Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Zindel, Paul
New York : Bantam, 1990.
IL YA RL 7.1
ISBN 0553287656

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Henry and Zelda had a favorite teacher, Miss Applebaum, whom they helped set up laboratories with. When she retires and doesn't come back to school, they set out to find her apartment to carry her a begonia. They arrive at a time when the doctor is providing a treatment. Despite their fear of her illness, they respond to her enthusiasm for adventure and arrange to have weekends free from family to spend the Fall traipsing around Manhattan doing all the eccentric things Miss Applebaum does without a second thought. You know from the first page that this book is sort of a confession of the part Henry and Zelda played in Miss Applebaum's death. It's a truly interesting telling of good times with a lady they didn't expect to get to know so well.

Booktalk #2

Miss Applebaum is Henry and Zelda's favorite teacher. When they return to school and she has retired suddenly, they visit her, taking with them a begonia. She invites them to visit her often, and the three go on adventures in New York City. Miss Applebaum's niece doesn't want the children interfering and risking her health, and tells them to leave her aunt alone. They don't realize how sick Miss Applebaum is until they see the treatments she is receiving. * * When Miss Applebaum has to be hospitalized, Henry and Zelda act as her grandchildren and visit her daily. They take care of her apartment and the homeless people she has always fed. When it is time, they bring her home and stay with her as she dies, and follow her last wishes to be buried in Central Park by her favorite bench.

(Linda Wolfgram,, Middle/High School Media Specialist, Benton Community Schools, Van Horne, IA)
SUBJECTS:     Teacher-student relationships -- Fiction
                        Death -- Fiction
                        New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction


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