I’m going to be writing about some of the children’s books I’ve read and loved in the hopes that you’ll consider giving them a try in your classroom, too.
Recommended this week: Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise
Reviewed by: My Reading Resources
Title: Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks
Author: Kate Klise
Target grade levels: 3-6
# of pages: 144
Year of Release: 1999
Series? Yes, 1st of 5
One of my favorite books for middle school readers is Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise. It is the first book in a series of five – the second book is Regarding the Sink, and the third, sure to get a chuckle, is Regarding the Bathrooms. Keep middle schoolers working on reading goals by encouraging them to read the entire series!
A cursory look inside the book will soon let you know this is no ordinary novel. Regarding the Fountain is a mystery story perfect for engaging even reluctant readers. Readers will soon realize that something fishy is going on in Dry Creek, Missouri, as they read the letters, memos, postcards, faxes, and telegraphs that are sent between the middle school principal Walter Russ, fifth-grade teacher Sam N., his fifth-grader students, and Florence Waters, the owner and designer of the Flowing Waters Fountain who will replace the Dry Creek Middle School’s water fountain that suddenly started leaking all over the floor. The visual variety of text will appeal to reluctant readers who don’t like seeing large blocks of text. Also enjoyable are the pun-y names: Principal Wally Russ (walrus), his secretary Goldie Fisch, Sally Mander, and teacher Sam N. (salmon). Mr. Sam N.’s fifth grade students, while doing research for a class project on their town’s history, solve a thirty year old mystery.
Author Kate Klise and her sister-illustrator, M. Sarah Klise, obviously had fun working together on this book, and the fun comes through the clever mix of engaging text and interesting illustrations. And of course, fifth-graders will love the idea of designing their own school drinking fountain. What would you include? Fish swimming inside it? Water coming out in a loop-the-loop? A fountain big enough for kids to splash in? Different flavored drinks?
Regarding the Fountain has won more than 20 state awards, such as the California Young Reader’s Medal and the Not Just for Kids Anymore, Children’s Book Council Award. It is the Illinois Bluestem Nominee for 2016. (Source: http://www.kateandsarahklise.com/awards.html ) So if you have a middle school student, pick up a copy of Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise, and while you’re at it, sneak a peek at it yourself. You just might find yourself LOL!