Saturday, January 22, 2011

Booktalk: The Secret River by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings [Generosity; 1]

[Booktalker’s note: I am using the newest one, the 2011 one which is illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon].

[Show readers page [4], which has Calpurnia at her dresser, fixing her hair.] This is Calpurnia, who lives in a forest in Florida with her family and her loyal but lazy dog, Buggy-horse. She work up early today because she had the feeling something special would happen. [Turn to the next page, which shows Calpurnia at the breakfast table with her family.] When Calpurnia is eating breakfast with her family, her father tells them that hard times have come to the forest, and that he can’t catch any fish. No fish means no money and no food for their family. Calpurnia’s family is in big trouble. Well, Calpurnia decides to take matters in her own hands. She seeks out a wise woman, Mother Albirtha, who tells her a secret. It’s an important secret. It could save Calpurnia’s family, and maybe save the other poor people, too. It has to do with a secret river, full of all kinds of delicious fish, waiting to be caught. This is powerful knowledge. What will Calpurnia do to find this secret river, and if she finds it, what will she do with the fish? The Secret River by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

The Secret River by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. 2011: Atheneum [it was first published in a slightly longer form posthumously, and was awarded a Newbery Honor in 1956]. Booktalk to elementary school, and elementary intermediate grades. This would also make a great classroom read-aloud.

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