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Shovan, Laura.
New York : Wendy Lamb Books, 2016
IL 3-6, RL 3.5

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

How would you feel if you knew that your school would be demolished at the end of the school year to make way for a new shopping center and all of the students would be assigned to new schools? Mrs. Hill’s 5th grade class knows that this is what will become of their school and many of them are not very happy about it. Their class assignment is to write poetry to be placed in a time capsule at the end of the year. The eighteen students share their different viewpoints and experiences through verse during the school year. They share their feelings of sadness over the loss of a family member through deportation and divorce. They share their frustrations of schoolwork and dealing with “mean girls.” They also share their happiness and joys of having their first crush and making new friends. Each student’s distinct voice is heard through a different style of poetry that allows their individual personalities to shine. You will likely find yourself rooting for Emerson Elementary and each and every student by the end of the school year and by the end of The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.
(Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award 2017-2018)

Booktalk #2

Eighteen kids, one year of poems, one school set to close. Two yellow bulldozers crouched outside, ready to eat the building in one greedy gulp. But whose idea was it to close the school, anyway? Can the students possibly figure out a way to change their minds? But look out, bulldozers. Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class has plans for you. They’re going to speak up and work together to save their school. Ideas are put forward, committees formed, and plans put into practice, all described by the students in the class by way of the poems they’re writing for the time capsule that will be buried to commemorate the closing of the school. Along the way, each student reveals a lot about themselves, and about their fellow fifth-graders. As you read, you’ll discover that there’s a lot more going on in everyone’s life than just a school closing. You’ll find yourself deciding which students are your favorites, and which ones are not… Will the class be able to save their precious school? Whether they succeed or not, you’ll be glad you got to know the students of the last fifth-grade of Emerson Elementary!  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2018)

SUBJECTS:    Novels in verse.
                        Schools -- Fiction.

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