Oh, that Kevin Henkes

18 Nov

We thought it was a good idea, so we played nicky-nicky nine doors at Pauline Mary Knowles’ house. You may have called it something else but that was our name for it. We were on our way home from roller skating on  Friday night in grade 8 and decided to play this little joke. We certainly didn’t expect Mr. Knowles to chase us down the street. He was really nice about the whole thing. But my sister and I felt guilty when we got home. Even though we tried to go to bed, we couldn’t sleep, so we got up and told our mom, who was also pretty nice about it, too.

I got thinking about this while reading Kevin Henkes’ Penny and Her Marble.

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Penny finds a marble in her neighbor’s yard. Then, one day, she sees the neighbor and thinks she has lost the marble Penny now has, and loves. What should she do? The problem gnaws at her.

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I won’t spoil the ending for you, but young Henkes’ fans will really enjoy this book.

For older readers, Henkes has  The Year of Billy Miller. 

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This is a chapter book, cleverly divided into 4 chapters entitled Teacher, Father, Sister, Mother. While moving the story along, each chapter gives us a glimpse into an aspect of Billy’s life. This is not a wacky novel full of second grade hijinks, but a quiet collection of important moments in a little boy’s life, that I think a lot of kids can connect with.

I always like to balance out my read alouds,  alternating male & female protagonists, action and quiet novels, comedy and drama. This would be an excellent read aloud right after something like Clementine. It is definitely well worth it.

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