Jon McGoran
Jon McGoran talks about his new book, Spliced.

Common Core State Standards
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Our Teacher Is a Vampire and Other (Not) True Stories
by Mary Amato
Eric Brace, Illustrator

Paperback | 256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | US$ 6.99
ISBN: 9780823437696 | 01-31-2017

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: FIFTH | Age: 8 to 12

Themes: Humor, School, Writing
Recommendations: A, K, PW, SLJ

CCSS Codes:
RF.4.3, 4, 4a, 4b RL.4.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 SL.4.1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 W.4.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 9a, 10 L.4.3, 3a, 3b, 4, 4a, 5, 6

About the Book

It all begins when Alexander H. Gory Jr. passes around a notebook in which he reveals a tantalizing secret: he has proof that their teacher, Mrs. Penrose, is a vampire. Soon the entire class is speculating and adding their opinions to the notebook until . . . it lands in Mrs. Penrose's hands. It turns out that Mrs. Penrose has been keeping a secret: she is expecting a baby. But since the notebook is encouraging her students to write and improving their spelling and grammar, Mrs. Penrose allows it to continue circulating.

The notebook becomes a terrific place for jokes, poems, stories, and the correspondence between the students and their favorite author. The notebook serves an even more important role when Mrs. Penrose's baby comes too soon, and she is replaced by a no-nonsense substitute. The students begin to express their fears for their teacher, their frustrations, and their hopes.

Classroom Discussion Questions with CCSS:

1. Describe the structure of the book. Why do you think author Mary Amato wrote this story in group correspondence rather than as a narrative? RL.4-5.5

2. How does Mary Amato develop the personalities of the students in the class? RL-4-5.3

3. Whom do you relate to in Mrs. Penrose's class? Explain. What did you learn from the students through their writing? RL.4-5.1, 2, 3

4. Describe how the plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond to change as the plot moves towards resolution. RL.4-5.3

About the Author
Mary Amato