Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Gardener

Author:  Sarah Stewart
Illustrator: David Small
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Publication Year:  1997
Location: Knox County Public Library- Powell

Awards: Caldecott Honor, NYT Notable Children's Book of the Year 

Summary:  Lydia moves to the city to stay with her Uncle Jim and work to help her family. She brings her love of gardening with her and transforms the roof of her uncle's building. This epistolary story is told through Lydia's letters home to her family. The extraordinary illustrations use color and detail in unexpected ways to accentuate the themes of the story. I loved this book!

Classroom Ideas: The setting of this book is the depression era, and it would add to a study of that time. It could also be used to talk about the themes of bravery, determination, and generosity. Lydia's character comes through what she says and does, and the author never tells the reader anything directly which would be wonderful for teaching characterization in writing. It would also work well for teaching friendly letter form.

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