Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Haddix, Margaret Peterson.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2004.
IL 5-8, RL 5.0
ISBN 0689854226

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Life has always been a struggle for Britt and her family.  Her single mom works so hard just trying to pay the rent on their tiny apartment that it’s nearly impossible for her to make progress on her dream of finishing college.  Fortunately, Britt’s big brother Bran has always been there to help---strong, patient, responsible, and now he seems to have achieved the impossible!  This summer they’ll be moving to Florida, where her mom can attend classes at the college of her dreams, and they’ll be living in a real house---rent free!  Bran has arranged the whole thing on his own.  Thanks to him, the family has a chance at really making it---so why is he acting so strange?  Why is the brother who was always so understanding, thoughtful, and fun to be around suddenly so secretive, so cranky, and always nagging her about stupid rules?  Why won’t he let them run the air conditioning, or sit on the furniture, or use the dishes?  As a summer in Florida stretches out in front of her, Britt is not so sure it’s the answer to her prayers, but she is sure of one thing----she has to find out what’s really going on!  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face committee, 2005-2006)

Booktalk #2

Britt and her older brother Bran have moved to Florida so their mother can finish her college education. When Bran finds a house for them to house-sit for the summer, Bran and her mom are excited. But Bran changes and becomes very strange and secretive, forcing the family to do strange things such as not touch the thermostat or the lights, using only certain rooms. Britt starts to suspect that they are not supposed to be in this house, but their mother is so busy with her classes and studying, that Britt doesn't want to bother her by discussing it. Bran becomes even stranger, and Britt finally confronts him, but by then it is too late. To add to the suspense, the owners of the house are not the people whom Britt and her mom thought they were. Disaster follows when all is revealed, but through the disaster, unfinished business from the past arises and must be resolved. (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2006-2007)

SUBJECTS:     Housesitting -- Fiction.
                        Grandparents -- Fiction.
                        Mystery and detective stories.
                        Florida -- Fiction.


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