Saturday, March 3, 2012

Marty Mcguire by Kate Messner

Ask any 3rd grade teacher. Ask any librarian. Ask any publisher. There are not enough books for readers who are just starting to read longer chapter books. We need more Marty Mcguire books. It’s well-written, funny, and entertaining.

Meet tomboy, Marty. She is having problems with her best friend, Annie, who has embraced dancing, frilly things, and new friendships… like Veronica Grace, the ultimate girly girl. In order to win back Annie, Marty tries to play dress up and learn to dance with the other girls at recess, but she keeps getting distracted by the boys catching a bullfrog at the pond. It looks like so much fun! Eventually, she wanders over to the boys not only catching the frog but falling in the pond with her dress up clothes.

When the teacher tells the students they are going to have a play called, The Frog Prince, most of the girls want to be the princess and dress up, but not Marty. Ugh! She wants nothing to do with the play. When the teacher chooses her to be the lead, she refuses, but mom and dad won’t take no for an answer. Marty becomes the Frog Princess. And not only does she embrace her the role, she comes up with a few surprises of her own.

Words are repeated that will help early readers with reading and if the word is difficult like, “improvise,” it is used multiple times throughout the story to help the child learn it. That is probably the hardest word and “spontaneous” but they are defined for the reader. Messner does a nice job of weaving frogs into the story either in nature or in the fairy tale.

This story deals with conflicts and girls not being nice to each other. Marty can have an attitude at times but she also recognizes when to apologize to another person. It is a good story to use about discussing kindness toward each other and how to deal with conflicts at school. My husband told me Marty sounds like Junie B. Jones except Junie B. doesn’t always apologize when she calls people names. Guess I will have to read one of those books. If you are looking for a book at this level but about sibling conflicts try, “The Stories Julian Tells.”

Reading Level 2.8
:-):-):-):-) 4 out of 5 Smileys

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