Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kids' Summer Reading Reviews - "Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy"

Summertime is a great break from school lessons, but the free time can cause the kids (and moms!) to go a bit stir crazy. Last year we created a fun reading incentive for our kids -it was such a success that we're doing it again this year. After every 1,000 pages, we'll treat that child to some ice cream. Oh, and they have to write a 1 page book review for each book, too (this helps me check that they're not skimming).

Of course, the problem with this is that I need to know what these books are about as well! So I guess I unwittingly enrolled myself in this reading program. But my loss is your gain. I'll post my reviews here on the blog - hopefully you'll find some fun summer reading for your family to enjoy.

William Loizeaux; Pictures by Anne Wilsdorf Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy
Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy - William Loizeaux
2nd-4th grade reading level, 153 pgs.
4 out of 5 stars

Ever imagine what it would be like to be a bug? Or what it would be like for a bug to be a human? Clarence Cochran is your everyday cockroach, happily living in the kitchen of the Gilmartin family with his parents, brothers, and extended cockroach community. But one morning, Clarence awakes to find himself inexplicably transformed into a boy! His family and friends are shocked and shun him, with the exception of his tender-hearted mother. Yes, she gives comforting cockroach hugs and hears Clarence say his prayers after a long day of scampering about the kitchen, like any good mom would do. Before you get too grossed out, this book is the most heart-warming portrayal of cockroaches possible (is that possible?!). Just as he is starting to adjust to his new self, the Gilmartins discover the roaches and call the exterminator. Problems multiply, the colony panics, and a mass exodus is planned. Clarence takes a bold risk and uses his new-found human skills to embark on an adventure for survival. 

I loved everything about this book! It was so refreshing to find a book that boys will LOVE that isn't centered around pirates or sports teams. I giggled all the way through. This would be a great book to go along with an insect study unit, or an ecosystem study. There are lots of character qualities to talk about as well. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the potential to see this as overly "eco-conscious". That is limited to one character for the most part. I see it as good fuel for discussion about our role as humans to care for the earth in light of the dominion mandate in Genesis.

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