Wednesday, November 03, 2010

ONLY ONE YEAR by Andrea Chen

I saw this book, ONLY ONE YEAR, at Cover to Cover last week and recognized the author, Andrea Cheng, from another book, WHERE THE STEPS WERE. I had read that book and loved it so I picked this one up based on my history with the author.

I am always looking for short novels with lots to think about. When I think about a perfect read aloud book, often I am looking for one that is short with lots to think and talk about.  I find that it is difficult to find read alouds for 2nd and 3rd grade.  If teachers want to read a chapter book, I often have trouble recommending one that does what I want a read aloud to do--provide for great conversations and learning.  ONLY ONE YEAR is a great one and perfect for children newer to chapter books as well as more sophisticated readers.  It is 96 pages long and is a great story of family and challenges.

This story is about a little girl whose grandparents live in China.  Her parents decide to send her two year-old brother to China for a year because they believe it will be better for him to be with family than in a daycare.  This is a hard decision for the family and this story tells about the year Di Di is away as well as his homecoming.  Each family member deals with DiDi's absence in a different way.

The author's note at the end talks about how common it is for parents to make a decision like this and why they do. This book would provide for great conversations around so many things.

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