Fourth Grade Journey

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

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Paris Project by Donna Gephart

How I Heard About It:  The other day I went to the mailbox to find a piece of wonderful book mail.  Donna was kind and thoughtful to send me an advanced copy of her upcoming novel that will enter the world in October of 2019.  I was thrilled and got reading that very night.  

What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:  
1.  *Cleveland Rosebud Potts is living her life in Sassafras, Florida.  She doesn't enjoy living here and has made a plan to leave and move to Paris.

2.  *Cleveland has even made a list of tasks she must accomplish in order to further her plan of getting to Paris.

3.  *While working on her list, she is dealing with quite a bit of "life".  She has a father that is incarcerated, a mother that has to work all the time, a sister that wants to break free also, a best friend who has a new friend, and an old best friend that is making life miserable for Cleveland.  

4.  *As Cleveland navigates her days of school and home, she comes to know who is truly there for her and who doesn't have her best interest at heart.  

5.  *Life may be difficult for Cleveland and her family, but in the end she learns all a person needs is their family and one or two really good friends.  Plus a dream of traveling to France doesn't hurt.  

What I Thought Of It - Five Observations/Reflections:
1.  *I have loved all of Donna's stories.  Each story brings something different and I learn something new.  That is exactly what happened with her newest work of fiction.  

2.  *Cleveland was wonderful, smart, and sensitive.  She had such heart and determination.  

3.  *I enjoyed reading about her relationships with her sister, her parents, her best friend, and even her "former" best friend.  

4.  *Donna included many important life-lessons that would lead to some wonderfully deep and meaningful conversations.  

5.  *I enjoy how Donna is not afraid to tackle real-life issues, incarceration, with honestly and sensitivity.  These are the types of stories our young readers need.  

Who Should Read It:   The story of Cleveland would resonate with readers in grades five and/or six.  Of course it definitely could be read by middle-school readers.  Female readers may enjoy the story a bit more because the main character is female and wanting to experience life in Paris.  This does not mean a male reader wouldn't enjoy the story especially since Cleveland's best friend is a boy.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:   4 STARS out of 5 Stars!

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