Book reviewer extraordinaire!

Posts tagged ‘New York’

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Times Square / dusk

Times Square / dusk (Photo credit: George Rex)

Cover of "The Cricket in Times Square"

Cover of The Cricket in Times Square

A sweet little cricket finds himself lost in the big subway station in New York. He longs for his home in the meadow in Connecticut. He meets a lovely mouse and friendly cat who help him promote his musical talent. He is found by a little boy whose family owns a paper and magazine stand. The family business is suffering, they have a series of unfortunate events, and life is tough for them all. The cricket brings about fame and fortune before he sadly tells his friends he wants to go home.

Another great period book to discuss with students. Different cultures,  immigrants, opera, lifestyle differences between the city and countryside, and economics. Enjoyable read.


James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

My students are getting a kick out of the book! Most of them do not read fantasy so I thought this would be a great way to engage them. As a bonus we are watching pieces of the movie. Students are asked to compare and contrast the two and so far they are right on the nose. While the movie allows some of my more literal students to visualize what is taking place they are also analytical enough to point out the differences.

They are asking questions about how James is being treated by the aunts. We discussed when the book was written and the perspective on children and how they were treated. They were shocked to learn that the world did not revolve around children back in the 50s and 60s. Children were sent out to play and not seen until lunch or dinner and parents did not send their kids to camp this or that all summer long. Children were expected to do chores! Shocker!

They do understand this book to be fantasy as James travels inside a peach with giant bugs who befriend him, and yes – they speak! They all travel through the night sky to see the stars up close, and they meet the cloud people ho make the weather, sharks that like peaches, and even pirates! All of this leads James and his friends to the magical city of New York!

Completely silly and fun. I can’t wait to ask them about the cloud people and the sharks. It is fun to pick their brains and open their minds.

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