Fourth Grade Journey

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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson

How I Heard About It:  I saw a "tweet" from Colby Sharp where he praised this novel.  Anytime I see a book that he has enjoyed, I always put it on my TBR list.  Earlier this summer I ordered quite a few new titles to read over the summer and this was one of them.  

What It Is About:  Topher, Brand, and Steve are three boys that are in Ms. Bixby's class.  She is a one-of-a-kind teacher.  Each of these three boys has a special relationship with Ms. Bixby; as do all of her students.  The class is heading toward the end of the school year when Ms. Bixby announces she will not be able to finish the last days with the class.  The students are stunned and saddened about this news.  The three boys take it upon themselves to deliver a final special day for their special teacher.  In order to make this "event" take place, the boys must skip school for the day and end up in quite an adventure.  They learn how to transfer a cheesecake (or not transfer it), learn who to trust (or not trust) with their money, and how to keep their "quest" a secret especially from people they run into during their day.  

What I Thought Of It:  Ms. Bixby's Last Day was an enjoyable read.  I enjoyed how the author interwove the adventure the three boys took to share a special day with their teacher and their background stories that showcased their relationship with Ms. Bixby.  Each boy benefited from the wonders that Ms. Bixby shared with them.  Anytime a story has a teacher the center of the story, I'm all there.  I enjoyed how each boy was unique and beat to their own drum.  There were a few surprises along the way that I wasn't expecting so that always makes for a satisfying read.  

Who Should Read It:   When I finished the novel earlier today I thought that this story would make for a great read aloud with my fourth grade class.  There is a lot of suspense, action, and adventure that always add greatly to a shared reading.  The story is a bit longer at 300 pages so it would be geared toward the strong fourth grade reader and/or a fifth/sixth grader.  As I'm thinking about this story, it may be perfect for a reluctant male reader because of the three strong characters that are presented in the book.  It is also a must-read for adult readers that enjoy middle-grade fiction.  Thanks Colby Sharp for the recommendation.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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