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The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer

Last updated Monday, July 9, 2018

Author: Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud
Date of Publication: 2016
ISBN: 1452144834
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2018

Synopsis: What really happened over the summer break? A curious teacher wants to know. The epic explanation? What started out as a day at the beach turned into a globe-spanning treasure hunt with high-flying hijinks, exotic detours, an outrageous cast of characters, and one very mischievous bird! Is this yet another tall tale, or is the truth just waiting to be revealed?

Note to readers:
•  The illustrations are very detailed — you might want to do a picture walk or pass around the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where is the furthest you've been from home?
•  What "unbelievable" things have you done this summer?
•  Have you ever found a treasure?


•  Magpie- any of the various noisy birds related to the jays but having a long tail and black-and-white feathers
•  Giant Squid- very large squids up to 60 feet long including the long arms
•  Port- a place where ships may take shelter from storms; a harbor town or city where ships load or unload cargo
•  Submarine- a naval vessel designed to operate underwater
•  Crew- a group of people who operate a ship, train, or airplane

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What was the treasure? Do you think it was worth it?
•  Do you think his teacher believed his story? Why?
•  Where did he go on his adventures? (The ocean, pyramids in Egypt, space, deserted island, Taj Mahal in India, Great Wall of China, mountains, and back to the beach)
•  What forms of transportation did he use? (submarine, ship, jet pack, hot air balloon, spaceship, flying carpet, bicycle, skis, and feet)

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a treasure map
•  Make a giant squid
•  Make/Draw a hot air balloon

*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!