Another week of summer has come and gone, so that means it's time for Fiction Friday! This week I read...
The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck
by Emily Fairlie
When Laurie begins the year at Tuckernuck, she is anything but excited to be a Tuckernuck Chicken. In fact, all she wants to do is get out and go to middle school with her best friend away from all the chicken craziness. The only thing holding her interest is the 80 year old mystery of the Tuckernuck Treasure, a scavenger hunt of sorts designed by the first principal of the school, Maria Tuckernuck. When Laurie and Bud accidentally discover the first clue, they begin working together to uncover the secrets of the school, find the treasure, and learn that maybe being a Tuckernuck Chicken isn't such a bad thing.
To be honest, it did take me awhile to get hooked on the story. The first chapter jumps right into the action, but not in a way that grabbed me. It just confused me. But, as any good reader does, I gave it 50 pages and you know what... I started to enjoy the mystery behind Laurie and Bud's adventure and found myself rooting for them to discover the lost treasure.
The book is split into parts, not chapters. Two hundred and eighty-three pages split into 8 parts, makes for some long chunks of reading. However, within each part there are natural stopping points for the reader to take a break. The mystery was very readable for a 4th or 5th student and would make a good read aloud for 3rd grade. Kids could easily follow along with the book and feel like they were solving the mystery along with Laurie and Bud. In other words, there isn't that last chapter that spells everything out because it was all a web of mystery before that. The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck is a great mystery to add to your classroom collection and is sure to be a hit for 4th and 5th graders alike.
The Trouble with Chickens
by Doreen Cronin
Jonathan Joseph Tully, or J.J. for short, is a retired search and rescue dog with big chicken problems. When two baby chicks get kidnapped by the sinister indoor dog, Vince, J.J. knows he must rely on his traning to save the day. But, Vince has a devious plan and the chickens are more invovled than J.J. thinks. He has to find a way to save the chicks and then save himself.
The Trouble with Chickens is a great introductory chapter book for young readers. It is basically an extra long picture book, told with the same humor and fun as all Doreen Cronin books. You know the ones...Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type and Duck for President. She's fantastic! With only 119 pages, the book flys by for the adult reader, however upon closer inspection you notice how well the characters have been crafted. This is bound to be a hit with emerging chapter book readers! Great read aloud for K-2, fun read for everyone else!
Take a look at this video of Doreen Cronin introducing the book and giving you some insight into the characters and the writing style.
See? Isn't she great? Don't you just want to go out to coffee with her and chat for awhile? So fun!
What have you been reading this week? Link up to Fiction Friday anytime to share your thoughts, reviews, or teaching ideas using children's literature. We love to learn about more books!!