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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Clementine's Letter" An Aah-inspiring Book

I read this really funny book this week called Clementine’s Letter written by Sara Pennypacker. Early into the story I discover that bighearted Clementine is learning the rules of third grade and how to stay out of the principle’s office. Then she is faced with her biggest challenge of the year when her teacher, Mr. D’Matz, is nominated to go on a research trip to Egypt. Clementine thinks no one understands her impulsiveness and her need to know the rules ahead of time, like her teacher. Her class gets a substitute teacher with new rules. Surprising twists happen as Clementine can’t figure out the rules until it is too late and she is in trouble for breaking the rules. I find myself wanting Clementine to find a way to be happy with the new school changes. Then one day the class is asked to write a letter of recommendation to a panel of judges for Mr. D’Matz. Clementine uses the opportunity to try and get her teacher back even if it means ruining her teacher’s once in a life time chance. Will her plan give her what she wants or into more trouble?

My favorite parts are the game Clementine plays when she is bored and her ideas for getting what she wants, like when her dad and she wrote a story together.

Clementine’s Letter is truly a fun story to read. To learn more about Sara Pennypacker visit her here

Story Writing Fun
One of the things that Clementine says, “I like to write important reminders on my arm. That way, I don’t lose them---I always know where my arm is, which is not true about pieces of paper. Plus, they look like tattoos. On Sunday nights, my mother scrubs all the week’s notes off, and I start over.” (pages 28-29)

Where do you keep your important reminders?

Make a list of the things you need to remember for the week.

Clementine writes a letter of recommendation for her teacher, Mr. D’Matz.

Write Clementine a letter with your best advice of how to write a letter of recommendation for your teacher.

Write Clementine a letter with your best advice on quiet games to play when you are bored.

Clementine writes a story with her dad called The Building Manager by alternating sentences and ideas.

Start a story with one of your parents or a friend alternating sentences.

Share your writings with Jewel by asking your parents to post them in the comments section below or emailing them to her.

Until next time happy writing!

Review written by Jewel Sample, MS; Award-winning author of Flying Hugs and Kisses, also translated: Besos y abrazos al aire (Spanish edition). To learn more about Jewel Sample visit her at

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