Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Long Way From Chicago

Since this is my first year teaching this grade level, I was given a list of ten novels we had "in stock," and I could select from the list.  We are doing all ten . . . and are still on track!  There are many kids in my class that have not read ten books in three years let alone reading all ten for school. 
The second novel we worked on was Richard Peck's Newbery Honor A Long Way From Chicago.  I love this book (and it's sequel--a future note) because I swear it was written about the town in which I grew up.  The setting occurs in a small town in central Illinois somewhere between Chicago and St. Louis.  The train runs through the town.  My students are from suburbia, but when I explained how a small town was like our school--I think they understood this. 
This book is quite humorous.  We engaged in many discussions about the main character, Grandma Dowdel, and how she uses unconventional ways to do good.  This novel serves as an excellent example of how everything in life isn't always black or white. 

Original publication 1998.

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