Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Have You Read? #22
My teaching partner passed Juliet Bell's new book Kepler's Dream on to me last week. I love so many things about this book: Ella's voice as the main character, the many references to children's literature, the description of Ella's grandmother's incredibly odd adobe home (the House of Mud), the letters Ella writes to her mother (in Seattle for a stem cell transplant for leukemia), the mystery of a stolen valuable book by Johannes Kepler from her grandmother's library, the scientific connections about the moon landing and Kepler's theories, and Ella's map of the House of Mud and grounds. Her grandmother, Mrs. Violet Von Stern, is referred to as the GM because of her strict adherence to rules of etiquette, grammar, and rise-and-shine times; later, the reader learns the letters mean the General Major. Though Ella begins writing letters at her mother's request for staying in touch, they become the outlet she needs to connect with someone outside her grandmother's home; they are witty and filled with some of the rules she learns. It will make a wonderful read-aloud selection for middle-grade students!