Monday, September 6, 2010

Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind, by Judy Fincher

Title:  Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind
Author:  Judy Finchler
Publisher:  Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages:  32
Genre:  Realistic Fiction
Age Level:  2nd-4th Grade

Plot Summary:(from Goodreads)

Miss Malarkey can make a reader out of anyone.

Principal Wiggins promises to dye his hair purple and sleep on the school roof if the students read 1,000 books this year. Miss Malarkey is determined to find the right book for each student so they’ll participate in the school program, and learn to love reading. She’s got a tough audience — video game fanatics, artists, sports lovers — nonreaders all. But she won’t give up until Principal Wiggins can flip his purple wig. 

If you are looking for a good back-to-school book to read with your class, add Miss Malarkey to your list. This picture book, suitable as a read aloud for ages seven through ten, is sure to please both students and teacher.  This year I used this book to introduce how to find a just right book with my students.  They are all reluctant readers, and they could appreciate the narrator's trouble finding a book that held his interest.  This book also pokes slight fun at the "No Child Left Behind" law, by turning something that causes a lot of stress for teachers and students alike into something fun and funny.  I especially like that this book makes a point of addressing what so many children seem to believe-that it's not cool to like reading.  The narrator thinks that he and his friends are all on the same page when it comes to what they would rather do-play video games.  But when his friends start discussing the books they are reading instead of shooting monsters, he realizes that not reading makes him the odd man out.

Teacher Resources:
Books by the Month Idea   

Author Information from Bloomsbury Kids 

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