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Writing makes you drift and dream and say things you don't even plan on. --Destiny, 5E The Fifth graders of PS 1 are packed like jelly beans into their classrooms. But when Ms. Hill shakes things up in a new class, the diverse group of inner-city kids in 5E find themselves writing like they didn't know they could. Giovanni, Maximo, Destiny, Willie, and the rest of their quirky classmates--with a little coaxing from Ms. Hill-learn to deal with their crazy lives through writing. Both hilarious and heart wrenching, this story is told by four voices as the members of 5E navigate their way through the chaos of growing up. A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year.
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Virginia Frances Schwartz is an award-winning historical novelist. Her book "Send One Angel Down" was honored as a ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an IRA Notable book, a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, and was praised as "profoundly moving" by "Booklist". Born in Ontario, Canada, she now lives in New York.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6–When Gio, Destiny, Max, and Willie are sent to room 5E on their first day of fifth grade at PS 1, they believe that they have been sent to the room of doom, where all the stupid kids go as a last resort. But what they don't know is that Ms. Hill, their new teacher, is about to change them. Slowly but surely, she enables all of her students to face their inner struggles and feelings and express themselves through words, both on paper and out loud. The story is told through the journal entries of each of four students. Through their work, Schwartz is able to show the characters' subtle growth, both in their writing abilities and in their personal lives. She takes a group of diverse kids and lets them naturally grow into friends. Their writing is, at once, simple and deep, emotional and beautiful; perhaps a little too well done for fifth graders. While this could be a promising motivational book for reluctant readers and writers, it can be confusing as to who is speaking. This leads to minor backtracking, but a happy ending makes the effort worthwhile.–Carly B. Wiskoff, Sayville Library, NY
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