This week's Read-4-Luck pick is (the feature that acts as a recommendation, review, teaching tip, and writing lesson) is The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by David Roberts.
Steve, the electrician, dons special gear, and with the help of youngsters who live in his building, dives into a dumpster seeking useful objects that they can transform into imaginative new ones.Publisher: Candlewick Press
Word Count: 559
Book Level: 3.9
CHILDREN: Roaches? You betcha! Kid-friendly creations? You betcha! The illustrations really bring this one alive!
PARENTS: Roaches? No thank you. And who wants their child digging through the trash? No thank you. But, recycling? Yes, yes, YES!!!
TEACHERS: Could definitely use in a recycling unit or to introduce a unit on inventions. Character-building lessons included too!
WRITERS: Just a fun read. Illustrations too fun. Great opening line: Anyone knows you can dive for treasure in the ocean, but our neighbor Steve the Electrician dives for buried treasure RIGHT SMACK HERE in our backstreet alley. Great verbs: slink, dive, splash, measured, drilled. Favorite page? The diving team. Funniest page? The rules page. Favorite invention? An old blender turned into a lava lamp. Best page to read with kids? The inventions pages. Favorite phrase? "Steve says, 'Junk is GOOD!'" The "So, ha!" page? It's in the illustration at the very end when the kids do something sweet.
YOUR TURN: Not that we can all run out and write a Steve story of our own, but perhaps you could sharpen your writing skills by writing a list of things you wished you'd invented, or things you could invent with the trash in your "dumpster" right now. Now choose one item from your list and put it in a story. Use lots of action words. It's okay if it's stupid, just write for fun and if you get a few great phrases, then you have succeeded in today's writing lesson!
Keep on keepin' on...