July 28, 2010

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary - by Candace Fleming

Aesop Elementary is a small school, with only one section of each grade, and this year's fourth grade class is one of the worst ever.  They're so bad, that the only person who is willing to teach them is weird Mr. Jupiter, who definitely isn't your average, normal teacher.  The 19 students in the class are each quite different, and will remind you of Mrs. Jewls's class in Sideway Stories from Wayside School.

In fact, the whole book will remind you of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, because each chapter focuses on a different student, and the style is pretty similar to that famous book by Louis Sachar.  What's different about this book is that each chapter takes one of Aesop's Fables (You know, the Tortoise and the Hare, and stories like that?), and tries to create a modern school fable with a moral for each. Although some of the morals make you think, they also get in the way of the story, and make you wonder why on earth the author chose to write some of these chapters.  The characters are hilarious, but some of the writing is blah.  It's worth a a read, especially if you love fables, but don't expect it to reach your "favorites" list.  

1 comment:

Momo said...

Mr K I loved this book perhaps because I could relate to Paige Turner and her quest for love. One thing I did that I never do when I read a story... I jumped all over the book I did not read from front to back I just picked out chapters I wanted to read and later went back and read the others. Thanks for reviewing this book - I don't really agree it is blah! I put a link to the authors teaching notes which are fabulous on my blog.