Saturday, November 10, 2012

Peace, Love and Baby Ducks

Title: Peace, Love and Baby Ducks
Author: Lauren Myracle   
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile  
Publication Date: May 2009 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel 
GoodReads Summary: Wealth, privilege, and way too many pastel-tinted opinions...that's Carly's life. And guess what? It's. Getting. On. Her. Nerves.

Carly wants to be real, and she's always counted on her little sister, Anna, to love her and support her—and tell her how right she is. But when Anna turns "hot" over the course of a single summer, everything goes weird. Suddenly Anna's swimming in the deep end with the big girls—while Carly watches, hurt, from the kiddie pool. And of course there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do.
With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy, situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat. 
What I Think: I will never forget cracking up so hard the first time I read this book. There is a terrific scene between Carly and her mom where her mom is trying to get her contact out of her eye and it's absolutely hysterical. This whole book is full of fun. I love Carly, her sister, Anna, and her best friend Peyton. I love seeing girl characters who are great friends to each other. Lauren Myracle brings her characters to life with great dialogue. I love how the dialogue moves this story along and how we get to know the characters through this wonderful dialogue. I absolutely love this book as a mentor text for how dialogue and inner dialogue help readers get to know the characters.
     Over the summer with Teachers Write, every time I shared my writing, I added a disclaimer that it's girly...very girly. Lauren Myracle is one of my favorite authors and I love the girly-ness she infuses into her writing. Gae Polisner, author of The Pull of Gravity, told me that good girly is great in writing and when I read this book, I totally believe it. This book is more than a girly book, though, it's a book about deciding what you believe in compared to others around you. It's about growing up and taking a discerning look at what your parents, your school, your town tells you about life and what you decide you believe about life. And maybe that's what makes it more than a gushy, girly book, it's a book about what it means to be an girl growing up and learning what it means to be independent and to be true to yourself. And maybe I love that as much as I love the great girly inner and outer dialogue.
Read Together: Grades 8 and up 
Read Alone: Grades 8 and up 
Read With: The Princess Diaries (series) and All-American Girl by Meg Cabot, From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, 10 Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, The Winnie Years (series ) (and others) by Lauren Myracle
Snatch of Text:    
"'I wouldn't mind having a boyfriend,' she says. 'Not Ben. But...you know.'
'Yeah. I hear you.' In bed, with the lights off, is a good place for this sort of conversation. I have thoughts on the matter, so I share them. 'A guy who isn't a player. A guy who likes you for who you are, not how hot you are. Like, a really good friend who happens to be a boy, and who you get to kiss.'
'Exactly.'
'And one day I will find this miracle guy, and he will be my love boodle.'
Anna giggles. 'You cannot call your boyfriend your 'love boodle.''
'True, because I don't have a boyfriend.'
'It's not a very manly nickname.'
'I'd call him that ironically, obviously. He'd be my ironic love boodle.' (p. 59)
Mentor Text For: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences, Vocie, Characterization, Dialogue, Humor, Inner Dialogue
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you felt like your values and beliefs were different from others (in your family, in your class, in your school, in your town...).  
Topics Covered: Family, Friendship, Growing Up, Values, Beliefs, Adversity, Love
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