July 24, 2015

Fiction Friday: Chapter 7

Oh my goodness, I am barley making it for Fiction Friday today. It has just been one of THOSE crazy days that I know you can all relate too. I'm just happy to be here blogging and taking a few minutes to tell you about the two books I read this week.

This week I read...

The Thing About Georgie 
by Lisa Graff

You may recognize Lisa Graff from some of her other books: Umbrella Summer, Double Dog Dare and Sophie Simon Solves Them All (which I blogged about here), but The Thing About Georgie was actually her first novel. The thing about this book is... it's all about Georgie and Georgie is dwarf. Knowing nothing about this book when I first picked it up, this grabbed my attention right away and I couldn't wait to get reading.

The novel follows Georgie through his 4th grade year and all the ups and downs that go along with it. His height is a recurring issue making school furniture uncomfortable, playing an instrument impossible and making payphones just out of reach.  Georgie does not like change and many things in his life get turned upside down throughout the novel.

Through the year (and the novel) Georgie learns to focus on his strengths, not his limitations.  His talents and gifts are exactly what makes him unique and special. And the thing about Georgie is... there's so much more than one thing!

Graff does an incredible job telling Georgie's story. He is such a real character in every way. There is an anonymous narrator who speaks directly to the reader throughout the novel. At first, these vignettes show how Georgie's height limits his abilities. As the novel progresses the vignettes change, highlighting things we can all do to things only Georgie can do.  His strengths, his talents, his gifts. The message from this beautiful book is clear...celebrate your skills and your gifts. They are one piece of a puzzle that makes you - you! The anonymous narrator actually turns out to be one of the characters in the story, but I won't tell you whom. You will just have to read the book to find out. :)

I would recommend this novel for third grade and up. It would make an excellent read aloud and spark great discussion on stereotypes, snap judgments, empathy, kindness, and accepting and celebrating the differences in others. Put this book on your shelf with Wonder, Rules, and El Deafo because this novel gives students an opportunity to truly walk in someone else's shoes.

Book Information:
  • 220 pages
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Topics: Challenges/Friendship
  • 770 lexile
  • Grade Level Equivalent - 3.8
I also read..

because of mr. terupt
by Rob Buyea

I'm sure you guys have seen this book all over Instagram and blogs this summer, because it seems like everyone is reading it and I can see why. I finally jumped on board, and LOVED it! Seriously, every teacher needs to read this book. It reminds you why we teach.

I don't want to give too much away, but the the story is told from 7 different perspectives of 5th grade students in Mr. Terupt's class. The chapters are separated by month and each month (typically) includes at least one entry from the different students. The students each have their own character role to play (the impulsive one, the smart one, the quiet observer, etc.) and I guarantee you will read and see many of your own past students within these characters. Together they tell the story of their 5th grade class including everything from the girl drama to the projects they did in class, to their thoughts on each other and their teacher. Beautifully woven together, these 7 vastly different students tell the story of a teacher who inspired his students to be kind, to never give up, to hope, to be strong, to stand up for others, to stand up for yourself, and to forgive. You will laugh, you will  cry, and you will nod along as you see yourself and your students within these pages. As least I know I did.

Because of Mr. Terupt would be a great book to teach perspective and character change. If you read it aloud in upper elementary I suggest tracking the different characters as you go.  You could really zoom in on character change this way. You could also pull a single chapter and have really great guided reading materials. I was honestly so impressed with the book and enjoyed it so much, I just think you should all go out and read it. Then, of course, come back and tell me what you thought. :) I can't wait to get a hold of the sequel.

A great recommended read for grades 4-8.

Book Information:
  • 268 pages
  • Realistic Fiction
  • 560 lexile level
  • Grade Level Equivalent- 3.7

Has anyone read either of these books?  What did you think?  Have you read them aloud in your classroom or used them for book clubs or guided reading?  I'd love to know more.

Link up any day or any time you want to chit-chat about kids books...aka... the best books. Thank you for always linking back to me and sharing your new discoveries along the way. I can't wait to see what you are reading.

Happy Summer Reading!


  1. I am a big fan of Lisa Graff but have not read this one. Going on my list; you make it sound fabulous. I read Mr. Terupt this year and thought it was great, but haven't gotten to the sequel yet. So many books . . .

    Math is Elementary

    1. Agreed. So many good books to read, my list is only getting longer. Can't wait to hear what you think of The Thing About Georgie. I felt like it provided so many great teachable moments in the classroom. Thanks for linking up!


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