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The Best Story

Last updated Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Author: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator: Anne Wilsdorf
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0803730551
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2014

Synopsis: The best story is one that comes from the heart The library is having a contest for the best story, and the quirky narrator of this story just has to win that rollercoaster ride with her favorite author! But what makes a story the best? Her brother Tim says the best stories have lots of action. Her father thinks the best stories are the funniest. And Aunt Jane tells her the best stories have to make people cry. A story that does all these things doesn't seem quite right, though, and the one thing the whole family can agree on is that the best story has to one's your own.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What would make a story the "best"?
•  Who do you think is trying to write the best story?
•  Who are the characters in the best story?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does the girl want to write the best story?
•  What kind of story would you write for a contest?
•  Who do you think had the best idea for a story? Her brother (action-filled), her father (funny), her aunt (sad), her cousin (romantic), or her mother (from the heart)?
•  Do you think the best kind of story is funny, sad, romantic, a combination of these things, or something else?
•  Do you have a favorite story? Why do you think it's the best story?

Craft ideas:
•  Design a poster for a writing contest. List multiple categories for themes (such as poetry, graphic novel, funny, dramatic) and include a prize for each category.
•  Make a list with drawings of some of your favorite things. Write a story about some of your favorite things.

Special activities:
•  Act out some of the action scenes from the pirate story.

*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!