Spring 09 LLED, Altoona discussion

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Brianna > The "It was a murder most foul" Award for the most tragic book

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message 1: by Brianna (last edited Jan 30, 2009 05:06PM) (new)

Brianna Jones | 13 comments The "It was a murder most foul" award. This award is to be given to a children's book that tells a tragic story. It does not necessarily need to have a murder or death take place. Any tragic plot will do. It could be a fable that teaches through the tragedy or just a good book with a sad twist. Don't forget to think about international books because as Lehr points out, involving International literature in our classroom allows "our students... the opportunity to read- in their own language- the highest quality of books that have been published and read all over the world" (243). Please make sure your nominated book is appropriate for second to fifth grade. I would like to have the nominations in by February 28,2009 to give me plenty of time to read all of the books.

Resources: Lehr,S. Ed.(2008). Shattering the looking glass: challenge, risk, and contraversy in children's literature. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon. pgs 241-251.




message 2: by Elizabeth (last edited Feb 13, 2009 06:46PM) (new)

Elizabeth Heuston (luv2shop) | 13 comments Valley of Death I nominate "Valley of Death", a National Park Mystery by Gloria Sxirzynski and Alane Ferguson and is the 8th in the series. Jack, Annie, and Leesa's family are in Death Valley while their mom is doing research. When Ashley is suddenly kidnapped and Leesa is on the run. Keep reading to find out the very exciting ending. This book is great for older elementary students and more fluent readers to read independently. I also plan on using this book as well as the whole series for read aloud.


message 3: by Amanda (last edited Feb 11, 2009 07:40PM) (new)

Amanda Casteel (amanda_casteel) | 16 comments I nominate The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the typical Disney tale many of us have come to love. This is the original tale. In this book there isn't the typical "and they lived happily ever after" ending. This tale has suffering, tragedy, as well as death. The tragedy in this book is unbelievable. A sacrifice is made in order to have love, but in the end an even bigger and more tragic sacrifice is made so that someone can be happy. This book is a classic example of tragedy; however, it does not appear in many classrooms today. It is truly a tragedy that we do not include tragedies in our classrooms. I believe it would be appropriate for older elementary students. Another reason this book deserves this award is the tremendous quality of the illustrations. The colors enhance the sorrow and emphasize the sea. There is not a huge quantity of illustrations, but the ones that are there are great! Hans Christian Anderson has written many terrific fairy tales, and I believe this to be one of his best and most tragic.

The Little Mermaid The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen


message 4: by Alyssa (last edited Feb 26, 2009 08:33AM) (new)

Alyssa | 14 comments Genre: Picture Book
Audience: K-4th
Topic: The Giving Tree
Illustrator: Shel Silverstein
Author: Shel Silverstein

I nominate, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It is a story about a child who is very attatched to this tree. However, the boy gets older and does not hang out with the tree as much as he used too. He goes and sees this tree every time he needs something. For instance, when the boy needs money he sells the apples from the tree. When he needs a house he builds a house from the trees limbs, When the boy wants a boat he cuts down the tree. The whole time the tree keeps giving and the boy keeps taking. The ending is very sad and very tragic.




message 5: by Brittany (last edited Feb 19, 2009 03:27PM) (new)

Brittany Koontz | 13 comments I am nominating "I'll Always Love you" for the best murder most foul award. This story book is written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm. This book is about a close relationship between a dog, Elfie, and a little boy. The dog grew up with the little boy, and they did everything together. Every night before bed, the little boy would tell Elfie, I'll always love you. One morning when the boy woke up, he found out that Elfie had died that night. It is very good for children to read, because a lot of children go through the same situation as the little boy did. This could help children to see that it happens to every animal.


message 6: by Lauren (last edited Feb 22, 2009 02:29PM) (new)

Lauren Pine | 12 comments I nominate "The Spider and the Fly" by Tony DiTerlizzi. This book is one of my favorite books that I've come across so far! "The Spider and the Fly" is a cautionary tale based off of the poem by Mary Howitt. The lyrical text describes a spider trying to lure a fly into his web. The fly is too smart for the spider, so he must work even harder to trick her into a false sense of security. In the end, the spider is successful and the fly becomes his dinner. At the end of the book, there is a letter from Spider to the readers cautioning them against schemers. The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous and all done in black and white. I think students would absolutely love this story and its great for all elementary ages.


The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt


message 7: by Melody (last edited Mar 05, 2009 06:38PM) (new)

Melody Kephart (MelodyKephart) | 14 comments I nominate "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen. Illustrated by Rachel Isadora. Putnam Juvenille Publisher. Andersen's story is about a little girl who's afraid to go home because she hasn't sold enough matches. The little girl is barefoot and cold so she curls up in a corner, lighting match after match to warm herself. She sees visions as she looks at the flames. With her final match, she sees her grandmother appear and take her up to heaven. The little girl has died there in the corner.
This is truly a sad tale but in the end, you feel happy for the little girl because she is in a wonderful place where she will never be cold again. Andersen has created this great book which can be used in a classroom to talk about feelings, death, or social issues. It is diverse in use which makes it the best book to win this award. It deserves the Murder Most Foul Award over all the other books nominated because it deals with a very tragic situation.
Not only that but the the Illustrator, Isadora, used muted blue, gray and brown colors to capture the mood of a snowy Victorian winter reminiscent of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. You must see this book and read it to appreciate the fine work done. Once you have read it, it will own your heart and will own the award!
This book is designed for ages 4-8 but it will touch the hearts of any older child or adult.
The Little Match Girl The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen


message 8: by Krystal (last edited Feb 22, 2009 02:11PM) (new)

Krystal | 13 comments There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

I nominate "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" by Simms Tabak. The book was illustrated by Pam Adams and was published in 1973 by Child's Play (International) Ltd. This book is obviously a fictional story about an overweight old lady who swallows a bunch of animals that you should not eat. By the end of the story the old lady "swallowed a horse. She's dead of course". The book represents the tragedy of obesity through humorous rhymed literature. This book is a display about how problems can evolve and potential solutions can lead to further self-destruction. The book could be used in the K-3 elementary classroom. It could be introduced in kindergarden as a humorous learning tool. The book has a lot of repetition and rhyme which are amazing resources in teaching younger children sight words. You could also use the book in the later years as a means of discussing obesity. The book does have a tragic ending, though, leaving the obese old lady dead. You would need to discuss with the children the severity of obesity. You could also discuss the physical, emotional, and social aspects of obesity. This book would be a phenomenal tool in the elementary classroom with introducing difficult concepts. The tragic end to the fun rhyme is a magnificent way to show the realities that the book reveals. This would be an excellent tool in the elementary literary classroom.


message 9: by Bridget (last edited Mar 05, 2009 03:32PM) (new)

Bridget | 13 comments I nominate Bedhead by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Jack E. Davis. This is a great story about the most dreaded problem before school, a BAD HAIR DAY! Not only is Oliver suffering from the worst hair day ever, but it just happens to be picture day at school! Everything that he and his parents try to do to get his hair tamed will not work. In fact, the more gel, hairspray, secret formulas, and tricks that they try to use, only make his hair worse. Finally, someone comes up with the brilliant idea for Oliver to wear a hat to school. Unfortunately, no hats are allowed in the picture and Oliver has no choice but to take it off. His hair spurts out in every direction and the class picture ends up a mess!
The illustrations are just as funny as the text and they have great sense of vibrant and bold colors. There is so much detail, that it allows the reader to actually picture the frenzy taking place.
This is an easy read and for children ages 4 to 8. It is an outrageous story that they will want to read over and over again. It displays a perfect message, that nobody is perfect and that you are not the only one who suffers from the horribly contagious, brutally hilarious, and frustratingly icky bad hair days.

Bedhead by Margie Palatini


message 10: by Lori (last edited Feb 27, 2009 05:16PM) (new)

Lori | 19 comments Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls I nominate the book "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls. This is a heart-wrenching, powerful story about a boy and his beloved coonhound dogs. It is a story of love, loss, grief, and the quiet peace of acceptance and remembrance. This book is appropriate for 6th grade, and deals gracefully with the subjects of death and mourning, as well as an exceptional retelling and application of the Native American legend regarding the elusive red fern, which provides the central character with so much comfort. It would be an invaluable tool for talking to children about death, and walking them through the grieving process. Be forewarned: you WILL cry when you read this book.


message 11: by Elissa (last edited Mar 05, 2009 08:25PM) (new)

Elissa | 14 comments Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch I nominate the book "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. This story is about a bond between a mother and her son. It starts off when the boy is a new born and grows to be a two year old, a little boy, a teenager, and continued growing until he was a grown up. No matter the age of her son the mother sang a song to the boy, "I'll love you forever I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Eventually the mother got sick and couldn't sing her song to him anymore. The son then sang her the song and changed the last line to "... as long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be." This story is a good book with a sad twist because the mother is old and sick and is no longer able to sing the song to her son; however, he is able to sing the song to her and his baby girl.

I have always enjoyed this book and had it read to me often. This book is appropriate for grades second through fifth grade. I think it will touch the hearts of many students!


message 12: by Sean (new)

Sean | 16 comments I nominate "Sad Book" by Michael Rosen. This book is terribly sad and even uncomfortable at one specific time, and is perfect for this award. sorry for the late nomination, but this book is short. It's about a father losing his son and his mother, and never finding any sort of closure. suitable for younger grades, and the illustrations are a tragic fit to a terrible text (in a good way!).


message 13: by Alecia (new)

Alecia | 13 comments I nominate Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson for the “It was a murder most foul” Award. This is a phenomenal book through and through and it includes a devastating tragic twist at the end. The main characters in the book (Jess and Leslie) become really close friends and create a fantasyland (Terabithia) to escape from the realities of their lives. While in Terabithia they are able to create an amazing imagination land where they forget about problems such as school bullies or Jess’s family life. Just when readers think everything is as close to perfect as it could be for Jess and Leslie, tragedy strikes. Leslie dies while trying to swing across the creek to Terabithia. Jess becomes completely devastated and suffers through all of the stages of grief, which are painful even to read about. Even though the story involves tragedy, the author includes a sort of celebration of Leslie’s life in the end by having Jess pay tribute to Leslie’s memory. This book provides excellent insights on the stages of grief (denial, fear, anger, and sorrow) that children go through when dealing with the death of a friend or loved one. Even though this is a sad read for children, it provides an amazing story that will always be remembered by readers.


Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson


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