Liberty Porter
Black Beauty


W. Mass

Titan's Curse
Mother Duaghter Book Club
H.V. Frederick
American Dreams
I Survived
L. Tarshis
Battle of the Labyrinth
R. Riordan

100 Cuboards
N. D. Wilson




Week 1- letters are due whenever you see Week 1 on the calendar
Dear Abigail,
Your letter should always have a date, greeting, body, closing and name. Remember to tell me the title and author of the book you are writing about. Proofread your entry carefully before you post it.
Your friend in reading, Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers,
Journey to the River Sea is a capturing book, I am more than half way done. *The author got me interested when Maya and Miss Minton are on the boat to the Amazon and Maya shares her knowledge about crocodiles being alligators there. *The character I dislike the most is Mr Carter because he pops up and almost disappears as quickly. This reminds me of Silverwing when there is a mention of Shades older brothers and then they are never mentioned again.This is a very interesting topic,living in a plant free,bug free and a friend free home, with the only family she knows is alive. If the book took a hard turn in the road I would be very be pleased. As of now I have enjoyed the story.
From a very happy reader,
Hello Ms. Sellers,
I have just finished Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson and between Fever and Chains I can't decide which I enjoyed more. * If I were the author I would change the part when Mattie's mother returns from the Ludington's farm.When she does come back it seems as if after being a responsible and grown up girl everything is back to the way it was before the disease. As an authors purpose to show when you believe, use perverseness,and know that you really can do anything, I feel that the purpose doesn't finish the story. Now I hope I can create a fabulous book talk out of a wonderful story. * The most important word in this book is "hope" because it is what the characters stand on in the yellow fever crisis.

October 24, 2010
Hi Abigail-

You beat me to writing another letter! Well done! I also noticed when I logged in that you had started another discussion topic of your own. Great idea! You had mentioned in your discussion topic that you felt Laurie Halse Anderson was similar to Kenneth Oppel in that she didn't always prepare you as a reader for what was going to happen next in the story. I realized that maybe you chose to read Fever 1793 because you had recently read Chains and they are both by Anderson. You might be surprised to know that Fever 1793 used to be on the required reading list for 8th grade! This was also an M.C.B.A. several years ago and I enjoyed it because I didn't know much about this disease epidemic that happened after our American Revolution. I wonder what other books Laurie Halse Anderson has written that you might read next? I love when I find an author who's books I really enjoy.

That's actually the way I feel about Eva Ibbotson, the author of Journey to the River Sea. She has been an M.C.B.A. author several times in the past. She is probably most famous for writing fantasy/supernatural type stories (ones with witches, ogres, etc.) but as I've told you, I absolutely fell in love with Journey to the River Sea when it was on the MCBA list several years ago. *I think my favorite character is actually Miss Minton. I just love how Ibbotson made Miss Minton seem scary or mean at first, but very quickly in the story you realize that she is going to be Maya's true family. I love all the things she tries to do to protect Maya from those nasty twins!
What M.C.B.A should we do for our next read aloud? Are there any ones in particular that you haven't read that you would like to hear?
Your friend in reading,
Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, November 4, 2010
I have just started to reread one of my favorite books called Seaglass Summer. The story all starts off when Poppy decides to spend her summer on the island of Witless Cove with her Uncle Sunjay. There on the island she is hoping to learn skills of being a vet at her uncle's clinic. *The author got me interested when Poppy's suitcase falls out of her Uncle Sunjay's truck into a river, along with all her clothes being wet her brand new veterinarian kit is broken!* This reminds me of when I was just given a beautiful new dress after that the thread started to pull and the dress was ruined.Even though I already now the ending I would read this book until I find sea glass.
From the best Bacci you will ever have,

November 13, 2010
Dear Abigail,

I have never head of Seaglass Summer before, but after reading your letter I decided to look it up on Amazon. It sounds like a very sweet story. The author's name is Anjali Banerjee- which I assume must be an Indian name and that is how the author got the idea to have this story take place in India. I actually had a student several years ago named Anjali, and her dad was in fact from India.
I enjoyed how you said that even though you know how this will end, you will keep rereading anyway. Rereading a book is one of my favorite things to do. I am currently rereading the last Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I have reread each book in the series more times than I can count. I know you are currently reading one- Goblet of Fire, I believe. When I was your age, I never read fantasy books. They just weren't for me. I preferred realistic fiction or historical fiction. I was a brand new teacher when the Harry Potter series came out, and I just fell in love with it. I really felt like this world could really exist just on the outside of ours. *My favorite characters are not actually any of the main ones. I love Ron's brothers, Fred and George. I think they are so funny- and this is one thing that I think didn't totally translate to the movie versions how funny these books are. I also love Neville. I always root for the underdog and I always thought there were reasons why the author wrote about him the way she did and told us little tidbits about him (like his grandmother and parents). You can draw a lot of comparisons/parallels to Harry, as they are both orphans who lost their parents under tragic circumstances.

Who's your favorite Harry Potter character?

I guess we will not be able to tell your little Baccis at home that you are the best ever :)

Your friend,
Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, November 17, 2010
I am actually reading The Order of the Phoenix.Without reason I have finished many books while trying to read this book.Deciding who is my favorite is a challenge but I admire both Hermione and Ron.* The character I dislike the most is Professor Umbridge, because she is very mean and decided in her head that she is in charge. Giving Harry a life long Quidditch ban is a crime but from her toad like smile you know she doesn't mind.

*A question I have about the book is, where will Trelawny live on Hogwarts grounds after Umbridge sacks her? When I read this part I had to use the back up and re-read when ask questions while monitoring my reading that will help.I am very excited about our new guided reading book. I can also see why you love this book so much!
From a reader who is tempted to read ahead,
P. S. I won't read ahead

November 28, 2010

Dear Abigail-

I hope all the Calvos and all the Baccis had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was so sad not to have Snoopy Thanksgiving with you guys on Wednesday, but my tooth is all fixed! Were the jellybeans a big hit?

Professor Umbridge is a terrible character. One of the worst antagonists (or bad guys) in all of literary history. She's the kind of teacher that gives all teachers a bad name. She certainly doesn't seem to like kids. I don't know how far you are in the book- or if you've got to how she punishes Harry, but it's scary and sad. I remember when this book first came out, talking about this punishment with another teacher. It's the ultimate in cruel.

What do you think about Surviving the Applewhites so far? I think having Jake enter the Creative Arts Academy is really going to mess with E.D. I haven't read this book in a long time- and I'm wondering why Hal is always in his room. I think there is a reason why.

Look for a new discussion tab just for our guided reading group.

Your friend,

Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, December 1, 2010
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Was Snoopy cooking? Our Snoopy Thanksgiving was crunchy and chewy ( and yes the jelly beans were very successful! ).

Just to let you know I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Tuesday November 23.*This book was not my favorite neither was the movie. It was not easy going or action packed it was right in the middle, but at lot was going on. I could have almost hated the movie as of they didn't show anything that happened before the main event.

Umbridge was a toad. Acting as if she owned Hogwarts, pretending He who shall not be named isn't alive when she does know the truth.I come to conclusion that she is the Minister of Magic's shadow. *A question I have about this book is where do the centaurs take Umbridge after they carry her off? I ask this because J.K. Rowling doesn't mention this afterward.

I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!I will be off reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.


Hi Abigail,
Long time, no talk! New Year means getting back to our wiki and sharing all our thoughts on great reading! I've really been enjoying reading The Other Side of the Island out loud to the class. I've always thought that you as the reader catch more one you read a book a second time, and I am definitely seeing that with this book. *We know that genre of this book is Science Fiction because our government doesn't control our weather and parts of our world are not enclosed. Every once in a while, you as the reader think that Honor's world doesn't seem that different from ours, but then something crazy happens-like punishing her parents for having another baby. I love hearing all the thoughts of our classmates- especially when people say that they though the future was supposed to be "better" than our lives now, but Honor's life definitely does not seem better.

Now, I wouldn't normally say that Sci Fi is one of my favorite genres- but I've been finding more and more books that fall into this genre that have kept me wanting to read! Over vacation I worked on reading a few and one that I loved was called Matched. This is a Young Adult, or more like a teen novel. It's definitely Sci Fi and there are many comparisons to The Other Side of the Island. The main character of Matched is a girl named Cassia. The book opens with a very exciting part of Cassia's life; she is about to find out who the society has "matched" her with. This will be the person that she will probably marry. There are many twists and turns when it turns out that she is matched to two different boys; both of whom she has known since she was little. In her world, it is very unlikely that people will know their match ahead of time.

In Cassia's world, like Honor's, there seems to be a lot of control over what people are allowed to do. Cassia is very excited to sign up for a new summer activity called "hiking"- in their world there seems to be not a lot of time given to fun activities, and especially ones that have to do with being outdoors. *I made a text to text connection to Island when I thought about Honor playing outside games with the neighborhood girls, and how that was frowned upon. *After reading both books, I thought about comparing the two different girls. At the beginning of Island, we see that Honor doesn't really buy into what is going on in her new world. The opposite is true for Cassia at the beginning of Matched as she seems very content and happy in her world. We start to see the feelings of both girls shift- as Honor starts to believe to try to fit in and Cassia starts to doubt whether she likes decisions being made for her.
I really liked both of these books because they are both "make you think" kind of books. The next Sci Fi book that I'm going to dig into is The Hunger Games- have you heard of it?
Your friend,
Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Abigail,
I really enjoyed reading about Seaglass Summer I think I will read it.I have a question, What do you mean by, .Even though I already know the ending I would read this book until I find seaglass? I really like how you added only the important details. Did you like journey to the river sea? What did you like the most about Seaglass Summer?Have you read 11 birthdays?I loved that book. Seaglass summer reminded me of this book I read last year,I cant remember what it was called but it was about a girl who spent her whole summer vacation with her best friend and they loved to find sea glass. I can make a text to text connection with this because they were both about spending a summer with someone they love and also about seaglass.

Dear Ms. Sellers, January 13, 2011
How are you? I am enjoying the book " The Other Side of the Island". To me Science Fiction is a genre that you would write a report about- whats similar to our world,are there facts that those things could really happen.Recalling from my memory I can not remember reading any Sci Fi books, but when I go to the library tomorrow I am on a search to find a children Sci Fi book.*I can make a self to text connection to Honor.When she received the news about having a sibling she was not happy, especially the fact that having a sibling is bad. When I was six and received the news about having another sibling I was ticked off, at that time I wished siblings were ileagle.

This morning I completed the book White Sands Red Menance, seaquel to the former MCBA Green Gkass Sea.Ellen Klages has in interesting way of taking historical information and mixing it with a dramitic story.*If I were the the author, I would change the ending.Instead of ending the book in the car back to Berkly.I would I have continued to when they arrive back home.I was waiting to know what their home would look like and haw things would work out.Hopefully she will write another book about the same charaters. Maybe the book will take place before " Green Glass Sea".

From the girl who is going to start reading Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows,

Dear Ms. Sellers, January 21, 2011
Hello and happy Snow Day to you! I am just writing to tell you about the two fabolous books I have just started. The first book is Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows,this is defentily gouing to be a story that is dark and intense. Where I am in the book Harry has just entered Sirius's room and has found the picture of James, Sirius,and Wormtail. In December I wasl listening to the book on CD and my mum proposed a deal; if I read the whole series(all I would need is the seventh) she would take me to see part two of the movie. Now I am faced with the delama of figuring out where I was. Because I did see part one when I read a paragraph I can easily visuwilize what is happening.*If I could talk to Hermionie I would ask her how did you become so smart, becuase a lot of people (cough cough Caroline) I became pretty smart.

The other book I have began which I am doing my booktalk on is The Stone Child, it is a mystery about a boy who just moved. In his new town the fanisy monsters in his favorite authors book are lerking around. * After reading the first page I have been sucked in. I am only on page four and so far his dad has crashed into the fist magicle monsters out of a sreies of others.

Good bye for now,

January 23, 2010

Dear Abigail-

I am the youngest in my family, but I can understand your annoyance in finding out you were going to have another sibling. I hope that Sophia has lived up to expectations anyway:)

I'm so glad that you finally got up to The Deathly Hallows. I have been rereading this book lately as well (probably in preparation for the movie.) Have you seen any of the movies yet? Some of them are definitely scarier than others! I think Hermione was probably just born that smart- and she certainly works very, very hard and is very dedicated to being successful (especially since she is Muggle born and feels like she has something to prove) There are a lot of instances where professors refer to her "as the brightest witch of her year" and she seems to have a lot of innate, or natural, ability for doing charms, potions, etc. (Except flying, she never seemed to be able to pick that up:)

Now that you're nearing the end, I wonder what you're thinking about the three friends; Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I always thought it was interesting in the first few books that Harry needed both Ron and Hermione, or Ron or Hermione, to solve the big mystery at the end of the first few books. You as the reader always felt like Harry was supposed to be the most important, but he seemed reluctant to do it alone. Maybe one of the author's messages was that you don't need to go it alone- the best successes might come from teamwork. *What I want to remember about this book, is that it took the talents, skills, and determination of all three of these friends to help Harry succeed in his greatest goal.

Did you ever finish Journey to the River Sea?

Let me know if you'd like to me to find a Sci Fi type book that you might be interested in reading on your own.

Your friend,

Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Abigail,

I'm writing this response to everyone- but I want you to know that you are doing a great job with your responses. Keep up
the good work:)

When writing a literary letter wiki response-
1. you must have at least one paragraph
2. that paragraph must be about ONE book only
3. you must use at least one sentence lead (and I would suggest more than one) and you
must show me where that lead is by boldfacing, underlining, or changing the color of it.

Here is a good example paragraph that I wrote about our read aloud. Use it to help you plan your future responses to me.

We're about half way down with The Other Side of the Island and we've reached an interesting point in the story. Honor has decided that she wants to belong, that she has to belong. So much so, that she is ready to drop her name, the one chosen by her parents, and take on a "true" name- one where the "H" at the beginning is clearly heard. This seems to be a great book to practice our inferring or "reading between the lines" skills. *I predict that Honor's parents are going to be taken and that she and Quintillian will become orphans. I think that because Helix's parents were taken, and Honor's parents continue to break the rules and stay out at night when they are not supposed. *I would be interested in reading another book by this author and seeing whether she writes any other futuristic novels or whether she will choose to write a totally different kind of genre.

Your friend in reading,
Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers January 26, 2011
Hello and how are you? The book The Other Side of the Island is a very grasping and intriguing story.Listening other students predictions along with what they think are symbolized helps me put my puzzle pieces with theirs. *I dislike when Honor has to do the laundry because I feel it does not have any meaning to the story. I do get how if the orphans misbehave they do extra chores, I just don't understand why the author had to write about the whole experience.

Sorry I did not tell you that I finished The Journey to the River Sea around the beginning of December. * I dislike the way it ends, it was suddel and not very sparking excitement which was what I was expecting with such an adventurous book. * A question I have is why did Mia have to be an orphan. It wasn't like she was searching for her parents family or something related to that concept. * If I were the author I would have told the reader when was the story taking place,but you could have easily know it was in present day.

Sadly I have not been reading Deathly Hallows in the last week due to finishing my Book-talk book as schedule, but I would like to talk about Harry Potter. I agree with you on how Hermione probably studies hard to do well in school to prove other other wizards (cough, cough, the Malfoys) that muggles can be smart and skilled, too.Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to ride a broom? On the technical side of things, I have seen all six and a half movies.I can agree they are pretty scary, especially part one of the seventh.The graphics were so good I even kicked my aunt during one scene.


P.S. If you could pick out a Sci Fi book for me to read that would be great. Thank You!

February 6, 2011
Dear Abigail,

I completely agree with you about the way Journey to the River Sea ends. It's kind of funny- it's a book that I truly loved, and Eva Ibbotson has become an author who I really enjoy, but her books seem to go on-and-on at the end. Journey to the River Sea almost felt like it was 100 pages too long! I appreciated knowing that all of our beloved characters would be fine and have happy lives (especially Clovis), but the last chunk just seemed unnecessary. A while back I had left Listening to Lions on your desk, and mentioned to you that you might enjoy it. It's the opposite of Journey to the River Sea in some ways. The main character, Rachel, is from England but living in Africa with her missionary parents. When they die, she is left all alone. In a strange twist of events, she ends up pretending to be the granddaughter of a very rich man, and going to live with him in England. Reading this book will make you think of whether this is how Clovis's life ended up when he returned to England.

I have to tell you- that I really liked The Other Side of the Island when I read it over the summer, but I'm starting to LOVE it now. There's something about reading a complicated book a second time to help you as the reader pick up on things (like inferences) that you missed the first time. As a teacher, I am also loving all the amazing predictions and connections that our class is making as we read. I really think we are learning a lot from this book! Not just practicing our reading skills, but realizing how frightening the future can be if we as people don't stand up for what we believe in. I think that might be one of the obvious author's messages of this book. You made an interesting point about Honor having to do the laundry- I wonder if it's one of those questions we answered as we kept reading. We found out that people shouldn't ever touch the detergent- and when they do they get very "memory sick". Maybe the author wanted us to learn about the laundry and the poisoned detergent as it might become important later.

Have Honor/Heloise's parents been turned into orderlies? We'll have to keep reading to see....

Your buddy,
Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, Febuary 8, 2011
Hello and how are you? I have been really enjoying the story The Other Side of the Island.* I like the parts of the book when the author is hinting clues. These parts of the story are by far the second most interesting parts, the most interesting part will be the climax action part if there is one( I predict so).When I re-read my last response I noticed that the laundry doingwas actually very important.*I predict that when Helix and Honor go on the adventure the are going to see where the brainwashing materials such as the detergant and food are made.* I would like to read another book by this author because of the way it makes you question yourself, think back to what you have read and make predictions.

Right now I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.I have only read about two hundred and twenty pages, but do you agree that the movie is scarier than the book? I have always wondered where J. K. Rowling got the names for her characters. * If I could talk to Mr. or Mrs. Weasly I would ask them which of their ansestors had red hair. It is quite peculiar that both Weasly parents have red hair. Are there any features to a character that you would have changed?


Dear Ms. Sellers Febuary 24, 2011
Hello and happy vacation to you! On Tuesday I excitedly finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What did you like/dislike about the book? * I liked the part nineteen years later when Harry and Ginny's children along with Ron and Hermione's children board the Hogwarts express together.I also like that eventually the Weasly, Potter and Granger familys are all realated,(truely). Are you anxious for part two of the movie? I know I am and I can tell by far that they are going to strech every part possible.


Dear Ms. Sellers March 8, 2011
M.C.B.A. day is coming soon and also the end of enclosure. "The Other Side of the Island"is an intriguing story, without a proper ending. * A question I had about this book was "how does the sky change colors?". After continuing reading most of questions were answered. * I would like to read another book by this author because Allegra Goodman has an unique perspective of the world. This has you thinking, talking and wondering about the future.

Savvy is a magical story that takes you to a world of powers. * The author got me interested after reading the back cover. * This is an effective piece of writing because the author Ingrid Law always places a cliffhanger a the end of each chapter, making a long story a quick read. You may even forget your reading because you are focusing on the movie screen visualizations. The way Ingrid Law describes actions is trans fixing. Such as the way Mibbs walked into a room and was bombarded by all the thoughts of the tattoos. Mibbs may not like her savvy, but by far adores the outcome.

From Savvy voting,

March 13, 2011
Dear Abigail,

First, I just want to thank you for all your great efforts on the wiki. I have always enjoyed reading your letters and appreciated that they are always posted on time!

What did you think of the MCBA party? Since I am down front on the microphone for most of it, I always wonder how others see it. I thought it was great- the pancakes seemed to come quickly and the hats were awesome! I love that this is kind of our "big kid" Read Across America celebration.

I'm glad that you voted for Savvy. Do you think you'll read the sequel, Scumble? I know that it is not about Mibbs, but another member of her family. This reminds me a bit of another former MCBA series (that you might enjoy) called Saffy's Angel. This series focuses on the Casson family with siblings all named after interesting colors. (their mother is an artist) The first book in this series is about Saffy, short for Safron ( a very vibrant yellow color), followed a book about a brother named Indigo, a sister named Rose, and a sister named Cadmium (another shade of blue). These books are not terribly long, and perhaps they would interest you.

I continue to read Chains. I had hoped to wrap it up quickly, but alas I got busy with breakfast and field trip planning, report cards,etc. I love that each chapter starts with a quote from a famous person from this time period during the American Revolution.
Chapter Six started with this quote, "We are told, that the subjection of Americans may tend to the diminution of our liberties;...How is is that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" This quote is from an English author named Samuel Johnson who wrote a political pamphlet called- Taxation No Tyrrany. *I bet this author, Laurie Halse Anderson, chose this quote to help us as the reader remember how ridiculous it is that the American Patriots are so desperate to be free from the control of England, when the Americans themselves control and own slaves. I think I will use this quote in Social Studies class when we start to learn about the Declaration of Independence.

Talk to you soon,

Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, March 17, 2011

Hello and hoping a wonderful and blossoming spring! I am currently reading "The Sea of Monsters" by Rick Riordan. * The title says to me where I predict the adventure or quest will take place. * I predicted correctly because I left off when Percy, Annabeth and Tyson where baording a ship to take them to the "Sea of Monsters" where Grover is being held hostaige by a monster. * If I were the author I would have made the characters leave on the ship sooner I'm on page 115 out of 279. Does this placement seeem far in the book to you too?
* Some parts were hard to follow, but listening to the aditude of your speech I could inffer the feelings and emotions of the characters. Hope to find a SciFi story soon!
* After reading the prolige I could tell that Tuck Everlasting had to do with the water allowing the Tuck family to last forever.To be honest this book is not my favorite, there is not a lot of action which is usually my favorite part of a book. It is wordy which doesn't bother me, but there better be a reason why a maximum of the story is describition of the setting. Hope to enjoy this more.
From three book reading,

March 21, 2011

Hi Abigail,

Percy Jackson and the Olympians seems like a perfect series for you to be reading! I was just writing to Kevin about my love for this series, and the concept that Rick Riordan thought up when writing these tales. I remember exactly the first time I saw the book The Lightning Thief and the student, now in high school, who had it with them. You see, I LOVED Greek Mythology when I was your age and I thought it was extremely clever that an author would think to combine myths, with a modern adventure! This is yet another series where I'm always waiting for kids to finish them, and thus I have never been able to get my hands on the series to finish it. I think you've encouraged me to get back to this series!

What ever happened with Skull of Truth- did you give it a shot? I'm thinking of few other Sci Fi/Fantasyish books that you would enjoy. I'm hoping as you get a little further into Tuck that you will see why it is one of my favorite books. I think it's one of those books that you think is going to go in one directions, but ends up going off in a totaly different one. It might seem obvrious- the water has special powers, the Tucks are older then they appear, but the man in the yellow suit is going to cause some problems....

I'm glad that we finally started to read Sunwing, and I was very impressed by the class predictions we were making the other day. Shade and the Silverwings have found Paradise- the "perfect" place for bats. They are about to discover that no bats can leave- so the question is, is it really Paradise if you are not allowed the choice to leave?

Your friend,

Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, March 30,2011
Hello! I have curently finished the realistic fiction story Liberty Porter by J. Devillers.*The title told me the characters name and also one of her major charater traits.* The setting is also very important becuase if it was not the White House the main character would almost be useless. This is because words (or what could be names) like liberty, patriotic, independent, and leadership are conected words and have surperior meaning to the White House.* If I could talk to Liberty I would ask what it is like to be the "first duaghter", because not every child in the USA has the privilge to live in the White House like she does.

I am starting to sense a shadow crawling over "Sunwing", do you? * The title is giving the impretion that another bat species is going to be met and they either may be freinds or enemys.* I predict that Goth may make an army to go against Shade and the other Silverwings. Zout's(?) message made me think this because Goth is his strongest when he belives in Zouts, also if he as other (Shade would think innocent) bats he will be even more stronger.Then I think Marina will figure the whole plan out, making Shade jealous. * I would like to read another series by Kenneth Oppel because he has tenique for explaining the characters thoughts. For example the way he explained the emotion in Marina's voice when Shade and her were talking about Chinook. .

Right now I am thinking of reading the book "Amoung the Hidden" by M. P. Haddix.* The aouther actually got me interested after reading a chapter during a MCAS testing. She got me interested because of the connection to "Other Side of the Island", both worlds have a restriction on how many children are allowed per family. Hope to start reading the book.


May 8, 2011

Dear Abigail,

Over April vacation I was very excited to find some quiet time and get my hands on a great new book. This book has been pretty popular with adults and will be made into a movie this summer. This book is called The Help; you may have seen it around your house.

We could call this book historical fiction as it takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. *The setting of this story is important as it will help us know that this is a Southern town during the Civil Rights movement. This book is told from the point of view of three main and very different characters. (You would recognize this author’s style as our favorite Kenneth Oppel did something similar by having alternating chapters as seen by Shade or Goth, or even Marina.) In this book, we see the story through the eyes of a girl named “Skeeter”. No, Skeeter is not her real name, but a nickname. Her real name is Eugenia Phelan. The other two main characters are African-American maids named Minnie and Aibileen.

I knew this book was going to be pretty good because I had a very hard time putting it down. Since each chapter alternated between different characters, I found myself peeking ahead at the end of each chapter! It was really hard when the author left you hanging with something that happened to Minnie, and then moved on to Skeeter. Of course, I can appreciate the author’s style in trying to keep the readers reading.

This is one of those books that make you think. Remember I told you that kids always tell me they would have been Patriots in the Revolution, and I always try to make them think about how making the “right” decisions isn’t always easy- especially when we live in the future and we are looking back on the past. This is also how I felt about this story. You want to believe that you would have stood up for the unfair treatment of the African Americans, but you see how hard it is for some of the characters, especially because there is one really nasty white woman called “Ms. Hilly” who seems to bully everyone in to seeing things her way. I would like to read another book by this author because I enjoyed her story-telling style and really liked the characters she made. The end of the story was kind of cliffhanger, and I must have really liked the book because I really worried if everything turned out ok for Minnie, Aibileen and Skeeter.

What have you been reading? What book are you doing for your next book talk?

Your friend,

Ms. Sellers

Dear Ms. Sellers, May 11, 2011
Hello Ms. Sellers! The Help sounds like a really great book by how you were describing the way the chapters alternated between characters, that must have really kept you reading through the night.

Yesterday I completed my booktalk book The Titan's Curse, by Rick Riodran. * I'd like to read another series by this author because of his own orignal genre, Greek Mythology/ Fantasy. I never reallly realized how much I now know about Greek Mythology as an outcome of reading these books. For example the big three gods are Zues, Posiodon and Hades or the god of the sky, the god of the sea and the god of war. * This book is really about how the four main characters Percy, Thalia, Annabeth and Grover take risks for people they love. * If I could talk to Percy I would ask him what is it like have the power to control currents, talk to sea creatures and breathe under water forever?

This morning I started a book titled The Mother Daughter Book Club, by Heather Vogle Frederick. * The author got me interested when I noticed each chapter starts with a quote from Little Women, the book the characters are reading. They author also got me interested when I saw that each chapter alternates from character to character but progressing in time. * The genre of this book is denfinetly Realistic Fiction because it has sixth grade girls in modern times living in Concord MA( hey! not too far away). * I predict by the end of this book the completely different characters will all become freinds because by the way the author wrote this book there is a 99% chance it will end on a happy note. \

From an exicited reader,

May 16, 2011

Hi Abigail,

I want to go back a few letters and answer some of your fabulous questions. I love your observation about a "shadow" crawling across Sunwing. There is this feeling of something in the shadows- something watching and controlling. Goth communicates in a certain way with this higher feeling- but it will be felt by the other characters too. And you're right- Goth will be amassing an army, and he'll have a sinister plan for the little northern bats too. I'm going to try really hard to make sure we can finish Sunwing. The other thing to think about is the role of the humans- it's hard to tell in Silverwing,although many of the bats think that humans will be their savior. It's harder to tell at the start of this book and creatures being trapped in this articifical jungles. I would be really sad if we didn't finish it. I would recommend you go on to read the other two books in this series- Firewing and Darkwing. Warning!!! Firewing is sad :( and not to be read without some tissues. If you do ever read it, please email me and tell me your thoughts on it. I think you would also really enjoy Kenneth Oppel's other series, Airborne. I think you especially would love the main female character, Kate. Kate has many qualities like Marina (accept she is a person), but I think you would love how tough and independent she is.

I'm very interested to hear more about The Mother Daughter Book Club! When I first saw the title up on your book log, I thought maybe you were doing a book club with your mom. I had a student years ago who was in fact part of that kind of club, and I could see you and your mom really enjoying it. What a clever idea to have a book that takes place in Concord today, start with quotes from another famous story that also took place in Concord! Little Women is one of my favorite books (and movies) from my childhood. I love the sisters and how they are all different. Makes me think of another former MCBA that you would probably love- it's called The Penderwicks. This book is also about four sisters and how they befriend a little boy next door. They are being raised by their dad since their mom passed away. This is a really sweet story, much with the feel of Little Women. There is also a sequel.

Talk to you soon,

Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, May 27, 2011
Thank you so much for fixing my wiki page! I happened to finish The Mother Daughter Book Club a few weeks ago. It was such a great book because it became a quick read due to this author's style of writing. This style includes alternating characters per chapter, but unlike how Oppeal tells about each characters day, Heather Vogel Frederick alternates characters per chapter and the next chapter picks up where the former left off. * I would like to read another book by this author because her unique style keeps you reading through the night and through the book as well, I enjoy this because if this were your BookTalk book you couldn't resist putting it off. * The setting of this story is important because if it were not Concord, MA the events the characcters mimic from Little Women would seem meaning less due to Concord's climate and features. There are many characters in The Mother Daughter Book Club, but if I could talk to one character it would be Jess. *If I could talk to Jess I would ask her "What is it like wishing your mother will return from NY, but end each day with out her. * If I were the author I would have changed the part when Jess's mother comes home (from being an actress on a soap opera, HeartBeats, in NY) to their organic local farm. Tell me if I am wrong but this just doesn't seem realistic and as a reader I don't prefer "Happily Ever Afters" in my chapter books.

Currently I am reading The Battle of the Labyrinth by the one and only Rick Riordan. This book is about going down under to the mind boogling maze. I am only 60 pages in but allready Riordan as set the tone for bo;ok problem after problem and no end to their trobles. * The character I admire the most is Tyson, a tall cyclops with an eqaul as big heart. I admire him because even with hand as large as dinner plates he is mastering in the art of metal craft, I think Tyson also is a living example of the life lesson don't judge a book by its cover because you would assume Tyson would be mean due to his size, but he still has a soft heart.Have a happy Mermorial Day and hope to tell you more about The Battle of the Labyrinth soon!

Abigail :)

June 19, 2011

Hi Abigail,

What book have you decided to read for your 6th Grade Summer reading? Everyone has to read Hatchet, but you have a choice of a couple others. If you haven't read any of her books yet, I think you might enjoy the Sharon Creech selection called The Wanderer. I think you especially will enjoy the way she develops her characters and unfold her stories. I know that you also enjoy historical fiction so you might also enjoy Bud, Not Buddy. Interestingly enough, both of these books are former MCBAs. This always makes me feel good, because it tells me that the books we are reading on the MCBA list are good quality books that middle school teachers also believe are good ones for kids to read.

I can't believe in a couple short days, another year will be over. I hope that you had a great year this year. You should be very proud of all your awesome reading and reflection that you've been doing. I always looked forward to hearing what you had to say:) Feel free to keep me up to date either on what you're reading or any Bacci adventures this summer. I will definitely write you back.

Ms. Sellers:)

Dear Ms. Sellers, July 8, 2011

Sorry I haven't gotten a chance to write back to you sooner, its just that I have been reading/listening so much. For my 6th grade summer reading book choice I listened to Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris on a Playaway, an audio book on a MP3 player. It is totally every thing but the bottom of your kitchen sink, its a fairy tale, romance and a comedy. The book starts when Christian becomes lost in the wood then a troll named Ed and his two dogs Bub and Kate find him. Ed takes Christian back to his cave where Christian grows up, until he becomes a servant at the kingdoms castle.* The character I admire the most is Ed the troll he is very funny and reliable but at the same time a smart alic. If i could talk to a character I would talk to Princess Mariglod and ask what is it like living in

Hi Abigail-

You might be surprised to know that I've been reading a lot of the sixth grade summer reading books too, although not Once Upon a Marigold. I did read Hatchet- and I'm currently reading Heat and Gregor the Overlander. Gregor the Overlander is a crazy subterranean fantasy- and I'm surprised how much I'm liking it. Giant cockroaches and human and bat teams- there's a definte Silverwing vibe to it, maybe that's why I like it so much.

I've been a little slow to pick up MCBAs (I better get cracking) but one I just finished that I really liked was called I, Q. It's about a boy named Quest who's rockstar mom has just married another rockstar and they are about to go across country in a fancy motorcoach. He has a new stepsister named Angela, who's a little mysterious. It turned out to be a great spy/adventure story- with part of the story taking place at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. You know I love a little history being sprinkled in.

How are all the Baccis? What fun things have you been up to?

I miss you, hope your summer has been going well!


Ms. Sellers:)