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Prairie School (I Can Read Book 4 Series)

Overview

It is the 1880s. Noah Bidson works hard on the family farm on the Colorado prairie. One day his mother tells him that his aunt Dora is coming to give him some schooling. Noah is angry. What use is reading on the prairie?

Aunt Dora arrives, and all the Bidsons are surprised to find that she is confined to a wheelchair. But Aunt Dora doesn't let it stop her. When Noah refuses to learn inside the sod farmhouse, Aunt Dora finds a unique way to show...

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Overview

It is the 1880s. Noah Bidson works hard on the family farm on the Colorado prairie. One day his mother tells him that his aunt Dora is coming to give him some schooling. Noah is angry. What use is reading on the prairie?

Aunt Dora arrives, and all the Bidsons are surprised to find that she is confined to a wheelchair. But Aunt Dora doesn't let it stop her. When Noah refuses to learn inside the sod farmhouse, Aunt Dora finds a unique way to show him that there's a whole new world waiting for him.

Avi's compelling story is brought to life by Bill Farnsworth's luminous paintings.

In 1880, Noah's aunt teaches the reluctant nine-year-old how to read as they explore the Colorado prairie together, Noah pushing Aunt Dora in her wheelchair.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Nine-year-old Noah loves living on the Colorado prairie in the 1880s where he helps his parents with all of the work. When Aunt Dora comes from the East to teach him how to read, he sees no need to do so and refuses to cooperate with her. However, his aunt refuses to give up. She asks Noah to show her the land even though he warns her that her wheelchair may make it difficult to get around. As he wheels her along, she consults the book in her lap and begins to tell him about the natural things around them. Impressed by her knowledge, the child decides to learn to read and write, and realizes that his aunt has opened a world beyond the prairies to him. Warm, soft-edged illustrations capture the intimacy of the loving family relationships and the vastness of the landscape on dark, starlit nights and glorious, sky-blue days. A combination of double-page spreads, full-page, and half-page illustrations appealingly reinforce the mood and action of the text. This gentle story with a great message that is nicely woven into the daily events would make a pleasant read-aloud as well as a good addition to easy chapter-book collections.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060276645
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/10/2001
  • Series: I Can Read Book 4 Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.87 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi

Avi is the author of more than sixty books, including Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a Newbery Medal winner, and Crispin: At the Edge of the World. His other acclaimed titles include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth, both Newbery Honor Books, and most recently The Seer of Shadows. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Bill Farnsworth has been illustrating books for more than twenty years. Among the many books he has illustrated for children are The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by Janice Cohn, Mississippi Going North by Sanna Anderson Baker, and THE BUFFALO jump by Peter Roop. A resident of Venice, Florida, Mr. Farnsworth also has a website.

Biography

Born in Manhattan in 1937, Avi Wortis grew up in Brooklyn in a family of artists and writers. Despite his bright and inquisitive nature, he did poorly in school. After several academic failures, he was diagnosed with a writing impairment called dysgraphia which caused him to reverse letters and misspell words. The few writing and spelling skills he possessed he had gleaned from his favorite hobby, reading -- a pursuit enthusiastically encouraged in his household.

Following junior high school, Avi was assigned to a wonderful tutor whose taught him basic skills and encouraged in him a real desire to write. "Perhaps it was stubbornness," he recalled in an essay appearing on the Educational Paperback Association's website, "but from that time forward I wanted to write in some way, some form. It was the one thing everybody said I could not do."

Avi finally learned to write, and well! He attended Antioch University, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received a master's degree in library science from Columbia in 1964. He worked as a librarian for the New York Public Library's theater collection and for Trenton State College, and taught college courses in children's literature, while continuing to write -- mostly plays -- on the side. In the 1970s, with two sons of his own, he began to craft stories for children. "[My] two boys loved to hear stories," he recalled. "We played a game in which they would give me a subject ('a glass of water') and I would have to make up the story right then. Out of that game came my first children's book, Things That Sometimes Happen." A collection of "Very Short Stories for Little Listeners," Avi's winning debut received very positive reviews. "Sounding very much like the stories that children would make up themselves," raved Kirkus Reviews, "these are daffy and nonsensical, starting and ending in odd places and going sort of nowhere in the middle. The result, however, is inevitably a sly grin."

Avi has gone on to write dozens of books for kids of all ages. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992) were named Newbery Honor Books, and in 2003, he won the prestigious Newbery Medal for his 14th-century adventure tale, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. His books range from mysteries and adventure stories to historical novels and coming-of-age tales; and although there is often a strong moral core to his work, he leavens his message with appealing warmth and humor. Perhaps his philosophy is summed up best in this quote from his author profile on Scholastic's website: "I want my readers to feel, to think, sometimes to laugh. But most of all I want them to enjoy a good read."

Good To Know

In a Q&A with his publisher, Avi named Robert Louis Stevenson as one of his greatest inspirations, noting that "he epitomizes a kind of storytelling that I dearly love and still read because it is true, it has validity, and beyond all, it is an adventure."

When he's not writing, Avi enjoys photography as one of his favorite hobbies.

Avi got his unique nickname from his twin sister, Emily..

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    1. Also Known As:
      Avi Wortis (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 23, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
    2. Website:

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