Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Booktalk: Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak [Virginia Readers' Choice]

Let’s say that tonight your dad wants to send a message to a friend who lives across town. What are his options? [Wait for responses: call on the phone, email, etc.] What would your dad do if it were colonial America, 1773? [Wait for responses.] He’d send an errand boy to deliver the message. An errand boy was 11 or 12 years old, and he ran errands and usually lived in someone else’s household. In this case, it’s Ethan [point to cover]. Ethan is the paperboy for the printer, and he’s the errand boy. Ethan has no living parents: his mom died giving birth to him, and his dad drowned at sea. Ethan works for a living, and he works hard. It might take him all day to do his work and deliver messages. He keeps his mouth shut, his eyes open, and his feet in motion. Boston in 1773 is a very tense place. The Sons of Liberty are counting on Ethan to share the notice about the secret meeting at Old South. They have a midnight deadline: should the tea be taxed or should they fight back? Ethan’s day starts at dark: 5:30 in the morning, and goes til at least 9 at night. Can you keep up with him? Would you have been as tough and smart as he had to be? Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters.

Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters, illustrated by Larry Day. 2008: Dutton’s Children’s Books. Unpaged. Booktalk to intermediate grades [3rd-5th] and 6th. Virginia Readers’ Choice for 2011-2012.

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