Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rescue In the Wild, written by Mary Faith Enyart, illustrated by David Enyart

I just finished reading what I hope is the first in a long series of Stick-Boy adventures written by former teacher, Mary Faith Enyart and illustrated by David Enyart. Entitled Rescue In the Wild, the story introduces us to 11-year-old Evan and his best friend Mace as school lets out for the summer. Evan is thrilled at the thought of the long summer days ahead, filled with exploring the vast of woods around his home next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The only dark shadow over his summer plans? School bully, "the Moose" Meckel, who seems to delight in stirring up trouble and hurting anyone or anything that gets in his way. To top it all off, Mace's dad has volunteered Evan and Mace to hang out with their new neighbor, (a girl!), who wants to tag along on their adventures. Evan is beginning to wonder if this summer will be as great as he'd hoped when things take a turn for the strange and he is "adopted" by what seems to be a magic stick. A great cast of characters, a beautiful setting, and thrilling adventure in our own back yard make for a fun read--to share as a class reading or as a read-aloud.

This first adventure is a great story to share in the classroom and an opportunity to entertain AND inform as well as celebrate with our students the wonders that are so close to us here in East Tennessee. I can see using this to reenforce literacy elements (great examples of alliteration, idioms & descriptive language), genre (fantasy versus reality), science (information about local poisonous snakes, types of rocks & how that knowledge can be used in a real-world setting), and social studies (names having meanings, community/roles within the community), figuring out word meaning based on content, and much, much more. Wow!

Be sure to take a moment to look at the author's website at for kids activities, such as coloring sheets and puzzles; teacher information, including activity sheets; information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), and more.

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