Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Today in school was incredibly satisfying, if a little exhausting. But the best of all was the session with one particular one-to-one pupil. He is struggling with reading – but last week I discovered he liked football, so suggested we should read Michael Morpurgo’s “Cool!” together. He told me he had got that book already, his Mum had bought him a boxed set of MM [presumably hoping he might start reading them] “Can you bring it next week, the 9th, and we will look at it together?” I asked him. I confess I wasn’t sure if he would.

Today he announced that last week he had dug out the book, as soon as he’d got home, and kept it in his bag all week. “Have you begun reading it?” “Oh no! I was waiting for you Miss!”

morpurgo cool!

We read alternate sentences, stopping occasionally to discuss the plot. And we got as far as page 47 together. “Wow, Miss, I only usually manage about 3 pages at a time” he said – and seemed genuinely sad when the session was over – and that it is two weeks till next time, because of half-term. I suggested that for homework, maybe Mum might be able to read with him in the way I had done, so he could discover a bit more of the story. And I warned him not to cheat and read the last chapter early or it would spoil the story for him.

He went off happily clutching his book. And I came home on Cloud Nine, feeling that [with a lot of help from MM] I have helped to get another child turned on to books!

That really is Cool!

[book review to follow later – I’m off to Sewing Club now]


  1. Truly cool! Glad you had a good day, Liz

  2. I do one on one reading with four pupils every Friday- no great success story like this, though! In our last Accelerated Reading Tests we found that most of one class had gone down in reading age. I have the print-out sitting on the breakfast bar, just in case it decides to speak up and explain itself.

  3. I love this book and read it to all 4 of my children - often the words got a bit blurred and I had a lump in my throat because it is such a moving book. Billy the Kid is another good book for a football fan

  4. Don't give up Mags- they keep moving the goalposts in these wretched tests!
    Sarah - I shall have to check out Billy the Kid - it is a MM I havent read yet!

  5. What a wonderful story. Yay for authors who get kids excited about reading, and for teachers like you who help those kids get connected to the right books!



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