The Newbery Award and Honor Book Club discussion

Traditional Literature > 26 Fairmount Avenue

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message 1: by Desiree', Teacher n Training (new)

message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 174 comments What a fun book! It seemed really random while I was reading it, so I was surprised at how excited I got for the big finale. It fits a really nice early chapter book niche. It's just a little bit beyond books like frog and toad. It's definitely more worthwhile than Junie B Jones.

message 3: by Joy (new)

Joy | 217 comments 26 Fairmount Avenue is the first of an eight book series that Tomie dePaola wrote to talk about his childhood. The last three books talk about World War II. All of them are short chapter books with his signature illustrations.

I agree with Phil's assessment that this is a bit beyond Frog and Toad. I read it to my 4 and 5 year old daughters and they were able to pay attention because of there were pictures on each page even though there were a lot of words.

I see the following themes being present in the book:
- Moving
- Overcoming obstacles (such as the ones that were faced building the house)
- Family
- Going to school
- Movies that are different from books

I think this would also make a great mentor text for higher grades when talking about writing a biography since the each chapter is basically a self contained "episode" from his life.

What was your favorite part? What other biographies have you read that are similar or different from this one?

message 4: by Joy (new)

Joy | 217 comments My favorite part is definitely Tomie going to see Snow White.

message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 174 comments My favorite bit was definitely the final moving-in scene, although I loved the Snow White part also.

This is often recommended as a mentor text for teaching personal narratives, although I reach for The House on Mango Street instead because of the age group I teach.

This book differs from other autobiographies for children- such as Boy: Tales of Childhood or A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson in that DePaola captures the voice and thoughts of a child. Other autobiographies feel like the author is describing their child self in third person, whereas this one feels like an authentic child's voice.

message 6: by Jack (new)

Jack (jack_wool) | 79 comments Enjoyed book when i read it back in Sept of 2013. Read on plane back from an Alaska trip. Purchased from Title Wave in Anchorage.
As a reminder, here are the rest of the chapter books in the series.
* 26 Fairmount Avenue (Newbery Honor Book, 2000)
* Here We All Are
* On My Way.
* What a Year!
* Things Will Never be the Same (The War Years)
* I'm Still Scared (The War Years)
* Why? (The War Years)
* For the Duration (The War Years)

message 7: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 174 comments I'm really curious about how DePaola handles WWII, especially because of the pride he takes in his Italian heritage.

message 8: by Joy (new)

Joy | 217 comments If I remember correctly, the rationing doesn't really affect them because his father manages to get the top ration card but his favorite uncle goes off to war and that seems to change him. I don't remember there being a huge deal with them being Italian (but if you want more about that, see Penny from Heaven)

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