Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming...

How I Heard About It:  While organizing my classroom library before students arrive next Tuesday, I noticed this book (I actually had several copies) in my collection of novels.  It caught my attention, I threw it in my backpack, and read it over the last couple of nights.  

What It Is About:  The fourth grade class at Aesop Elementary hasn't had the best reputation since they were in Kindergarten.  Each year they caused problems for their teacher leaving that teacher very glad to pass them on to the next grade.  During fourth grader their regular teacher goes on leave and Mr. Jupiter comes in as replacement.  He himself actually went to this same school as a child and has had quite a unique and exceptional life up until this point of teaching this particular class.  The class is excited to have a new teacher so they can put him through the "ringer."  What they soon find out is that Mr. Jupiter is different from all other teachers and seems to be able to handle their "stuff."  Each chapter is about a different student in the class and a particular situation they get themselves into at school.  The class comes a long way with the help of their new teacher and learn a new thing or two along the way.

What I Thought Of It:  This was a completely enjoyable read.  I was surprised it had been in my library so long and I hadn't read it before.  I enjoyed the humor, the outrageous shenanigans, and the special and unique students in this class.  It was also cool that each chapter had a "moral" at the end.  The story moved along quickly, had lots of action, and many life lessons sprinkled throughout the novel.  As I was reading, I kept thinking if I'm enjoying the story so much, I know that my students will also.

Who Should Read It:  Being that I teach fourth grade, I believe this is the perfect novel for my students.  That being said, it would also work with strong readers in third grade and even readers in fifth grade.  The chapters are short and the whole book isn't too long.  I kept thinking that I would for sure use this novel either as a read aloud or a "Breakfast with Books" book club selection during the upcoming school year.  At this point, I'm leaning toward using it as our first book for our class book club.  Happy Reading!

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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