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Messner, Kate.
New York : Walker, 2009
IL 3-6, RL 6.0
ISBN 080279842X

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Artistic and athletic, Gianna Zales throws all her energy into her art and running on the school's cross-country team. But when she is told she will not participate in the team sectionals if she does not complete her leaf-collecting science project, Gianna faces an uphill battle.

Gianna begins to make progress on her project, but she hits one setback after anotherólost leaves, sabotaged homework from her team rival, Bianca, and dealing with her grandmotherís failing memory. Her best friend Zig comes to her aid, helping Gianna with her project, and supports her as a steadfast friend.

As the deadline closes in, Gianna is still behind, running a close race to stay on the team.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2011)

Booktalk #2

Seventh grader, Gianna Z. loves running and art but not doing school work. She has waited until the last minute to do her 25 leaves science project, due in one week. Her cross-country Coach has told Gianna she will not run in sectionals if her science project is not done. Her back-up runner is a pretty and arrogant girl named Bianca. Giannaís good friend, Zip, helps her collect and label leaves but many things keep her from finishing the work. Her father is busy with the funeral business, her grandmother is showing signs of Alzheimerís and Bianca destroys her project. Read about Giannaís race against time to see if she finishes the leaf project in time to compete.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)

SUBJECTS:     Grandmothers -- Fiction.
                        Old age -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Trees -- Fiction.
                        Running -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Vermont -- Fiction.
                        Vermont -- Fiction.

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