Monday, September 21, 2009

The Magical Ms. Plum

Written by Bonny Becker
Illustrated by Amy Portnoy
Most enjoyed by 1st through 4th graders

There is something special about Ms. Plum. Students who have had her in years past smile in a secret way when the topic of Ms. Plum comes up. This year is no different. In fact, Ms. Plum can't wait for the year to start because she knows that this year's class will be the best one ever.
As the first day of school begins, Ms. Plum asks for a volunteer to get her a pencil. Ignoring the hands that are already raised, Ms. Plum chooses Tashala to go into the supply closet for a pencil. But that's not all Tashala returns with. At her heels is a small pony. Tashala would love nothing more than to be a cowgirl and what does every cowgirl need but a horse. The other kids in the class are jealous but when Ms. Plum tells Tashala to put the horse in her desk, Tashala discovers the hard way that keeping a horse is a bit more work than she anticipated.

And then there is quiet Jovi, a student from Africa trying to improve his English. When Jovi is sent into the supply closet for a roll of tape, he returns with tape and a falcon. At first, the class thinks the falcon is pretty cool, but the more it dives at students and makes a nuisance of itself, the more the kids feel it's time for the falcon to go. Just as Brad is about to throw an eraser at the falcon, a voice is heard from the back of the classroom, loudly and clearly. Despite his limited English, Jovi comes up with a solution for handling the falcon that impresses his classmates, both with his thinking and his speaking.

Each child in the class gets to go into the closet on a supply errand for Ms. Plum, but who gets chosen and when is always unexpected. The mystery keeps the students and the reader guessing! As Ms. Plum demonstrates, every student is special and unique and her closet has just what they each need to help build their self-confidence. You'll find yourself wishing you could be in Ms. Plum's class. What animal would follow you out of Ms. Plum's closet?

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