1999 Summer Junior Novel and the Internet

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novel and the Internet of Summer 1999 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1999.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
DeFelice, Cynthia. NOWHERE TO CALL HOME Farrar, 1999
When Frances Elizabeth Barrow hops a freight train west, she looks nothing like herself. And she's sure the bedraggled young man she finds in her boxcar believes she is exactly what she appears to be - a poor homeless boy, another hobo.Her companion, Stewpot, renames her Frankie Blue. Soon she is skillfully sneaking on and off trains, finding food and struggling to protect herself. Then life becomes harder. Frankie begins to remember who she is, an educated girl from a once wealthy family. She comes to understand that a hobo's life is only for those with no alternative. Frankie has a way out but now Stewpot needs her......
1. Read the letter from the noted author, James Michener, who claimed to be a "bum" at heart. Create a Venn diagram comparing Frankie's life with Micheners.
MICHENER LETTER: http://glpbooks.com/oyb/hobomichener.html
 
2. Read the words to Bob Dylan's song "I Am A Lonesome Hobo." What parts of this song might have been written by Frankie? By Stewpot?
 
I AM A LONESOME HOBO: http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/hobo.html
 
Spires, Elizabeth. THE MOUSE OF AMHERST. Farrar, 1999
When Emmaline, a white mouse, moves into the wainscoting of Emily Dickinson's bedroom, she discovers her literary kinship with the great poet of Amherst.. "I'm nobody. Who are you?" Emily asks, and with Emmaline's reply begins a lively correspondence where mouse and 'Myth' become fast friends and, in the process, inspire each other to new poetic heights. Here is a mouse eye's view of the pleasures and perils of life in Emily Dickinson's world.
 
Visit the web site for Emily Dickinson and choose a favorite poem as a model for you to use in writing about something that interests you. EMILY DICKINSON: http://www.poets.org/LIT/poet/edickins.htm
Example:
Frequently the woods are pink
Frequently are brown
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town
Emily Dickenson
 
Frequently the stars come out
Frequently shine bright
Frequently the stars parade
Across the sky at night
Student: Grade 4