Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Nancy Keane's Children's Website
Siebold, Jan.
Morton Grove, Ill. : Whitman, 2002.
IL 3-6, RL 5.7
ISBN 0807559598

(5 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

"O.L.D. Friends" ... Mitchell wondered who dreamed that up.  Actually, the letters stood for "On-Line Discussion", a new police program for minor juvenile offenders.  Kids are connected with chat partners from a nursing home across town.  The idea was that the offender would hopefully gain some wisdom from an elderly person while the elderly person would enjoy having contact with a youngster.  Mitch wasn't a criminal ... not at all.  How was he to know the prank they pulled would cause his cranky old neighbor to be injured and sent to the hospital?  He shouldn't be taking the rap for this anyway.  It was Trotter, the bully next door, who was really responsible.  But, of course, he told the police tit was his fault.  Actually, doing time on-line didn't turn out to be so bad after all.  Wootie, the old lady a the Maple Grove Nursing Home, was quite a character.  Cranky, at first, but she had a reason to be.  Since his mom passed away, he needed someone to talk to.  Dad was great and they had good times together, but lately he's been working long hours at the plant.  Mitch learned a lot and so did Wootie.  So will you when you read Doing Time On-Line.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #2

Mitchell now had to pay the price for the practical joke.  Oh he was dreading his police assignment of “chatting” with someone who lived at a Nursing home.  His instructions were don’t be rude and no foul language.  Just sign in and go…

Read page 3-6

Now you know what Mitchell is doing twice a week.  But what was it that got Mitchell into trouble in the first place?  Will he tell Wootie?  And is Mitchell sorry? You’ll only know if you finish reading Doing Time Online by Jan Siebold.  (Beth Lindsay, Senior Librarian, Youth Services, South County Regional Library,  Sunshine State list 2003-2004 Grades 3-5 and 6-8)

Booktalk #3

OK.  He can get through this.  It's just for one month.  He has been assigned to the O.L.D. Friends program.  He must come to the police station every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and have an email chat with someone from a nursing home.  As much as he doesn't want to do this, he knows he has to.  After all, when he thinks about what happened, what got him into this mess, he can't stand what he sees.  Maybe this will make up for it somehow.  But, what will happen during the next month?

Booktalk #4

It wasn't Mitch's fault, it was Trotter's. Now Mitch has to do time online. Each week Mitch has to go to the police station and talk online to some old person at the nursing home. It's not fair, nothing happened to Trotter. Then Mitch discovers something online that changes him and the person he has to chat with. What could be so important? Read Doing Time Online by Jan Siebold and find out for yourself. (Catherine Ryan,

Booktal #5

It was really the fault of that bully, Trotter, but now twice a week Mitch must go to the police station to serve time, finishing out his parole assignment. What is his punishment for the practical joke that backfired and hurt his elderly neighbor? He has been assigned to the O.L.D. Friends program. “O.L.D.” is really short for “On Line Discussion”, but Mitch wonders what on earth he will have in common with the elderly lady he must chat with online? Every Tuesday and Thursday after school, Mitch talks via e-mail with Wootie, a resident of the Maple Grove Nursing Home. What a bore, but is it? Read this book to discover what Mitch and Wootie learn. You may especially like this book if you like Donald Sobol’s “Encyclopedia Brown” series, or Jerry Spinelli’s book, Maniac Magee.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2004-2005)

SUBJECTS:     Old age -- Fiction.
                        Nursing homes -- Fiction.
                        Punishment -- Fiction.


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