Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester, Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)

This is my favorite picture book about bullying. Great to use with students of all ages.
Poor Rodney Rat can't pronounce his R's and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. Wodney is shy and mostly hides inside his jacket.
But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney's class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them.
Until Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully. Children will delight as shy Rodney Rat triumphs over all and his tiny voice decides the day.
Paperback, 32 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN
061821612X (ISBN13: 9780618216123)

Lesson Plan: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/hooway-wodney-wat-lesson-plan

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine




I am in awe of the fact that a writer, Gail Carson Levine, can take a well known, ancient fairy tale, and give it a life of its own. Who knew that Cinderella, the shallow character from a short story, could have and would have such depth, such an amazing tale to tell!

At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been burdened by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally."
When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and spunky nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you'll ever read.

"Gail Carson Levine's examination of traditional female roles in fairy tales takes some satisfying twists and deviations from the original. Ella is bound by obedience against her will, and takes matters in her own hands with ambition and verve. Her relationship with the prince is balanced and based on humor and mutual respect; in fact, it is she who ultimately rescues him. Ella Enchanted has won many well-deserved awards, including a Newbery Honor."

Paperback, 240 pages, Scholastic Books
ISBN 0590920685 (ISBN13: 9780590920681)

Discussion Guide for Gr 3-5 and Gr 6-8: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/ella-enchanted-discussion-guide

The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

Elizabeth is a beautiful princess who lives in a castle and wears fancy clothes. She is about to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, and takes off with Prince Ronald. Elizabeth only has a large paper bag to wear but sets off to find the dragon and reclaim her prince. She outsmarts the dragon and rescues Prince Ronald. But the spoiled prince says "Elizabeth, you smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back and rescue me when you look like a real princess." Elizabeth immediately realizes that her ending will be much happier if she does not marry such a brat.
I have long felt that this, his first book ever, was Robert Munsch's strongest story. While I like some others, this one has the components of a strong plot, a great character and a fun, twisted ending. Hurray for Elizabeth. A great read aloud!

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