Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Clements, Andrew
New York : Simon and Schuster, 1999.
IL 3-6  RL 6.1
ISBN 0689818173

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Cara Landry notices things that other kids might miss. Then she reports them in her newspaper. In her last school, Cara often got in trouble for her reporting because she didn’t always have all the facts. Now, in a new school, Cara still reports what she sees, but makes sure she always tells the truth, even if it hurts. When Cara writes an editorial about her teacher not teaching anything to their class, Mr. Larson is angry enough that she’s afraid he’ll stop her from printing her newspaper. Instead, he turns the newspaper into a class project. Soon the whole class gets involved. When the principal tries to shut down their newspaper, Mr. Larson refuses to do it and finds his job is in jeopardy. What happens to the newspaper? Does Mr. Larson lose his job? Read The Landry News by Andrew Clements to find out. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #2

Would you write something about your teacher that said she never taught you anything and then post it up on the wall for everyone—even the teacher—to see?  Cara Landry was just that brave or crazy to do it!

Cara had always liked writing, especially newspaper stories, so when she moved to her new school she kept on doing it.  Mr. Larson, the fifth grade teacher, was known for his teaching style, which was to let kids teach themselves so he could read his newspaper.  Cara thought this was just fine since she had plenty to do to stay busy while the rest of the class was in total chaos.  The day she published her first edition of the Landry News with the editorial about Mr. Larson, things started to change in Room 145.

The kids all thought it was great that she was so bold.  Mr. Larson couldn't remember when he had been so mad as when he read the editorial.  The principal thought this was going to be the perfect way to finally get rid of Mr. Larson, even though at one point he had been named "teacher of the year" for 3 years in a row.  What had happened to that Mr. Larson?  Was Cara just rude to have written her editorial?  Cara wanted something more from her teacher. She wanted to learn and she wanted to find out what had happened to that great teacher he had been.  After all, any good reporter would dig to find the facts behind the story.

The commotion that was started with Cara's first editorial, changes everything about Room 145 and the kids in that class.  In Landry News by Andrew Clements, Cara finds out that there is much more to reporting than just telling the facts.  Mr. Landry discovers something about himself along the way.  Your best investigative reporting would be to read this book and find out what happens because of one editorial that just told the truth.  (Peggy Lewis, teacher,

SUBJECTS:      Newspapers -- Fiction.
                        Teachers -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Divorce -- Fiction.


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