Publisher: Center Street (September 4, 2009)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Reading Level: Adult
"A twenty-year veteran of the classroom, elementary school teacher Phillip Done takes readers through a lively and hilarious year in the classroom. Starting with the relative calm before the storm of buying school supplies and posting class lists, he shares the distinct personalities of grades K-4, what he learned from two professional trick or treating 8-year-old boys, the art of learning cursive and letter-writing, how kindergartners try to trap leprechauns, and what every child should experience before he or she grows up. These charming, sweet, and funny tales of Mr. Done's trials and triumphs as an award-winning schoolteacher will touch readers' hearts and remind them of the true joys of childhood. We all have that one special, favorite grade school teacher whom we fondly remember throughout our adult lives - and every teacher also has students whom they will never forget. This is the perfect book for teachers, parents, and anyone else who is looking for a lighthearted, nostalgic read."
Review: I believed I won this book from a contest that I randomly entered. I probably wouldn't have picked up this book on my own, but I'm so glad I got the chance to read it. Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind will make you laugh out loud, reminiscent of elementary school days. You may even get a bit emotional. Phillip Done does an outstanding job writing about what it has been like teaching third grade over the years.
One of the things that I loved about this book (I guess you could call it a memoir) is that each chapter titled is a month of the year. He breaks down all these different school-related things into the appropriate chapters. He talks about back-to-school sales, teaching the kids cursive, 100th day, Christmas party and Valentines party, and so many other awesome stuff. This book was just so sweet.
There were a lot of times that I found myself laughing. Kids are just so adorable. Whenever Mr. Done had the kids write some sort of story, they always made spelling mistakes and he describes trying not to laugh at some of the words they write instead of what they meant. Or how he talks about how some of the girls in his class tell him what boys they like. One of the stories they he tells is how during Christmas one year, he went to a different country and him and some other adults gave the kids there (they were in some sort of orphanage) presents, and they were smiling and cheering but yet they hadn't even opened the boxes. The kids had never been given a gift in their lives. It touched my heart and I'll admit, I got a bit emotional.
I'm not sure exactly what I liked to do once I graduate HS, but I have been thinking about teaching elementary (3rd grade and below) and after Phillip Done's tales of teaching, it has truly inspired me to be a teacher even more. I would hugely recommend that people interest in teaching or just wants a nice, funny memoir, read this! It's filled with lots of amazing stories.
Cover: I think I'll give it a C+. It's not bad, but nothing great. I do like the chair and desk.
Writing: So good! Easy to get lost in the book with the way Done writes. It flows nicely.
Overall: I would most definitely give it an A+! (Yes, pun intended.)