Clementine

by Sara Pennypacker (2006)

In Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker, we experience life through the viewpoint of Clementine, a feisty, firecracker of a third-grade girl, who is having a really bumpy week. Students will easily identify with Clementine’s various challenges: being unfairly accused, not paying proper attention in class, helping out parents with necessary projects, and having to make all sorts of amends. She faces mishaps, figures out solutions, and then resolves everything with inspiring aplomb.

At 136 pages, Clementine is an approachable Intro Title for One School, One Book. It can be read in two or three weeks by beginning readers and their families.

Friendships are forged and tested, all sorts of parenting styles are addressed, siblings are both exasperating and deeply enjoyable, and both school teachers and the principal are surprised, confused, and awed by the inventive thought of third graders. And when you’ve finished with Clementine, the words “Pay Attention,” as prodded by a teacher, will never sound the same again.