Sunday, January 4, 2009

SUNNY HOLIDAY by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

SUNNY HOLIDAY is a spunky little fourth grader. She may live on the "wrong side of the tracks" and get teased by the "bus girls", but she always looks at the bright side of everything. Her mother may work endless hours cleaning rooms at the hotel across the river, but Sunny keeps her chin up and carries on. Her father may have made a mistake that landed him in prison for the better part of another year, but Sunny puts a smile on her face and is thankful for the things in life that are free.

This is a fun book for the elementary crowd. They will easily relate to Sunny's desire to have a kid-friendly holiday in every month, and her disappointment that the mayor's promise of a new park in her neighborhood turned into a half dozen scraggly trees instead. The underlying theme of the need to pass the state's standarized test is an element of the story that might make it a worthwhile read-aloud for a fourth grade classroom.

This one is a bit young for my students so I'm planning to pass it along to the fourth grade teachers in our elementary building. I'm sure Sunny will make another appearance someday if author Coleen Murtagh Paratore has anything to do about it.

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