First Year Letters


Full-color illustrations

Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell delighted children in First Day Jitters. Now her class is learning to write letters for their classroom post office. Follow the class's humorous letters through the school year.

Julie Danneberg has written many children's books, including First Day Jitters and Amidst the Gold Dust: Women Who Forged the West (Fulcrum Pub). She lives in Englewood, Colorado.

Judy ...

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Full-color illustrations

Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell delighted children in First Day Jitters. Now her class is learning to write letters for their classroom post office. Follow the class's humorous letters through the school year.

Julie Danneberg has written many children's books, including First Day Jitters and Amidst the Gold Dust: Women Who Forged the West (Fulcrum Pub). She lives in Englewood, Colorado.

Judy Love has illustrated several children's books, including The Witch Who Wanted to Be a Princess and First Day Jitters. She lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

The children in Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell's class write letters to her.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mrs. Harwell from First Day Jitters (1982) returns for another chaotic school year in First Year Letters by Julie Danneberg, illus. by Judy Love. The narrative consists of letters that the students write to their teacher (sent via the classroom post office), candidly commenting on a variety of incidents. Eddie apologizes for throwing up on her shoes; Margaret compliments the teacher for leaping over a railing "like a real track star" to straighten up a stuffed buffalo while on a museum field trip.
Children's Literature
Danneberg took us through Mrs. Hartwell's First Day Jitters with laughs as well as sympathy. Now, through a series of letters sent to her in the classroom mailbox, we go from September to May, experiencing the sometimes hilariously funny pleasures and pains of a normal group of kids and an innovative, resourceful teacher. A student may barf on her shoes, a science experiment go terribly wrong, a field trip get suddenly wild, but even with an elusive snake and the principal's evaluation visits, Mrs. Hartwell survives and perseveres to success. We can even see one student's inspiring progress in his letters through the year. Love's lively colored drawings visualize all the details of class action barely hinted at in the brief letters, including individual students' responses, and the teacher's utter collapse in her easy chair at home. Naturalistic, they still include enough honest exaggeration to provide loads of laughs per page. 2003, Charlesbridge,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz <%ISBN%>1580890849
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this animated follow-up to First Day Jitters (Charlesbridge, 2000), Danneberg and Love continue to pay tribute to the trials and tribulations of elementary school teachers through the experiences of Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell. Through short letters and notes written by her students and colleagues, readers learn of Sarah Jane's many classroom adventures, including field trips, a loose pet, fire alarms (complete with sprinklers and the arrival of firefighters), and drop-in visits from the principal. Although these messages hint at the events that take place throughout the school year, the lively and engaging illustrations, done in transparent dyes, really tell the story, incorporating humor through details attentive children will discover. The vibrant colors and animated faces bring the barely controlled chaos to life. Although it is a bit disconcerting that only one student hand writes his messages, children will appreciate that most of the notes are typed and easy to read, and will relate to and enjoy this book.-Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Danneberg follows up on the hilarity of First Day Jitters (2000) with a hair-raising account of the indomitable Sarah Jane Hartwell's first year of teaching. The epistolary tale is comprised of letters to Mrs. Hartwell from her students, principal, janitorial staff, and Phil, the local firefighter. Danneberg's dry humor is in full evidence in the course of her witty commentaries, made all the more humorous by their droll delivery. The deadpan style of the children's letters is a perfect foil for the wild escapades they refer to so innocently. An apology for vomiting on Sarah Jane's shoes, a letter marveling at Mrs. Hartwell's ability to leap a museum railing in a single bound, and a note from Phil requesting Sarah Jane not to engage in any more flammable experiments, among others, reveal the true story of this eventful year. Dating from September to May, the letters chart not only the misadventures of the class but the blossoming of Sarah Jane into a seasoned professional. Love's uproarious illustrations are over-flowing with comic touches, providing ample details for leisurely perusals of the pages. Her exuberant pictures capture the mad-cap spirit of the story without becoming ludicrous or compromising the tale's warmth. Both funny and touching, this beguiling tale of a teacher's metamorphosis is perfect to share with students and educators alike. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580890854
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 207,714
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.94 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Danneberg is the author of several books for children, including FIRST DAY JITTERS, FIRST YEAR LETTERS, LAST DAY BLUES, COWBOY SLIM, and FAMILY REMINDERS. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

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