The sequel to “Because of Mr. Terupt” follows the characters into 6th grade. Mr. Terupt gets to loop with this class and be their teacher for a second year. The kids find themselves in predicaments and difficulties that their wise teacher helps them untangle with the help of books! Good follow up.
This story chronicles the fifth grade year of seven students and one very special teacher. The characters take turns narrating chapters and you get to know them really intimately because of this. They all come to 5th grade with different challenges and back stories. There is the new girl from California, the bully, the brain, the prankster, the overweight girl, the shy girl, and the boy who hates hates hates school. Because of their very special teacher and what happens during the year, their lives are healed in various ways. It’s very gripping and, if you are a teacher, makes you want to be just like Mr. Terupt!
Gregor the Overlander is a fanciful story about an 11 year old boy and his 2 year old sister who fall into a vent in their laundry room. Much like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world, Gregor and Boots fall into the Underland. It’s a place where cockroaches are 4 feet tall and bats are the size of small horses. The rats can kill you with one swipe of their paw and don’t even get me started on the giant spiders. Gregor will have to find courage and strength to save the Underland and (hopefully) get back home to New York City.
I am a huge fan of “Holes” by Louis Sachar, so when I found this book I was so excited! It tells the story of Armpit and X-Ray after they leave Camp Green Lake. Three chapters into this book, I realized I shouldn’t have been so excited. It’s almost as if it was written by a completely different person. There is no way that the genius who wrote “Holes” could have written this garbage! I mean, it is TERRIBLE! It’s impossible for me to believe that it was written by the same author. The story is trite, the characters are one-dimensional, and you can see the ending coming a mile away. Sachar should be ashamed of himself.
This book is a classic that most of you have probably read. C.S. Lewis wrote the “fairy tale” for his God-Daughter and it has since become one of the most beloved stories of all time. It evolved into a series which includes 7 books. Shockingly, I had never read ANY of the Narnia books until I read this one last week. It was very good and I can see why it is such a classic. Four siblings go into a large wardrobe to hide and end up in the magical world of Narnia where they have to fight the White Witch and save Narnia from eternal winter. It’s a beautiful allegory of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I did some research and learned that although the Magician’s Nephew comes before this book chronologically, this book was published first and should be read first. In fact, it is recommended that you read the whole series in the order Lewis published them. So next would be Prince Caspian. Guess I better go back to the library!
Everything that Christopher Paul Curtis is amazing. This book is no exception. It tells the story of Elijah who is the son of escaped slaves. His parents were slaves in America but escaped to Canada. He was born free but has heard the stories of slavery from the people who now live in Buxton (a settlement for escaped or freed slaves). All he really wants to do is be “growed up,” but everyone keeps treating him like a baby. When one of the men in the settlement gets enough money to buy his family out of slavery in America, Elijah has the chance to prove he is ready to be a grown up. What he finds in America will test him beyond anything he ever imagined. This is a truly heartbreaking story.
This book was recommended to me by my student, Rebekah Rucker. She knows I love Sharon Creech and when she told me about this book I knew I had to read it. It’s very much a Sharon Creech book along the lines of “Ruby Holler.” It’s quirky and whimsical. The characters are interesting and she weaves two story lines together beautifully. When “Finn Boy” falls out of a tree and into Naomi and Lizzie’s life, the town of Blackbird Tree will never be the same. Great story!