Monday, November 21, 2016

CATCHING A STORYFISH- Janice N. Harrington

Keet (short for Keet-Keet Parakeet) is a girl who loves to talk.

"You'd talk the whiskers off a catfish,"
Grandpa says, "and the shine
off a new penny."
"Grab the glue, grab the tape,"
Daddy says, "Keet, if you keep talking
"I'll need to stick on an extra pair of ears."
They're right. I like to talk.
I like to spin stories
this-is-what-I did-stories
this-is-what-I-saw stories
stories to make my brother giggle-bouncy
and wiggly as a worm.
stories to make Daddy lean in
and hold me octopus-tight.
stories to make Mama's eyes
shine birthday candle-bright."
Keet's stories stop, though, when her parents decide to move from Alabama to Illinois to be closer to Keet's grandfather. Her new classmates make fun of the way she talks, then her much loved grandfather/fishing buddy, has a stroke, and Keet doesn't know if she will ever tell her stories again. A new friend, Allegra (who happens to be a Latina), and a lovely school librarian help Keet catch the story fish inside of her again.

My favorite line from the book, by Doug McVicker, a storyteller that comes to visit the class.
"Knowing someone's story is one wayto put an end to a lot of trouble in the world" (p. 152). 
A terrific novel in verse about starting over in a new place, about remembering who you are, about making friends, and about the power of story. I wish I would have had this book at the beginning of the year. It will definitely be one of my first four or fourth grade read alouds next year! Don't miss the glossary of poetic forms at the back of the book.

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