Monday, February 9, 2009

Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker

Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine's Letter. Illus. Marla Frazee. New York: Hyperion, 2008.

Clementine was just getting the hand of 3rd grade. Everyone said so, her teacher, the principal, her parents. Then her teacher is entered in a contest to win a trip to Egypt. He goes away for a week leaving his class in the care of a substitute, Mrs. Nagel. Clementine can't figure this woman out. Mrs. Nagel's rules are contrary to her teacher's rules. Before you know it, Clementine is once again making numerous trips to the principal's office. She has a plan to get her teacher back. The students have to write letters to recommend their teacher. With a little help from Margaret's brother Mitchell, Clementine writes the most awful letter she can. She wants her teacher back. In a crucial moment, Clementine has to decide what's more important, wanting her teacher back or the truth about his merits.

What I thought: Clementine certainly is single-minded in her crusade to get her teacher back. I can't blame her. Clementine doesn't always to the best in school behavior-wise. Her teacher understands her. With his help, she was doing better. Despite her problems, Clementine has a good heart. I wasn't surprised to see her sacrifice the possibility of getting her teacher back to telling the truth about him.

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