It's the first day of school, and Mrs. Skorupski has set the bar high! There is a school-wide reading challenge. The student with the most dragon scales will march behind their teacher in the school's Read Across America Day parade. Everyone was fired up about reading, and Mrs. Skorupski was recommending books left and right to everyone from students to crossing guards! For Top Reader Patty Lee, it became a personal contest. Was she going to be in the dragon parade?
First and foremost, this is a book about the power of a good book and the different ways to read them. Mrs. Skorupski is a good model of ways that librarians can help young readers: ask for book suggestions, seek out different formats, ways to partner with other readers. These are aspects worth pulling out and highlighting for young readers.
The other obvious themes are jealousy and competition. There was a happy ending here. Ask readers about other ways this book could have ended; talk about what happens when something fun gets too serious.
7 to 9
5 to 9
Borrow. There are some wonderful parts to the story that are worth sharing.
I wish Mrs. Skorupski was my school librarian! I loved the journey in this book and celebrating the different ways we can read. Patty's and Carmen's personal challenge made me uncomfortable and seemed to undermine the joyful goal of the story. Overall, I would recommend the story as I think it shows kids (and their parents) different approaches to reading (audio books, reading with youngers, etc.).
Bright colors add to this culturally diverse celebration of reading.
Readers who don't like the idea of reading logs or contests where reading time is measured may want to skip this story.