Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle & Where the Red Fern Grows- Battle of the Books

Around October 2012 I discovered "Battle of the Books" for 5th graders in Colorado Springs. It immediately captured my attention. While I do not currently excel as an athlete in any manner of the term, I especially did not excel as an athlete in elementary school. I have vivid memories of schoolmates asking me what I did to get in trouble and assigned to sitting out at recess reading. They were bewildered and confused when I tried to explain that I wasn't in trouble, and even more so when I explained that I wanted the chance to read. I was always seeking out new books. My educator mother was continually trying to recommend award winning books and more often than not I would put them aside writing them off as "mom books."  Fast forward to October 2012 again. I see that there is a competition for READING!!! How awesome is that!! I get my hands on the list to quickly check off the ones that I have read (because I've read everything right?) and realize that the majority of this list is books my mom tried to get me to read! Oh I can just imagine her getting a chuckle about that one. I have taken it upon myself to get through this list. Truth be told, they're all fantastic books! (There's your "told ya so moment" Mom!) I've been listening to them on my iPod as I sew and its like I'm getting twice as much done!
 In the last couple of days I've finished Where the Red Fern Grows and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

Where the Red Fern Grows is a classic story about a boy and his dogs, as well as the grand adventures the two come across together. It's written from the main character's perspective of past and present. There is quite a bit of humor in the story telling. I can imagine students reading this book may even see it quite differently from adults reading the book. We perceive things differently as adults then we do as kids and that is one thing that makes this book so friendly to all readers. Though readers beware, I have had many boy students, and even Luke of his 5th grade self, confess to crying during the reading of this book. Do I recommend it? Yes. Especially families who may be looking for a family audio listen on a car trip or a group read. Beware, you'll probably have to explain the uses of the word for female dogs. I enjoyed it immensely but would not put it in my top 10, I think because I had trouble relating to the main character.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle was a bit more up my alley. I liked the history, and I enjoyed the young heroine's character. I especially recommend this read to girls between 5th and 8th grade. I have come to enjoy Avi's writing more and more. It's very captivating and you really do get to feel caught up in the moment! This book is very action packed and is Pirates of the Caribbean -esque. As far as a family listen or read, I recommend the whole audience be at least 4th grade. I encourage readers to be wary there is a whipping as well as a couple murders, though the details are scant there were a couple spots where I got anxious enough to consider skipping to the next chapter. (I get pretty wrapped up in books. You should see when I watch movies...)

Battle of the Books 2013- 2014

Listed Alphabetically by Author

Anderson                Chains
Avi                             True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Birney                      The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs
Blackwood             The Shakespeare Stealer
Clements                 Room One:  A Mystery or Two
Coville                      Jennifer Murdley's Toad
Creech                      Ruby Holler
Curtis                        The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Dahl                          The BFG
DuPrau                    City of Ember
Ellis                           The Breadwinner
Fitzgerald               Me and My Little Brain
Fleischman             The Thirteenth Floor
Fritz                          Brady
Funke                       The Thief Lord
George                      Charlie’s Raven
Haddix                     Among the Hidden
Hobbs                       Kokopelli's Flute
Kehret                      Small Steps:  The Year I Got Polio
Konigsburg            From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
           Levine                      Hana’s Suitcase
Lewis                        The Magician's Nephew
Lord                          Rules
Lowry                       Number the Stars
Lupica                      Heat
Naylor                      Shiloh
O'Brien                    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Palacio                     Wonder
Park                          A Single Shard
Paterson                  Bridge to Terabithia
Porter                       Billy Creekmore
Rawls                       Where the Red Fern Grows
Rhodes                     Ninth Ward
Ruckman                Night of the Twisters
Ryan                         Esperanza Rising
Speare                      The Sign of the Beaver
Spinelli                    Maniac McGee
Stead                         When You Reach Me
Taylor                       The Cay

Winthrop                Castle in the Attic


The Luedtke Family said...

Where the Red Fern Grows is my absolute favorite book from childhood. I think it is because in 6th grade, we had a class period right after lunch where we read silently for 20 minutes then the teacher read out loud for 20 minutes. Where the Red Fern Grows was read aloud by Mrs. Salo, and I was hooked. I couldn't wait each day to see what happened next. Then, we watched the movie. I will read this one aloud to my kids in a few years. Currently, we are reading aloud Stuart Little and then Charlotte's Web. We need to finish Charlotte's Web by kindergarten, that is our goal!

Live a Colorful Life said...

I read mrs. Frisbee and the rats of nihn only because of your mother. I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for this list.