Tag Archives: raccoons

The voices in my head

10 Sep

Many years ago, I checked in with my class after having a substitute. Their verdict was that she did a good job, but didn’t  read voices they way I did during the read aloud. I thought that was odd because I didn’t think I made up voices for characters while I read.  Now that I’ve listened to hundreds of audiobooks, I think I know what the students meant. In my humble opinion, the best readers don’t always make a voice for a character, but they do alter slightly the way they read in another’s voice. It’s much more subtle than making up  a voice.

I reflected on this as I began reading The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt. It just screams READ ME ALOUD!

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I sooooo want to read this one because the voices are so compelling. It is a magical tale, where raccoon Scouts listen for information from the radio of an abandoned De Soto. There is a legendary Swamp monster. There are bad guys, too: a sounder of feral hogs and 2 greedy people out to convert the swamp into an amusement park. There is the story of a boy who has lost his beloved grandfather. And they are all connected by Bayou Tourterelle.

It reminded me a little of Carl Hiaasen’s novels because it combines humor and environmental awareness, and it felt a little bit like The One and Only Ivan  in the way animals are portrayed. A definite Newbery contender.

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