#sol15: March 13, 2015 – Poetry Friday: “The End” by Laura Purdie Salas

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Join the March SOLSC at Two Writing Teachers!

Thanks Laura of Author Amok for hosting today’s Poetry Friday.

During reading conferences today, I had more than a few students tell me that they were “conflicted”. They couldn’t wait to get to the end of the books they were reading because they wanted to know how it all worked out, but they were also sad to think that they would then have to “say goodbye” to a story and character they had come to love. Conflicted, indeed.

For consolation, I showed them Laura Purdie Salas’ lovely poem about just this (from her very special collection, beautifully illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, Bookspeak! Poems About Books):


I love that last stanza, and so do my kids – for we talk often of how beloved books beckon us to return for another visit.  Finishing a book doesn’t have to mean bidding goodbye to it!  Just yesterday, a student returned her copy of “Fish In A Tree” (Linda Mullaly Hunt’s latest, which I reviewed in this post), saying that she was “sad, sad, sad” to have to put in back in its basket.

“Well,” I asked, “do you want to hang on to it for a bit longer, and reread your favorite parts?”

“Can I?” she wondered, “I mean I’ve read it and all.”

But, she was still holding on to the book, reluctant to let go.  And, in her other hand, was the next book she had been longing to read.  The teacher me was delighted to see a student so invested in reading, and the reader me knew that what she needed to do was hold on to both books: to begin reading the new one, and to have “Fish In A Tree” by her side to reread those chapters and passages she had fallen in love with, and wanted to stay with…for just a bit longer.  

A great book offers an open invitation back to its magic.

28 thoughts on “#sol15: March 13, 2015 – Poetry Friday: “The End” by Laura Purdie Salas

  1. Being lost in a book world makes it hard to resurface and enter a new world so quickly. You do need to linger with the old friends before you join a new cast of friends. As a teacher, you want your kids to have that experience. What fun to see it!

  2. Wonderful to find books like this that we don’t want to let go. I return to Wuthering Heights every few years….love sinking back into the feeling of that story. Fish in a Tree is a heart print book. Has that student read One for the Murphy’s?

  3. I have often gone back and reread parts of a book and sometimes the entire book just because I couldn’t let it go. I was amazed at how many thing I missed during the first read through.

  4. “A great book offers an open invitation back to its magic.” Thank you for this wonderful line. There are many books I have read more than once ( like Cider House Rules), and many more I was sad to see end.

  5. Your students all sound like they love learning and love learning from you. The re-reading and finding of your favorite parts in a book is one of the main reasons I refuse to use kindles/nooks. I like to be able to flip back and find the parts I have loved once I finish.

  6. Despite that some of my students think some of the middle grade books are too young for them, Fish In A Tree “finally” has been read & is now making the rounds. I knew it would, & one students said she loved it so that she would buy it for herself. I’d forgotten about that poem, Tara, a ‘just-right” one for this dilemma. Thanks for sharing it & your nice story about the student.

  7. It’s always sad when a book ends and you wish it wouldn’t. Fish in a Tree is on my list of books to read, and a long list it is. I love the poem you shared at the beginning of your post. It made me think of running one of my races.

  8. This post made me so happy. I am going to hold on to that poem. My son says that all the time…that he hates to have to close the final chapter. I have always felt that way. My husband who is not much of a reader was transformed by All The Light We Cannot See recently. I told him to carry the book in his truck until he was okay with letting it go. Or to just reread it.

  9. The way you tell your stories brings me right into the moment with the bonus of your thought narration added. It is so evident the thought, care and love you put into your teaching life with your students. Bravo, Tara, here is another example!

  10. Oh, I have felt this way so many times. Now I have a poem that finally expresses the feelings I have at the end of the book much more eloquently than I ever could. Thanks so much for posting this!

  11. Love, love, love this! Love the poem, love your students’ reluctance to part with the book she’d so enjoyed. This slice made both reader and teacher me smile!

  12. Yesterday a seventh grader, who is not a reader, told me she didn’t want ALLEGIANT to end because she loved, loved, loved the series (she has read all of them, just not in order). She’s on the last fifty pages- I need to share your post with her on Monday.

  13. I just started Fish In A Tree on its journey around my room. I have a good group who like to read books with “heart.” Those characters really stay with you! I’ll have to remember to share that poem with them!

  14. What a wonderful story–happy to have played a virtual part in it, Tara:) I am racing reluctantly toward the end of a novel right now that I can’t wait to finish and dread finishing simultaneously. I love that you recognize this in students and let them know it’s okay. That going both forward and backward are paths to be treasured…thanks, Tara!

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