Welcome to the Lower School’s eleventh annual One School, One Book project!
What is One School, One Book? Simply put, it's an opportunity for all students, teachers, and parents in the Lower School to take time to read the same book and reflect on its themes and message. The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan is our 2022 One School, One Book selection.
It took some time for them to get used to the fact that they were facing a crisis. It was sharp in the beginning and time turned it to something deep and dull and even more difficult. It turned into their new reality.
One of the hardest things was that Sila kept expecting to see her mother everywhere. When she came into the kitchen she looked for her at the stove. Her mom should have been on the couch. In the front seat of the car. Coming out of the bathroom. Her mother was there in Sila’s head and her heart but not in the room.
And who knew when she would be coming back?
It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States. The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places. A moving story of family separation and the importance of the connection between animals and humans, this novel has the enormous heart and uplifting humor that readers have come to expect from the beloved author of Counting by 7s.
This winter, each Lower School child will bring home a “book bag.” Each bag contains:
- A family copy of The Elephant in the Room
- A bookmark for parents identifying the traits of a meaningful shared reading experience and good questions to ask while reading
- A syllabus and schedule of planned student/parent events and activities
- A research article supporting the importance of shared reading practices for older children
We ask that each family set aside time each evening to read aloud with their child. Time will be spent at morning meetings each week discussing an idea or two encountered in the assigned reading. Additional time will also be spent in various classes developing background knowledge or exploring information presented in the text.
- A parent round table discussion will be held on Thursday, February 17 at 11:00 on Zoom. Please join Joe Mendes, English Department Chair, Julie Porrazzo, Director of the Educational Program, and me as we discuss the text and share ideas and insights.
We are thrilled to share this moving story with you and to come together as a community to further our love of reading.