Thursday, July 29, 2010


Sassy: The Birthday Storm
by Sharon Draper
Scholastic, 2009
review copy purchased for my classroom
Sassy: The Silver Secret
by Sharon Draper
Scholastic, 2010
review copy purchased for my classroom

I'm thinking about starting the year in my fourth grade classroom with a unit of study on series books, so I'm gathering up a couple of books from a lot of new series this summer.

Franki reviewed the first book in the series, Sassy: Little Sister is NOT My Name!  I love Sassy for many of the same reasons: she's a spunky girl with a personality all her own. She's got this great "Sassy sack" that her grandmother made for her -- a purple, silver and magenta bag with lots of pockets and compartments that holds everything Sassy needs -- and it's as much a character in the books as Sassy is!

In The Birthday Storm, Sassy and her family go to Florida to visit their grandmother for her birthday. A hurricane changes all the birthday plans and makes it necessary for the family to help save a nest of sea turtle eggs on the beach.

In The Silver Secret, Sassy has to find her own way to shine in the fourth grade program because she has a terrible singing voice! She makes a fabulous stage manager and she even has a chance to let her "silver secret" -- her piccolo playing -- out of the bag to save the performance when one of the singers gets sick.


  1. I think series would be a great start to the year with fourth graders. Everybody could join the club with their own interests or passions, and with books that were comfortable for them. It could build a lifetime reading habit. And it would be fun to see what different kids picked. I'd love a post on what series you are including! It might be fun, at some point, to follow a series study with an author study, and let each kid choose a favorite author to read and learn about.

  2. Carol,
    I'm still trying to figure out how I might approach this unit of study. The idea was born when I reviewed the new Clementine. I want to start in a zone of complete comfort where we can really dig in and look at narrative structures with a more simple text. I'll definitely be writing more about my plans and about how it goes! Thanks for the input!!

  3. What about if you started by spending a week having everyone read really simple series, maybe even take it all the way back to Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggy books or Nate the Great or Mercy Watson, just to lay some of the basic groundwork and then moved them into chapter book series.

    Can't wait to hear how it goes!


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