Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Holt, Kimberly Willis.
New York : Henry Holt and Co., 1999.
IL 5-8  RL 5.0
ISBN 0805061169 

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

When I was growing up my dad went to Vietnam to fight in the was for an entire year.  We missed him terribly.  Sometimes family and friends go away for awhile.  Sometimes for a short time and sometimes forever.  Has anyone here had that happen to them? Did it make you feel sad?  On the other hand have you ever met anyone who was very unique and different from anybody you had ever known?  Well this book is full of them.  You need to check out Toby's dad who raises worms and is a postman.  You need to check out Toby's wanna-be country and western singer mom.  You need to check out Scarlett, the girl Toby is crazy about.  You need to check out Toby's crazy best friend Cal who is waiting for his brother to come home from Vietnam.  But most of all check out Zachary Beaver the 600 lb. boy who lives in front of the Dairy Maid in a trailer.  To find out about all of these characters and more, read "When Zachary Beaver Came to Town" by Kimberly Holt.  (Karen Womack, graduate student,  <> )

Booktalk #2

Antler, Texas isnít the most exciting place in the world, and today would be no different, except that Iím about to see Zachary Beaver, the fattest boy in the world. He weighs 643 pounds and heís in a trailer decorated with Christmas lights in the Dairy Maid parking lot. Iíve got my two dollars to see Zachary in my hand. It gets me and my friends thinking things like how do you weigh someone who weighs 643 pounds? On a meat scale? Does he need a special toilet? Does he really eat out of a mixing bowl big enough to hold two boxes of frosted cornflakes? It even gets me to do research. The fattest man living right now, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, weighs 739 pounds.  Well, lest you think Iím totally infatuated with Zachary Beaver, there are other people and complications in my life. Oh yeah! I forgot to introduce myself. Iím Toby Wilson and Iím 13 years old. If you want to find out if my complications are like yours, read When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #3

He was the fattest boy any of them had ever seen.  643 pounds!  They each paid $2 to see Zachary Beaver sitting in his trailer behind Plexiglas so no one would try to touch him.  Thus begins an unforgettable summer for Toby and Cal.  Toby is hoping Scarlett will turn her attention away from Juan Garcia and to him.  Toby is also waiting for his mother to return from Nashville where she has entered the National Amateursí Country Music Competition at the Grand Ole Opry.  Toby misses his motherís cooking.  His father, postmaster and worm farmer, believes more in vegetables than meat. Calís brother is serving a tour in Vietnam and everyone is counting the days until he returns.  Then there's Zachary.  The day after he was on display his trailer is still parked at the Dairy Maid, but his guardianís blue Thunderbird is gone.  Has Zachary been abandoned, or is Paulie truly out looking for more acts to add to the show?  Intrigued by Zachary, Cal and Toby look for ways to find out more about this gigantic boy.  First they need to get him out of his trailer. Will he even fit through the door? What's in the gold cardboard box?  What do you talk about with a 643-pound boy?  Take a trip to Antler, Texas to see the fattest boy on earth!  (Mary Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

SUBJECTS:     Best friends -- Fiction
                        Friendship -- Fiction
                        Overweight persons -- Fiction
                        City and town life -- Texas -- Fiction
                        Texas -- Fiction


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