This week I had to put aside a book I had started to be prepared for school. My 5th graders are in a memoir and autobiography unit. They made predictions about an author's life and values by reading their novels. Next they will read the author's memoir or autobiography to find out if their predictions are on target. I used Jacqueline Woodson's picture books as mentor texts and will be reading aloud Brown Girl Dreaming. As an author, I love the concept of the unit and since I never assign students books I haven't read, I gave myself the goal of reading the four author's autobiographies my groups have chosen.
Here's what I read this week:
Jean Little tells about her struggle as a cross-eyed child who was legally blind, what she learned about the world, people, and how books and story telling became her saviors.
Jerry Spinelle's autobiography bounces around like a yo-yo, but by the time it is finished the reader understands why his stories are so rich with interesting details. He writes through the attic of his memories and is drawn to the way he wishes the past might have been.
Sid Fleischman's straight forward autobiography takes the reader on his path through magic and American history.
Middle Grade Fiction
In this twist on the story of Aladdin, the genie is a courageous girl who has fallen in love with her master.
Jane, Unlimited is a sliding doors story following the character Jane as she makes different choices of who to follow in the mysterious mansion she is visiting.