A Letter to My Teacher
A Letter to My Teacher

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Annotation: In this heartwarming picture book, a letter from a former second-grade student reveals a teacher's positive impact.
Catalog Number: #136132
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Carpenter, Nancy,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-375-86845-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-96441-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-375-86845-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-96441-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016000762
Dimensions: 23 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
This combination memoir, love letter, and thank-you note celebrates a wonderful teacher. A teacher who endures and encourages a slightly wayward student who stomps through puddles, jumps up and speaks (well, yells, actually) out of turn in class, and creates havoc in her second-grade classroom. The text directly addresses Teacher, who is never named, and documents the student's growth during the school year r best year ever, despite the horrific demise of a class pet and some dicey moments during a couple field trips. The nuanced illustrations effectively capture the sometimes exasperated, sometimes tender interplay. Backgrounds consist of black-and-white line drawings with characters splashed across pages in bright, primary colors. The book skews slightly more towards an adult audience, and teachers especially will appreciate this understated tribute. There will be younger audiences who identify with the struggles of the letter writer as well, and for them, this should be a hopeful and reassuring success story.
Horn Book
A young woman's thank you letter reflects on the wisdom and patience her second-grade teacher demonstrated during a difficult, and important, school year. Pen-and-ink and digital illustrations use color and contrast to draw attention to the endlessly curious girl whose impulsive and occasionally "exasperating" behavior dominates the classroom. It's a loving and realistic portrayal of a student-teacher relationship.
Publishers Weekly
Hopkinson-s moving epistolary text and Carpenter-s emotionally incisive flashbacks chronicle the evolving relationship between an impulsive second grader and her life-changing teacher. Never doubting the girl-s potential, the unnamed teacher holds the rambunctious student-s attention with a steady, reassuring gaze and deep reserves of empathy and patience. Those same qualities are at work in the storytelling: rather than building to a single dramatic epiphany or declaration, Hopkinson and Carpenter (who previously teamed up for Fannie in the Kitchen and Apples to Oregon) allow the girl-s trust and confidence to grow little by little. There are setbacks-the girl-s misbehavior during a field trip prompts the normally even-tempered teacher to describe her as -exasperating- (-That night my mom helped me look it up in the dictionary-). But by the end of the school year, the child has become an avid student and class leader. And by the end of the story, which returns to the present day, readers will discover just how powerful a great role model can be. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The titular letter reveals how a second-grade teacher effected positive changes in the life of a behaviorally challenged child. "I hope you remember me.…I wore a bright yellow raincoat and a dark, stormy frown—because for me, school meant sitting still and listening, two things I wasn't much good at." Throughout the book, the nameless student—a small, pale-skinned girl with long, dark hair—exhibits behaviors that exasperate most adults and many children, too. She shouts out exuberant comments without waiting her turn; she attempts to derail read-aloud time with comical interruptions; she wanders from her class into potential danger on two field trips. The writer reminisces about how the teacher managed to avoid humiliating the girl and instead found ways to use the girl's strengths, leading the child to the better academic and social skills that generally accompany improved self-esteem. From the cover art through the end pages, the artwork is fabulous. Skilled line drawings capture every emotion, while aesthetically appealing watercolor washes accentuate lead characters. Students are multiethnic, and the teacher has black, crinkly hair and light-brown skin. One humorous double-page spread keeps the teacher from inadvisable, total sainthood. Ironically, the number of sentences on each page and the gentle, subtle humor make this book most likely to appeal to adults and to children of the less-than-wiggly persuasion, but its empathetic message won't be wasted on anyone. A valuable lesson in empathy, internalized and paid forward. (Picture book. 4-8)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (6/1/15)
Horn Book (4/1/18)
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 1,036
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 189181 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD620L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N

This funny, touching picture bookthe perfect gift for a child to give to their own teachercelebrates the difference a good teacher can make. Written as a thank-you note to a special teacher from the student who never forgot her, this moving story makes a great read-aloud and a perfect gift for Teacher Appreciation Day or Graduation!

Dear Teacher, Whenever I had something to tell you, I tugged on your shirt and whispered in your ear. This time I’m writing a letter. So begins this heartfelt picture book about a girl who prefers running and jumping to listening and learning—and the teacher who gently inspires her. From stomping through creeks on a field trip to pretending to choke when called upon to read aloud, this book’s young heroine would be a challenge to any teacher. But this teacher isn’t just any teacher. By listening carefully and knowing just the right thing to say, she quickly learns that the girl’s unruly behavior is due to her struggles with reading. And at the very end, we learn what this former student is now: a teacher herself.


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