Zoe Dubkin, a Bells Mill fourth-grader, doesn’t think books need happy endings to be good. Her all-time favorite is “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech.
“It’s a really sad book. Sharon Creech writes with a lot of good detail,” Dubkin said. “A lot of things happen in the right places.”
“Walk Two Moons” was one of two books Dubkin brought to Read Across America Day at Bells Mill on Friday, Feb. 20. She also took “Sport” by Louise Fitzhugh, while Dubkins’ friend Katy Verboncoeur, also a fourth-grader, brought “Holes” by Louis Sachar.
BELLS MILL STUDENTS packed the school gym a half-hour before classes started. Parents came as well, some reading to their children, others being read to by their children.
Principal Jerri Oglesby and media specialist Jennifer Rust, both wearing “Cat in the Hat” costumes, welcomed the students and visitors. Oglesby read, “The Principal from the Black Lagoon,” a tale of a student who goes to the principal’s office and lives to tell the tale.
With Dr. Seuss’s 100th birthday approaching on March 2, his books were the most popular selections. First-grader Kali Becker brought a Dr. Seuss anthology to read with her father, Michel Becker. Choosing one wasn’t easy. Kali’s favorite, “Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book,” is a bedtime story, not the perfect choice for a school morning.
PREKINDERGARTENER Ross Cantor also brought a Dr. Seuss favorite, “Happy Birthday to You.” Next to Ross, his brother, third-grader Jacob Cantor, read “Amazing Hockey Trivia” with Alex Sigel, also a third-grader.
Jacob and Alex both agreed the most amazing trivia in the book was discovering NHL player Peter Bondra scored four goals in two minutes. Bondra, recently traded to the Ottawa Senators, was still a Washington Capital when he performed that feat. “This book was written in 1996 … when the Caps were good,” Jacob said.
Alex, who plays the game, said his favorite book is “Ice Hockey” by Jack Oden. A good hockey book has “checking, fighting, all that kind of stuff,” he said.
Third-grader Matthew Myers was especially absorbed in his book, “Naftalli the Storyteller and His Horse” by Isaac Bashevis Singer. “It’s pretty good,” said Myers.
Chris Gauch, also a third-grader, had Dr. Seuss’ “I Am Not Going to Get Up Today,” and Gauch could relate to the book. “I usually always do that,” he said. “But I usually always get up, on weekdays, anyway.”
GUEST READERS ranging from county firefighters to University of Maryland football players visited Bells Mill classrooms and read to students.
Bill and Linda Ratcliff, of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, brought Ophelia, a 7-month-old black Labrador, who will be trained as a guiding-eye dog. While Bill kept Ophelia calm, Linda read from “Rugby and Rosie,” about a guiding-eye dog adopted by a family. After reading the book, the Ratcliffs answered students’ questions about guiding-eye dogs, before moving on to another class, with Ophelia walking alongside.