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The School Story through the Eyes of a Tween

The School Story through the Eyes of a Tween

Andrew Clements followed up the wildly successful novel, Frindle, with a series of school stories with main characters working to push through an adversity of sorts. The School Story is about two middle school girls who are determined to show that they have what it takes to publish a novel of their own by whatever means necessary. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

Andrew Clements has a special knack for treating his readers with respect by writing tween characters as intelligent, witty, and clever. This technique has worked well and has made him one of the most popular tween authors of our time. In The School Story, he used this talent well in writing about two smart and determined female protagonists.

From the Book Jacket:

Natalie’s best friend, Zoe, is sure that the novel Natalie’s written is good enough to be published. But how can a twelve-year-old girl publish a book? Natalie’s mother is an editor for a big children’s publisher, but Natalie doesn’t want to ask for any favors.

Then Zoe has a brilliant idea: Natalie can submit her manuscript under a pen name, with Zoe acting as her literary agent. But it’s not easy for two sixth graders to put themselves over as grown-ups, even with some help from a couple of real grown-ups who are supportive but skeptical. The next bestselling school story may be in their hands—but can Natalie and Zoe pull off their masquerade?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The School Story for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

girl at desck writing

Students will quickly empathize with and relate to the main character, Natalie, who works through the grief of losing her father in a car accident by writing. Students will also admire Natalie for wanting to succeed on her own merits and not by favors through connections with her Mom’s employer. With the help of a good friend and a trusted teacher, Natalie is able to persevere and is a great role model for tween students to emulate.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Brave Hearts Come in Small Packages: The One and Only Bob

Brave Hearts Come in Small Packages: The One and Only Bob

The One and Only Ivan is a favorite book of mine. I was so excited to learn that Katherine Applegate wrote a sequel, this time showcasing Bob, Ivan’s loyal stray dog companion. Applegate takes the heartwarming, humorous, and thought-provoking recipe of her creation of Ivan and brings it again to The One and Only Bob. It is a new favorite for teachers and students alike!

Take a look at this book trailer from Katherine Applegate’s YouTube Channel:

From the book jacket:

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!  **NOTE: The One and Only Ivan movie is currently available to stream via Disney+.

Just as The One and Only Ivan is a favorite book to use in the classroom, The One and Only Bob is ripe for you to use as a novel study as well.

Please check out the completed The One and Only Bob Novel Study that contains both a printable and Google Drive™ compatible format available in my store.

You will love The One and Only Bob just as you did The One and Only Ivan, but maybe in a little bit different way. Bob brings the humor. He was the comedy of The One and Only Ivan after all! You still have the heartwarming journey of the character who is seeking acceptance of themselves, who is trying to find out where they belong in the world and who they can depend on. This journey will resonate with children who are on that same path in life, many adults as well! Should Bob go it alone, or is it okay to rely on others, and at the core, is it okay/safe to trust? Take your students on this journey with Bob. You won’t be sorry!



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Working through grief and loss: A Taste of Blackberries

Working through grief and loss: A Taste of Blackberries

A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith is a poignant tale of friendship and loss. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

A Taste of Blackberries was published in 1973 and won multiple awards. It was a struggle for Ms. Smith to get her novel published as many felt the subject matter was too advanced for young readers. Topics such as death had been taboo unless the characters were animals, such as 1952’s, Charlotte’s Web. Smith’s story fits well into the literary realism of that era and after being rejected by three publishers she finally found a home in Harper Collins.

From the Book Jacket:

Jamie isn’t afraid of anything. Always ready to get into trouble, then right back out of it, he’s a fun and exasperating best friend.

But when something terrible happens to Jamie, his best friend has to face the tragedy alone. Without Jamie, there are so many impossible questions to answer — how can your best friend be gone forever? How can some things, like playing games in the sun or the taste of the blackberries that Jamie loved, go on without him?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany A Taste of Blackberries for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

The story is a somber one but it isn’t one that students should shy away from. Many of us have a friend like Jamie, with a carefree and often reckless manner. It also is a subject matter that helps students understand grief and guilt and how a person moves through that after a loss. It can be a helpful read for a child going through a grieving period to help them feel less alone. It is also good for those that want to help someone move through a loss and empathize.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Explore a Week in the Woods

Explore a Week in the Woods

A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements takes the idea that money doesn’t buy happiness to an interesting level. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

 

 

 

From the Book Jacket:

The fifth-grade Week in the Woods is a beloved tradition of Hardy Elementary, where Mark Chelmsley (the Fourth) is pretty much killing time before his parents send him off to an exclusive prep school. But then Mark realizes the Week might be a chance to prove to Mr. Maxwell that he’s not just another of the slacker rich kids the teacher can’t stand.

But it may be too late for Mark to change Mr. Maxwell’s opinion of him. On the first day of the Week, the tension between teacher and student explodes, and in a reckless moment, Mark puts not only himself but also Mr. Maxwell, in grave danger. Can two such strong adversaries work together to save their lives?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany A Week in the Woods for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

From outside appearances, Mark has it made coming from a wealthy family. As you get into his head you realize having money isn’t as great as it may sound. Mark faces adversity in a different way and has to work to break through the predetermined opinion people may have of how easy his life must be. It makes you stop and think before judging, no matter the subject. Add to that the adventure of being lost in the woods and this is a really interesting read that will capture the attention of your students.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia series, written by C.S. Lewis was a fantasy series published between 1950 and 1956.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is probably the most well-known book of the series and many mistakingly believe it is the first in the series, but it is really book #2. The first book in the series is The Magician’s Nephew. The Horse and His Boy is #3, Prince Caspian is #4, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is #5, The Silver Chair is #6, and the final book of the series is The Last Battle.

The fantasy world of Narnia is full of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals. Each book focuses on children and their central roles in the history of the Narnian world. Throughout the series, children are magically transported to Narnia from the real world as they work with the Narnian lion, Aslan, to protect Narnia from evil. 

The Chronicles of Narnia series is the best-known work of C.S. Lewis. The stories parallel his childhood during World War II and he weaves in his theology work throughout the series in subtle ways. There is a Christian thread through the books, but it is not overt. This makes the books good for use in both Christian and public schools alike. The base of the story, good vs. evil, is one that can be analyzed and interpreted by all. 

 

 

I offer complete novel studies (click on covers below) to accompany each of the Chronicles of Narnia books for use in the classroom or homeschool. You can also buy the entire series of novel studies bundled together for a discount. Each unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom and follows a similar layout as shown in the video for The Magician’s Nephew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are have been movies made, some big-budget releases by Disney, for some of the books. There are also rumors that Netflix will be producing a series on their streaming platform in the near future to accompany all the books in the series.

Fantasy lovers have been enthralled with the Chronicles of Narnia for decades. They are often the books that spark the love of the genre for readers to branch off to older-aged works such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, has noted that the series was one that had a profound impact on her as a child and helped to influence her fantastical mind in authoring the Harry Potter series. Your students will be in good company and will likely fall in love with the Narnian world as countless others have over the past 70 years.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.