Fourth Grade Journey

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

How I Heard About It:  I was at #NerdCampMI this past July and attended a session that Shelley Johannes was part of.  It was a fascinating presentation with authors giving teachers suggestions on easy ways to get our students to enjoy and flourish with their writing.  As part of the session, Shelley was giving out copies of her first novel.  

What It Is About:  Beatrice is one of a kind.  Beatrice is unique.  Beatrice is what people may call quirky.  One thing for sure is that she loves to do her thinking and living "upside down".  Her family is the complete opposite, but they love and embrace their little Beatrice.  Beatrice and her best friend Lenny are so excited to begin third grade.  But before they do, they must spend time apart during summer vacation.  They make a deal to execute their "secret" plan at the beginning of their third grade year.  During their separation, Beatrice makes big plans thinking her best friend is doing the same thing.  Third grade begins and Beatrice is ready for the mission, but becomes surprised when Lenny shows up and is not prepared for the plan.  Beatrice is also not sure about the girl that shows up with Lenny.  She sets out to find out what is going on and see if she can get things back on track.  

What I Thought Of It:  I'm always excited when I find a new book that is perfect for "start-of-the-year" fourth graders.  I enjoyed the adventures of Beatrice and thought the illustrations were top-notch.  Even though the story was "light" and fun, there were some important life-lessons that all young people should read about.  The reading was completely enjoyable and I know my young readers will completely enjoy.  I'm so excited to add the book to my classroom library.  

Who Should Read It:  Book lovers in grades two, three, and four will enjoy the story of Beatrice and her friends.  It is the perfect transition chapter book for readers moving from easy readers to chapter books.  The chapters are short, the illustrations are excellent, and the story is perfect for young readers.  It could make for a strong read aloud, but I think it would be even better in the hands of individual readers.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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