Urban, Linda Hound Dog True 160 pgs Harcourt Children's Book, 2011. $11.81. (Rating: G)
Mattie and her mother move in with her Uncle Potluck. He is the janitor at the elementary school that Mattie is soon to start at. Mattie decides to write down all of his custodial tips in her new journal so she can be his apprentice. Mattie is worried about starting yet another school and is shy, so she worries when her mom pushes her to be friends with a neighbor girl that’s her age. But small steps, allow Mattie to move through her past experiences and find a new way to look at the future.
I recommend this book for curriculum connection/literacy lessons. I think students reading this on their own will give up pretty quickly since the plot is slow moving and the main character Mattie might come across as pretty boring. But there are some powerful lessons here, and it’s a truly sweet story, also a unique cadence and voice -but it’s going to take guided instruction to bring those out. If nothing else add this book to your list of books to recommend to teachers.
Elementary – ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate & Author.