Sunday, July 5, 2009

EXTRA CREDIT by Andrew Clements


Andrew Clements' novels are always a success in my opinion. Written for a middle grade audience, they are entertaining, inspirational, and educational, and EXTRA CREDIT is no exception.

Just look closely at the cover and you will probably guess EXTRA CREDIT is a pen pal story, but it is not just any pen pal situation. Abby finds herself reluctantly writing a pen pal letter for extra credit. She is in danger of being held back in sixth grade again next year. Desperate to go on to junior high with her friends, she has promised to do all her homework and earn B's on all future tests this year so that she can leave the sixth grade behind. That is not quite enough for her language arts teacher. An extra credit project will also be required. That's where the letter writing comes in.

Halfway around the globe from Illinois is Sadeed living in Afghanistan. His teacher has just asked him to assist his sister in writing a pen pal letter to a girl from America. That girl is Abby.

What follows is the development of an unusual friendship and a learning experience like no other. Both young people are introduced to a culture completely different from their own, and the reactions that arise leave them both confused about the intolerant beliefs that surround them. The possibilities for EXTRA CREDIT are endless. It could be used as a discussion starter in classrooms involving current events, different cultures, letter writing, and so much more.

2 comments:

Bookworm said...

This sounds great. I've always loved Andrew Clements!

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading this book with my fourth grade class. They absolutely love it!