I have not yet had the opportunity to share this book with a class of fifth graders, but I predict they will relish the suspense and enjoy the story, while also learning many true and important facts about this historical time period.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
An American Plague; The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, by Jim Murphy
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Here are some comments from two former students of mine about this book:
"I really enjoyed Naomi Leon. Because it gave a lot of different stages that she went through. For example she became less shy, and came to her senses. She was a more opened person at school and at home. I also enjoyed it because it gave a lot of details, it had sad parts and happy and in the middle parts. And it was very interesting."
"This book was really good, because I think it had a good plot. I liked that it had a lot of details. I liked the author a lot so I decided to read other books from her. The plot was good because it was about a young girl who found herself. The details that were good was when they explained her soap carving of the animal family."
When I shared this book with my class I was delightfully surprised to see that my fifth grade boys were just as into this lively story as were my girls. They were all cheering for Esther and were quick to connect her struggle for equality to other familiar movements, such as the one championed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A sixth grade boy named Percy Jackson is on a field trip when he suddenly discovers that he has some freaky, incredible super powers. It turns out that Percy is actually a demigod: a being who is half god and half human and that he must go to
This story has plenty of references to Ancient Greek mythology and is told in a spunky, adolescent voice. In an email to Rick Riordan, after enjoying this book with my class last year I wrote: "Several of my boys were begging for more 'action and adventure' books and Percy Jackson provided us all with a perfect adolescent hero. I'm already having trouble keeping track of who has my two copies of [the sequel], The Sea of Monsters. Thanks so much for the excellent books. Thanks for helping me cultivate strong, thoughtful readers."
The Lightning Thief is one of those rare, wonderful finds that has enough action, fighting, and adventure to hook video-game addicts, but also has plenty of character development, fabulous word choice, a unique and interesting narrative voice, and many surprising plot twists. The third book in the series is scheduled to be released in May 2007. I am planning to host a "Percy Party" with my class to celebrate.
When I started this book as an assignment for my Children's Literature class, I predicted that I wouldn't like it. I wasn't much interested in the setting---Okalahoma during the 1940s---and I anticipated that the poetry form would be full of abstract metaphors and difficult imagery. I certainly didn't think I would discover a stunning, tragic, beautiful, and powerful story; one that I would want all of my fifth grade students to have the opportunity to enjoy.
Billie Jo, the 14-year-old main character and narrator of this story, lives with her family in the arid, dusty, broken land that was
I haven't had the chance, yet, to use this book in my classroom. I am hopeful, however, that I will get the chance and that my students will understand the themes, become attached to the characters, and be transformed by the story. I hope, in short, that they will have an experience with this amazing book, that is similar to my own.