Saturday, December 29, 2012

Early Chapter Book-Marty McGuire by Kate Messner

Marty McGuire by Kate Messner
Illustrated by Brian Floca
Ages 7 and up
160 pages

My rating 4 stars!

When Marty McGuire catches a big bullfrog in the pond during recess, the boys think she is one of the coolest girls they have ever met.  I would have to agree. Marty McGuire is a wonderful book about a girl who loves to catch frogs, play sports and hates to wear dresses.  She is a rambunctious tomboy and I LOVE her!  In this first book of the Marty series, third grade Marty is having a common friendship issue when her former bestie, Annie, becomes friends with the bossy and very girlie Veronica Grace.  Suddenly Annie wants to play princess at recess instead of playing with Marty.  Marty is confused about the change in her friend although her mother tells her that if she waits patiently, Annie will come back to her.  

Then comes the third grade play.  This year they will perform The Frog Prince and, convinced that she is perfect for the part,  Marty's teacher has chosen her to play the role of the princess.  Despite her reluctance, Marty's mom and teacher convince her to play the part.  While Marty hates princesses, she does have a great imagination so she is able to pretend her way through the play and does a fantastic job.  Of course she adds some unique touches and makes it her own.  Throughout the rehearsals she is also starting to notice that Annie is getting a little less princessy.  

Kate Messner has created a strong female character in a chapter book that is accessible even to younger readers.  Students who are intimidated by length and like/need a few pictures along the way will be able to really enjoy this book. I will certainly have both Marty books stocked in my classroom library.

I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, Marty McGuire Digs Worms (published April 2012).

Along with the Marty books, Kate Messner has written picture books, historical novels and a book for educators called Real Revision.  Click below to see two interviews with Kate about revision.

Real Revision Interview Part One
Real Revision Interview Part Two

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