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Clementine's Letter (A Clementine Book) Hardcover – April 1, 2008

21 customer reviews
Book 3 of 6 in the Clementine Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–4—Irrepressible and delightful Clementine is back. She is enjoying third grade—she is in sync with her teacher, Mr. D'Matz, and is rarely sent to speak with Principal Rice, a major accomplishment in her school life. Then Mr. D'Matz is selected as one of three finalists for an Adventures for Teachers archaeological dig in Egypt and leaves for a week to meet with the committee. Clementine is distraught to learn that if chosen as the winner, he will be gone for the rest of the school year. When the substitute arrives, Clementine learns that she has to follow completely different rules. The next week is not an easy one for the child as she adjusts to Mrs. Nagel, worries about losing Mr. D'Matz, copes with her everyday life as an impulsive eight-year-old, and frets about the letter she is supposed to write to the prize committee about her teacher. Through it all, she shines with a vibrant spirit that can never be completely extinguished, even when she is feeling down. Frazee's pen-and-ink drawings perfectly capture Clementine's personality and her world.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Give this to readers of Judy Blume and cross your fingers for more." Starred review, Kirkus. Kirkus Review Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader. Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Clementine is a true original ... Libraries will need multiple copies of this one, because early chapter-book readers will jump at the chance to spend another eventful week with Clementine. School Library Journal Frazee's polished, warm-spirited line drawings ... capture the endearing idiosyncrasies of its heroine, who will equally charm returning readers and those meeting her for the first time. Booklist Will have immediate appeal for those who enjoy a good school story. Carousel Endearing and funny. Highly recommended. School Librarian Hugely entertaining. Families Magazine Beautifully written and illustrated. Clementine's Letter --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Clementine Book
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786838841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786838844
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,294,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on August 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Clementine absolutely adores her teacher, but she and the rest of her third grade class gasp when the principal says his name aloud. After all, "D'Matz" almost sounds like a couple of bad words put together, which is why all of Mr. D'Matz's students refer to him simply as "Teacher."

But Clementine soon discovers that she has much more to be horrified about than just hearing his name. Principal Rice informs the class that Mr. D'Matz has been nominated for a huge prize. If he wins the Adventures for Teachers award, he'll go to Egypt for an archeological dig --- and that will mean he'll be gone from Clementine's classroom for the remainder of the year. Clementine is so horrified by this news that she almost misses the fact that Mr. D'Matz will not be in his classroom for the rest of the week because he must spend time with the Adventures for Teachers Committee.

Clementine hopes that Teacher will refuse the honor, but both he and her classmates seem to agree that this could be a fabulous opportunity. Only Clementine is aghast at the thought that Mr. D'Matz is letting the class down after he promised to share so many wonderful activities with them throughout the year. Although he explains that his replacement will have his lesson plans and will be capable of leading the class in Fraction Blasters, Weather-Across-the World and other projects, Clementine is not convinced.

Unfortunately, Clementine and Mrs. Nagel, the substitute teacher, have trouble communicating from the start, and the issues snowball as the long week crawls by. It puzzles Clementine that her friends don't agree with her pronouncement that Mrs. Nagel is mean, as incident follows incident, causing her to dread school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on May 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Clementine's Letter (2008) is a humorous book about a young girl, in third grade, who adores her teacher. She hears that Mr. D'Matz has been nominated by the principal to win a trip to Egypt. If he wins, he would leave for the rest of the school year for an archeological dig and the students would have a substitute. Sara Pennypacker expresses Clementine's sorrow of the situation explaining that no other teacher ever understood her before Mr. D'Matz. In order for Mr. D'Matz to win the prize, his students must write a letter to the judges. Clever Clementine conjures up a way for Mr. D'Matz to lose the prize. Without the support of her classmates, she finds it difficult to lie because Clementine knows that he is a great teacher and should win the prize.

The beginning of the book is difficult to get interested; however, as Clementine attempts to be clever, it is increasingly more interesting. Pennypacker does a great job developing Clementine's character, especially through expressing her emotions. The periodic illustrations provide visualizations, which may entice even the most hesitant readers!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kansas Mom on May 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I love Marla Frazee's illustrations in this book, and Clementine seems to have a great relationship with her parents and other adults. They don't understand her, but they seem to love her. The subplot in the book, though, in which Clementine wants to buy her mom a $20 art supplies organizer as a gift, is problematic. She earns the money by taking items from those an area set aside in the basement for donations to a charity and selling them to the other tenants in the building. Then she gets in trouble, not for stealing the items, but for revealing to the everyone that previous gifts were being donated to charity. In fact, her dad even tells her it's not as bad as he thought since she wanted the money to make her mom happy as opposed to something more selfish. I'm really surprised no one else who read the book was disturbed by the idea that taking donated items is not stealing. I would not feel comfortable sharing this book with my children.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miss Print VINE VOICE on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having already established the precedent for non-YA CLW titles with the first two Clementine books, I decided to go ahead and do a chick lit Wednesday review for the latest installment as well.

Since her introduction, Clementine has colored both her and best friend Margaret's heads with permanent markers, saved her school talent show from catastrophe, and been sent to the principal's office so many times that she knows the way pretty much by heart. In Clementine's Letter (2008) by Sara Pennypacker (with the ever-lovely illustrations by Marla Frazee), Clementine is actually hoping for some catastrophe.

Clementine is finally getting the hang of third grade with the help of her teacher Mr. D'Matz. But when her class finds out that Mr. D'Matz might be leaving in the middle of the year to go on a research trip to Egypt, Clementine knows she'll never be able to make it through the rest of the year--especially when she can't seem to do anything right for her new substitute.

After thinking things through, Clementine decides that Mr. D'Matz needs to keep his promise to teach her and her class for the rest of the year. And he probably doesn't really want to go to Egypt anyway. So Clementine starts making her own plans to make sure Mr. D'Matz won't leave. After all, it isn't really sabotage if he doesn't want to go, right?

Clemetine's Letter is all about decisions and thinking things through. What starts as an ill-thought out letter to keep her teacher away from Egypt turns into a lesson that, sometimes, if you really care about someone you have to let them leave.

This story references events from the first two books (Clementine from 2006 and The Talented Clementine from 2007) but stands on its own quite easily.
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