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Amber > YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction (choose 2)

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Amber Thomas (althomas80) | 28 comments 1

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Amber Thomas (althomas80) | 28 comments Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing By: Judy Blume
This story is about a young boy named Peter who spends his time during the story dealing with his younger brother Fudge. Fudge tends to get all of the attention from his parents and he seems to do no wrong in their eyes. Peter is used throughout the story to get Fudge to do things that he should already be doing like trying on new shoes or letting the dentist check his teeth. Peter always is asked by his parents to show Fudge how to do it first. Peter does not seem to like being used in this way, but his parents insist that he help.
One topic that comes up quite often is Peter’s pet turtle. He is very protective of him and throughout the story Fudge gets in to Peter’s room and messes with the turtle. The last straw comes when Fudge actually and eats Peter’s turtle. Peter is upset with his brother, but his parents seem more concerned with Fudge being ok rather than Peter’s feelings after losing his pet. At the end of the story, Peter’s parents get him a dog for a new pet. They began to really feel sympathy for the loss of Peter’s pet, and he was happy they remembered about his turtle. He decides that he’ll have to learn to live with his brother and they way his parents treat him.
I would recommend this story because it seems a lot like real situations students may have to deal with at home. I see that many connections can be made throughout the story as the class recalls events about their own little brothers or sisters and the problems they can create. This book would also be good to explore the social/emotional issues Peter goes through as he thinks his brother gets all of the attention at home and his parents do not seem to care about him. This book can be use to discuss the genre realistic fiction and students can point out how many of the events could happen even though these are make believe characters. This book would be great for third or fourth grade students in literature discussion groups or discussed as a read-aloud.

message 3: by Amber (new)

Amber Thomas (althomas80) | 28 comments The Lemonade War By: Jacqueline Davies
This book is about a boy named Evan and his sister named Jessie. They are close in age and really have always gotten along at home. However, Jessie finds out that she gets to skip a grade in school and that she will be in Evan’s class. Evan is very upset by this news and thinks that by having Jessie in his class that it will prove to his classmates how dumb he is and how smart she is.
During the story, Evan shows how upset he is with his sisters by not letting her hang out with him as he makes a lemonade stand. (This is a summer task they normally would do together.) To prove she does not need him either Jessie also makes a lemonade stand. After realizing this, Evan makes a bet with Jessie. Whoever makes $100 quicker wins and the loser has to give the winner their earnings. Jessie takes the bet. Over the next few days, they both try many different methods to sell as much lemonade as they can. They both go crazy thinking that the other might win and start to play dirty to make sure they are the winner. In the end, Evan and Jessie both lose/spend most of their money and they decide to call off the bet. It is then that Evan realizes that having Jessie in his class won’t be that bad after all.
I shared this book with my students as a book trailer and many of them said this was a great story that they had already read. I definitely wanted to check it out for myself. It has a problem in it that students may be able to identify with. They may not have had a sibling skip a grade, but they may have found themselves competing against a friend or family member because they thought they were not as good as them. The lessons learned by both of the characters would provide a great discussion amongst classmates. This book would be a good read aloud but also could be talked about in a literature discussion group. I recommend this book for students in grades fourth through sixth.

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