Sunday, November 6, 2011

Belle Prater's Boy

Ruth White

Author:  Ruth White                                                                                  

About the Author:
Ruth White grew up in a coal mine town in Whitewood,Virgina, where her and her sisters would play in the hills and creeks. She used her experiences to write many of her stories. She now lives in Pennsylvania.

Genre: Fiction
Grade Level: 4-6 
This is a story about a boy’s mother who disappears and he has to live with his grandparents in Virginia.  Woodrow is the boys name, he wears glasses, wears hand me downs for clothes, but is very witty and has a lot of charm.  He finds out he has a lot in common with his cousin Gypsy, who lives next door; they become best friends during their sixth grade year.   Gypsy is the town beauty and she has hidden sorrows and secrets of her own, she wonders how Woodrow can accept the disappearance of his mother when she cannot get over the death of her father.  Woodrow tells Gypsy the secret about his mother; he is the only one who knows because he is Belle Prater’s boy.

Pre Reading Activity:
What do you think this story is about?  Who has a cousin in the same grade as them?  Is it fun having relatives in school with you?

Have the students write a few sentences about what they think this story is about.

Post Reading Activity:
What do you think happened to his mother?  Why do you think he hasn’t been able to tell anyone what he knows?  Do you think he will tell his dad and grandparents?

After reading the story, have them write a story about what they think happened to his mother, and why they think he didn’t tell anyone until a year later. 
I think this book would be a great book to read with middle school students, many of our students are dealing with sorrows and secrets they cannot or will not share with others.  Reading stories that children can relate to can make a difference in our students.  They may be able to understand their own feelings by relating to a character in a book.  

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