It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
So many of my book recommendations have been from the weekly shares on teachmentortexts.com. Thank you to Jen and Kellee for hosting and thank you to all who contribute their reading lists! To see what others are reading, head on over to the website and link into all of the reading recommendations.
Last night, I read some of About Average by Andrew Clements with my ten year-old daughter. She was in the middle of it so she explained the beginning to me and I was hooked right away--so much so that after she went to sleep, I read the book from the beginning to where we left off and then finished it this morning. What a great book for middle elementary students! While the main character is in sixth grade, her issues are classic relationship ones for fourth grade and up. The bullying in this book is realistic and could spark some conversations about how we define bullying and relational aggression. Since Jordan's reactions to it are honest and realistic, she offers readers insightful and effective strategies for dealing with the insecurities that so many children feel. Her end-of-the-book success is somewhat extraordinary (okay, even far-fetched) but offers a powerful take-away message for children who see themselves as "average."
As a mentor text, About Average also opportunities to teach foreshadowing and parallel plots since the changing weather is an important sub-story. I can envision great discussions about why Clements inserted extra weather-watching characters when students think about how authors use the weather to support the plot.
This is a book that would work as a read-aloud since it is short, or as an independent book for a wide range of reading levels.