Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Rhonda Mickey, an instructional coach at the Levan Scott Academy with Fort Wayne Community Schools.
“I have just finished reading 'A Complaint Free World,' written by Will Bowen. A pastor in the Kansas City area began a campaign to go 21 days without complaining or gossiping. Those participating wore purple bands like bracelets on their right arms but had to move them to the other wrist when they complained or gossiped. It took from four to eight months to go 21 days without the offense.
“It caused people to ask themselves, 'Am I focusing on what is negative? How can I change that to be more positive?' The idea snowballed! The book said there are now 6 million bracelets in 80 different countries as the idea spread.
“One person on Day 20 had a stressful situation but made it and felt she had a real victory. Now she can handle things beautifully and positively. The book had been selected as the Book of the Month at my church. We have a different book every month. This book was based on Exodus where there was so much grumbling and complaining.
“I love Francine Rivers' books. She is a Christian writer who has written a series on unsung heroes of the Bible. She writes about the right-hand men whose perspective is so different. These are historical fiction, which I love. So far I have read four of the books in the series.
“Then, of course, I also read children's books. One that is an all-time favorite is 'The Bee Tree,' by Patricia Polacco. It's written for elementary readers and is about a family instilling a love of reading. The grandpa has everyone taste the bee tree to see how sweet the honey is; that's how they learn reading can be sweet, too.
“By reading these children's books, I can help students connect with books of interest to them. I can say “'You really ought to read …,' and name a book. Many of the books are in the school's media center, some in my own personal library. This is a tool we use with writing. We ask the students to identify the styles of the authors and ask 'Why do you like their writing?' They can compare the ones they like with those that don't have a good style. It helps them develop their own way of writing.
“I have read all of the books in 'The Hunger Games' series and enjoyed them all. They show you have the strength you need when you have to have it. I am intrigued and amazed how far society can go for entertainment. No, I have not seen the movie, but I will.
“I did think of another book that I love. Devin Scillian's “Memoirs of a Goldfish” is an excellent children's book. It is a funny story with great illustrations and it shows that 'the algae isn't always greener on the other side of the bowl.'”