Things I Learned in Second Grade

Things I Learned in Second Grade

by Amy Schwartz
     
 

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When you're in the second grade, you learn new things every day.

Before Ms. Jones's class, Andrew didn't know how to spell “neighborhood,” how to subtract 348 from 411, how to write in cursive, how to read a chapter book, or how to play the xylophone.

But now that he has graduated from second grade, he knows how to do all of these things —

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Overview

When you're in the second grade, you learn new things every day.

Before Ms. Jones's class, Andrew didn't know how to spell “neighborhood,” how to subtract 348 from 411, how to write in cursive, how to read a chapter book, or how to play the xylophone.

But now that he has graduated from second grade, he knows how to do all of these things — and more!

Every year in school is a significant building block for the next. In this book Amy Schwartz captures the magic of learning and growing during one of the most important years — second grade.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"When I started second grade," says Andrew, the redheaded boy who narrates this memoir, "I couldn't spell `should.' " In Schwartz's (A Teeny Tiny Baby) slow-moving, almost elegiac prose, Andrew considers all he had yet to learn before he entered Ms. Jones's class ("I couldn't subtract 348 from 411./ I couldn't write in cursive"), observes his new status as the owner of a prolific pet ("Would anyone like a hamster?," he asks his classmates on Pet Day), offers drawings and poems he's proud of ("Moths dream about sweaters/ Z dreams about becoming A") and ponders questions to which he still does not know the answers ("How do you draw a lion walking?/ How do his legs go?"). He concludes with a quiet yet joyous catalogue of second-grade accomplishments ("I was mayor of the class./ I resolved conflicts"). Schwartz draws a warm web of relationships around Andrew, as when he recalls, in a dreamy flashback-tinted in pale blue-a time his sitter's son comforted him when no one else could: "Then Alex walked by with a cookie on his head./ I stopped crying." The modest figures, with their dot eyes and flat profiles, seem right for a document that reads a bit like a folk history. By conferring upon Andrew's experiences the dignity usually reserved for grownups, Schwartz introduces to young readers the idea that their memories are worth preserving. Ages 4-7. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Beginning with a list of things he was unable to do before the school year began, a red-haired narrator highlights the key events of his time in Ms. Jones's class. Andrew introduces readers to all of the people in his life and proudly shows off some of his artwork and writing, including a picture of an alien space battle. Itemizing some of his accomplishments, he explains how he can now spell the word "neighborhood," write in cursive, and read an array of chapter books. Finally, Andrew broaches a series of questions that, much to his delight, will be answered in third grade. This sweet story is accompanied by precisely drawn, softly colored illustrations of the boy engaged in a variety of activities at home and in the classroom, and the optimistic and cheerful ending pulls it together to a satisfactory conclusion.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When red-headed Andrew started second grade, he didn't know how to spell "should," subtract 348 from 411, write in cursive, or read a chapter book. Now, at the end of the year, he can do all of those things, and more. This amiable slice-of-life account of a year at school doesn't stop with academic achievements: Andrew discusses new friends and the loss of an old one, the growth of his family (Digger the hamster begets Tiger, Explorer, Speedy, and Racer-"Would anyone like a hamster?"), and some of the cosmic questions he's puzzling through ("What is in everything pizza, anyway?"). Schwartz's signature line-and-watercolor illustrations set against generous white space are clean and exactly on target, as is her sense of the average second-grader's ambitions and concerns. It's a gently affirming, sweetly positive exemplar that looks confidently forward to the third grade. Just right. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060509378
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/29/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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