Ruth Patterson's secret pet is smart enough to write her messages. But he's a lot of work. To keep her secret, she must take the blame for everything he does. To keep him safe, she'll have to solve the mystery of a glowing rock, decipher a Hawaiian legend, and unravel a string of lies - all before the lizard's dangerous enemy catches up with them.
|File size:||244 KB|
|Age Range:||5 - 11 Years|
About the Author
First, answers to the two questions I hear most often: For readers of Swept Up: No, I have never been kidnapped by an angry janitor while on a school field trip. But I have spent a lot of time wondering what would happen if I had been. In real life, I like school janitors and am not afraid of them at all. For readers of No Ordinary Lizard: Yes, I have owned a lot of pets - more than any reasonable person ever would. I've had dogs, cats, hamsters, an African gray parrot, a pot-bellied pig, fish, Hermit crabs and, of course, the leopard gecko lizard who inspired this story. At times there have been more animals living in my house than people. But very few of them caused as much trouble as Benson. Now, let me share my passion: When I'm not working on my next book (or taking care of my pets or running away from school janitors): I assist and encourage young writers at allwritewithme.com. This site is an online writing community where kids can post their original stories and provide their opinions and advice to other young writers. I've included creative writing tips, techniques, story prompts, activities, and group projects. The site has gained recommendation from Teachers First, Teachers And Families, Marjan Glavac (the Busy Educator), Carla Beard (the Web English Teacher), and Home School Buyers Co-op. Teachers and parents can connect with me and other users of the All Write with Me website at facebook.com/allwritewithme. Diane is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her short stories and articles have been published in children’s magazines, writers’ newsletters and online.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
NO ORDINARY LIZARD tells the story of an 11-year-old girl living in Iowa City. Ruth, the protagonist, has been given an unusual rock by an aunt, who is very dear to her. In fact, Aunt Myk really is the glue that holds young Ruth together emotionally since her best friend moved away, her younger brother is a pain, and her parents are quite straight and narrow type of folks. The unusual rock produces a lizard somehow and from there the adventure begins for Ruth. For this lizard is, well, no ordinary lizard. The loveably and somehow accidentally naughty lizard goes on many escapades while Ruth tries to keep him under wraps. When Aunt Myk announces she will be moving away from Iowa City, things start to get really intense for Ruth and the adventure escalates from there. Diane Owens’ writing in NO ORDINARY LIZARD is impressive on many fronts. One of the most important talents of this author is superb use of first person voice. As the character, Ruth, tells the story, the reader is completely convinced it is being told by an 11-year-old girl. Every phrase, thought, and description is precisely the way a young girl would tell it. This helps with the enjoyment of the book tremendously. I felt as though Ruth was right there next to me on the couch giving me the blow by blow of what happened next. A second notable talent of Ms. Owens is the ability to write for young people. After the first (70) pages, I could see it was good and downloaded the book for my 11-year old son to read. We then raced to finish the book giggling along the way. The first night he started the book, I had to take it away from him and make him go to sleep, so the book appeals to its target audience as well as adults. Lastly, I feel Ms. Owens truly gets middle grade humor, likely because of her profession working with young readers so much. Both my son and I found portions of the book quite funny. I feel the book will appeal to both boys and girls ages 8 to 14.
Reviewed by Gail Kamer for Readers' Favorite Whoever heard of a lizard hatching from a stone? No Ordinary Lizard by Diane Owens is not just a simple tale of having a pet and then having to let go. It’s the story of an extraordinary lizard who is like no other lizard on Earth. Of course, being unusual it doesn’t eat normal lizard food. It eats cat food. And it’s not even nice to the cat. Poor kitty. The lizard ties silverware to the cat’s tail! This lizard changes colors with his moods and changing emotions. He learns to draw, read, and write. But since he’s no ordinary lizard, he is hunted. Who wants him and how does he escape? You’ll find out in this funny story about friendship. I fell in love with Benson, the lizard in No Ordinary Lizard by Diane Owens. Written with children aged 8 to 10 in mind, the story is just like the title; no ordinary story. Diane Owens’ creativity with the idea and the many twists and turns in the book will keep all readers interested, even those who have a hard time conquering reading. I would also recommend it to younger children as a “listen to” book. In addition to imagining such a wonderful story, Ms. Owens has created a website which offers reading and writing connections for several grade levels but mainly third through fifth. The site offers content matched to common core for informative, opinion, and narrative writing. It also offers writing material for each chapter of No Ordinary Lizard. As a retired educator, I highly recommend both the book and the educational materials to teachers and parents. Both the book and the site are high quality. I fully expect No Ordinary Lizard will become as beloved a children's story as Charlotte's Web!
I enjoyed this book! It was a quick read, but kept my attention the entire time.