Blog Posts

Through The Eyes of a Fourth Grader: Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson

When I learned that Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson would be released on April 28th, I tried convincing myself that I could wait until the summer months to indulge. At the end of April, it arrived on my doorstep unexpectedly – a birthday surprise! In other words, it was readily available for virtual book talks, and waiting six weeks to read it myself was an impossible task. I am confident that Ryan H-A-R-T will steal your H-E-A-R-T, as she did mine. Let’s rewind to the moment I first shared this book with a fourth grader in the spring, as I’m sure it will also tug on your heart strings.

Miss Quimby: “I was wondering something since it’s Friday. We’re not doing First Chapter Friday right now as a whole class, but I know how much you love it. Someone sent me a brand new book for my birthday in the mail, and. . .”

Reader: GASP

Miss Quimby: “This just came out on Tuesday, and it’s by the same author that wrote Some Places More Than Others. I wondered if you would like me to do a personal First Chapter Friday today. How does that sound?”

Reader: “YES!”

Look at her eagerly writing down the title during my introduction to the book!

Reader: “I think I NEED that book. When you find a good cover, that’s what you need!”

Miss Quimby: “They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it’s hard to turn a book away when it has an awesome cover like this one.”

Reading is a gift! Every Friday, a new novel is revealed from 4Q’s special book box. I even brought it home to continue our “unwrapping” reveals and weekly snapshots during remote learning.

Now, fast forward through the reading of Chapter 1: The Girl Who Could Be King.

“I want it!” she exclaimed, her arm stretched high above her head. Her reaction was authentic, just as if I were in my rocking chair and she on the rug surrounded by classmates. She shared, “I love it already!”

This reader’s energy was the motivation I needed to transition First Chapter Friday into the virtual world for all fourth graders. I just wish I could have handed my copy off to an eager reader through my computer screen!

I saw this title on fourth graders’ summer reading plans back in June. Sitting here in August, I am hopeful they got their hands on it.

I do know the reader above did in fact get her hands on it. Ways to Make Sunshine was her first read of the summer, and she has a few words to share:

I recommend this book to readers who love mystery and realistic fiction. I love this book because the title says a lot about the whole book itself. It can be a fast read or a slow read. Happy reading!

1 thought on “Through The Eyes of a Fourth Grader: Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson”

  1. I could feel your student’s energy and enthusiasm. How wonderful!! Love that you are continuing “unwrapping” great books through virtual classroom.
    Well done fostering such an interest in literacy!

Leave a Reply