“This book is like a hug!” calls Marta from across the screen.
“I know but I can’t figure out if I want to hug Ren or hug them both,” Brandy adds.
It was the end of our virtual school day and the time of the day where we read a book for the purpose of enjoyment. I often pick books that I think I may want to revisit later so that my students can hear them first for enjoyment before we work through the text for the purpose of learning a read skill.
This year I teach third grade students virtually outside of Columbus, Ohio. As I read this book last week to my students the conversation flowed in and out with a mix of questions and connections as my students followed Ren and Ava’s journey to friendship.
“Ren is lost and he is sad,” said Brian.
“I wonder if Ava is going to help him?” Aubrey asked.
A New Kind of Wild is a story about Ren as much as it is a story about Ava. Ren moves from his home to a new place that is foregin to him. Ren meets Ava in his new home. Ava is committed to helping Ren love the only home she knows. They both learn about themselves in this truly magical journey but most important it seems is the lesson of friendship and what it means to feel at home.
The energy my students had while I was reading this book to them I could feel through the screen. I can’t wait to bring this book back when we begin our study on character development and understanding how character’s traits, motivations, and feelings contribute to the sequence of events in stories. This book lends itself very well to our content standards and our hearts.