This is the rhyming story of Thelonius Monster and his troubles making a fly pie. He decides to bake a pie with flies in it and all of his "disgusting...moreThis is the rhyming story of Thelonius Monster and his troubles making a fly pie. He decides to bake a pie with flies in it and all of his "disgusting-est friends and relations" to come enjoy it with him. Unfortunately, he forgets to bake it so the flies are still alive and they fly away with the pie still attached to their feet. Never fear though, because their feet come unstuck and the crust falls to the ground where all of the monsters devour it. His cousin declares it a success, saying, "A dessert like this never existed before-- a pie that could sparkle, could sing, and could soar..." This story is brief, yet funny, and has very rich language (urgently, savvy, astonishing, stealthily, ravenous, etc.)
The illustrations only include the white background, black (pen?) drawings, and areas of a bright green color. However, they manage to be detailed and very appealing to the eye, and they really add to the story, such as where his cousin is comforting the crying Thelonius Monster.
This book would mostly be enjoyed by elementary aged students. Upper elementary students would probably understand the rich vocabulary best, but early elementary students would benefit to the vocabulary exposure and would still get the main idea of the story and enjoy listening to the rhyme and looking at the pictures. In fact, this book could really be used through middle school and beyond to teach rich vocabulary, descriptions, action words, and word choice. This would be a great mentor text for writing in those areas. Other books that could pair with this one due to rich vocabulary and word choice mentoring include Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster, Tulip Sees America, Tough Boris, Chicken Cheeks, and Big, Bigger, Biggest!
This book is about 13-year-old Patrice, an African American girl who, before the book begins grows up in Georgia, and when we meet her has fairly rece...moreThis book is about 13-year-old Patrice, an African American girl who, before the book begins grows up in Georgia, and when we meet her has fairly recently moved to Chicago. Patrice lives with her aunt because her father is absent from her life and her mother is in jail. She has a hard time adjusting to the cold and to city life. She takes school very seriously and is a very responsible young adult who helps cares for her young cousins and basically runs her aunt's household. Patrice is picked on often, but a neighborhood boy, Monty begins standing up for her, and they grow closer and closer throughout the book. Patrice decides to apply for a scholarship to an exclusive African-American boarding school, and the novel chronicles her struggles with the application process from sources that she has little control over.
This book is multi-cultural and realistic fiction, and has a traditional novel format.
This would be a great text for reluctant high-school students, as well as many middle-school readers. The book does bring up topics of parents in jail, molestation, young relationships, drinking, gangs, etc., but none of it is excessively explicit. This book could be used to talk about bullying, making smart choices, the importance of education, growing up, young relationships, responsibility, poverty, gangs, and more. From the perspective of some adult sociological studies of inner-city living and poverty that I have read, this novel seems fairly realistic, but at the same time somewhat guarded in a way that might make it more "school-appropriate" and more accepted from more conservative-minded people.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I really felt for Patrice and her struggles, but the character who was most interesting to me was Monty, the boy who defends and later befriends her. I can see a past student of mine in him, and in that sense I feel that the characters were very well developed. There is enough rise and fall of conflict in this book to be satisfying, and the book leaves off in a way that makes you think about what would happen next. I'm hoping for a sequel. (less)
I see now that this book was originally published in 1995, then republished in 2004. When I looked it up on Amazon.com, it just says it was published...moreI see now that this book was originally published in 1995, then republished in 2004. When I looked it up on Amazon.com, it just says it was published in 2004.
This book is part of the Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka. The main characters are three boys, Fred, Sam, and Joe, who seem to be in upper elementary school. Similar to the Magic Tree House books, the series seems to revolve around the kids travelling back in time (or in the case of this book, forward in time) to experience another time period. The first chapter of this book actually starts in the middle of the story, where the boys are being confronted by a robot. Later the story goes back to the beginning, where you find out that the kids are on a field trip at a museum in 1995, and then end up travelling 100 years forward time time, to become part of the exhibit on 1995 (in the past), 100 years later. Eventually the director of the exhibit figures out something is strange about these kids, and they have to run away and try to get back to the present. The plot shifts time periods a few times, and involves some fairly complicated time-travel ideas, such as being told in the future to go back to the past to write a note for their great-grandchildren to help them when they get back to the future.
At the word level the book is fairly easy to read, maybe at about the early 4th grade , but some of the concepts are challenging to fully understand. However, the series book format, the male main characters, the interesting illustrations, references to pop culture, and potty humor make this series likely to appeal to young readers, especially young boys and reluctant readers. My son and I both laughed out loud a few times. In my opinion these books aren't as good as other Scieszka/Smith books, but they definitely have a market and would be a good addition to a classroom library.
These books would be of interest to students as young as 2nd or 3rd grade, possibly all the way through middle school (for struggling readers). This book does mention beer and includes a lot of "potty humor," such as synonyms for vomit (who knew there were so many!). However, I would not hesitate to include them in my classroom library.
As a series book, this seemed formulaic and lacked some depth, but was more enjoyable to my son and I than many formulaic series books have been. (less)
I was not particularly excited about listening to this book, as I am not especially interested in the history of basebal...moreI listened to this book on CD.
I was not particularly excited about listening to this book, as I am not especially interested in the history of baseball, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. This book describes the experiences of the Negro League from the 1920s to the late 1940s. The book manages to describe all of the discrimination that the players endured, and the general hardships that they faced without sounding whiny, which made it more powerful to me. Unlike many stories of African American baseball that I have read, this story begins earlier in history, and ends in the time of Jackie Robinson joining the National League.
The voice on the CD, Dion Graham, had a nice cadence, was nicely paced and culturally appropriate.
The CD of the book included a disk of paintings that were included in the original book, and they were interesting and beautiful.(less)
This is a true story of Henry Brown, a man who ends up mailing himself to a free state to escape slavery. The story begins with Henry as a child and f...moreThis is a true story of Henry Brown, a man who ends up mailing himself to a free state to escape slavery. The story begins with Henry as a child and follows him until he becomes a man who is married with children of his own. His wife and children end up being separated from him when their owner sells them to different people. Shortly after is when Henry decides to mail himself to a free state. He is never reunited with his family.
I loved this story. It has very simple text, but some heavy themes, and is truly heart-wrenching. The pictures appear to be colored pencil. They are very engaging and are from interesting points of view. This book could be used to talk about slavery, human rights, love, freedom, the Underground Railroad, or the Civil War. Even young students would be engaged, but I would encourage teacher discretion in deciding if their students are mature enough to deal with the idea of families being separated, slavery, and desperation. This book could probably be used up through middle school, or possibly even with other students as the beginning of a discussion.(less)