Friday, August 10, 2018

Will Their Plan for the Last Day Work?

Brand, Steve, and Topher are all in Ms. Bixby‘s sixth grade classroom. Steve and Topher have been friends since the first grade when they met playing Legos. Brand has only been at their school since last year, but they formed a fast friendship. Their teacher, Ms. Bixby has touched their lives through moments that made them feel special and important. Moments nobody else knows about. So they take it hard when they find out that Ms. Bixby has pancreatic cancer and won’t be finishing out the school year. She tells them when her last day will be and the class plans a big party. Unfortunately, Ms. Bixby doesn’t come to school the next week and they learn she won’t be back, not even for the party. The boys devise a plan to do something special for their teacher. Their plan changes after they overhear that she's moving from the hospital in Boston to a treatment facility out of state. They've never skipped school before, but they make a foolproof plan. What'd they decide to do? Let’s just say it involves an expensive cheesecake, some wine, a scary man named Hazel, books, and buses. Will they pull off the special events they've planned? Is it possible to give someone a perfect day? How can they pay for their teacher’s favorite cheesecake when they learn it costs a lot more than they'd thought? You’ll have to read this tearjerker to find out.

Ms. Bixby‘s Last Day by John David Anderson is the first book I’ve read by this author. Being told from three different characters’ points of view gives readers a good idea about what’s happening in each scene. The characters are unique and different, but all still friends. Some things that happened in the story I could see kids getting in a lot of trouble for! The cheesecake plays an important role in the book and I went from wanting a piece- to maybe not wanting a piece. I loved that Miss Bixby was caring and made a connection with the boys (and I’m sure many others). It’s always wonderful when kids feel special and think a teacher is singling them out for something they’re good at or appreciating one of their personality traits. Honestly, I’m not sure how many teachers would want their students visiting them when they’re at a hospital getting ready for major surgery, but the end of the book was touching and definitely made me cry. I think a lot of adults will appreciate all the references to movies that were taking place in the 70s and 80s, like The Godfather and The Princess Bride. I would recommend this book to anyone in fourth grade and up who likes realistic fiction and reading books from different character perspectives. Although this book has laughter and sadness, there’s also a lot of action.

Has anyone else read Ms. Bixby’s Last Day? Or have you read another book by John David Anderson? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

 Happy Reading!
~ L

31 comments:

  1. I don't know this author but it sounds like a great book. Have a good weekend, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Valerie- I enjoyed it! Hope you had a great weekend too. :) ~L

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  2. I bet it has a lot of bittersweet moments to it.

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  3. I think its wonderful that books for readers of this age touch on these issues.

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    1. Tracy- I think so too. Very real topics and problems. :) ~L

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    1. The Armchair Squid- There are lots of sweet moments and then lots of humor too. :) ~L

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  5. Hi L - it sounds like a heartful read ... and I'm sure it'll catch on - thanks for letting us know about the author and his creation of Ms Bixby ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary- You are welcome. Definitely a book that made me think. :) ~L

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  6. I am always impressed when books for younger readers don't shy away from big issues. And suspect (strongly) that I would have wept reading this one. Which is not a bad thing.

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    1. EC- I cried towards the end of the book- but the beginning and middle of the book didn't make cry as much. Still, there were many touching moments. :) ~L

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  7. The references would be fun indeed. Sounds like a good one.

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    1. Pat Hatt- Movie fans will love the references. :) ~L

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  8. I love that this tackles an issue. This sounds like one to add to my grandchildren's bookshelf.

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    1. Kimberly- It is a good one to put on their shelves for later. :) ~L

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  9. Ms. Bixby's Last Day is my favorite of John David Anderson's books. Second would be The Dungeoneers and then Posted. Dungeoneers speaks to the Dungeon and Dragon's, fantasy, adventure part of me. I also really enjoyed Granted, but have yet to read any of the Sidekicked books.

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    1. Brenda- This was the first of his books that I have read. Great to hear your thoughts on some of his other books. I remember reading your review of Ms. Bixby's Last Day. :) ~L

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  10. I'm almost crying already, just from your review. Realistic stories are my favorites. I haven't heard of this one. Thanks for telling us about it.

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    1. Beverly- Glad to introduce you to it. If you get to read it- I hope you enjoy it. :) ~L

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  11. I haven't read it, but it sounds like a very nice book. Thank you for an excellent post.

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    1. J Lenni Dorner- Glad you enjoyed the post. :) ~L

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  12. Sounds like a story about very special kids:)
    Hope you're relaxing with your feet up, Jess:)
    Hi, Steph.

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    1. Sandra- The kids are definitely special.
      I did relax with my feet up. :) ~Jess
      Hello to you too! :) ~Stephanie

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  13. Wow! I'm absolutely intrigued by this story! For kids to want to recognize a teacher sounds very cool to me, and I need to pass on this touching tale to my granddaughter. Hugs...RO

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    1. Ro- I loved that the kids really wanted to honor their teacher and make her feel special. I hope your granddaughter enjoys it. :) ~L

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  14. Sounds like a very touching story! Big Hugs!

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