Tag Archives: Chapter Book

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Title: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World


Author(s): Vicki Myron with Bret Witter




Publisher and Year: Grand Central Publishing 2008


Number of pages: 271


Tags/Themes: Animals, Chapter book, Emotion, Family, Friendship, Non-fiction, 2-5, Joe Marras


Genre: Biography


Descriptive Annotation: This is a very easy read with no prior knowledge needed.  The story of Dewey Readmore Books is very heartwarming. A very young Dewey was dropped into the drop box of the library in Spencer, Iowa on the coldest night of the winter.  He was found the next day by librarian and author Vicki Myron. She nursed Dewey back to health and decided to keep the furry fella. Dewey was a mainstay at the library for the entirety of his 19 years only leaving on holidays and long weekends to go home with Vicki Myron.  Dewey helped Myron through tough times as she dealt with a bout with cancer and a divorce from her husband, but Dewey helped everyone. Myron says that Dewey had a profound gift of knowing who needed him the most and giving that person the love and affection they needed.


Classroom Application: I think that the best application for this book is to reinforce the importance of helping out those that need a pick me up.  Everyone goes through down times and who knows how long those times will continue without a good friend or furry companion to help them through it all.  I think Dewey can teach anyone of any age a valuable lesson that it doesn’t always take words or a conversation to give someone what they need.


Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: “There were no two ways about it, Dewey led a charmed life.  But Spencer was also lucky, because Dewey couldn’t have fallen into our lives at a better time.” (page 22)  This couldn’t have been more true for the author and “mother” of Dewey Vicki Myron. She needed Dewey as much as Dewey needed his food and water.  She had been through so much and Dewey was just the one that helped her through it and made it all worth it for her. This is a very easy read, no troubling words and very happy throughout the story.  Dewey became so well known, his story was even heard by people in Japan. A filming crew even came from Japan to get footage of Dewey in their documentary about animals, “Dewey was almost fifteen years old and he was slowing down, but he hadn’t lost his enthusiasm for strangers.” (page 218)  No matter how old or slow Dewey became he never lost his enthusiasm for people. He would still greet people with the same fire he always did. I think this shows a good lesson to show that no matter how you may be feeling on a particular day to never lose your kindness because you’ll never know who it can reach.

One Dead Spy

Title: One Dead Spy

Author: Nathan Hale

Illustrator: Nathan Hale

Publisher/ Year: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012

Number of Pages: 128

Tags/Themes:  Adventure, Chapter Book, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, 4-5, 6-8, Rebecca Cauthorn

Genre: Historical Fiction (Almost non-fiction, but not quite)

Descriptive Annotation: This book begins at the execution of the historical figure Nathan Hale (ironically, also the author’s name). However, before he is hung he gets swallowed by a gigantic history book and suddenly he knows everything that happens in the future of America. Intrigued, the executioner and the guard ask him to tell his story. Both the language used and the illustrations are hilarious, helping the reader stay engaged during the discussion of the revolutionary war. Nathan Hale (the primary narrator) begins telling the story of the war, jumping back and forth between his story and his current conversation with the guard and the executioner.  This book walks through all of the beginning major battles of the war (including Bunker Hill, Winter’s Hill, the siege of Boston, and more) and the recalling of these events are extremely accurate, including exact quotes from some of the major figures involved. The book ends with Hale going to get hung, but he says he knows how the war ends, so they decide not to hang him yet and allow him to continue telling the story (setting it up for a sequel). Before reading this book students would need to know what the Revolutionary War was.

Classroom Application: This would be an excellent text to accompany a history lesson on the Revolutionary War!! It would be a very fun and engaging way to get the kids excited to learn about the battles while also increasing their desire to read and enjoyment of reading. Also, if students had not yet been familiar with graphic novels, this would be a good way to show them that graphic novels are awesome! And a super legit way to read and can be very informative and fun. Another benefit of this book is that because it is so fun while also being very instructional, it could spark curiosity in students and a desire to continue learning more.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents both the opinions of the Americans and the British during the Revolutionary war, which I think is important. It is common that people teach the Revolutionary War as being just one-sided, when in fact many of the British soldiers were just fighting for what they thought was right! By including the dialogue between Nathan Hale and the British soldier guard, it allows the reader to understand both sides of the story, which both raises the stakes and provides interesting insights to why the war happened.


Real Friends

Title: Real Friends

Author: Shannon Hale

Illustrator: LeUyen Pham artwork by Jane Poole

Publisher and Year: First Second 2017

Number of Pages: 213

Tags/Themes: Chapter book, family, emotion, historical fiction, friendship, graphic novel, 4-5, 6-8, Rebecca Cauthorn

Genre: historical fiction

Descriptive Annotation: This graphic novel tells the very relatable and common story of a girl trying to fit in to a group of friends. She gets bullied at school, and at home by her older sister, who (as it turns out), has had her own trouble finding friends her whole life, too. At the end of this novel is an author’s note which helps to understand the message she is trying to send as well as revealing that the girl the book is about, Shannon, is none other than the author herself. While there are pictures on every page, students need to have a strong vocabulary knowledge and this book would not be appropriate until around the fourth grade.

Classroom Application: This book would be brilliant to share with the class if there was any bullying going on. Even if there was no obvious bullying, it would be good to share if you could clearly see different groups within the classroom. This book helps teach a valuable lesson of kindness and being accepting to everyone. This book would fit in less with the actual curriculum of the class and more into Social and Emotional Learning Standards for the students.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: The girl in this book, Shannon, struggles with anxiety and perhaps depression, and talks about wanting to just disappear. This is a feeling that students may be having in the class and so it would be good to show this book to demonstrate that they are not alone. It also could open the eyes to some students who perhaps didn’t realize they were bullying another student or being mean, but this could shed light on it. This book is also good for students who are struggling with issues with their siblings, because it shows that family tension during these ripe years are normal.


The Dreamer

Title:  The Dreamer

Author: Pam Munoz Ryan

Illustrator: Peter Sis

Publisher/Year: Scholastic Press, 2010

Number of Pages: 355

Tags/Themes:  Adventure, Award Book, Chapter Book, Emotion, Culture, Diversity, Family, Poetry, Historical Fiction, 4-5, Rebecca Cauthorn

 Genre: Historical Fiction

Descriptive Annotation:  This book was based on the famous poet Pablo Neruda’s life, except we don’t know this until the end. This emotional story is for anyone who is an outcast, who feels different than other people, or feels like they are letting their family down. We meet a young boy, Neftali, who is a dreamer. He loves to write, daydream, and imagine. His father thinks he is an absent-minded fanatic, who will amount to nothing. The story begins when Neftali is eight, and ends when he goes off to college. We watch him struggling to find a balance between being himself while pleasing his father, and root for him as he discovers his passion and gift for writing. Illustrations are included at the beginning of the chapter and sporadically throughout the book, accompanied with poetry that Pablo Neruda wrote later in his life (of course, we do not know yet that it is our beloved Neftali’s poetry we are reading). This book also comments on the issues of displacing native peoples for development, and uses little Spanish phrases throughout. This book would be excellent for someone who had a Chilean background, or anyone who felt like their differences were a bad thing. It is easy reading, but very long, so would be most appropriate for a 4th or 5th grade classroom.

Classroom Application: This book would be a great asset to help students recognize that we are all important and smart even if we are good at different things. Neftali wasn’t very good at math, but a very creative writer and thinker. It would also be good to assist a lesson on Native Americans to demonstrate that this displacement is still going on and to raise the question of right versus wrong. Another way to incorporate this book into the curriculum would be to have an entire mini unit devoted to it—for math, we could use leaves and twigs to illustrate multiplication by grouping, for social studies, we could investigate the displacement of Native Americans and native people all over, and for reading/writing we could write poetry that Neftali would have written, and then teach a lesson on Pablo Neruda and his poetry. We could also include art into this lesson by cutting out construction paper into a leaf or a beetle or a swan and write a poem on it and hang them in the classroom.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book does an exceptional job of raising awareness of and cultivating discussions about cultural diversity. Within the book, many different viewpoints are discussed about the diversity in the town Neftali is from, and this could raise a very stimulating discussion which could expand the minds of students. The depiction of Neftali as a dreamer who is on the outside is also very beneficial to the classroom to recognize that everyone is unique and awesome in their own way. Overall, this book contains a wide cultural vocabulary, from the Spanish words and the Chilean setting, to the discussion of native people, to the differences of Neftali from other boys and girls.

A Kids’ Guide to the American Revolution

Author(s), Illustrator/Photographer: Kathleen Krull; illustrated by Anna Divito.

Publisher and Year/Number of pages: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2018, 207 Pages.

Tags/Themes: Graham, New Nation, Declaration of Independence, Thirteen Colonies, Revolutionary War, Boston Tea Party, Washington, George, and Dano.

Genre: Nonfiction, Chapter Book.

Descriptive Annotation: The cover features a watercolor drawing of George Washington, kitted out in a traditional tricorn and blue frock coat, cradling a US flag (of the Thirteen Colonies) and superimposed over the Declaration of Independence. Also included is a red, white and blue color scheme in the title and author’s name as well, emphasizing the colors that the new nation of America rallied to in the heady days of 1776. This is a combination of both standard unifying American imagery used by our country since its independence, and the founding document of our initial independence being put in a position of prominence, which can be seen for the entirety of the novel.

A Kids’ Guide to the American Revolution is the beginning story of our country, which was a group of men who decided that enough British domination was enough, and despite their many differences, it made sense for them to band together and declare to the world the birth of a new nation, and, in doing so, made a document that changed the world: “It spelled out the reasons why the colonists had to rebel against the mother country and begin to govern themselves. It’s not exaggerating things to say that the Declaration launched America” (Krull, p. 7). As the book continues, it is evident that this American story as portrayed in this novel is the complex, conflicted one as it was in real life, mostly due to its older targeted audience. Also important is that this version of the American tale does have plenty of heart as well, and indeed makes the boosting of morale that George Washington did throughout the war for his troops in the face of difficult odds a key point of focus for the reader: “With these victories he wasn’t just scoring points. He was boosting troop morale and attracting much-needed recruits. Washington was doing more than any other single person to keep the flame of the American Revolution alive” (Krull, p. 139).  The whole of the story is about the acceptance of revolutionary and Enlightenment ideals that posed a serious threat to the British governing order in the Declaration of Independence, and how the war was won based on those ideals even if they weren’t always practiced by all of the Founding Fathers at all times. All Americans of every age group, not just students, should read this book as well, because the author does an evenhanded job of assessing the reality of the Revolution for a book that was designed for children, and the lessons within would certainly be useful for students reading this novel in the primary school classroom.

Classroom Application: In the book A Kids’ Guide to the American Revolution, the characters are all real-life figures from the Revolution, from the top (George Washington, King George III) to the lesser-known heroes of the war, such as a man named Swamp Fox (who was in real life called Francis Marion), who had fought in the French and Indian War: “While battling-and almost losing to the Cherokee Indians, he admired how the Cherokee turned the swampy backwoods to their advantage, hiding until just the right moment for an ambush” (Krull, p. 157).  This demonstrates how people take some of the best ideas from those with whom they may have clashed with before, and that competition can later turn into cooperation, as it did when “Marion’s Men” joined forces with their erstwhile indigenous foes to take down British forces in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War, using those same tactics. This is a teachable moment, since it’s Krull’s way of saying that America was built not on lasting enmity towards one’s foes, but treating them as friends once the current issue at hand has been resolved-just as Britain became a great ally in World Wars I and II, and how Germany and Japan are close allies with us to this day as well after we defeated them in the Second World War as well. In short, we need to embrace the lessons learned of the Revolution and strive towards a world with less enmity and lingering resentment in any way possible. This book is an excellent primer on how to do just that by looking at examples from our primary history way back in the 1770s.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: Krull covers the interactions between American and Brits, colonizers and the colonized, slave and freedman, and does so in a way that doesn’t gloss over the real pain that has occurred in our past through many faults of our own. The end of the war didn’t solve the issue of slavery in the slightest-it exacerbated the problem in many ways, as Krull acknowledges: “The institution of slavery continued to be practiced in the original thirteen colonies. Within days of the war’s end, plantation owners were paying soldiers to locate runaway slaves living in the surrounding woods” (Krull, p. 189). This is necessary to do, as many past versions of our founding have glossed over the often-sad realities that plagued our nation for generations and are still not truly solved. The author’s motivation was to do right by the lives of those who were historically ignored in our textbooks, and to do so in an engaging way that is not misguided or skewered to any certain degree: “Treaties  made with the British prior to the war were ignored by the Americans, and years of bloody conflict and expansion destroyed some tribes” (Krull, p. 193). On those pages which cover the aftermath of the war, a nation was born divided between those who had and who had not, and recognizing that not all was peaches and cream is an important step in the telling of American historiography to young readers. In the context of the age group that is reading this book, it is understandable that it is included to help eliminate false truths. 

Waiting for Normal

Title:  Waiting for Normal

Author(s): Leslie Connor

Illustrator/Photographer: N/A

Publisher and Year: Harper Collins, 2008

Number of Pages: 290

Tags: Award Book, Chapter Book, Emotion, Family, Fiction, 2-3, 4-5, Sarah Luce

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Descriptive Annotation:

A young teenage girl, Addison, and her mother move into a trailer in a rundown area outside of the city after Mommers, Addison’s mother, divorces Addison’s stepfather. The story follows Addison for about a year as she navigates a new place, new school, and changes in her family dynamic. The story touches on things such as perceived mental illnesses, physical illness like cancer, and learning disabilities, giving students a glimpse into what life is like for people who deal with those things. It also has characters that are deep and are not featured much in literature, like families dealing with divorce and separation, as well as characters that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Students reading this book may encounter bigger words they do not know (as the main character keeps a vocab notebook) but the words are often defined and explained as a part of the plot.

Classroom Application:

This book would be more useful in teaching life lessons to students, rather than academic lessons. It could teach inclusion of others, through looking at the inclusion of a character that is gay or the way Addison is accommodated and included in her Stage Orchestra class, given her dyslexia. It could also be used to discuss more deep things, such as the affect of cancer on a person, the pain of grief, or the impact of a family being split apart.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis:

This story represents the culture of being poor in a rundown town in America. It gives the reader a look at what it is like to live check to check from Addison’s perspective, like when she says to her hamster, “‘Well, Pic, given the size of me and the size of you, if food is wealth, you’re the queen today’” (page 238). It also shows one perspective of what it is like to live with a person who potentially has a mental illness. I would have this as a book in my classroom library and explain it to students as a book that talks about real-world experiences that many people face in their lives, like cancer. Soula, one of Addison’s friends from the corner minimarket, tells her, “‘You’re seeing the worst of it, Cookie…This is cancer. And it stinks’” (page 65). This book was written relatively recently (2008) so it is more intentional about discussing big topics in today’s society, such as mental illness and inclusion.


Scarlet Ibis

Title: Scarlet Ibis

Author: Gill Lewis

Illustrator: Susan Meyer

Publisher and Year: Oxford University Press, 2014

Number of pages: 273

Tags/Themes: Animals; Chapter Book; Emotion; Family; Fiction; 4-5; 6-8 E

Genre: fiction, family.

Descriptive Annotation:  Scarlet is a young black girl who lives with her mum  and her brother “Red” who both are white.  Scarlet spends all her time taking care of Red who is a young boy with autism, who loves birds. Scarlet often takes care of her mum who has anger problems.  After an incident with Scarlet’s mum falling asleep with a cigarette in her mouth and almost burning down their apartment, Scarlet’s family was taken away from her.  Her mum stayed in a hospital, Red went to a foster home, and Scarlet went to a different foster home with her caretaker, Avril.  Scarlet desperately wants to find Red but is unable to contact with him.  She struggles with living with a new family in a new home coping with her emotions with her frustrations with social workers refusing to let her see her mum and brother.

Students might need to know the variation of “mum” to understand it means mom, but a different spelling.

Classroom Application: This text can be used to reinforce health/physical education area.  The major plot point is after Scarlet’s mum burns down their apartment.  After reading that chapter, it would be important to discuss with the class and practice fire safety and ways to prevent fires in their home.

This text meets the SELS of students experiencing family emotional stress.  It can also be used to stretch how the students think of the definition of family.  A foster family can be just as tight or close to other types of families.


Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis :

This book represents the culture of children in foster care/families.  It would be used to generate discussion on how foster care works, why it happens, teaching the students to not bully students with different families.  It also represents the culture of children with autism.  Generating discussion on how children/people with autism or special needs require a lot of love, and give a lot of love, just like how the students require love from their family and give a lot to their family.  Growing a culture of respect and value for students with autism/special needs is another classroom application from this book.  I might introduce this book to my students by having them draw a memory or activity they value about their family to get them in the mindset of valuing family with the content of this text. “Red cradles Little Red in his lap.  I watch him run is hand from the pigeon’s head to his tail feathers.  Little red becomes calm and turns his head to look at Red.  Red touches the soft down of his chest.  Red relaxes and I see his shoulders drop.  He’s happy just stroking the bird.  I slump into the armchair.  My head feels heavy.  My whole body feels tired.  All I want to do is to curl up and sleep, and sleep, and sleep” (213).  This quote shows how much Scarlet values her brother, but at the same time how drained she is.  The tone is serious, Scarlet feeling tired with her words and imagery.  It paints a picture how she needs help taking care of Red, and how students need to no place everything on their shoulders. “I take a step toward them. “It’s all right for you,” I say. “You can go back to your nice homes with your nice families.  You can have your meals cooked every night.  Your mums and dads look after you.  They’re not crazy.  They don’t swear at you or call you names.  But Red and I don’t have that.  We don’t have anything like that.  All we’ve got is each other.  And if you tell on us, we’ll be split up, and then we won’t have anything as all ”” (228).   This quote really shows the conversation tone in this book.  Scarlet frustration built up and she is exploding to her friends.  You can hear her anger and frustration in the sentences.  The beautiful thing about this quote is her friends listen to her afterwards and give her the space to vent and be vulnerable to them.  Teaching the students friends allow each other to be vulnerable to each other.


My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl

Title: My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl (Dear America series)

Author(s): Ann Rinaldi

Illustrator/Photographer: N/A

Publisher and Year: Scholastic Inc. 1999

Number of pages: 171

Tags/Themes: Allison Henry, Culture, Diversity, Chapter Book, Emotion, Historical Fiction, 4-5, Social Science

Genre: Historical Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: My Heart is on the Ground is written in diary format. At the end of the book is a section on the events happening in the United States during 1880, the year that the book takes place. There is also a section of pictures, a note about the author, and a list of the other books in the Dear America series. My Heart is on the Ground is the story of Little Rose, a Sioux girl who gets sent to a school set up by white people to force Native American children to forget their heritage and become the white people’s idea of a perfect citizen. Little Rose struggles to remember where she comes from while also making her teachers proud.

Classroom Application: This book could be used in a series of lessons on Native Americans. It shows what these children went through in an age appropriate way. It can also be used during a lesson on writing styles, as an example of epistolary writing. The students could read this book, put themselves in the position of a child in any point in history, and then write a range of diary entries.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: My Heart is on the Ground paints an accurate picture of the life of a Native American child at an Indian School. This book could be used to start a conversation on appropriate treatment of groups, dominant culture, and/or Native American culture. Little Rose talks about many aspects of her home culture quite often in the book. One instance of the cultural differences is shown when one of Little Rose’s peers dies from a disease. “I know some of the boys and girls wanted to tear their garments, cut their hair, cover themselves with mud, and slash at their arms because the Death Angel took Horace. But we were made to stand in citizens’ clothing, clean and quiet” (44). This book could also be used to build confidence in student’s writing skills. As Little Rose learns the English language, she makes many mistakes in her writing. If students read passages like, “The teachers had a new bed bring brought to our room” (69), they can recognize that it is ok to make mistakes in their writing.

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler

Author: Italo Calvino


Publisher and Year: Harcourt, 1981

Number of pages: 264

Tags/Themes: Adventure, Chapter Book, Fantasy, Fiction, 8-12, Olivia Ruff

Genre: Fiction (Avant-Garde)

Descriptive Annotation: This novel is an example of Avant-Garde fiction. The novel has a different plot for each chapter, and it follows a the process of reading the book by Calvino. The style, plot, and narrator changes each chapter because each chapter is the first chapter of different books. The end of the book combines the titles from each chapter to form the beginning of “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler.” The words used in the novel are complex, so it would be for an advanced English class.

Classroom Application: This novel would be idea for a college prep English course. The novel pushes the readers to analyze the traditional format of narrative, and the language used in the novel will push students to learn new vocabulary. This would be good as an introduction to Avant-Garde fiction, which is a part of literature that can easily be overlooked, but it is useful for generating great discussion about the reading process and structure of novels.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: The author, Italo Calvino, is an Italian author, and this novel was translated into English. The novel covers a range of thought provoking concepts given the nature of Avant-Garde. This novel disrupts typical aspects of literature, specifically with plot, narration, and structure. Students will be challenged to think outside of the box in regards to how they view literature because the novel itself calls attention to the reading process. I would use short stories first to introduce students to Avant-Garde, and this novel would be what I choose as the end of the Avant-Garde unit because it embodies many aspects of Avant-Garde fiction. “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought” (3). “With a zigzag dash you shake them off and leap straight into the citadel of the New Books Whose Author Or Subject Appeals To You” (6).


Author(s) Illustrator/Photographer: Carl Hiaasen

 Publisher and Year Number of pages: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002, 292 pages.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: The cover features a simple artistic rendering of a burrowing owl’s white eyes on a sky-blue background, very similar to other minimalist books of Carl Hiaasen’s that feature similar cover artwork. As for the book itself, it involves the engrossing story of Roy Eberhardt, a boy who is used to being a new kid. Florida isn’t the first state he’s lived in, but probably the most interesting place he’s ever been. We first meet Roy with his face being pressed against the window of his school bus by Dana Matheson, the local bully.  While dealing with Dana, Roy meets a boy named Mullet Fingers and learns of a sinister plot involving a pancake house called Mother Paula’s, which is planned to be built on the site of an owl rookery.   Roy used to hate Florida and mope about going back to Montana, but now he doesn’t think it’s so boring after all. Roy and Beatrice, his crush at school, have to decide whether or not to help protest for owls’ rights with Mullet Fingers by sabotaging the Mother Paula’s site, which is not an easy choice to make since he is already in trouble at school for ditching class to chase Mullet Fingers. Luckily for the reader, there isn’t much background knowledge needed to enjoy this story-all they need do is get comfortable in their favorite spot and get to enjoying it. The language is pretty simple but also profound in its own way and could be used for a variety of grade levels due to a mass appeal for readers with many different tastes.

Classroom Application: Since the book makes the protection of the environment at all costs from those who would besmirch or defile it an enormous priority, it’s an ideal text to teach lessons on sustainability and good stewardship of the Earth. The author subtly demonstrates that outright militancy and sabotage towards polluters isn’t the best avenue to pursue, and how the children best learn this lesson would be up to the teacher. The passion shown by the main characters in pursuing their goal of environmental preservation is certainly a trait for teaching purposes. One possible lesson after reading the book would be to review current events and find a story that gets the class excited about environmentalism. Students would also do well to recognize, as Roy does, that “Just because something is legal doesn’t automatically make it right” (Hiaasen, p. 180), and think about laws that exist in this country that may not necessarily have been just or good for every American, and how to go about changing them.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: Since the book is set in South Florida, the unique cultural blend formed in that region over the centuries is described to a large extent and would be great for a social studies-type course. The traditions of the Seminole peoples that originally settled the area thousands of years ago are ever-present. Hiaasen explains them to the reader through the character of Mullet Fingers, who is a barefoot young man that ran away from a “special” (read: Indian re-Education) school in Mobile, AL to come and protect the swamp that holds the owls from bulldozers that are coming to build a pancake house on their homes. The Seminole Nation has always been committed to maintaining and supporting the bounties and remaining in sync with those bounties, hence the fierce devotion Mullet Fingers has to the cause: “‘You bury those birds,’ Mullet Fingers said, ‘you gotta bury me, too.” (pg. 267). His zeal convinces Roy to stand up to the corporations as well, and the unity of both boys from drastically different backgrounds is a message that can resonate with many students if taught correctly. Goodness in oneself and others is also a key component in the book, as can be seen in Roy’s conversations with another character on Mullet Fingers: “‘Eberhardt, why do you care about this kid?’ It was a good question, and Roy wasn’t certain he could put the answer into words. there was something about the look on the boy’s face . . . something urgent and determined and unforgettable” (Hiaasen, pp. 74-75). That kind of lesson never gets old, no matter what sort of class you are teaching.