by Gary Paulsen is a sequel to The Hatchet
in which Brian is asked to return to the woods to teach Derek, a government psychologist, survival techniques. But when Derek is struck by lightning, Brian's survival skills are further tested as he must find a way to get the seriously injured Derek out of the woods.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this book. I was looking forward to discussing it in class to see why Cathy picked it to be one of the novels we read in literacy class. Since we never got the chance I will do my best to identify the positives and negatives I saw in this book.
This book is a high interest low vocab. book. I could see students connecting with the main character and becoming devoted readers of the series. I can see how boys in particular would take interest in a story like this. Students from country schools might be able to relate to the setting, and students from the city might find it interesting to learn and imagine what it might be like to live in the wilderness. I could see this book being integrated in other subject areas such as science (nature) and personal planning (survival skills).
I read this book without previously reading The Hatchet
, the Prequal to The River
. I thought Paulsen took far to long explaining what had happened in the first book. It took nearly to the half way point in the book to explain what had happened in the first book. As a reader, I was eager for the excitement to begin, to find out what was going to happen in this new book, not dwell on the events in the past. Perhaps if I had read the first book, become captivated by the story and felt I had a connection to Brian I would have received the second book differently. Instead of feeling bored when the adventures of The Hatchet
were relived, I may have been excited by the memory and happy to connect with the character again. After reading the summary of The Hatchet
in the first half of The River,
I can imagine it was an excellent book. For example, the excitement of discovering how to make fire for the first time would have sent the adrenaline running through my veins! I did not get that same feeling in reading the summary in the second book.MINA'S SPRING OF COLORSby Rachna Gilmore
Being a visible minority is a mixed blessing for Mina, who wonders whether she is popular for herself or for her family's all-out annual Holi party. The conflict arises when beautiful blond Ashley mocks Mina's grandfather, tapping into Mina's own fears that her Nanaji is unlike her friends' western grandpas. It's a simple tale, told quickly and well, and Mina's strong voice guides us through her anger, self-recrimination, and revenge, even as the conflicts leading up to the final Holi showdown with Ashley seems forced. Mina almost loses the sympathies of her best friend (as well as those of the reader), but when the festival of colours finally dawns, Gilmore ties the strands into a most satisfying conclusion.
- The Georgia Straight, VancouverTEACHING TIPS
This is a great easy to read novel that will stimulate many important issues in classroom discussion. As an extension from reading this novel students could research cultural celebrations important to their family and share them with the class. Elders and family members from the community could be invited into the classroom as guest speakers to enrich this unit.
Another important issue addressed by this book which ties into the Personal Planning currrelationshipsationships with others. Through discussing the actions of characters in this book students could discuss issues such as inclusioninclusinon/exclusion, racism, relationships with family members and friendship.