Level: Elementary Reader (3rd to 5th)
Genre: Children’s Literature
Buy this book at Amazon.com: Clementine
Clementine is a witty third grader that is having a disastrous week. As she recounts the events of this ‘not-so-good’ week she connects with children on their level. Her colorful personality describes that she is not ‘the hard one’ but thinks of things from her own perspective and if everyone would think like her it would make sense. As she describes the events from the week you are given a glimpse into the world of a third grader. From multiple trips to the principal’s office to cutting off her own hair, her week is a disastrous one for the record books! This book helps children appreciate the good and the bad in any situation.
Pennypacker writes at an age-appropriate level in a manner that engages the readers and taps into a child’s thought process. Readers can easily comprehend inferences, figurative language and literary elements within the reading. Clementine is written in child’s perspective with children’s vocabulary to help students understand literary terms and elements with ease.
Clementine chronicles here ‘not-so-good’ week within the book. Have students chronicle or journal their own week recounting the events in daily writing assignment. Have them share an excerpt of their week with the class as they read.
Students can also recall an embarrassing time in their lives, just as Clementine does within the book. Have them write or discuss what the event was, how they felt when it happened and how they felt better.
Within the book Clementine feels misunderstood by her parents and adults. Have students talk about an issue they feel they are misunderstood about. Help them come up with constructive ways to fix the problem.
Clementine helps her older neighbors at her apartment complex. Encourage students to help others outside of school. Have them take a picture and write about a time where they help others at home. Make a bulletin board to share these time and connected it to the reading.
In My Opinion
This book is written superbly! Readers of any age can connect with Clementine. Pennypacker writes the book from a perspective that connects with children, parents and teachers. Children will feel like they can relate to Clementine and adults will sympathize with life from a child’s perspective. Overall this book is enjoyable, comical and engaging for children of all ages!