Tag Archives: Jerry Spinelli

This week’s book talks 5/7-11

11 May

Monday

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The Warden’s Daughter  by Jerry Spinelli

Tuesday

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Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway

Wednesday

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Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield (Science Comics)by Falynn Koch

Thursday

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Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky

Friday

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Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough

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Disappointed

23 Apr

With Jerry Spinelli’s name on the cover, I knew I would read The Warden’s Daughter. 

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Publisher’s Summary: Cammie O’Reilly lives at the Hancock County Prison–not as a prisoner, she’s the warden’s daughter. She spends the mornings hanging out with shoplifters and reformed arsonists in the women’s excercise yard, which gives Cammie a certain cache with her school friends.

But even though Cammie’s free to leave the prison, she’s still stuck. And sad, and really mad. Her mother died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. You wouldn’t think you could miss something you never had, but on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, the thing Cammie most wants is a mom. A prison might not be the best place to search for a mother, but Cammie is determined and she’s willing to work with what she’s got.

It took me a while to get into the story. Cammie is a hard character to like, but I was willing to give her a chance. She grew on me bit I never really got to the point that I loved this book. Part of it was Cammie, part of it was that I wasn’t willing to suspend my disbelief and accept that Cammie would have free run of the prison. I did that just fine with All Rise For The Honorable Perry T. Cook but found it hard to do so here. Maybe it was pacing. The Warden’s Daughter felt a bit draggy.

Jerry Spinelli books usually delight me, but this one just left me disappointed.Lots of other people liked this more than I did and the book has received several starred reviews. Give it a try, and see what you think.

Throwback Thursday

6 Oct

I’ve spent the last week teaching the Notice and Note strategies by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. In teaching the “Aha Moment”, we used excerpts fro Jerry Spinelli’s Crash and I ended up doing an impromptu book talk because I remembered how much I loved this book.

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My school library’s catalogue summarizes the book this way

Crash Coogan, rising football sensation, and his friend, Mike make a regular practice of tormenting the school nerd, Penn Webb, but when Mike takes a prank too far, Crash finds himself locked in a moral dilemma.

It doesn’t do the book justice. There is a lot about friendship and families. Crash’s grandfather plays an important role, as does Penn Webb’s great-grandfather. The kids in the book are realistic and the way Crash treats Webb, and how it escalates, is as well. I think it is because both boys are so ordinary.  It is the sort of book that you pick up and read until it is finished because you can’t put it down.

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