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Amy S > Chapter books (choose 2)

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message 1: by Amy (last edited Nov 07, 2011 07:27PM) (new)

Amy Stevens | 26 comments The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies is a novel about siblings: Evan and Jessie. Evan is a struggling learner who is going to be in fourth grade. Although he doesn't have "book smarts," he does have "people smarts" and is a likable guy who everyone wants to befriend. Jessie, his younger sister, is a gifted learner and the complete opposite of her older brother. Jessie and Evan are truly best friends, but when Evan finds out that Jessie is skipping a grade he is upset, and more so when he finds out Jessie will be in the same class. Their sibling love is tested when a Lemonade War ensues. Jessie has no idea why Evan is really mad, she just thinks he wants to make the most money at his lemonade stand.

I loved this book so much I read it aloud to my class! It was a great way to tackle beginning of the year fears of school and address bullying. My students loved the book so much that when they found out Jacqueline Davies had written a sequel, they begged for more.

This novel is also really great for kids to make connections. My students were interrupting me with connections they had to the characters that at one point, I said, "No more connections until the end of the chapter!" The Lemonade War was the first book in my class this year that really connected us as our own little family.


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy Stevens | 26 comments I recently finished reading Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn to my class during the month of October. For anyone who loves a good mystery or thriller, this is the children's version and an excellent on at that!

Initially I read it simply for the genre and the month of October. Okay, boring and so cliche I know. However, as I read this book, I discovered it was awesome for making connections! The main character, Molly, has a blended family that just moved from Boston to a small rural town. Her mom and step-dad are artists who think living in the picturesque countryside will inspire their work. Molly has to share a room with her 7 year old step-sister Heather. Their new home? It just so happens it is an old refurbished church turned house right next to an old graveyard. Throughout the store, Heather lies to get Molly and Michael (Molly's brother) into trouble. At the same time, Molly discovers Heather really is seeing a ghost.

My students were able to grasp making connections because many of them have blended families. Moreover, they could identify with Molly and her efforts in dealing with a step-sibling. Our conversations also led to how Molly handled the situation, did she do the "right" thing, etc.

What started out as a ghost story, turned into a powerful lesson not only about making connections, but about how to handle adversity and persevere while maintaining integrity!


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