Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The first book in Dan Gutman's My Weird School Series is Miss Daisy is Crazy. The main character bluntly introduces himself on the first day of school "My name is A.J. I like football and video games, and I hate school." He humorously elaborates "I have learned a lot in my eight years. One thing I learned is that there is no reason why kids should have to go to school. If you ask me, kids can learn all we need to learn by watching tv." A.J.'s attitude toward school is not surprising, however the students in Miss Daisy's class are completely surprised when Miss Daisy responds to A.J. "You know what A.J.? I hate school too." From then on Miss Daisy talks to her students in a way they don't expect and reveals very strange information about herself, including the fact that she can't read, write or do arithmetic.
During lunch time the students speculate that Miss Daisy might not be a real teacher after all because teachers are supposed to know how to read, write and do math. They then decide not to tell anyone the truth about Miss Daisy because they enjoy how weird she is and want her to stay as their teacher. One day Miss Daisy brings her favorite treat bonbons to class and uses the bonbons for the students to help her learn how to do math. When Miss Daisy suddenly incorporates math problems into a discussion about football A.J. interrupts saying "Wait a minute, I thought you told us we were finished with arithmetic." She tells A.J. that they were only talking about football. "Well, okay. Just as long as you weren't trying to sneak arithmetic into our conversation about football." A.J. responded. Then Miss Daisy asks "Would I do that?" and winks at A.J.
After Miss Daisy tells the class that she doesn't know who the first President of the United States is A.J. begins to suspect that his teacher is pretending not to know information. One day A.J. observes that Miss Daisy seems to be reading a paper and he shouts "Hey you're reading!" Miss Daisy denies it, and A.J. shrugs it off. He concludes that if Miss Daisy doesn't know anything then he and his classmates will just have to keep teaching her by working really hard together until the end of the school year. Of course Miss Daisy's plan all along was to get her students interested in their school work, particularly kids like A.J.