie Bennett.)

My kids have had some really phenomenal writing instruction during their time at JM, from the kindergarten teacher who got each child to write and illustrate 5 books to the 5th grade teacher who is teaching them to write a long and detailed research report on colonial life, complete with footnotes. So maybe it's something in the water on Ascot Drive?!

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