Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Polacco, Patricia
New York : Philomel Books, 2000.
IL K-3, RL 4.6
ISBN 0399231706

3 booktalks

Booktalk #1

Nazis have marched into our small village.  They are everywhere in their tall black boots.  It is war!  One night I see a little ghost sitting on the end of my bed and when I tell my mother about it, she tells me that it was not a ghost but a young Jewish girl who – along with her family – has been hiding in the basement.  I bring her grass, flowers, and beautiful butterflies from the outside world every day.  One night while we are playing secretly in my room, we are discovered by a neighbor.  Because of this, they must flee.  Read this touching story of courage and friendship and find out what happens to them.  Will they ever be free like a butterfly?
Prepared by:  Nancy Bull for South Carolina Children's Book Award

Booktalk #2

What can compare to a butterfly: so beautiful, so free, a natural dancer in the fresh, sunny air?  Patricia Polacco again dips into her family history to tell us a true story of her aunt and her great aunt in occupied France during the Second World War.  The Nazis are everywhere, “tall boots”, scaring young Monique, acting so cruelly to her neighbors, especially the neighbors who are Jewish.  Can Monique and her friends ever be as free as butterflies again?  Read this wonderful story of courage, of friendship, and of grace to find out.  (Jean Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003)

Booktalk #3

Hi, my name is Dani, And have you ever heard the name Patrica Polacco? Well, I read a story called THE BUTTERFLY by Patrica Polacco. In this book a little girl named Monique, who lives in France, finds a little girl named Sevrine and her family hiding in her basement.  They have to hide because they are Jewish, and the Nazi soldiers are looking for them.  One night the girls were looking at a beautiful Papillon butterfly out their window.   "If only I could be free like the butterfly", said Sevrine. Suddenly, they realize a man is watching them. Sevrine and her family have to leave quickly.  The escape is very scary. They even have to hide in a tunnel from a car full of Nazis. When they get to the train station Sevrine hands Monique a gold bracelet that has the star of David on it. Monique worries about her friend and wonders if she has made it safely to freedom. Two weeks later, millions of Papillon butterflies fly in the window.  Monique knew this meant. Sevrine was free! So, if you like butterflies, history, and something exiciting, this is the book for you! Go check it out at your local library.  (Dani W., student,

SUBJECTS:     Jews -- France -- Fiction.
                        World War, 1939-1945 -- France -- Fiction.
                        France -- History -- German occupation, 1940-1945 -- Fiction.


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