I'm Sorry but I Have to Be Honest
As I was reading this book, I kept thinking about what I would post about it. Not much came to mind. Did I learn anything I could use in my teaching? No. Did I learn any new writing insights? Not really. Did I gain an understanding of where the whole idea of the SMWP came from? Yes. Did I need to read this book to understand that?
This is where the honesty comes in. Besides a captive audience like those of us in this Institute, who really is the audience for this book? No idea, really, except the people he talks about non-stop. It sort of reminded me of one of those "bed to bed" stories second graders write. "First I got up, then I had breakfast. I had Cap'n Crunch. Then my mom told me to get ready for school, then I went to the bus stop and saw my friend Tommy"...and so on. He chronicled every moment of every year starting in 1943!!!
Truthfully, Rebecca and Brigid, you could have given us a five minute summary and we would have understood why SMWP does things the way it does. Hopefully I am not being too harsh. Maybe I missed something I should have gotten from this book? If you are looking for recommendations about whether to use this title next year, I would say no. (Unless you would like my copy as a donation for a future fellow!)