As I mentioned last time, I’m going to blog occasionally about a book that I’ve rediscovered in my travels through my shelflist. The idea is to reacquaint myself (and you, my readers!) with some gems which sometimes get forgotten in all the excitement around the new books and the hype around the “hot” authors in any given year.
This Time,TempeWick? by Patricia Lee Gauch is such a book. Based on the real-life figure of Temperance Wick, it is the story of a young girl and her responsibilities during the Revolutionary War. Tempe is no ordinary girl. Patricia Gauch refers to her as “surprising” and “clever.” Why? Lots of reasons, not the least of which is that she’s able to hide her horse Bonny in her bedroom for several days right under the noses of colonial soldiers engaged in a mutiny (and desperate for horses to go to Philadelphia!).
Gauch does a wonderful job showing the reader what makes Tempe so surprising and clever. For this reason it is a perfect book to use when working on character traits, as so many teachers do. You can read it in one sitting during library time, then either that same day or next time you can revisit the story and build an essay or Better Answer Sandwich about Tempe’s character.
My third graders have responded well to this book in the past. Depending on your curriculum, you might have to do a little work providing some context about the time period and the war, and kids will appreciate the author’s note about how much of the story is “true” at the end of the book. A great read, and still in print!