The Road to Paris

The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes


Book Cover Image from:,%20The%20road%20to%20Paris.jpg

Bibliographic Information:

Grimes, Nikki. The Road to Paris. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.

Summary: This book is about a young multiracial girl named Paris. She struggles with feeling accepted and has gone from foster home to foster home. She suffered from abuse in her past and is not very trusting of others. She becomes separated from her brother, Malcolm, which is very hard for her at first. Eventually, she moves in with a new Foster Family, the Lincolns. They are very kind and loving to her, teaching her she can trust again. She learns valuable life lessons from the family and her separation from her brother proves to her that she can be a strong independent young girl and face her fears.

Activity Ideas using the book:

  • Create a scrapbook for Paris. This scrapbook should include her life when she was younger, foster homes she was in, and her life with the Lincolns
  • The story ends with Paris starting over again to create a new life. Write a one to two page paper continuing the end of this story. What life is like after she moves back to New York and how it is to be reunited with Viola, Malcolm and meeting the new step-father, Marcus.

Memorable Passages:

” There was no way for Paris to tell the future. But she was not afraid. Not anymore. The rough road she’d been on had led her to a stronger sense of herself.” (Grimes 153).

“Paris had learned to keep God in her pocket, and as long as she kept him close, she knew she’d be alright.” (Grimes 153).

“She sure can sing, can’t she said David. ” And you know why? Because talent runs in the family. I told you she’s my sister, right? “Mine too!” piped up Jordan. Paris couldn’t stop grinning. ( Grimes 117)

Themes and Thematic Unit Ideas: Fiction, Foster Home Care, African Americans, Brothers and Sisters

Literary Elements:

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Conflict: Paris had mentally and physically abusive relationships with her caregivers that led her to not trust and not feel accepted.


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You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

Book Cover Image from:

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together

Hoberman, Mary Ann. “The Three Bears” in You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together. Illus. Michael Emberley. Little Brown Publishing, 2004. Print.

Summary: This is a great book that includes short poems on fairy tales. The poems can be read between two people each reading their own color coordinated part, then reading a section together. This is great for beginning readers.


This website is great for students because it gives the full fairy tale of “Goldielocks and the Three Bears. ” This way if students want to know more about it, they can read it from this website.

Activity using the book:

Students can dress up, make props, and act out the parts in the book. It would be a fun activity and would also be great for them to work on their reading skills.


1. Who are the two characters in the poem, ” The Three Bears?”

2. Why did Goldilocks end up in baby bear’s house?

3. What did Goldilocks eat and drink of baby bear’s?

4. What picture book do Goldilocks and Baby Bear read at the end?

Themes: Children’s Poetry, Fairy Tales




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Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry

Book Cover Image from:

Park, Linda Sue. Project Mulberry. New York, NY: Clarion Books, 2005. Print

Summary: Project Mulberry, is about a young girl named Julia Song. She and her friend, Patrick join a group called “Wiggles.” They decided that for their project for this group they are going to raise silk worms. Julia’s mother suggested this project. At first, Julia is unsure about it because it seems “too Korean” to her. She tries to think of ways to Americanize the project. During the project, she becomes very attached to the silk worms and learns a valuable lesson.

Websites linking to Project Mulberry:

This website gives electronic quizzes specifically on the book Project Mulberry. It is a good website for students, but requires a username and password to take the quiz. It would be a better tool for a teacher.

This is a great website for students to learn more about the process of raising silkworms.

Activity Ideas using the book:

Students could raise their own silkworms and record the process. Later they could compare it to the results that Patrick and Julia had in the book. They could record both results on a chart.

Questions from the book:

1. When did Julia and Patrick become friends?

2. What is the name of the group that Julia and Patrick decided to join?

3. What project did Julia and Patrick decide on for the fair?

4. What did they put up flyers at the gas station to find?

5. What is the results of the Wiggles Project in the end? Did they win first place?

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Contemporary Fiction 2: Green Glass Sea

The Green Glass Sea

Klage, Ellen. The Green Glass Sea. New York, NY: Penguin Group Publishing. 2006, Print.

book cover image :

Summary: This book takes place in the 1940s during World War II. It takes place in the city of Los Alamos, which at the time was top secret and not even located on the map. A young girl, Dewey moves there to be with her father who is one of the people working on what they called “the gadget.” This gadget was very important and was what they needed to end the war. Dewey ends up temporarily moving in with a classmate, Suze, whom she does not get along with. Eventually the girls learn an important lesson and become great friends. This is a good book for older students because it is longer and uses higher level vocabulary.

Websites linked to The Green Glass Sea:

This is a great website because it discusses a real life account of how the gadget was first used.

This is a good website for students who are not familiar with the history of World War II. It presents a timeline of important events in the history of the war.

Activity Idea for The Green Glass Sea:

Questions on The Green Glass Sea:

1.Why did Dewey movc to Los Alamos?

2. Why was Los Alamos a top secret place?

3. Who does Dewey move in with Suze? Is she happy about this, why or why not?

4. What is “the gadget?”

Memorable Passages from The Green Glass Sea:

“For the rest of her life, Dewey would recall that moment as a series of disconnected memories- the taste of oatmeal-raisin cookies in the back of her throat, a square of yellow-checkered oilcloth, the slow, deep voice of Edward R. Murrow, and the almost painful sensation of Mrs. Gordon’s wedding ring pressing into the skink on the back of her hand. Dewey was aware of nothing else” (Klages 168-169).

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Contemporary Fiction 1

Diary of a Worm

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Worm. Illus. Harry Bliss. USA. Harper Collins Publishing. 2003, Print.

Summary: This is a great book for young children to learn about worms. It includes real life facts while making it fun for children to read. It discusses how worms come out when it rains. It also talks briefly about spiders and ants. It is written in the form of a diary.


This is a fun website for students to further learn about works and their importance to the environment. It presents facts in a fun way and includes art projects to do on worms, and coloring book pages.This website can even be read in Spanish.

This is a good website that includes vocabulary words on worms. It can easily be printed off for students for them to put in their folders to refer to.

Activity Ideas:

Students can create their own worm out of construction paper.

Themes: Science, learning specifically about worms and other insects.



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Poetry Book Blog

A Rumpus of Rhymes by Bobbi Katz

Katz, Bobbi. A Rumpus of Rhymes. Illus. Susan Estelle Kwas. New York, NY: Dutton Children’s Book. 2001, Print.

Summary: This is a great book of poems by Bobbi Katz with illustrations that go perfectly with each poem. Each poem includes onomonapia that adds to the poem. There are poems about loud sounds in the library, how a washing machine works, sneezing, chewing bubble gum, and even burping. These poems would be great for a younger audience and would be fun for them to read aloud.

Possible Websites:

This is a great website that introduces literary terms. It has flashcards that give the definition and examples of specific terms. It also has a link to click on for testing yourself on the terms.

Possible Activity using the book:

After reading the collection of poems, students can write their own poems using onomonapia and drawing pictures to go along with them. Students could also continue on to a poem that is already in the book, making sure to continue using a lot of onomonapia.

Thematic Unit : Poetry, Literary terms, specifically onomonapia

Literary Element: Onomonapia



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The Legend of Mackinac Island


Wargin, Kathy-Jo. The Legend of Mackinac Island. Illus. Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2000. Print.

Summary: This book is about a old wise turtle named, Makinauk. He was the largest turtle to ever live in the water. One day he was told by “The Great Spirit of the Sky” that all of the animals would gather soil from the water and place it on his back to make dry land. The animals had a hard time reaching the soil on the bottom. The Muskrat decided he would try. He was gone so long, the other animals thought he had died. Finally, he resurfaced and had soil in his hand. He put it on Makinauk’s back and the small amount of soil quickly grew forming a dry land. As this happened, Makinauk told the animals how this was his gift to them. He became the land, which led to the island, Mackinac Island.

URL’s relevant to the book:

This website is full of pictures of Mackinac Island. It shows pictures and lists places that are great for tourism. This is a great website for those who can not travel themselves to the island.

Activity based on the book:

After reading The Legend of Mackinac Island, students can research more on the island itself and write a short paper on it. They can draw pictures of the island and animals that would be found on the island.

Questions from the book:

1. Who is Makinauk?

2. What did Makinauk want the other animals to find in the water?

3. Who was the first animal to try and find the soil from the bottom of the water? Was he successful?

4. When the Muskrat said he could grad the soil from the bottom of the water, what was the other animals opinions?

5. Who brought the soil up? What happened after it was out on Makinauk’s back?

Theme: Legend, Mackinac Island, Folklore

Literary Elements:

Setting: An Island, that later becomes Mackinac Island

Characters: Makinauk, Loon, Beaver, Otter, and Muskrat

Conflict: Makinauk is told by the “Great Spirit” that is is time for him to make land. He asks for the help of the other animals to get soil from the very bottom of the water. The animals try and are unsuccessful.

In the end, Muskrat gets some soil and helps make the new land.


Memorable Passage:

“As they talked, they realized that Makinauk was not really gone, because they saw his large round back in the shape of the island, and heard his deep, familiar voice roll through the rocks that line the shore. ” (Wargin 42).

In this passage, the animals were sad that Makinauk was no longer around. They then realized he was still there, because he was now part of the land, he was who made Mackinac Island for them. They were happy to know he still was present.

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