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The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary Hardcover – April 12, 2016
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-At the end of the term, Emerson Elementary School will be bulldozed to make way for a shopping center and students will be reassigned to other schools in the district. This change is particularly hard for the 18 fifth graders in Ms. Hill's class. She tasks them with keeping a poetry journal throughout the year; their poems will be placed in a time capsule at the end of the year. The students write about their feelings, the project, the imminent changes to their community, and their worries about middle school through alternating poems divided into four quarters. One girl's mother is being deployed, a boy's father recently left the family, and another boy's beloved grandfather is ailing. With the gentle guidance of their teacher, who may have been arrested in the 1960s protesting the Vietnam War, they become socially aware and organize a movement to protest the school closure. The distinct personalities of the students shine through in a variety of poetic forms. Sadness, humor, anger, and hope are expressed in authentically young voices. The poetic forms are discussed in further detail in the back matter, making for a great teaching resource. VERDICT This gently evocative study of change in all its glory and terror would make a terrific read-aloud or introduction to a poetry unit. A most impressive debut.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“The poems are easy to read, in authentic-sounding language that captures the poets' personalities; avatar-like illustrations accompany each piece to remind readers of who's who. A helpful guide to poetic forms appears at the end of the book.” —The Horn Book
“Entertaining . . . Shovan skillfully employs different poetic forms and styles...Characters... will inspire readers as they find the courage to save their school and make their voices heard, both as a united front and as capable, valuable individuals.” —Publishers Weekly
“Eighteen kids. Eighteen Stories. An original idea, artfully and heartfully rendered. What a treat.” —Eileen Spinelli, author of Another Day as Emily and other books
“A delightful book, with an endearing cast of characters who can help teach the craft of poetry while sharing their own diverse personal stories.” —Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree
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Top customer reviews
Shovan's ability to bring 18 5th graders to life through various styles of poetry is magnificent.
That we're journeying with them through the normal trials and tribulations of growing up, with pressures and losses unique for some and universal nonetheless--loss, change, fears, while the entire group is saying goodbye to elementary school and the school building itself is remarkable.
This is a unique book with plenty to smile at, cheer for, and yes, cry over. (My goodness, toward the end I had to be in arm's reach of the tissue box.)
Awesome bonus: end sections with poem definitions/how-tos and prompts!
There's something special about novels-in-verse. The emotions that wash over you as you read, sometimes crashing down like a giant wave, and sometimes tickling your toes in the sand. THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY is no exception. This book is a beautiful celebration of the individual. No matter what we see of a person on the outside, there are always deeper, hidden struggles and dreams.
I want my children to read this. To remember kindness is always better. To seek to understand others, even when it's hard. To fight for the things that matter to them, even when they feel powerless. This book teaches all of that, without ever being preachy.
I HAVE to find a way to use this in my classroom next year. It had so much educational value, besides being beautiful, moving and pleasing to read.
Each page is a different student author and his/her poem. The book is also divided into quarters like a school year, so cute!
The kids rotate their voices (a la Because of Mr. Terupt) and their voices are so profound. My favorites were Katie and Norah, but it was hard to pick just too (my heart also broke for Hannah and George a few times, too, and I wanted to offer them hugs).
Katie is an individual and she's trying to find a voice separate from her successful, yet controlling Mom. Norah is from Jerusalem and makes comments about the cultural differences in her first and second countries that really open the reader's eyes to things we take for granted.
This book discusses several important topics for children including: divorce, poverty, working poor (omg-the red dress--tears---you'll know what I mean when you read it!), protest, Hispanic culture, Middle Eastern culture, puberty, sexism, agism, change, finding your voice, government, environmentalism,...get my point?!?! Wow!