There was a sharp intake of disbelieving breath on Thursday when I told my class I didn’t like funny books. I’d book talked Nine, Ten on Wednesday and Towers Falling on Thursday. I told them I loved a good “rip your heart out your chest” serious book that made me cry. And I told them that making me cry was one way I measure how good a book was.
When the time came Friday for a book talk, I wanted to show them I could get out of my comfort zone, just like I wanted them to do. So, I book talked a funny book, Our Teacher Is a Vampire and Other (Not) True Stories by Mary Amato.
Publisher’s Summary: Award-winning author Mary Amato has created another funny and engaging novel set in an elementary school. This time a notebook passed from student to student becomes a repository for wild rumors, heartfelt confessions, and truly creative writing.
It all begins when Alexander H. Gory Jr. passes around a notebook in which he reveals a tantalizing secret: he has proof that their teacher, Mrs. Penrose, is a vampire. Soon the entire class is speculating and adding their opinions to the notebook until . . . it lands in Mrs. Penrose’s hands. It turns out that Mrs. Penrose has been keeping a secret: she is expecting a baby. But since the notebook is encouraging her students to write and improving their spelling and grammar, Mrs. Penrose allows it to continue circulating as long as some basic rules are followed.
The notebook becomes a place for make jokes, poems and stories. When Mrs. Penrose’s baby comes too soon, and she is replaced by a no-nonsense substitute, the students express their fears for their teacher, their frustrations and their hopes.
I chose the read aloud portion of my book talk carefully and settled on this page
I know Omar is going to get mad, so don’t pass this book to him. But there’s exciting news that cannot wait until free time or recess tomorrow. After we came back from lunch, Nick told me that he found more proof.
“Go look in her cup!” he said.
I went up to “get a tissue” and saw inside Mrs. Penrose’s white cup. It’s not filled with water. It’s filled with dark red liquid. Blood!
P.S. Pass it on or else toads and locusts will fall on your head like rain.
This got a big reaction and a lot of students added it to the “Next” list we’d added to the back of our reader’s notebook. It is a quick read and I suspect my copy will be well-loved by the end of the year.