I love novels in verse, because they're easily accessible for most students, and have a basket of these books in our library. So when I found two more recently to put into our classroom library, I was absolutely delighted.
First, I received Spinning Through the Universe at a recent Choice Literacy workshop. Then, in a recent visit to Cover to Cover, Beth handed me The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli. I love this story. Unlike Spinning Through the Universe, The Dancing Pancake is told through only one person's voice, Bindi, a middle school girl.
The reader finds out almost immediately that Bindi's dad's latest "business trip" is really an opportunity for her mom and dad to take a break from each other for a while. Added to that, Bindi's mom wants them to move out of their house and into the apartment above the diner that she and her sister want to open. There are just too many changes in her life for Bindi to assimilate.
Like Spinning Through the Universe, applying inferring skills will be important in putting meaning to The Dancing Pancake. The real joy in this book is watching a character develop over time -- the evolution of Bindi will be a great character study. She is so delightful and so real; her frustration over events she can't control will ring true for others. In addition, the different section titles will allow for excellent thought and conversation.
This is a lovely story about how friends and family can all help us at times when the going gets rough. I am absolutely delighted to be adding The Dancing Pancake to our classroom!