What You Need to Know:|
• A very funny, engaging story about a week of ups and downs for third grader, Clementine.
• Clementine’s thoughts make her seem somehow older than her actions might imply.
• Clementine offers a few clues as to may be on the horizon for these girls as they grow up and begin to face more
mature issues like identity and insecurity.
• Readers will relate to her experiences as she begins the process of self-discovery.
Sweet Series Background:|
Clementine is the story of a clever, imaginative girl who is quick to observe all that goes on around her. Her adventures often get her into trouble but it is always harmless fun. The dialogue and plot are age appropriate, allowing the focus to be more on the action than on what the main characters are thinking and feeling.
Clementine is one funny third grader. She makes mistakes ("someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal's office, if that's a rule"), her thoughts wander, she is occasionally misguided, and she gets into plenty of trouble. At the same time, she is sweet and kind, and her intentions are always good. She claims that great ideas are constantly popping into her head, including calling her brother a variety of vegetable names and naming her kittens after objects found in the bathroom. She is also, constantly being told to pay attention. The problem is that she is paying very close attention, just not always to the right details. The first person perspective allows the reader to see things from Clementine's point of view, and it is always a very funny angle.
When her fourth grade neighbor, Margaret, accidentally gets glue in her hair and tries to cut it out, the trouble begins. Clementine comes to her aid and, with Margaret’s approval, cuts off what is left of her hair. Next stop is the Principal’s office where Clementine has been very often. Things get worse from there with more haircuts (this time, Clementine’s) and an experiment with color. Although she's usually focused on these types of crazy antics, Clementine does occasionally stop to think. She briefly compares herself to her friend and also feels confused about experiencing both happy and sad emotions at the same time. She realizes that she is nothing like Margaret who looks more “like a magazine picture.” Clementine likes to live less by the rules and is more of an independent thinker. Marla Frazee's incredible illustrations capture each moment to perfection!
2006, 144 pages
Friendship, Humor, Individuality, Urban
• Did you think this book was funny? What parts did you think were funniest?
• Do Clementine or Margaret remind you of anyone you know? Who? Why?
• Is Margaret a good friend? Why?
• How are Clementine and Margaret different?
• Why does Clementine spend so much time with the Principal?
• Do you have any fun names that you've made up for pets - or siblings?
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