Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing up ScieszkaTitle: Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing up Scieszka Author: Jon Scieszka
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: 2005, 2008
Genre/Format: Autobiography/Nonfiction/Novel
Summary: Jon Scieszka shares stories from his childhood growing up with his parents and five brothers. Stories range from brotherly antics to Catholic school.
What I Think: All of the stories in this collection were very entertaining - but some were downright hysterical. I read this as my husband and I sipped drinks at a local coffee shop. He was working away on his iPad and I was reading, until I would start laughing so intensely that I had to hand him the book to read while I found a tissue to wipe the tears that were streaming down my face. Even he got a good chuckle out of the stories I showed him.
I think kids, boys especially, are just going to love reading about Jon Scieszka's antics when he was a kiddo. Obviously, he grew up in a different time, but there are some stories about being brothers that stand the test of time. I love the Jon Scieszka is out there writing awesome books for kids and now this book gives some insight into his life growing up and who he is as a person.
Read Together: 3 - 12
Read Alone: 4 - 12
Read With: Boy by Roald Dahl, Guys Write for Guys Read: Boys' Favorite Authors Write About Being Boys and Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka and others
Snatch of Text: "For a while to make it easier to keep our clothes straight, my mom also tried color coding us. Jim was blue. Blue shirts, blue pants, blue socks. I was brown.
I really grew to hate brown. Even today, forty years later, I still avoid brown clothes." (p. 21)

"That's what my mom used to tell me and Jim -
'Watch your brothers.'
So we did.
We watched Jeff roll of the couch.
We watched Brian dig in the plants and eat the dirt.
We watched Gregg lift up the lid on the toilet and splash around in water." (p. 35)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Descriptive
Writing Prompts: Write your own short story or personal narrative of a funny story from your childhood. Describe the silliest thing you did when you were little - what were you wearing?, what did you sound like?, what did you look like?, what did you smell like!? Interview your parents or grandparents and ask what fun stories they remember from their childhood, then write the story for them.
Topics Covered: Family, Brothers, Private School, Growing Up, Responsibility, Humor,
Translated to Spanish: No

If you've read Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka, I would love to hear which story was your favorite! Did it have you holding your stomach from all the laughing, or what?

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