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Showing posts from December, 2015

Love That Dog

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Creech, S. (2001). Love that dog. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Jack loves his dog, but he doesn't like poems. He says he doesn't like poems because boys don't write them. In his very matter-of-fact-like fashion, this story is told from his point of view... and through his style of poetry.  And importantly, Jack learns to not only appreciate poetry, but live with the feelings he has for his beloved pet, Sky.
This touching story can be read at any level. Teachers can use this novel to teach theme, expose students to dealing with hardship and adversity, and allow students to explore the powerful plot of a story that blends the thoughts of a boy who thinks his thoughts are individual only to him. Students can learn to reinforce the learned skill of diction, connotation and denotation.  This can also be used for daily writing activities in response to other texts.
Parents can use this short, but powerful read to help a child or loved one overcome grief through writing…

Wonderstruck

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Selznick, B. (2001). Wonderstruck. New York, NY: Scholatic.
This amazing story told in the dynamic and creative way that only author Brian Selznick can do is about a boy named Ben.  He's recently been displaced because of the death of his mother, but he doesn't know that he will soon encounter a person who will change his idea on family. The reader quickly realizes that Ben's isn't the only story told in this book.  Amidst the pages of the novel, there are drawings that tell another tale - Rose's.  Rose is a deaf girl who is also yearning for another life.
Wonderstruck can be used in a cross-curricular fashion.  Art teachers and English teachers alike can come together to create a similar work by allowing for the words or illustrations convey a story that intertwines and is just as compelling.

For parents at home, Wonderstruck is a story of healing.  When Ben discovers that his story converges with Rose's is a moment of family mending and coming together.  This …