February 10th, 2015 by Lee Hall

The Hobbit – by CMS 8th grade GT

August 17th, 2017 by jmayfield

finishing the summer out

August 13th, 2017 by jmayfield

not the summer weather – i wish…

“the war that saved my life” – great book – sad book – but great book about empowerment – and WWI history – might include it as a sixth or seventh grade summer book next year

“spurrier” – biography on florida’s famous coach – and the gamecocks – not so much the redskins:) there were elements of his life that were faith based – which i never knew

“showdown at rickwood” – love downtown b’ham trivia – this book was rife with that – but controversial – race and class were completely ignored in the book – that’s tragic and hard to look past – so the book disappointed me

“in search of stardust” – did you know your gutter contains micrometeorites? it’s true – sort of awesome – i just wish there had been clear directions as to how to find the stardust – would be good gifts:)

didn’t read the last one there over the summer so subtract that from your list


why doesn’t poster tape stick to my walls???

August 1st, 2017 by jmayfield

just a few days left now…

“vietnam war” – documentary to be released this fall on PBS – this book accompanies it – very descriptive and thorough – very sad too – probably one of the best books I read this summer

“the rose and the dagger” – second in a duology – i think that’s the word – a series of two – i missed the first one – it was over the top romantic – in other words, eighth grade girls around the world will love it

“teammate” – more my style – book on former cubs catcher – who should’ve won DWTS – pretty good recount of his last season

“4th and Goal Every Day” – must reading for every Alabama fan – Phil Savage – Eli’s commentator – he describes how Saban’s system has worked so well at Alabama – enjoyable book

“Quarterback Whisperer” – continuing the Alabama thread, the offensive coordinator when i was there – now head coach of the Arizona Cardinals – book on coaching QBs – it was entertaining

“The Inexplicable Logic of My Life” – great book – geared for high school, but very poetic in its prose – good examination of some tough questions

“refugee” – great new book that connected several refugee events from history – no kissing though so i doubt it will make it high on a YA list

“seriously, norman” – was desperate for something at the pelham library – meh…


catching up while Kentucky talks…

July 12th, 2017 by jmayfield

“I can’t make this stuff up” – Kevin hart’s biography – good story – funny at spots – I made a couple of copies of pages for us to read and talk through if time allows in class – not many pages were middle school appropriate:)

“crimson heart” – Mal moore’s biography – great book – found the part about when I was at Alabama the most interesting – but the whole book was really good – and what Mal did for his wife was great

“Telling Stories” – book on creative writing – I got some activities from it I hope to use in the classroom

“The Gaithers and Southern Gospel” – great book to talk about with my dad – he’s a southern gospel fan – so it was fun to discuss the book with him


Choose Your Own Adventure at the Pool – CMS

July 3rd, 2017 by jmayfield

comment below for bonus…

baby, you’re a firework…

June 29th, 2017 by jmayfield

so here’s an oddity – an entire blog devoted to YA – all three are more high school YA though

“librarian of auschwitz” – just an amazing story – based on a true story – in one of the Nazi concentration camps – really, the infamous one – there was a young girl who kept 6-8 books in circulation – as of the writing of the book, the lady was still living – 80-plus years old – she was one of the few people who survived that place – the book includes a mention of Anne frank – really, it’s a heartbreaking book – but it addresses the question of how you live in a place like that – and what we ultimately should be living for

“kids like us” – another high school YA – an autistic boy/young man living in France and trying to come to terms with the books in his head and reality in the world – the book grew on me – the POV can be confusing at times to young audiences – but it was a good reminder that your normal isn’t someone else’s normal

“iris” – by Francisco stork – just love that author – another great book – two sisters who try to figure out ambition and love – the book raised a lot of questions and didn’t make attempts to tritely solve them – I appreciated the “religious” aspect of the book in that there was a domineering father – a pastor – and the girls tried to figure out his faith vs. their own


ps – oops, I did read “return of the king” – the story of Lebron coming back to Cleveland – not YA – it was a breezy, quick read – of course, it was all mine after the NBA finals b/c the cavs had lost so no one wanted it:)

rain drops keep fallin’ on my run…

June 22nd, 2017 by jmayfield

“Elements of Eloquence” – great book – we’re going to hopefully use some of the rhetorical devices next year – i have big plans – the examples often came from Shakespeare – or the Bible – so that was nice – it’s always good to be able to pick up on the allusions and not just be lost

“goliath must fall” – good book – by a pastor in atlanta – a bit of a twist on the david v. goliath story – hint: we’re not david – i was surprised how much i enjoyed the book – shared at my small group – no one else cared:)

“scythe” – ah, i went back to reading YA for a change – i’m hopeful this becomes the “big” book everyone wants to read – thus, i won’t have to read another one – it’s supposed to become a movie too – i told my small group the plot and they just laughed and laughed at how silly it was – but, for young adults – i think it’ll be enjoyable – and, again, it brought up enough ethical questions worth kicking around that i enjoyed reading it

“county literary magazine” – i read it from cover to cover – ugh, lots of problems – in fact, i’m kicking around using the elementary ones – just from fifth grade – as things we can correct next year in sixth grade – i guess i never realized how many mistakes were in the book – middle school had issues too – but so did high school – but honestly, i think elem isn’t pulling its weight in proofing

“the one device” – the story of how the iPhone came to be – i even used what i learned for small talk tuesday with a girl as i got a phone upgrade (yep, mr. mayfield can now be e-mailed all hours of the night, young sixth grade parents:) so even though i don’t have an iPhone, i enjoyed learning about it – how it came to be (it wasn’t just a Steve Jobs insight) and how its made (empty mountain in Chile/Argentina that’s collapsing is where part of it comes from)


Gifted in Space Camp

June 15th, 2017 by jmayfield

I also give some summer quiz help if you pay attention…

oh, the books you’ll read…

June 13th, 2017 by jmayfield

“the hobbit” – finished my summer reading with this one – i realized i haven’t watched the last two movies – i guess i need to do that now – i did enjoy re-reading it though – i’ve probably read the hobbit four times now – at least – just a fun book – read easier to me than the last time i’d read it

“class” – book about the gaps between rich schools and poor schools – it’s a fiction book – adult fiction – very outside of my usual reading parameters – but i enjoyed it for the topic it examined – how some schools do without – and others have more than they know what to do with

“the cubs way” – probably the book i wanted to read all summer – THE book – if had nothing else to read – the inside story of how the cubs won last year – really enjoyed it – got a few ideas from it for the classroom – which was unexpected – and nice

“one by one” – book on singleness – by an old person, like myself:) good encouraging read – i tried to share at church but no one was interested

“challenger deep” – returned to YA thanks to ms. fuller – reminded me of the memory of light – although, i personally liked “memory” better – both are very sad books that tackle a tough topic – mental illness – what’s good about the books is that you realize how hard things can be for people – and you don’t learn that unless you read or you go through it personally


okay, sixth grade – begin/end here

June 4th, 2017 by jmayfield

this would be the post that kicks off summer reading

something tells me that there will be some little sixth grader reading this a couple of months from now, in a quest for extra credit – keep going, little one – you can do it!!!

“shakespeare’s secret” – why do i assign such books? little girls will grow up everywhere believing that the “cool” boy likes them – even if they’re shy – oh well – this book has always just been on the reading list b/c of much ado references

“southern league” – about the 1964 b’ham barons season – i didn’t realize that was the year the team was integrated – enjoyed reading it – was thankful the season passed peacefully for the players – although, it was by the grace of God that it did – racism hadn’t stopped then – or now – did bum me that the writer messed up rickwood’s age – and got the player nicknames wrong

“wednesday wars” – hadn’t read it in a few years – by far, my favorite book of summer reading – ms. baker is awesome

“moon over manifest” – i’d forgotten there was a running tie-in to the book – so just about all my summer reading beyond sixth grade involves running – yeah:) there are times i wonder if i’ve made the list too easy – if you’re keeping track, that’s the third book of the week on the list – i guess it just makes me madder when people say they can’t read them

“gunslinger” – read a biography on brett farve – just b/c i went to mississippi over spring break and wanted to read more about petal – turns out, brett’s not from petal – petal wasn’t even in the book – oops – it was a sad book though – good reminder that fame doesn’t mean everything