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Prairie School (I Can Read Book 4) Paperback – July 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-4-Nine-year-old Noah loves living on the Colorado prairie in the 1880s where he helps his parents with all of the work. When Aunt Dora comes from the East to teach him how to read, he sees no need to do so and refuses to cooperate with her. However, his aunt refuses to give up. She asks Noah to show her the land even though he warns her that her wheelchair may make it difficult to get around. As he wheels her along, she consults the book in her lap and begins to tell him about the natural things around them. Impressed by her knowledge, the child decides to learn to read and write, and realizes that his aunt has opened a world beyond the prairies to him. Warm, soft-edged illustrations capture the intimacy of the loving family relationships and the vastness of the landscape on dark, starlit nights and glorious, sky-blue days. A combination of double-page spreads, full-page, and half-page illustrations appealingly reinforce the mood and action of the text. This gentle story with a great message that is nicely woven into the daily events would make a pleasant read-aloud as well as a good addition to easy chapter-book collections.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. This I Can Read Chapter Book is a good introduction to historical fiction. Noah loves the freedom of the prairie when his family moves to Colorado in the 1880s. Why does he need to read? His parents are barely literate and they do all right. But they want him to learn, and when his aunt arrives to visit, she sets up school for him in the sod house. At first he's resistant and he excuses himself to do lengthy chores. Eventually, his aunt, who is confined to a wheelchair, gets Noah to wheel her outside, where they share the joy of the prairie and she shows him that reading can help him know more. Avi's clear, simple language never sounds condescending, and the pictures show the tough kid's bond with those who love him. The adults are a bit too nice and understanding, but new readers will enjoy both Noah's rebellion and his awakening to the astonishing facts, stories, and poetry he can find in books. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 4
  • Series: I Can Read Book 4
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060513187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060513184
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

More info at avi-writer.com and facebook.com/avi.writer
--------------------------------------------------------
Avi is part of a family of writers extending back into the 19th century. Born in 1937 and raised in New York City, Avi was educated in local schools, before going to the Midwest and then back to NYC to complete his education. Starting out as a playwright--while working for many years as a librarian--he began writing books for young people when the first of his kids came along.

His first book was Things That Sometimes Happen, published in 1970, and recently reissued. Since then he has published seventy books. Winner of many awards, including the 2003 Newbery award for Crispin: the Cross of Lead (Hyperion), two Newbery Honors, two Horn Book awards, and an O'Dell award, as well as many children's choice awards, he frequently travels to schools around the country to talk to his readers.

Among his most popular books are Crispin: The Cross of Lead, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, the Poppy books, Midnight Magic, and The Fighting Ground.

In 2008 he published The Seer of Shadows (HarperCollins), A Beginning a Muddle and an End (Harcourt), Hard Gold (Hyperion) and Not Seeing is Believing, a one-act play in the collection, Acting Out (Simon and Schuster). Crispin: the End of Time, the third in the Newbery Award-winning series, was published in 2010. City of Orphans was released in 2011, receiving a number of starred reviews. Learn more at Avi-writer.com. Follow Avi on Facebook, facebook.com/avi.writer, where he shares an inside look at his writing process.

Avi lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and family.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
8%
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See all 13 customer reviews
Great story for children!
HeatherB
Bought it for my granddaughter [first grader] for Christmas, got to read it with her.
D. Swayne
I recommend this book for early elementary school kids.
d

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on April 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one that our first grader has read a dozen times, maybe more. He loves it. He's an independent fish, and I think he loves the idea of life on the prairie. He mentions little ideas from this book in regular day-to-day conversations. This might be his favorite book, even though he has outgrown the reading level.

Great illustrations, great story, great ideas... I hope your little reader likes it as much as we do!

From this series of books (but at Level 3), we also liked:
+ Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner
+ The Golly Sisters Go West by Betsy Byars
+ The Big Balloon Race by Eleanor Coerr
+ Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express by Eleanor Coerr (outstanding illustrations in this one)
+ Dolphin by Robert A. Morris
+ Seasons: A Book of Poems by Charlotte Zolotow
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Prairie School is about a nine year old boy named Noah. He and his family have just moved from Maine to Colorado. He loves being there on the open prairie. He feels free. One day his mother tells his they are going to have a visitor. It's his Aunt Dora and she is coming to teach him to read. Naoh doesn't like the idea at all. Once Aunt Dora shows Noah her way of teaching he catches on and enjoys learning new things.
The book is part of the I Can Read series. It's a level 4, for grade 2-4. This is a good introduction to historical fiction.
I would recommed this book. It would make a great read aloud while learning about the 1880's.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anonmouse on August 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
My son read this in 2nd grade, and he was beginning to struggle with reading. The story is about a young boy who is "tricked" into learning by his aunt, a teacher. My son loved that the boy in the story was learning and didn't even know it. We both enjoyed this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Burton on October 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Award winning author AVI lives in Denver (a fact I didn't realize until reading this little book). In Prairie School, AVI tells a story that takes place as the Colorado Prairie is being settled around 1880. Noah Bidson, a 9 year old, enjoys helping his parents with daily chores around their new home. One day, Noah's mother announces that her sister, Aunt Dora, will be coming to school Noah.

Mother and son are both surprised to discover Aunt Dora uses a wheelchair. "Soon after you went West, a buggy I was driving turned over. I lost the use of my legs."

Over the course of several months, Aunt Dora shows Noah not only what she is still able to do, but also the many things they both can learn about the prairie through books.

"All day Noah wheeled her around. All day Aunt Dora asked questions about what she saw. Noah told her what he knew. Each time, Dora looked into her book and told him more."

As nighttime came they would learn about stars. Toward the end of Aunt Dora's stay, Noah said,

"I found a new constellation."
"What is it?"
"It's called The Wheelchair. And you're sitting in it. See, it's those stars there."

The illustrations are beautifully simple and realistic - a perfect match to the story of Prairie School.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zeriah Quest on December 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading it from the library. There are so few books for kids these days that are truely inspiring, that offer a perspective with a gift. we need more books that build and uplift children, not commisserate with them and bring them down. i love when i come across these treasures for my children.
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By tn on March 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At first my daughter did not want to read this book - I think she thought it looked dull. No pink prancing ponies on the cover. Anyway... I read it to her and it is a really sweet story that looks back to life during a time when there were no video games or tv, and life was really a question of living off the earth and being inspired by the world around you. I enjoyed the story and once I read it to my daughter she enjoyed it too and asked me to read it to her again the following day. Encourages an love of nature and reading. A good story and heart-warming too.
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By d on September 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is something very appealing about this book, and my son loved reading this book quite a few times, before it was time to return to the library. He is not quite fond of reading, but he really liked this book. We ended-up buying a copy of this book for ourselves.

I recommend this book for early elementary school kids.
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