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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.

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 Fight for Freedom of Speech with The Landry News

The Fight for Freedom of Speech with The Landry News

The Landry News by Andrew Clements is a thought-provoking book about the role a teacher plays and how much power a student has to publicly share their opinions. 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.

Unfortunately, we’ve all had that teacher that just does the bare minimum and instills no enjoyment in learning. How many have just pushed through until we can move on? What lengths would your students go to fight the system? Clement’s main character Cara, goes above and beyond with some unexpected consequences.

From the Book Jacket:

The bad news is that Cara Landry is the new kid at Denton Elementary School. The worse news is that her teacher, Mr. Larson, would rather read the paper and drink coffee than teach his students anything. So Cara decides to give Mr. Larson something else to read — her own newspaper, The Landry News.


Before she knows it, the whole fifth-grade class is in on the project. But then the principal finds a copy of The Landry News, with unexpected results. Tomorrow’s headline: Will Cara’s newspaper cost Mr. Larson his job?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Landry News 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.

smiling girl holding newspapers

Cara is rightfully annoyed with her teacher but she is also struggling with issues of her own. Cara learns that she needs to balance her pain while still sharing the facts. The Landry News comes with themes about First Amendment rights, the role of a newspaper in society, and balancing truth with mercy. It’s a thought-provoking story that your students will find a truth that they can relate to.



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.

Finding Your Way in the World as the Janitor’s Boy

Finding Your Way in the World as the Janitor’s Boy

The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements takes the normal tween feelings of being embarrassed by their parents to an extended 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.

All kids are embarrassed by their parents at one time or another and all kids have to deal with various kinds of peer pressure as they try to find where they belong in the world. These normal feelings are multiplied for Jack in our elitist society. Jack has to deal with the guilt of being embarrassed that his father is the school janitor. The journey to a more mature view and acceptance leads Jack to places he never expected to go.

From the Book Jacket:

Unfortunately, it also led to the perfect punishment. When Jack Rankin gets busted for defacing a school desk with a huge wad of disgusting, watermelon bubble gum, the principal sentences him to three weeks of after-school gum cleanup for the chief custodian. The problem is, Jack’s anger at the chief custodian was the reason for his gum project in the first place. The chief custodian happens to be Jack’s dad.
But doing time in the school basement after hours reveals some pretty surprising things: about the school, about Jack’s father, and about Jack himself.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Janitor’s Boy 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.

Mop and bucket

This is a great book for kids who have dealt with feeling inferior to their peers (who hasn’t!) and for kids that have acted out in inappropriate ways trying to deal with their feelings. Many kids will relate to Jack’s inner struggles of acceptance of himself and his father and they will appreciate, as Jack does, that learning about their parent as a person outside of their kids reveals more than they ever imagined.



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.

Lunch Money Capitalism at its Finest (and worst)

Lunch Money Capitalism at its Finest (and worst)

Lunch Money by Andrew Clements personifies the effects of capitalism, both the good and the bad. 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.

Kids, especially in America, equate success with making lots of money, and main character Greg, is no different. He is a young entrepreneur who is full of ideas and dreams of the big bucks!

Greg realizes his schoolmates are the perfect consumer and the key for him to reach his dreams. He is forced to face the competition and the obstacles the school puts in his way.

From the Book Jacket:

Greg Kenton has two obsessions — making money and his long-standing competition with his annoying neighbor, Maura Shaw. So when Greg discovers that Maura is cutting into his booming Chunky Comics business with her own original illustrated minibooks, he’s ready to declare war.

The problem is, Greg has to admit that Maura’s books are good, and soon the longtime enemies become unlikely business partners. But their budding partnership is threatened when the principal bans the sale of their comics in school. Suddenly, the two former rivals find themselves united against an adversary tougher than they ever were to each other. Will their enterprise — and their friendship — prevail?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Lunch Money 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.

hand putting money into a lunch sack

This is a great book for kids to really think about entrepreneurship and all the highs and lows it may bring. What lengths and sacrifices would you be willing to endure in order to run a profitable business?



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.