Burton, Leslie. The Universe of Fair.
Peachtree, 1 August 2012.
Nominated for the Cybils by Deborah Freedman
Miller is looking forward to Fair Friday, which is a huge deal in his east coast town. He's saved up his money and is hoping that his parents will let him wander about a bit with just his friend Lewis. When the day of the fair arrives, however, there is disappointment after disappointment. He has accidentally served his father's pie entry to his little sister and her friends, so there are only two slices left for him to deliver. The mother who is supposed to watch him, his six year old sister Penny and her two friends is at home with a migraine, and his mother has to work the entire day, so his dad is pulling double shifts at various charity booths. Undaunted, Miller sets off for the fair with the three youngsters in tow, buys them ride bands, and tries his best to both enjoy himself and take care of the children. Lewis is somewhat helpful (and is also documenting everything with his video camera), but things go awry-- children and fair entries go missing, there are possibly ghosts on the loose, and the frenetic pace of trying to enjoy the fair but also be responsible.
Strengths: Miller is just the age (sixth grade) when children start wanting independence, so his struggles are very realistic. There is some suspense and a good deal of humor. Pacing is good, and the characters are engaging.
Weaknesses: The pictures strike me as making the book look a bit young, and this could have been better with more action.
Found this historical artifact in the Language Arts Office. I'm not really removing anything, just organizing, but think this may be able to go: Classroom Practices in Teaching English, 1979-1980: How to Handle the Paper Load
by Gene Stanford. One chapter begins "In 1964 I left college a certified English teacher..." Didn't think this would be relevant, but there are still copies available for sale at Amazon!
Okay. I'll give it to the newest language arts teacher. Did find the teachers' manuals for the text books yesterday, and have made some decent progress in removing outdated tech stuff from the library. To be clear-- I am HOARDING typewriters. I use mine every day, and if it goes belly up, that would be bad!