Sing a Song of Tuna Fish: Hard-to-Swallow Stories from Fifth Grade

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Overview

Like every fifth grader, Esm Raji Codell spent her days within the small world of school, neighborhood, and family. But this small world provides rich material for the often hilarious, always engrossing stories and vignettes in this book. Esm tells us about: the night she and her mother became "egg vigilantes" against an illegally parked car; her freewheeling first school, where kids could choose disco dancing instead of math; her dangerous neighborhood, which her father made seem friendly and wondrous; the ...
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Overview

Like every fifth grader, Esm Raji Codell spent her days within the small world of school, neighborhood, and family. But this small world provides rich material for the often hilarious, always engrossing stories and vignettes in this book. Esm tells us about: the night she and her mother became "egg vigilantes" against an illegally parked car; her freewheeling first school, where kids could choose disco dancing instead of math; her dangerous neighborhood, which her father made seem friendly and wondrous; the Passover dinner when she stole a matzoh right out from under a rabbi; the awe-inspiring, life-threatening Chicago snowstorms; and lessons about love from tea-reading gypsies and Popeye cartoons.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The author of Sahara Special returns with this collection of colorfully and carefully detailed anecdotes from her grade-school years, circa 1979 Chicago. Whether she's hurling eggs from her apartment balcony (with encouragement from her mother) onto the shiny car of a "rich schmuck," describing her parents' sometimes loud shouting fights or the fascinating layout of her grandmother Evelyn's apartment, Codell paints a realistic and deeply felt childhood. Her bright, occasionally soft-spoken voice has a youthful tone, which wrings notes of humor, revelation and poignancy from her written words. Listeners also get an extra treat here--two stories not included in the print edition of the book. Ages 8-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Codell's memoir is a celebration of the people, places and moments of her Chicago childhood, a fond reflection upon "what it was like to be a child" in her place, in her time. More than just her story, though, it is meant to be a model for readers and listeners, who are encouraged to pay attention to their lives and relish the little things that become memories. Richly detailed chapters on her neighborhood, a mammoth snowstorm, school life, grandparents, love and religion make for fine reading aloud and superb models for young writers. Each section begins, "Let me tell you something about," and readers are swept into a ten-year-old's urban world to witness mother and daughter egging an illegally parked car, a little brother swallowed up by the snow, Esme begging a friend to beat her up so she won't have to go to piano lessons, men at the basketball hoop, "brown arms gathering underneath like stems reaching for the same orange flower." Her enchanting, evocative writing inspires readers to see the wonder and magic in their ordinary lives, and maybe smile to themselves. (introduction) (Nonfiction. 9+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786836529
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

ESMÉ RAJI CODELL is the author of the highly acclaimed children's books Sahara Special and Diary of a Fairy Godmother. She is also the author of the bestseller Educating Emsé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year, which won an Alex Award, given for he best adult books for young adults, among many honors. She has worked as a children's bookseller, teacher, and school librarian, and now runs the popular children's literature Webster www.planetemse.com. Esmé lives in Chicago with her husband and son.


From the Cassette edition.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2007

    Collection of good tales

    Not only for 'fifth-graders' as they are told by, but for all children who love creative stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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