For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol19) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.
Monday Bookshelf: Character Study in Intermediate Edition #sol19
March 18, 2019
If you are reading this, you might have the same problem I do. Bookshelves bursting at the seams and an organization system that works one day, but not the next. Welcome to my Monday bookshelf, where I will organize a stack of books within a category. Hopefully this stack will resonate.
We meet up on Friday mornings at 7:30 and co-teach with each other through the reading (writing) block each day. Sometimes we chat on the fly before I go to my first class at the beginning of her planning. Sometimes she stops me on my way down the hall. Sometimes I drop in as I am walking by. We talk a lot.
This week we are talking about what it means to be in a book club and the dreaded flat characters. I won’t mention the flat characters. You know who they are. They lurk around in easier chapter books or series where the author keeps that main character as flat as a pancake. When you say something brilliant like
develop a theory about a trait of your main character and use evidence to grow that idea,
that darn old flat character really won’t give up one single thing. He or she just sits there on the pages moving forward with not a real emotion one.
Help me! I have some real emotions.
So here we sat with this problem along with another problem… Harry Potter. Now I love Harry Potter, not as much as the next person, but I do think he’s pretty special. HOWEVER,
First my recommendation for books with characters for third graders who love Harry Potter. patentpending
Beastologist. Ok, the actual title is Flight of the Phoenix (Nathanial Flood, Beastologist) This book is short. This book is easy. This book is filled with villians and twists and surprises and magic and… an orphan. I know, WINNING. Also a series.
Another similar short book is Spiderwick.
If you want something in the same vein, but a harder read, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos will fit the bill. Again a series. These books are for your HP lovers.
The flat character lovers need something else.
For Lovers of the flat character books, perhaps Ellray Jakes is Not a Chicken. The character isn’t much less flat, but he does learn something. This is also a place where I might insert Alvin Ho or Calvin Coconut who seem much less flat. I insert male protagonists here because I am thinking about certain flat characters. If your flat characters are perhaps fairies, I think Spiderwick might work or perhaps you could work in some strong girls like, Lola Levine or Dyamonde Daniels, Jasmine Toguchi, or Sofia Martinez.
definitely a theme here
All these books are not expensive. They are relatively easy to read and find. They are part of a series. And… we will be book tasting them very soon in a third grade near me.
So my teacher colleague and I read and talked about some books. Some fresh books will come and be loved by her friends. Some old flat friends will stay and we’ll work through those skills with short text and picture books. We will pick up that story another time.