Saturday, December 29, 2007

Three Good Deeds by Vivian Vande Velde

Howard seems always to have some kind of mischief up his sleeve and he can always find a ready excuse for not taking the blame--especially if someone else has gotten caught--even if that someone is his best friend. This dubious talent has kept him out of trouble for the most part--until he pulls one prank too many on the old woman at the goose pond. She seems able to see right through all of his ploys--and doesn't fall for any of them. Undaunted, Howard insults her--after all, he and the other children have taunted her all these years, calling her an old witch and making fun of her walk and her devotion to the geese at the pond. Imagine Howard's surprise when the the old woman turns HIM into a goose--feathers and all. The only way for Howard to ever regain his true form is for him to perform three good deeds. Piece of cake, right? Not exactly. Will he be able to convince anyone that he's a boy, not a goose? Can he figure out what makes a good deed good? Does he get eaten or does he learn the difference between being selfish and selfless? To find out, read Three Good Deeds by Vivian Vande Velde.
I've had great success getting interest in this book by just reading aloud the first two chapters. So far, every time I've done this, several students have put their names on the reserve list for this title.

Grades 3-5.