8/8/13 ** This year I was able to read this book to my fourth graders in the first week of school. Fabulous response. "That's a...sad ending. I was surprised." "That's a happy ending, she knew what she needed to do." If you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for???
11/6/2012 ** I had the fantastic opportunity to meet E.B. Lewis and Jacqueline Woodson last June in New York at BEA. Lewis told me about a wonderful book that he'd just finished illustrating for Woodson - this one. I was so disappointed that it wouldn't be out until October 2012. I was finally able to get it on Friday, 10/26 at Carmichael's Bookstore in Louisville. Wow!
I read it aloud to my 4th graders today. My kids immediately picked up on things that Chloe and her friends said that they thought were mean. (Hopefully, this will help them recognize meanness in their own actions.) My students also noticed that Chloe's hairstyle is very close to the style that Ms. Woodson wears in her author photo on the jacket. We wondered if Ms. Woodson wrote from her personal experience - an unresolved issue that she remembers to this day.
My only concern is that many of my students also wear hand-me-down clothes, and I haven't been aware of teasing about this. I hope that the book doesn't suggest that this might be an avenue of teasing. (Yeah, right...the kids DO watch T.V. I'm sure they're certainly aware of style-based bullying.)
Consider partnering this book with Wonder
by Pallacio. I know this will be a routine read in my class this year and in the future.