Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Extra Credit by Andrew Clements

Clements, Andrew, Extra Credit, Atheneus Books for Young Readers. Pgs. 183. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G
Abby Carson doesn’t mind school, but she hates all of the homework. When she gets pulled into the counselor’s office and is told that they want to hold her back, she comes up with a plan to catch up on all of her schoolwork and also do an extra-credit pen pal project. Fascinated by the landscape and mountains in Afghanistan, she writes to a one-rooms schoolhouse and asks for a pen pal. Sadeed Bayat is chosen as her pen pal, but since it is considered wrong for a boy to write to a girl, he writes the letters with his sister and puts her name on them. Soon the two realize that their letters aren’t just crossing oceans, but cultural barriers as well. Things get problematic, however, when a group of Afghan people find out about the letters and are not pleased, because of how much they hate America. What will happen with the pen pal friendship? Will they be able to overcome cultural barriers? Will Abby be held back? This is an eye-opening story about how different two worlds can be. Readers will enjoy getting to know Sayeed and Abby as well as learning about different cultures and dangers that come about, because of prejudices and misunderstandings. Fans of Andrew Clements and realistic fiction will enjoy reading this book. EL/MS(4 to 6) ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira-HUN Public Library-Youth Services Librarian.

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