Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chocolate Rhubarb

Do you have a reserved time for read aloud time in your classroom? During my year in second grade, we read a story, if not several, each day and my students loved it. I worried as I transitioned into an upper grade that my students wouldn't quite love read aloud time as my second graders. Boy, I was wrong. Whether I'm thumbing through a picture book to jump start a unit or caught in the middle of an incredible chapter book - my students enjoy it. Fifth graders may get pegged as the "older" kids, but they are still suckers for a good book, too. 

Our current read aloud is Drizzle written by Kathleen Van Cleve. We picked this book because in Missouri it is recognized as a Mark Twain Nominee. We reached Part Two this afternoon and I knew I had to share it with my fellow teachers - because you might not be aware of this little gem!

Here's what you would find on the back of the book:
"Eleven-year-old Polly Peabody needs to make it start raining. For her entire life, it has rained at exactly one o'clock every Monday afternoon on her family's magical rhubarb farm, until one Monday, when it stops. And then Polly's brother gets sick, really sick. Polly has to figure out how everything is connected and make it rain before her beloved Aunt Edith sells the farm.  She has help from the farm itself, in the form of the plants and insects, including her best friend, Harry, a chocolate-tasting rhubarb plant.  They all push Polly to confront her fears.  But is it enough, and more importantly - is there enough time?"

I had my reservations prior to starting this book. Honestly! I thought, "a magic farm? chocolate rhubarb? a best friend that is a plant? oh boy!" It wasn't one I would have picked up in the library on my own. Thankfully, I have smart students who can spot a good book from a mile away. Not to mention, it's FULL of rich language  to use during writing time. 

I'm even anxious to get back to school tomorrow to continue on - my mind is swirling with the possibilities and FATE of this poor farm!

What are your favorite read alouds?


  1. Wringer by Jerry Spinelli. Great themes: societal pressure, peer pressure, bullying, animal welfare, friendship...........


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