October 14, 2009

Brothers.  My husband, Rick, shares stories about growing up with his brother, B.  Although Rick was always five years younger than B, Rick would try his hardest to be as good as his brother.  He wanted to be with his brother all the time.  By high school, they were doing many activities together.  They are still close, even though we are miles apart.

Tiki and Ronde Barber had a special brotherly relationship.  As twins, they must have done a lot together.  They collaborated with Robert Burleigh to create the book,  By My Brother’s Side.  Many students are intrigued with the fact that the authors are pro-football players.  Elementary students relate to the story as well with the brothers being their age doing activities they are involved in.

The story begins at the start of summer.  They are heading out to explore with their bikes, where a dare meets disaster.  Tiki has a bike accident that impairs his leg, forcing him to stay off of it for the summer.  The theme shows the boys being together through it all.  The book is an excellent, rich text that’s filled with huge teaching points.  Enjoy the great read!

Savorings for reading and writing for By My Brother’s Side:

  • Passage of Time – the story takes place through the summer months, highlighting the most important;  “July was long and hot.  whenever Ronde would go out to play baseball, Tiki would say, “Maybe I could just--“
  • Stretching a Scene – with each month, a scene is highlighted with the boys talking together
  • Perseverance – Ronde walked fast.  Tiki limped behind.  “Come on, Tiki.  You can do it.  I know you can.  We’re supposed to meet Chris in five minutes.
  • Semi-colon – Finally, the doctor gave his orders:  no more brace.
  • Importance of Studying – Before practice Ronde and Tiki sat under the bleachers with their notebooks spread out.  “Homework first,” their mom always said.