Citation: Finchler, J., & O’Malley, K., Miss Malarkey leaves no reader behind. New York, NY: Walker & Company.
Summary: Miss Malarkey is determined to get all the students reading books and to help them reach the principal’s challenge of reading 1,000 books through the school year. The students are ready to take on this challenge because it means the principal will dye his hair purple. Miss Malarkey also has a challenge in front of her because every student is different and it becomes her mission to discover what interests them and get them hooked on reading. The story is told through the point of view of a young boy who is a reluctant reader. Miss Malarkey spends all year long trying and trying to connect him with a title that interests him. It is not until she gains a better insight about the boy's interests that she finds the perfect book for him and he cannot put it down. The final book that worked for the boy included all his interests. By being patient Miss Malarkey finds success and is able to grasp the reluctant reader and helps the student body reach their goal.
Impression: Peace, Love and a Definite Must Read!
I love that the book portrays a reluctant reader because there are a lot of people out in the world who can relate to the main character. Miss Malarkey is the perfect picture, determined educator who will not quit until she connects all her students to their perfect book. Although this book is not your typical child picture book, it is a book I would like to keep in my library to help me when I have had one of those rough teaching days. It is the little joys, you know, the happy moments when you see that light bulb go on in your students’ mind that keeps educators teaching and this book does a great job of reminding its readers of these special moments.
Reviews: K-Gr 2-- During the first week of school, Principal Wiggins promises that if the students read 1000 books by June 12, he will dye his hair purple and sleep on the roof. Miss Malarkey tells her class that they will be doing the Everybody Reads in America program and promises that all of the students will find books they love before the end of the school year. She picks some for each of them, engaging even reluctant readers. One boy remains unable to find a book he likes until June 10, when Miss Malarkey chooses one that has aliens, race cars, funny jokes, chewing gum, hot sauce, and cannonballs. It becomes number 1001 read by the students and the story ends with everyone wishing Principal Wiggins (whose hair is now purple) a good night on the roof. This title will resonate with those who choose math, video games, and sports over books. O'Malley's illustrations, done in markers and colored pencils, enhance the text with expressive pictures of the students and their teacher as they explore (or choose not to explore) the joys of reading. The illustrations lend humor and credibility to the reluctance of some of the students. A must-have for all libraries.
Sheridan, R. (2006). Miss Malarkey leaves no reader behind. School Library Journal, 52(8), 81.
Gr. 1-3. Ace teacher Miss Malarkey returns in a picture book narrated by a reluctant reader. Although comfortable within his small group of video-game-playing buddies, a boy wants to contribute to the schoolwide goal of reading 1,000 books in hope of seeing Principal Wiggins dye his hair purple and sleep on the roof of the school. Trying one of Miss Malarkey's suggested books after another, he rejects them all--until she finds the perfect one to match his eclectic interests. Expressive cartoon-style illustrations, brightened with markers and colored pencils, create a series of lively scenes in which speech balloons record conversations and comments not found in the text. With an unstated moral, this is one volume that librarians won't soon forget. Short lists of recommended books, including a bibliography of adult books that recommend children's books, are appended.
Phelan, C. (2006). Miss Malarkey leaves no reader behind. Booklist, 102(21), 65.
Use in Library: -This book could be used as a read aloud to motivate students to read and you could collaborate with them in order to plan a reading goal over a period of time, for example a goal over a semester or school year.
-You could also use this book as a read aloud to re-motivate teachers mid-school year. Right around state assessment time a staff ends to become stressed. This book could be used as a reminder of the fact that if teachers have taught the students the necessary objectives, the assessments will come easy to students because they have a love of reading and learning.