8/28/14 ** I nearly always use Shortcut with my students when I teach about writing personal narratives/memoir/slice of life pieces. It is so short and Crews builds tension so well, that it is an excellent mentor text. This year, in a new teaching job, I was focused less on the writing aspect and more on the narrative aspect. I used this text to help students learn about the parts of "typical narratives" (if there is such a thing!) We read and the talked about the beginning, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
As usually happens, after the read aloud and mini-lesson, the book is a popular free-choice reading text over the next few days.
9/18/13 ** Read aloud with another group of fourth graders. They were mesmerized. Interesting how children show engagement - some absolutely silent, with others calling out their predictions and gasps.
8/20/12 ** A excellent mentor text for Writing Workshop - memoir. It's easy to see how this might have started as an entry in the author's writer's notebook and then become a published text.
The text itself is suspenseful and clearly conveys a snippet in time.