Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book Talk: Books with Parties!

It's my birthday! So today I thought I would book talk three books with some sort of parties in them.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
In 2009 I decided I wanted the students to do a complete unit based around fantasy books, which I don't particularly read a lot of. I decided I would choose The Hobbit, which I had never read before, as our read aloud. It was the perfect choice - full of adventure and great characters and just enough suspense to keep them wanting to know what happens next. Many of the students went on to read The Hobbit for themselves, as well as The Lord of the Rings and the graphic novel version of the Hobbit which our school library owned. Of course, the adventures in the Hobbit begin with an unexpected party where 13 dwarves turn up to convince the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, to come on an adventure - even if it wasn't the respectable thing to do . . .

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
This is a recent read, but one which I really enjoyed and felt was perfect for the Grade 5-7 classroom. This is the story of Zoe, who dreams of being a musical prodigy, playing a piano at Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately, her father buys her an organ instead. Meanwhile, her social life seems to be all up in the air, with friends pulling away and people who she would never consider getting closer. There are two parties which really stand out here: the birthday party of her old best friend Emma, with a shoe theme and lots of sparkly clogs and an inflatable high heel in the front yard. Zoe realises that she really doesn't fit in anymore, when she gives her old best friend a pair of socks (something which once brought them together) and finds out that 'nobody' wears socks anymore. The second party comes later in the book, but I'm not going to give anything away here!

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
I have read three of Konigsburg's books - The Mixed-Up Files, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place and this one, but despite how good they are, I have been unable to get the students really into her books yet. I think they can be a bit difficult to get into, but completely worth it, so I'm intending to sell them a little more this coming year. The View from Saturday tells the story of four students and their teacher as they make their way towards and through an academic competition. There are a number of parties in this book, but they begin with one particular tea party in which all the students are brought together and realise that they do indeed belong together.

What are some of your favourite books with party scenes?

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Anonymous said...

Love, love, love The Hobbit! I haven't come across the other books before but they look like definite possibilities for a wider reading unit with my Year 8 class.

To be honest, I can't remember a book with a party in it for some time! I will have to rectify that.


A Reader's Community said...

I was thrilled with how great the kids responded to the Hobbit.

The other two are both new to me and I had to order them in from the US, but were both completely worth it

A Reader's Community

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Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

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Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

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