Two Hot Dogs

 

Two Hot Dogs with Everything by Paul HavenI try to comfort myself by thinking that all reading teachers have favorite genres, which is likely true.  But still, I know I’ve got to read kid lit that is outside my personal preference if I’m going to be able to continue to perform that fantastic alchemy of taking those series-loving early 5th graders and turning them into committed, self-aware readers in the nine months they spend with me.  I’m surprised at how often that lead turns to gold through the right recommendation from me or a great book club experience.

But I’ve got to know books across the spectrum and on many reading levels, which is one of the aspects of the job that I suspect few people outside of teaching recognize or take seriously.  Which brings me to my latest read (number seven out of the 10-book-goal I set a few weeks ago).  Two Hot Dogs with Everything by Paul Haven is about one town’s love of their baseball team, and one young and superstitious fan’s quest to help the team out of a century-long losing streak brought on by “the curse of the poison pretzel”. 

Now, I personally do not have the love of baseball in my heart, but this story held me with the mythology behind baseball, the importance of superstition, the power of both faith and friendship.  The author does some moving back and forth in time that is reminiscent of Louis Sachar’s Holes (though not as compelling for me as that great story).  So despite my lack of fan credentials, this was certainly a worthwhile read for me, and I can see myself recommending it both to those who read and loved Holesand to my students who love books like Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures series and are ready for a longer read–Two Hot Dogs comes in at 305 pages.

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