January 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 3
One book, two schools
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Miss Marra's grade 3 students at Horace Allen School enthusiastically hold up their copies of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by author Kate DiCamillo, the novel selected for this year's One Book, Two Schools program.
Pass Herald Reporter
On Jan. 13 at Horace Allen School, teachers were dressed as squirrels and students were encouraged to wear superhero costumes to celebrate the unveiling of the book selected for this year’s One Book, Two Schools project.

And the winner is… Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo.

Horace Allen and Isabelle Sellon students from kindergarten to grade six will participate in the One Book, Two Schools reading of this quirky novel that chronicles the adventures of Ulysses the squirrel and Flora the natural-born cynic. After being sucked up by a powerful vacuum cleaner, Ulysses is resuscitated by Flora, and finds that he has magical superhero abilities. DiCamillo received the John Newbery Medal for this novel in 2014.

As is typical in superhero narratives, there’s the struggle of good versus evil and heroic action scenes, but HAS vice-principal Myrna Dembicki says the book goes deeper than usual superhero antics.

“Without giving it away, I think in this book is about friendship, forgiveness, hope and about getting outside of your head,” she says. “There are changes in the characters throughout the book. It’s about Ulysses believing in himself and Flora keeps reminding him, ‘Remember who you are.’ So it’s also about being yourself.”

This is the first book used in the program that blends text and graphic sequences. An image or comic book-type of graphic strip is inserted every few pages, often whenever Ulysses does something heroic.
continued below ...
The shared reading program is modeled after One Book, One School created by the Read to Them non-profit organization. As in previous years, parents are asked to read the book to their children, no matter what grade the child is in.

“It’s good for kids to hear their parents reading. It’s good modeling and there’s research showing that hearing other people read out loud is great to improve student fluency,” says Dembicki.

A committee consisting of representatives from each school, the Crowsnest Pass Literacy Foundation, the Crowsnest Library, 40 Development Assets, parents and learning facilitators was behind the book selection.

“It’s a process of finding out about books, reading them, or snippets, reading reviews about them, and finding one that will capture the interest of all the kids,” says Dembicki.
continued below ...
Marcy Purcha, program coordinator at the Crowsnest Pass Literacy Foundation, says that choosing the right book was the hardest part of the project, but the committee ultimately settled on this one for its appeal to all age ranges.

“We thought the storyline would intrigue the little kids, but the writing is hard enough for the older kids to read,” she says. “It’s more upbeat than last year’s book and it’s got the graphic novel components to it, so that’s a bit different, too.”

Books were purchased for each family at both schools and a reading schedule was set up for everyone to follow along. Teachers at both schools will discuss the book with their students, and various themed activities will take place throughout the two weeks of reading.

Real Country Radio will be taking calls each morning for a book trivia and discussion. Callers will be entered into a draw to win gift certificates for pizza. The Crowsnest Library is also doing a draw for Chapters gift cards.

TransCanada donated $3,000 to the project, which went to the purchase of 320 copies of the book.
We do our best to minimize any censorship in the comment section,
but at times some comments are removed.
Click the "Submit" button once
Your post will appear at the top
January 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 3
All information on this website is Copyright (c) 2017 Pass Herald Ltd. All rights reserved.
12925 20th Ave, Box 960, Blairmore, Alberta, Canada T0K 0E0 | news@passherald.ca | 403.562.2248 | 403.562.8379 (FAX)