June 28, 2013

Fiction Friday: Chapter 3

Happy Friday everyone! You know what that means.  It is time for another round of Fiction Friday.

This week I read...

Escaping the Giant Wave
by Peg Kehert

In the novel, Kyle starts his summer by writing down four goals:  improve his batting average, learn to pop a wheelie, increase his allowance, and make Daren Hazelton leave him alone. Surviving a tsunami did not make the list, but when Kyle’s perfect family vacation to the Oregon coast turns into a nightmare, that is precisely what he must do.  To make matters worse, Daren Hazelton, the bully from school, is on vacation in the same place!

Kyle is babysitting his younger sister, when the earthquake hits and sets the hotel on fire.  Keeping his wits, Kyle gets his sister and incidentally the bully, Darren, out of the hotel safely.  Then, they have to make a choice.  Should they follow the signs on the beach that said seek higher ground after an earthquake in case of tsunami or stay put? Kyle and BeeBee head up the hill, but Darren heads for the beach. That’s when the sirens go off.  Tsunami to hit at 5:30 pm!

Maybe I am just an adventure junkie, but I really enjoyed this book.  The characters were very likeable and BeeBee was an absolute hoot! I loved the entire idea that she is a financial wiz and wants to watch Money Talk all the time. Hilarious! Kyle was very grounded from the beginning. I enjoyed watching him find the courage and strength to not only protect his sister in the face of danger but stand up for himself in everyday situations.

Peg Kehert wrote a fast paced novel with incredible description. The pages flew by.  It reminded me of another book I reviewed last year called, Night of the Howling Dogs, which I also loved and is based on true events. You can’t help but want to learn more about this kind of disaster.  It really is amazing and hard to imagine, even with Kehert’s detailed description. I think the part that really got me thinking was when she talked about how loud the wave was and how you could hear the wave coming. I never thought about that, but absolutely! You hear it, but you can’t out run it. Scary!

I’m predicting this will be a huge hit with my 4th graders.  This novel would be great for a read aloud,  book club, or just an independent read for your action/adventure lovers.  Great survival story!

Fast Facts:
Survival Story
Grades 3-5 (RL 4.7)
Read Aloud 3-5
Book Club 4-5
147 pages

Guinea Dog
by Patrick Jennings

Now, I bet most of you already know about this book, because so many wonderful bloggers wrote about it last year on Fiction Friday.  I think it was an SSYRA book last year. Anywhoo... I thought it sounded so cute, I had already purchased the book from Amazon when it showed up on our Battle Book list this year and I'm glad it did.

Guinea Dog is the story of a boy, Rufus (yes, that is really the boy's name) who wants a dog more than anything.  The things is...his father has a list of reasons a mile and half long why a dog will never be allowed in the house.  To compromise, Rufus' mother brings home a guinea pig, who he names Fido.  Rufus is less than thrilled about owning a guinea pig.  Actually, he is pretty embarrassed about it.  But, it turns out there is something very special about THIS guinea pig.  Fido can play fetch, run super fast, get along well with other dogs, keep up with Rufus when he rides his bike, growl, bark, and is 100% trainable. In fact, Fido might not be such  a bad pet after all. He might be the perfect pet.

Three words to describe this book are: entertaining, fun, and enjoyable.  It's just one of those books. It is told in first person and Rufus is hilarious.  His views on the world and his family are priceless.  Kids will laugh our loud while reading.  If you are good at reading with different voices and reading conversations, read this book aloud. Your students will love it!

There are also several lists made throughout the book (ex. reasons you should not have a dog, reasons you should have a dog, reasons my family is not normal, etc.) These could be a nice jumping off point for creating a list in a writers notebook for writing ideas down the road.  Just a thought. :)

This will be another big hit for my 4th graders next year, especially my animal lovers.  I enjoyed Patrick Jennings writing style and am eager to read more for him.

Fast Facts:
Grades 3-5 (RL 3.7)
Read Aloud 3-5
186 pages

What children's/YA books have you been reading lately?  What were some BIG hits in your classroom this year?  Favorite read alouds? Favorites from your childhood?  Anything goes here.  We just love to learn about more books.

Link up and join the party! 

Please remember to link directly to your Fiction Friday post, not just your blog and include a link back to me here.  That way everyone can find home base and share in all the great books. 

Happy Reading!!


  1. I am so glad that you enjoyed Guinea Dog! I was a huge hit with both classes I read it to, for the past two years. I am sure that your 4th graders will love it. If I wasn't looping I think I would choose it as a read aloud again. Also, I linked up with two more SSYRA books. They were good. I think I'm already finding some favorites!

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

    1. I really enjoyed it. I think I will put it on my read aloud list this year. I see it as a definite crowd pleaser. :)

  2. As for Escaping the Wave, oh my goodness I am putting in an amazon order ASAP! I can't wait. Thanks so much for recommending a book in a way that makes me want to ditch my blog lists and place an order-that's powerful.

    :) Nicole (again)

  3. My third graders loved Guinea Dog this year, and I enjoyed reading it aloud.

    Math is Elementary

  4. Thanks for sharing your reads this week! This week I started rereading my own read alouds - the first one was The Chocolate Touch. (I'm starting to make up Marzano's Higher Level Thinking activity cards for all of them.)
    Have a great weekend!
    I Love My Classroom
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  5. Oh, I don't have Guinea Dog. I got to get it. Thanks

  6. I think I'll add Guinea Dog to my read aloud list! Looks cute!

  7. I just borrowed Escaping the Giant Wave from the library and read it this week. Thanks for the recommendation; I really enjoyed it.

    Math is Elementary


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