Fourth Grade Journey

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wonder Wednesday #303 (Author SKYPE Visit)

Wonder Wednesday - Skype Visit with Tracy Holczer 

*My most favorite part of our school day has to be our class read aloud.  

*This time is special, up close and personal, and leads us to great discussions.  

*Our first read aloud was Sweep by Jonathan Auxier.  I knew I wanted something special to follow up this first novel and who better to turn to than Tracy Holczer. 

*While reading the story to the class, I could tell they were falling in love with the characters, intrigued by the plot, and sympathetic toward the heartache.  

*We were lucky to be able to chat with Tracy via Skype after we finished the story.  This visit took place on Thursday, November 14, 2019.  

*The students were able to share comment and ask questions.  Tracy was kind, generous, and thought-provoking.  

*Spending time with author, either in person or on Skype, is such an important learning piece for all readers.  

*Here are some images of our time with author Tracy Holczer...

Monday, January 27, 2020

An Inside Look #124 (Author INTERVIEW)

An Inside Look with Tae Keller
(Author of When You Trap a Tiger)

*The first season of interviews ran from June of 2016 to March of 2017.  

*Season #two ran during the summer of 2017.  

*Season #three ran during the school year of 2017-2018.  

*The fourth season ran during the summer/fall of 2018.

*Season #five ran during the 2018/2019 school year. 

*During summer 2019, the sixth season ran.  

*The seventh season of interviews ran during the fall of 2019.  

*I'm excited to be back for season #EIGHT with brand new interviews/authors.  

*It has been such an honor to connect with authors and "chat" about their novel, characters, and thoughts about the story.

*This is the FOURTH interview in which I'm calling Season #EIGHT.  

*Thank you to Tae Keller for being the One-Hundred Twenty-Fourth author that I've had the pleasure of interviewing.  I truly appreciate it.  

*Here are links to the One Hundred Twenty-Three interviews…

SEASON #ONE (2016-2017)

SEASON #FOUR (Summer 2018)

SEASON #FIVE (2018/2019)

SEASON #SIX (Summer 2019)

SEASON #SEVEN (Fall 2019)

SEASON #EIGHT (Winter 2020)

Interview #121 with Melissa Savage (Author of Nessie Quest)

Interview #122 with Tamara Bundy (Author of Pixie Pushes On)

Interview #123 with Lindsay Lackey (Author of All the Impossible Things)

*Here is my review of the Novel...

When You Trap a Tiger Book Review

When You Trap a Tiger

by Tae Keller

(January 28, 2020)

How did you come to know Lily?  
Lily's voice came quickly. I knew that she noticed things other didn't, that she saw magic in the mundane, and that her world was rich with imagery and metaphor. I also knew that she was reserved and cautious—which meant that though her voice came fast, her story didn't. With my first book, The Science of Breakable Things, my character felt much more straightforward. The story came easily because it felt like my character wanted to tell it. Lily made me work for her story, and I only figured it out through many, many wrong turns and revisions.

What do you think is her most admirable quality?
For someone who feels invisible, Lily makes a lot of bold decisions, all because she fiercely protects the people she loves.

Is there anything you wish she would have changed or done differently in her story?
Ha, there's one scene in particular, when she's very mad at a friend and decides to get revenge in a rather unconventional way. As an adult, I do not condone her actions. But I have to admit...the kid in me was kind of rooting for her.

How did you research Lily and the circumstances she found herself in?
I read so much folklore! Much of this story is based off Korean fairytales, and though I remembered some from my childhood, there were a lot of stories I'd never heard. I read every tiger-based folktale I could find, and the stories in WYTAT are a mish-mash of those—plus a bit of my own invention. 

I also researched a lot about Korean history so I could fully understand the history of Lily's family and the experiences that would have shaped her grandmother's mindset. I was surprised (though perhaps I shouldn't have been) to find that learning the history helped me connect with my own grandmother, too. There were parts of my halmoni that I didn't fully understand before writing this book.

Do you and Lily share any similarities?  
 Lily worries about being invisible, and her sister dubs her a "QAG"—a Quiet Asian Girl. I've always been reserved, and as a kid I was quite shy. A lot of Lily's insecurity about that is very familiar to me.

What was the hardest scene to write about Lily?
The ending, for sure. But I won't give it away.

Who do you think was her biggest supporter and why?
Her grandmother—her halmoni. Halmoni has always seen through Lily's invisibility.

Why do you think some young people, like Lily, have such bonds with their grandparent when there is such an age difference?
I think the supportiveness is definitely a factor; grandparents can spoil their grandkids in ways that parents can't. And in my experience, I was always in awe of my halmoni. She has so many stories, both her own and the ones she's collected. As a kid, and even now, hearing her talk feels like hearing the stories of a thousand lifetimes, all rolled into one.

What do you think Lily is doing as the present time? 
Well, I'm pretty sure her best friend promised her some adventures at their new school. I hope she's giving those kids a run for their money.  

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1/27/20)

Thanks to Jen and Kellee for hosting this idea on their site.  Here is a link to the site...

Books I Read this Past Week...

Mananaland by Pam Munoz Ryan

*Middle-Grade Novel (3 STARS out of 5 Stars)

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Joy McCullough

*Middle-Grade Novel (4 STARS out of 5 Stars)

Books I Will (continue to) Read this Week...

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

*My Novel Published for Adults (Audio)

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

*My Novel Published for Adults

They Went Left by Monica Hesse

*My Young-Adult Novel

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

*My Middle-Grade Novel