Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Like Bug Juice on a Burger

Title: Like Bug Juice on a Burger 
Author: Julie Sternberg 
Illustrator: Matthew Cordell 
Publisher: Abrams 
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel In Verse 
GoodReads Summary: I hate camp. I just hate it. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Being here is worse than bug juice on a burger. Or homework on Thanksgiving. Or water seeping into my shoes. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. At first she’s excited to carry on the family tradition at Camp Wallumwahpuck, but when she gets there she finds icky bugs, terrible food, and worst of all: swim class, where she just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else. But as the days go on, Eleanor realizes that even the most miserable situations can be full of special surprises and that growing up is full of belly flops. 
What Jen Thinks: I remember when I first read Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, I fell in love with how real Eleanor is. Eleanor deals with even more emotions in Like Bug Juice on a Burger when she has to...gets to? go away for summer camp. I can totally relate to Eleanor, I loved going away to summer camp but hated it at the same time. It seems like feelings can get all mixed up when you are a kid. There's the feeling of wanting to be independent while also feeling unsure and nervous about things. I'm sure kids will relate to Eleanor, especially this time of year when summer camp is right around the corner. 
What Kellee Thinks: This book definitely brought back memories! I loved the idea of summer camp and many of the activities, but I hated the bugs and the food and the changing in front of other people. There are many times when I was away that I just wanted to go home; however, there were things that saved me- specifically, like Eleanor, the animals. I loved working in the barn with the horses and it is what saved me and then got me going back year after year. I remember walking into the barn and being able to be part of these horses' lives and the scene where Eleanor meets Cornelius the goat brought me right back to that moment. 
     This book would be a wonderful read aloud for right before summer because even if students are not going to summer camp, there is probably something new and scary that they will try this summer and this book will definitely cause discussion about how something new may be scary, but that doesn't mean you won't like it eventually. Julie Sternberg's writing also lends itself to some amazing discussions about free verse poetry and, in this one, letter writing. Maybe use the letter writing part of the book to segue into writing a letter to next year's class. 
     Finally, I love the idea of the Wall of Feelings! The Wall of Feelings is where the campers put up how they feel about camp; however, Eleanor is given the job of writing about how she used to feel about camp and then how she feels about camp now. What a great way for students to express themselves! This would be a great formative assessment for looking at how students feel about reading or school or some other topic at the beginning of the year vs. the end. 
Read Together: Grades 2 - 5 
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 6
Read With: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg, Marty McGuire and Marty McGuire Digs Worms by Kate Messner, Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli, Just Grace (series) by Charise Mericle Harper, The Summer Camp Survival Guide by Chris Pallato and Ron Defazio, Go Out and Play! by KaBoom!, Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett Kroscozka, Camp Babymouse by Jenni and Matt Holm,  
Snatch of Text: 
"The bus was bumping
down a gravel road
with bushes and trees and weeds all around. 
This isn't beautiful
I thought. 
This is creepy
I missed sidewalks full of people
checking their phones
and walking their cute dogs. 
I missed paved roads, too, 
filled with taxis and bik riders." (Chapter 5) 
Mentor Text For: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Descriptive, Rhyme, Imagery, Characterization, Voice
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you did something you were scared to do. How did you overcome your fear/nervousness? How did it turn out in the end?  
Topics Covered: Friendship, Family, Traditions, Courage, Independence, Fear, Animals, Responsibility
We *heart* It:
Visit Julie Sternberg's site for activities to go along with Like Bug Juice on a Burger!
**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing copies of the book for us to review!**

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