Poetry Friday is at Carol's Corner this week! Be sure to check out all the great poetry posts!
Title: Miss Emily
Author: Burleigh Muten
Illustrator: Matt Phelan
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 24th, 2014
Genre/Format: Historical Fiction/Novel In Verse
GoodReads Summary: Discover the mischievous and affectionate side of a revered poet in this adventure about Emily Dickinson, four young friends, and a traveling circus.
When an invitation to join Miss Emily in the garden appears, Mattie, Ned, Sally, and Mac know they’re in for some fun because Miss Emily — Emily Dickinson to the rest of us — always has a surprise in store for her young friends. And today’s may be the biggest adventure yet. In Burleigh Mutén’s suspenseful story, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Matt Phelan, Mac, the youngest member of the group, tells what happens when a reclusive poet and her band of pretend Gypsies wait for the midnight circus train to arrive.
What I Think: I definitely know who Emily Dickenson is but I love this story about her and her relationship with some kids who lived near her. It's fun to imagine what it might be like grow up with someone as awesome as Emily Dickenson as your neighbor. I love how Muten brings the fun and adventure of what it might have been like for the kids to life. It's wonderful and fitting that this tribute to Emily Dickenson is written as a novel in verse.
As a mentor text, I love how poetry is an example of how powerful words can be. They can say so much with only a few words. There is great description in this book. Using simile, metaphors, alliteration and other literary devices, Muten gives the reader opportunities to visualize the characters, the setting and to feel like he or she is there in the moment.
Read Together: Grades 3 - 5
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 5
Read With: The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan, The Penderwicks (series) by Jeanne Birdsall, The Center of Everything by Linda Urban
Snatch of Text:
"I stepped outside
swung my hand
up to my forehead,
shooting it skyward
in a quick salute." (p. 1)
"I took the back stairs to the kitchen,
slid through the pantry to the hall,
and slipped out the side door.
From the dark veranda, the backyard shadows
reached out like sharks and whales in the blackest sea.
I leaped from the top step like a pirate jumping ship,
and swam across the bay to the island ---
up a hill to the fence that beckoned beside the barn
and through the door that Miss Emily
had promised would be open." (p. 16)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Descriptive, Imagery, Simile, Metaphor, Alliteration
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you took a chance and did something adventurous or out of the ordinary or new to you. How did it go and would you do things differently now?
Topics Covered: Friendship, Adventure, Imagination, Consequences, Honesty
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