Tempe Wick: a colonial gal with spunk!

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!

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Rediscovered Treasures

Pirate treasure Chest photo © 2010 mags | more info (via: Wylio)
I don’t know about you, but I find it very tempting each year to build my whole-group read-alouds and recommendations to students upon:

1. The new books that arrived over the summer. (The bulk of my budget for any given year, and let’s face it–isn’t it like Christmas in July when those nice white boxes arrive from Follett?)

2. A few tried-and-true titles and authors I’ve come to rely upon.

But every year (at the end of the year when I’m shelf-reading before inventory) I find those titles that make me sigh and/or smile and say something to myself like, “Oh, yeah.  I remember this book.  I haven’t read or shared this with kids in a looooong time.  I’ll have to remember that come September.”

And of course I never do.  (Remember, that is.  Let’s just say Buchlady is no stranger to middle age memory lapses.)

But now I have new inspiration!  A few months back I subscribed to Anita Silvey’s Book-a-Day Almanac blog and I’ve so appreciated the way she’s jogged my book memories on a daily basis.    SO,  I’ve decided to re-read a bunch of books that have been sitting on shelves at school, books that I consider gems-to-be-remembered, with the idea of “selling” them to kids next year.  I’ll share these with you via this blog.  Maybe you’ll rediscover a treasure, too.

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