Friday, June 29, 2007
A New Friend for Moxy and Clementine
Still Just Grace
by Charise Mericle Harper
Houghton Mifflin, 2007
When Mindy, at propernoun, said she loves Grace more than Clementine, my eyebrows shot up (left higher than right). How could this be possible?
1. There are whole chapters in Just Grace that are lists. Like the first chapter. "I Did Not Get To Be."
2. There are adorable sketches and comics sprinkled about in the text.
3. Grace's nemesis, Sammy Stringer, is obsessed with poop. What are the chances that I'd come across another poop-filled book?
4. Grace has the superhero superpower of empathy, just like Clementine.
5. Don't worry, Grace is not a rip-off of Clementine, but Grace does solve problems in unique ways that threaten to become worse problems, like when she makes a life-size cardboard Crinkles (her neighbor's cat) with photography and cardboard and glue. She takes pictures of cardboard Crinkles in different places around town and makes postcards and sends them to her neighbor to cheer her neighbor up. Except her neighbor thinks they are ransom notes from the person who stole Crinkles. Except Crinkles wasn't stolen, he was...
...well, you better read it yourself.
Grace is a fun girl character with a unique voice. This book would make a great mentor text (take note, Literacy Teacher) because of the super short chapters that are almost like notebook entries and the chapters that are lists. I'm thinking that my beginning-of-the-year 4th graders next fall will be relieved to see that they can satisfy their inner doodler by adding sketches and mini-comics to their writing and get away with it. I was already planning to start read aloud with Clementine, and Just Grace will make a great compare/contrast second book.