Friday, September 4, 2015

One Word From Sophia

Title: One Word From Sophia 
Author: Jim Averbeck 
Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail 
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Sophia tries varied techniques to get the giraffe she wants more than anything in this playfully illustrated story about the nuances of negotiation.

Sophia has one true desire for her birthday. But she has Four Big Problems in the way: Mom, Dad, Uncle Conrad...and Grand-mama.

Will her presentations, proposals, and pie charts convince them otherwise?
Turns out, all it takes is one word.  
What I Think: Sophia is one spunky and determined little girl. She reminds me of a student I worked with my very first year of teaching. Her name was Jessica and she was in kindergarten when I met her. Like Jessica, Sophia is bright and energetic and willing to speak her mind and keep trying to work towards her goal. Sophia doesn't take no for an answer, instead she tries to refine her argument throughout the book. This is a perfect way to introduce or discuss argumentative or persuasive writing with students. Sophia gives different arguments depending on who she is talking to and it would be great to discuss with students how her tactic changes depending on her audience.
     As I talk with student writers, I share with them how they make moves as authors in their writing. Writers makes choices about which words they chose or how they help they craft the message for their readers to understand. I love talking about word choice and sharing that there are $100 words that we can use to impact our message. One Word From Sophia is full of $100 words and a perfect opportunity to discuss this with students as well as sharing some new vocabulary with them. Again, the words we use are going to vary as our audience changes but writers have to think about which words they'll choose depending on the audience.
    Finally, I would like to acknowledge the whimsical and colorful illustrations from Yasmeen Ismail. She does an awesome job of using the illustrations to move us through the story and to provide visual support for all of Sophia's arguments. She also made a choice to include a diverse cast of characters and I'm so glad that she did. I look at Sophia with her adorable poof of a ponytail and a few students I've met this school year come to mind. I'm excited to share this with them and their peers!
Read Together: Grades 2 - 5 
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 5 
Read With: Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly, The Pet Project by Lisa Wheeler, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kauffman Orloff, One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo
Snatch of Text:  
"Her one true desire was to get a pet giraffe for her birthday."

Hear author Jim Averbeck talk about One Word From Sophia
Writing Prompts: Write about how you could convince your parents to get your a giraffe if that's what you wanted for your birthday. Think about what Sophia's family said about her argument. How does that impact you as a writer? 
Topics Covered: Family, Determination 
I *heart* It:
*Thanks to Atheneum Books For Young Readers for 
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review!*

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