RDG 6319 Foundations of Reading, Summer 2017 discussion

7 views
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (drld) | 14 comments Mod
This story takes place in a small Texas town during the Vietnam War.One summer Zachary Beaver arrives in town as part of traveling side show. Zachary is known as the fattest boy in the world. Over the course of the summer Toby realizes there's a great deal more to Zachary than his excessive weight.


message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Skiles | 14 comments While slow to start, I liked where the book eventually ended up. Not one of my favorites. The story is interesting and well-written. Centers around a young boy in the early 1970s trying to understand his mother's leaving and the experience of his best friend's older brother in Vietnam.


message 3: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Peaks | 14 comments This wasn't my favorite book. This book is about a young boy whos mom leaves for the summer. In this book, you see the young boy go through different stages of friendships. The book contained a great message for kids to learn about friendships, it shows how you can gain new friendships that can change your life.


message 4: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments I think I disliked this book more than Dear Mr. Henshaw. I do, however, think that a few of my students would enjoy reading it. I could use it to teach about the development of characters and how friendships change over time. Beyond that, it was a "take it or leave it" book for me.

I felt sad for Cal when his brother was killed, and I think some of our students probably have life experiences in losing someone, though maybe not due to the military.

All in all, this was a well written book, but it was definitely not my favorite.


message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Ram Gosnell | 42 comments I enjoyed this book. I like the realism of Toby's life, and how there are many aspects kids could relate to. I enjoyed hearing about Zachary's story, once we learned the truth about what he had been through. And unfortunately, the death of Wayne was the reality of the Vietnam War. I do not think I would necessarily use this as a novel study, but I would allow it as an option to read in an applicable unit/theme. It is a great book about friendship!


message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica Morales | 25 comments I liked this book. I thought it was funny, sad, and relatable. There are so many interesting characters found in this book. I would have students do a character development activity.


message 7: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments Ashley wrote: "I enjoyed this book. I like the realism of Toby's life, and how there are many aspects kids could relate to. I enjoyed hearing about Zachary's story, once we learned the truth about what he had bee..."

The realism of this and the hurt of everything the boys went through was what made this book kind of hard for me. I think, though, that there will be some kids who could really connect to it.


message 8: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments Erica wrote: "I liked this book. I thought it was funny, sad, and relatable. There are so many interesting characters found in this book. I would have students do a character development activity."

A character development chart would be really fun. You could have them draw a half side for the before and a half side for the after.


message 9: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments Ariel wrote: "This wasn't my favorite book. This book is about a young boy whos mom leaves for the summer. In this book, you see the young boy go through different stages of friendships. The book contained a gre..."

I think new friendships are part of the coming of age process, which is something my students are facing. This would be a good recommendation for those students.


message 10: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Ram Gosnell | 42 comments Katherine wrote: "Erica wrote: "I liked this book. I thought it was funny, sad, and relatable. There are so many interesting characters found in this book. I would have students do a character development activity."..."

That is a great idea for a reading comp GO with visual representation!!


message 11: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Ram Gosnell | 42 comments Ariel wrote: "This wasn't my favorite book. This book is about a young boy whos mom leaves for the summer. In this book, you see the young boy go through different stages of friendships. The book contained a gre..."

I agree that this book exemplifies great friendships, new friendships, and dealing with realities in everyone's lives. Friendships are very important to adolescents.


message 12: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Lerma | 41 comments This book did not catch my attention, but perhaps would be a great book to check comprehension. It seemed kind of funny in the beginning, but honestly I felt a little lost in the book because I lost focus. This must be because the book was not my type of book. Anyways, this may be an interesting book to other students. I felt that this book would have to be used with plenty of visuals and maybe sound effects so that students stay focused.


message 13: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Lerma | 41 comments Stephanie wrote: "While slow to start, I liked where the book eventually ended up. Not one of my favorites. The story is interesting and well-written. Centers around a young boy in the early 1970s trying to understa..."

I agree. I would probably do Reader's Theatre or something fun with my students in order to make this book come to life.


message 14: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Lerma | 41 comments Katherine wrote: "I think I disliked this book more than Dear Mr. Henshaw. I do, however, think that a few of my students would enjoy reading it. I could use it to teach about the development of characters and how f..."

This type of book did not really catch my attention. I'm not quite sure why, but I feel that from the very beginning I lost interest.


message 15: by Tien (new)

Tien Dinh | 14 comments Toby (the narrator) and his friend, Cal, were determined to become friends with a forlorn boy living in the trailer. The ending was quite depressing. This novel was not my favorite because it was slow and redundant throughout. I am the type of reader who enjoys more action, mystery, and a more exciting plot. The novel was dull to me. I would not recommend this to my young students because I feel like they would need something more stimulating rather than a slow pace novel. That being said, I truly did appreciate the underlying message of friendship and how sweet it was.


back to top