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Iggie's House

Last updated Friday, April 1, 2011

Author: Judy Blume
Date of Publication: 1976
ISBN: 0881031801
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2011

Synopsis: Judy Blume's body of work returns to her original editor, Richard Jackson, with the rerelease of four classics in hardcover. An African-American family moves to all-white Grove Street in Iggie's House, to be released in April. The author's breakthrough title, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, about 11-year old Margaret Simon's struggles with puberty and religion, is now available in hardcover as well as in a Spanish-language edition, Estas ahi Dios? Soy yo, Margaret. Two additional titles came out last season: Blubber takes on preteen teasing; and It's Not the End of the World explores the effects of divorce. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Note to readers:
•  Please note that this story deals with racial tensions and integration, and in doing so uses the word “Negro.”

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is the title of this story? (point out that Judy Blume is the author and not part of the title)
•  What do you think this story might be about?
•  Readers: Read aloud the first paragraph of the author’s note and discuss with the group. This will help provide context for the story.
•  After discussing the author’s note, turn back to the cover and ask the group if they notice anything unusual about the cover given the time in history that we know this story takes place. Does this information change your idea or perception of what the story might be about?
•  Have you ever went somewhere where you felt out of place and where people treated you differently or made assumptions about you that weren’t true just based on what they saw?
•  Segway the above question into a discussion about stereotypes—how they can be positive or negative and how everything doesn’t apply to everyone in that particular group. Throughout the story, see if the group can point out any stereotypes that people have.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever had a friend move away? Can you relate to how Winnie is feeling?
•  Do you have friends whose families do things differently than your family? Do you enjoy spending time with your friends’ families?
•  (p. 6) Winnie tells us that she and Iggie measured the distance between New Jersey and Tokyo. Why do you think they did this? Who do you think lives where? (Use a map in the classroom if you can).
•  Does Winnie treat her mother with respect? Does her mother treat Winnie with respect?
•  Why is Winnie so excited to find out about the new neighbors? Why are they special, as Winnie points out?

Craft ideas:
•  Create a wordsearch or crossword puzzle
•  Write a letter to a friend that you haven’t seen in a long time.
•  Make a baseball (or other sport) card for yourself or your favorite player.

*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!