||Nancy's picks for the best junior novels
of fall 1998 and ideas for using
them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette © 1998.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
- Beard, Darleen. THE
FLIMFLAM MAN Farrar, 1998 (Gr 3-5)
- An advance man for a
circus drives in to Wetumka, OK. on a hot
summer day in 1950.
- Bobbie Jo is taken with
the man, especially when he gives her
free tickets and helps her with her
stuttering. So she and Clara Jean
unwittingly join the filmflam man in the
effort to bamboozle the town.
- ACTIVITY: Check out a book
on magic tricks and try one of the tricks
on your friends. Can you
"bamboozle" them? What does
- Blackwood, Gary. THE
SHAKESPEARE STEALER. Dutton, 1998 Gr 5-8
- Widge is ordered by his
master to steal Shakespeare's HAMLET, or
else! The boy works his way into the
Globe Theatre where the company is kind
to him. If he steals the play he will
betray his new friends. If he does not
steal it he faces the wrath of his
master, a cruel, unfeeling cutthroat.
- ACTIVITY: Debate whether
or not Widge should steal the play. Give
equal reasons for yes and no.
- Durrant, Lynda. THE
BEADED MOCCASINS: The Story of Mary Campbell.
Clarion Books, 1998. Gr 4-6.
- Kidnapped at age twelve
and raised in a culture very different
from her own, Mary gradually adapts to
the culture and escape grows harder to
- ACTIVITY: Write about the
Indian village using this pattern:Let's
go to long ago places and see the Earth's
changing faces. We will see (list 6-8
sights) But that's not all. (List 6-8
additional sights.) Where am I?
- Graeber, Charlotte. NOBODY'S
Illus. by Barry Root. Hyperion, 1998. Gr
- Nobody wants a stray pup
including Miss Pepper who lives alone and
takes pride in caring for her garden. But
sometimes a dog can become a best friend
to a lonely person.
- ACTIVITY: Proverbs: A
proverb is a wise saying. Here are the
beginnings of some well-known proverbs.
Complete each one as you think Miss Penny
(at the end of the book) might have
finished it 1. Actions speak louder
than.....2. Beggars can't be.....3. He
who hesitates is.....4. Two heads are
better than.....5. Let sleeping
dogs.......6. If the shoe fits......
- Gutman, Dan. VIRTUALLY
- Yip uses new software to
create a virtual kid on his computer
complete with artificial intelligence,
good looks and a sense of humor. But when
the virtual kid becomes smarter than the
human who created him, trouble ensues. A
wild premise that leaves the reader
thinking!Activity: What knowledge found
in what books would be essential to
download if you were to create a virtual
person? List and rank order six important
- Lawrence, Iain. THE
WRECKERS. Delacorte Press, 1998. Gr 4-8
- The village lured
storm-tossed ships to crash upon the
rocks; made sure there were no survivors
and fed and clothed themselves on the
loot salvaged from the wreckage. But this
time there was a survivor,
fourteen-year-old John. Will he escape
the wreckers? This is his story.
- ACTIVITY: Describe John
using a simile; using alliteration; using
a metaphor; using hyperbole.
- Paulsen, Gary. THE
TRANSALL SAGA. Delacorte Press, 1998. Gr 5-8
- A beam of light in the
desert transports Mark to another time
and planet. As he tries to find a way
back to Earth he must adapt to a new life
in a new world.
- ACTIVITY: Complete this
pattern showing what Mark learned through
his adventure.You should
never___________________ because you
might _________________________. And you
should definitely never, ever
- Springer, Nancy. I AM
A Tale from Camelot. Philomel, 1998. Gr
- Mordred knows the
prophecy. He will kill his father, King
Arthur. Everyone in Camelot knows the
prophecy yet Mordred longs for his
father's love and approval and a way to
fight his fate.
- ACTIVITY: Write a letter
of advice to Mordred telling him what you
would do in his situation.