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Podcast Podcast

Episode 29 — Precious Memories


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
See all episodes in this series

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Duration 11:01
Original Air Date Published November 18, 2010

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

  • The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner (Walker & Company, 2009)

    Cross-country sectionals are two weeks away, and Gianna can’t wait. There’s only one problem—she’s not passing science and if she doesn’t finish her leaf project (which she hasn’t even started) on time, she won’t get to race. And that means that Bianca—her nemesis—will get to take her place. Her best friend, Zig, who lately has been acting a little strange, tries to help her finish her project, but Gianna just can’t seem to get it together. In the midst of all of these middle school ups and downs, Gianna finds out that her Nonna, who lives with her family, is possibly in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. How can anyone think of a leaf project at a time like this? Maybe this leaf project has more to offer than a big headache!

  • Heartbeat by Sharon Creech (Joanna Cotler Books, 2004)

    Sharon Creech, in her poetic narrative style that readers might be familiar with from Love That Dog, lets us into the life of 12-year-old Annie, whose life is at a changing point in many ways. Annie’s mother is expecting a baby. Annie’s grandfather, who lives with her family, is in the early stages of dementia. So, with the anticipation of new life, there is also sadness about losing her wise and nurturing grandfather. And to top things off, Annie’s best friend and running partner, Max, is acting moody. He’s irritated that Annie won’t join the track team with him, when all Annie wants to do is run for the pure pleasure of running. Things begin to come into focus for Annie through a school assignment. Her art teacher asks the class to draw an apple every day for 100 days. Through this assignment Annie begins to see the intricacies, perspectives, and the gradual shifts in the apple and in her life, too.

  • Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox (Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1989).

    Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next to a retirement home. He enjoys all of the people that live there, but his favorite resident is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper because she has four names just like him. Everyone says that she has lost her memory and, hearing this, Wilfred sets out to help her find it. He asks others what a memory is and with each answer he gathers up things to give her. Like when someone tells him that memories are something from long ago, Wilfred brings her a seashell from a trip to the sea he had taken long ago. With each item Wilfred brings her, Miss Nancy recovers a lost memory.

  • Creating Family Timelines

    In this project, kids can interview family members and make an illustrated timeline of the most important family events and memories. A perfect project to preserve those precious memories in your family!

Expert Chat

Listen in as Emily chats with Kate Messner, the author of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Kate shares how she came up with the idea for this book, why she tackled a difficult subject like memory loss with her character Nonna, and her favorite traits of the main character, Gianna.