I decided I would read each one and review it. My goal? To practice writing book reviews, think of potential questions I might ask a student who was reading this book, and find things to discuss if we read the book aloud as a class. Without further grandstanding here is book one.
Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer, class clown is always getting into scrapes. This book, the seventh in a New York Times best-selling series takes place at the end of fourth grade. Hank sneaks a peek in Ms. Adolf's grade book only to discover "redo" written next to his name. Worried he might be held back, Hank works with his best friends Ashley and Frankie to come up with a good plan to convince his parents not to go to parent teacher conferences. With his unconventional ideas and unfortunate mishaps this book will have you giggling and worrying for Hank all at the same time. A fun read with great voice and loads of new vocabulary.
Some questions to consider:
Have you ever felt like Hank before?
Which character do you feel the most like? Who do you think you is the most different than you?
Imagine you received a brown envelope like Hank. What would you do? How would you try to distract your parents?
Have you ever had a teacher or substitute like Ms. Adolf before?
Make a top ten list of things someone (dad, mom, principal) should never say.
What is the most embarrassing thing your parents have ever done?
Do you think you and Hank would be friends? Why or why not?
I am trying to stay away from projects, but still have an open discussion with my students. Such a tricky balance. What do you think?
As a teacher I love this book because it shows that children are different. However, I don't like how most adults are portrayed.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you have a favorite part?
Stay tuned. Next on the reading list is Fourth Grade Fuss by Johanna Hurwitz.