Author: Ruth McNally Barshaw
Illustrator: Ruth McNally Barshaw
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: June 2008
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
Summary: When Ellie’s family moves to a new town, she’s sure she won’t fit in. Nobody else likes to read as much as she does, and even the teachers can’t get her name right. But when the students need someone to help them rally against unfair lunch lines, it’s Ellie to the rescue—and if shorter lines and better food prevail, can friendship be far behind?
What I Think: It seems like a book like Ellie McDoodle falls into the "Wimpy Kid" genre of books. I'm not sure exactly what to call these types of books - they are kind of like a hybrid. I consider Frankie Pickle to be a definite graphic novel-chapter book hybrid because the illustrations look very much like how a graphic novel is set up. Ellie McDoodle has illustrations to match the text. The drawings are supposed to be Ellie's as she has started a new journal when her family moves.
I love Ellie's family. She has hysterical siblings that play all sorts of fun pranks on each other. I love it. It reminds me of my friend Laura from when I was in middle school and high school. She had two brothers and two sisters and she was right in the middle. There was never a dull moment in her household. It was fun to read about Ellie's family and remember my friend and her family.
In this book, Ellie is the new girl in school. I never moved to a new school so I never had the chance to be a new student. I think it would be fun but my husband has told me he would never wish having to be the new kid at a school on anyone. I felt bad to hear about Ellie's no-fun experience being a new kid but she does make a name for herself in this book. Ellie reminded me of Marty McGuire in a way because she does end up getting things done. She if very resourceful and a great girl role model!
I found out about the Ellie McDoodle series when I was following the Teachers Write activities this summer on Kate's blog. Ruth McNally Barshaw shared how she uses sketches to get to know her characters better. It was a great activity. AND THEN, when I was in Michigan in July for Kids Read Comics, I met Ruth! She's so friendly and kind and was excited to meet me. It was pretty awesome. She was working on her final edits (if I remember correctly...) to send in while she was signing autographs and she took a few minutes to chat with me and take this lovely picture!
|Ruth McNally Barshaw and Jen
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 6
Read With: Just Grace (series) by Charise Mericle Harper, Like Pickle Juice On a Cooke by Julie Sternberg, Nake Mole Rat Letters by Mary Amato, Marty McGuire (series) by Kate Messner, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Fig Pudding by Ralph Fletcher
Snatch of Text:
"Seriously. This is the end. I'm doing this new
journal to keep track of my family's move to a
new house (new city, new schools, new everything).
There won't be much to keep track of,
though, because this is the END
of everything good."
p. 1 **notice that this is page 1!**Mentor Text For: Characterization, Making Connections, Drawing, Attention Grabbers
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you had to try something new.
Topics Covered: Friendship, Family, Moving, School, Identity, Courage, Fear, Ingenuity,