Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Main Page
Author List
Title List
New This Month
Interest Level
Subject List
Booktalking Tips
Book Review Sources
Reading lists
Nancy Keane's Children's Website
Dowell, Frances O'Roark.
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005
IL 5-8, RL 6.8
ISBN 0689858167

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

You probably know someone like Tobin. A big chip on his shoulder and lots of attitude.  Comes from a family of juvenile delinquents and seems destined to follow in that path.  But Henry sees something different in Tobin.  He sees someone worth knowing.  Someone who might just be a friend.  When Henry invites Tobin over to see his chickens, everything changes for Tobin.  He begins to realize that he might just have some good features after all.  As Henry and Tobin work on their science project about chickens, Henry learns about Tobin.  How his mother died.  How his home life is far from ideal.  About his crazy grandmother.  And how much he comes to love those chickens.

Booktalk #2

Tobin Mccauley's got a near-certifiable grandmother, a pack of juvenile-delinquent siblings, and a dad who's not going to win father of the year any time soon. To top it off, Tobin's only friend truly believes that the study of chickens will reveal...the meaning of life? Getting through seventh grade isn't easy for anyone, son, but when the first day of school starts out with your granny's arrest, you know you've got real problems. Throw on five-day suspension (for defending your English teacher's honor), a chicken that lays green eggs, and a family feud that's tearing everyone to pieces, and you're in for one heck of a ride.  (Rebecca Caudill Young Readersí Book Award 2008)

Booktalk #3

Tobin McCauley is beginning seventh grade and has a difficult life.  His mother died of cancer five years ago.  His dad does nothing but go to work,  watch racing on TV, and fight with his crazy grandmother.  His older brothers and sister don't seem to care about him.  Some days there's nothing to eat.  Then there's school.  Tobin is not a good student, and he just doesn't care.  Thank goodness Henry befriends Tobin and convinces him to help him with a science project raising chickens.  This important friendship along with the science project help Tobin face the problems in his life.  (Janet Carlson, Librarian,

SUBJECTS:     Self-esteem -- Fiction.
                        Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Grandmothers -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Chickens -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.


Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.