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Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


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Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• Keena Ford is a wonderfully funny and spunky new addition to the early chapter book category of children's
• Keena is similar to Cam Jansen, Junie B. Jones (minus the grammatically incorrect and sometimes naughty
• Little girls and boys will relate immediately to Keena, who gets into a lot of "situations" but gets herself out of them
   with the help of some very compassionate (and patient) adults.
• Young readers will also relate to Keena because of the way Thompson has written this story. It is written by Keena in
   a journal-style format.
• This book has been nomintated for a 2009 Cybil Award. Please click the Cybils link on the left side of the page to
  learn more about the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards (Cybils).
Sweet Book Summary:
Keena is a second grade girl who lives with her mom and brother in the DC area during the week and visits her dad in Maryland on the weekends. Keena is no stranger to the time out teacher. Keena's mom has given her a journal to write in to try and help her manage her feelings without yelling or pinching. Keena says, "I say a lot of things you aren't supposed to say out loud. I think I will have A LOT to write in my new journal". Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix-Up is written in the Keena's voice, in journal form.

The beauty in this particular Reader, Jr., book is that the author, Melissa Thompson, has really nailed the eight year old point of view. She has also very realistically portrayed the goings-on in second grade classrooms, friendships and rivalries. And she has done it all in a very positive and authentic manner. This is the first early chapter book I have read that really reminded me of my own classroom environment when I was teaching. Children will relate and see their own classroom societies in Keena's, and see themselves in Keena or see some of their friends in Keena.

Keena gets herself into a fair amount of trouble, but Thompson always gets her out of it nicely and with help from very kind but firm adults. Children will be comforted by the adult responses here. Thompson really portrays the teachers and parents in a great light: strict but fair and forgiving. They help Keena identify and understand her behaviors and help her modify them. Big cheers for Keena Ford - looking forward to more Keena Ford books!
Author: Melissa Thomson Illustrator: Frank Morrison Published: 2009, 112 pages
Themes: Family Life, Humor, Feelings, Friendship, Journal Style, Adventure
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds, David Adler
Daisy Dawson is On Her Way, Steve Voake

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