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Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

Last updated Friday, July 20, 2007

Author: Sharon Creech
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0060292903
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2006

Synopsis: Tastes and smells emerge along with wisdom and insight as a grandmother and grandchild reveal experiences past and present in the warmth of the kitchen. Rosie and Bailey are neighbors, born only a week apart. They are like sister and brother, only better "because I chose him and he chose me." She has always been his helper as he was born visually impaired. But now they have had a falling out. As Rosie tells Granny, Bailey is acting spiteful, all because she tried to be just like him. To be just like Bailey-her buddy, her pal-Rosie secretly learned to read Braille and unknowingly took away the special thing only he could do. When the two of them come together with Granny Torrelli in the kitchen and make cavatelli, the rift between them heals. Stories and wisdom continue as sauce and meatballs are made, helping to clarify feelings. As family and friends raise a glass of water to toast the cooks, Rosie realizes that her world is indeed bigger as is Bailey's; that tutto va bene-all is well! Twelve-year-old Rosie's narration seamlessly integrates Granny Torrelli's stories and fleeting conversations in short chapters. Her authentic voice gradually reveals what has happened and the accompanying emotions ranging from anger and angst to happiness and contentment.

Note to readers:
•  This is a chapter book that you won?t be able to finish. Aim to read through page 44 (although you do not need to reach that point), and tell the children that the book will be placed into their library if they would like to check it out and read the rest.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have a friend who is different from you? How?
•  When you are having a rough day, what makes you feel better?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think Rosie and Bailey are fighting?
•  Have you ever had a fight with your friends? What happened? How did you handle it?
•  What do you think about Granny Torrelli?s advice on page 5?
•  What did Rosie like about Bailey in the beginning?
•  Have you ever made soup before? What is your favorite food to make when you?re feeling bad?
•  Why does Granny Torrelli tell Rosie about Pardo?
•  What do you think is the matter with Bailey?
•  Why is it important that Rosie says ?at night Bailey and I see the same way.?
•  What happened on the first day of school? Why was Rosie so upset? How would you have felt?
•  Granny Torrelli says people rush too much. Is she right?
•  Why did Rosie want to read Braille? What is Braille?
•  What happened to Bailey?s dad?
•  Why was Bailey mad that Rosie wanted to play a blind woman? What would you have told them?
•  What is the point of Granny Torrelli?s story about Nero and Pardo?
•  Why did Rosie try to get a dog? What would you have done?
•  Later in the story, Rosie tells Granny about a time that Bailey rescued her, and how she wanted to rescue Bailey. How do you think that affects their friendship?

Craft ideas:
•  What is the recipe for friendship? Make a recipe book and decorate.
•  Make a card for your best friend, telling that person why you like spending time with him/her.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!