Recommended for Readers
in 5th Grade and Up
2001 - Newbery Medal
Because of Winn-Dixie
The Tale of Despereaux
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
The Magician's Elephant
Flora and Ulysses
Still reeling from the loss of his mother, Rob is struggling to feel normal again. He meets Sistine, a girl determined never to be normal. Together they face bus bullies, imperfect families, and a decision about a remarkable secret.
This is a serious book, which may be better suited for small group discussion than independent reading recommendations. The symbolism is accessible to middle grade readers, but they may not appreciate the language use without directed study, Sistine is a strong character, and Rob's journey, especially the relationship with his almost-silent father, is interesting to examine. This is not a page-turning humor romp that invites mass appeal, but it does invite re-reading and thoughtful reflection.
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
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