Third Grade Angels

Third Grade Angels

4.0 21
by Jerry Spinelli, Jennifer A. Bell
     
 

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The long-awaited prequel to the bestseller FOURTH GRADE RATS George, aka "Suds," has just entered third grade, and he's heard the rhyme about "first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats," but what does this mean for his school year? It means that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves… See more details below

Overview

The long-awaited prequel to the bestseller FOURTH GRADE RATS George, aka "Suds," has just entered third grade, and he's heard the rhyme about "first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats," but what does this mean for his school year? It means that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves to be awarded "the halo" - which student is best-behaved, kindest to others, and, in short, perfect. Suds is determined to be the first to earn the halo, but he's finding the challenge of always being good to be more stressful than he had anticipated. Does he have to be good even outside of school? (Does he have to be nice to his annoying little sister?) And if Mrs. Simms doesn't actually see him doing a good deed, does it even count? A warm, funny return to elementary school from master storyteller Spinelli.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
It has been more than twenty years since Jerry Spinelli's beloved character George "Suds" Morton first appeared on the children's literature scene in Fourth Grade Rats. Now he is back! But readers will not find out what happened to Suds after the first book; rather than advance his young character to fifth grade, Spinelli has sent him back to third. Suds' teacher Mrs. Simms has high expectations for her young charges, and she makes them clear from the start, greeting them collectively with a rousing "Good morning, angels!" Each student is to do his (or her) best, and the one who is found to be most deserving will be recognized by wearing a special halo for a week. Right away, Suds knows he wants the halo, as he likes to be the best at everything. But it is not easy to be on one's best behavior all the time. Will Suds make it? Young readers will be rooting for Suds to succeed from the first page until the last—and they just might learn a bit about "angelic" behavior in the process. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—In keeping with the rhyme, "First grade babies! Second grade cats! Third grade angels! Fourth grade rats!," Suds Morton's new teacher considers each of her students an angel. She has high expectations, and the prize-spending a week as boss angel while wearing a cardboard halo-has Suds and his classmates falling over one another to prove just how angelic they are. Everyone wants to earn the first halo of the year-especially Suds. He picks up trash, holds the door for others, and even treats his little sister kindly. Will Mrs. Simms notice his hard work? This beginning chapter book moves at an enjoyably brisk pace; readers will appreciate the familiar school and home settings, and they'll look forward to meeting the characters again in a forthcoming book. A story kids will relate to, with valuable, down-to-earth messages about character and motives.—Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI
Publishers Weekly
In this peppy prequel to Fourth Grade Rats (1991), Spinelli builds on the childhood rhyme from that novel (“First grade babies!/ Second grade cats!/ Third grade angels!/ Fourth grade rats!”) as George (aka Suds) eagerly tries to earn the first cardboard halo that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will award throughout the year for good behavior. Spinelli’s careful characterizations give the story its emotional honesty, and Suds’s obsession with snagging the halo—and his resulting angst—inspire some genuinely funny moments. In fact, he surprises even himself at the lengths he’ll go in pursuit of a halo, progressing from holding the door for girls to a far more angelic gesture: “I hold the door for boys.” Nicely developed adult figures, including Suds’s mother and Mrs. Simms, add to the story’s comedy and warmhearted quality. A climactic good deed by Suds takes place just before the announcement of the first halo award, the results of which few readers will see coming. An entertaining lead-in to this earnest hero’s fourth-grade year. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–10. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for THIRD GRADE ANGELS:

"Spinelli doesn't miss a beat in recreating the characters from [Fourth Grade Rats]... Sweet and funny." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Third-graders are notoriously competitive, and Spinelli has his finger on the pulse of that age group. Suds's first-person account rings true." -- HORN BOOK

"This beginning chapter book moves at an enjoyably brisk pace; readers will appreciate the familiar school and home settings, and they'll look forward to meeting the characters again in a forthcoming book. A story kids will relate to, with valuable, down-to-earth messages about character and motives." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Children's Literature - Nicole Peterson Davis
There is a poem going around elementary school that says that third graders are supposed to be angels. What does that mean exactly? In this school, it means that the third grade teacher will hold a competition each week to see who is going to be the angel of the week and receive the coveted halo from the teacher. Suds wants to be the very first winner, so he must change his behavior both in the classroom and at home just in case his teacher, Mrs. Simms, has spies around. This is an entertaining audiobook that lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes and has only 2 CDs. The narrator is skilled and engaging. The book describes Suds' thoughts and actions in a way that would be fun for other third graders to hear and relate. There is some mildly inappropriate language in the book. The story can be used to teach the concept of being nice to others, wherever you are. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson Davis
Kirkus Reviews
Suds Morton is not yet a "Fourth Grade Rat." In this prequel to Spinelli's 1991 standby, he is a year younger and, according to his school's traditional chant, he aspires to the sobriquet of "Third Grade Angel." When his teacher announces her intention of rewarding angelic behavior with a halo, Suds decides he wants to be the first angel. Between his cool new friend Joey, his wise mom and a little conclusion-jumping, he comes up with a plan. But, of course, his results are just a little off-kilter. Suds, nicknamed for his preference for calming soaks in bubble baths when he gets "chipmunky," needs all the help he can get to deal with the various disasters and tribulations that threaten to overwhelm him. Along with the angel chase there's a pesky little sister, a fifth-grade bully and total rejection by the girl he adores. Spinelli doesn't miss a beat in recreating the characters from the earlier work and never reveals any hint of Suds' fourth-grade future. He lets readers into Suds' 8-year-old mind without condescension. His problems and concerns are treated comically but with genuine kindness. Suds is innocent, gullible and trusting; he is also entirely good-hearted. Young readers will recognize Suds as one of their own and will gladly follow him to fourth grade. Sweet and funny. (Fiction. 7-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545469609
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
85,018
File size:
9 MB
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author


Jerry Spinelli won the Newbery Medal in 1991 for Maniac Magee, one of his more than 25 acclaimed books for young readers. He now lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Eileen Spinelli, who is also an author of children's books.

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