I had the opportunity to meet the author of this Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nominated book, Lindsay Stoddard, at the DCF Award conference this past spring. A Hanover High School graduate and former teacher, Ms. Stoddard was very engaging and loves to visit schools. On top of that, she wrote a fabulous book set in Vermont, that I knew the students would love, so I decided to read her novel, Just Like Jackie, with both fourth and fifth grade this year, in the hopes that we can get Ms. Stoddard to come to OQS to discuss it with the students!
So far the students have been very engaged in Ms. Stoddard’s storytelling style, and how she captured the voice of her main character, Robinson Hart, a troubled girl who lives alone with her grandpa. Our discussions have been very thoughtful regarding character motivation, setting, the conflict and predicting possible resolutions, as well as the plot. I have been thoroughly impressed with how deeply the students have been willing to dive into Robinson and the other characters in this story, and their ability to use evidence from the text to back up their assertions.
As we continue reading this book over the course of the year, I look forward to many more thoughtful discussions and personal connections to the character and her problems. I know kids are going to be rooting for Jackie all year long!