Elise is entering middle school and suddenly realizes her best friend (a boy, Franklin) is not “cool”–and neither is she. She starts off the first day of school making an enemy and things turn from bad to worse quickly. Elise takes out her anger on the world around her and it takes the guidance of those others in her life to really help her recognize what is important as she searches for what it means to truly “be” Elise. I don’t really want to give away more…but I am hoping I have enticed you a little bit!
I am always on the quest for new and interesting books to share with my students and last year I happened across Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur. My students loved it, and I knew it was going to be one of my “go to” books from that point forward. From bullying…to “coming of age”…to friendship issues…to “belonging”, this book has SO much to talk about.
I think what really “clicked” for me this summer was when I read “Notice and Note” by Kylene Beers is how a book like Eight Keys can really help teach this deeper comprehension. In fact, the signpost “Words of the Wiser” is a perfect match for this book in that the main character, Elise, has a number of people in her life that serve as this “guide” through her journey. After introducing this signpost, my students are SO tuned into noticing when characters are serving as those guides to Elise. I am SO hopeful that it will soon transfer into their own reading!
So if you haven’t seen this one, maybe grab it and read it for yourself. See what you think. I think it’s a perfect read aloud for grades 4-6. Want a closer look? Check below to see more. I also put the link to Notice and Note above. If you are an intermediate teacher and haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Seriously–it should be required reading. It was a very powerful game changer for me!