Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Clementine

Frazee, Marla (Illustrator)
Disney/Hyperion Books 2008. 138 pages
First published: 2006
ISBN: 9780786838837 (paperback)
9780786838820 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The singular voice of 8-year-old Clementine makes this book a jewel among young people’s contemporary fiction. “I am no good at English, okay, fine. But this year I am in the gifted class for math. And here is the bad surprise—so far, no gifts.”

The plot juggles several themes of everyday concern, such as managing visits with the school principal, being a good friend and getting in and out of trouble at home. “She scrubbed so hard she probably made a hole right through my head skin and my head bone, and now everybody can see right into my brains and I’d better not do any more cartwheels.”

Ten brief chapters are liberally illustrated with lively monochrome drawings that help bring characters and settings to life. Best friend Margaret’s room has tidy bookshelves, a pretty bedspread and a poodle-lamp that Clementine surreptitiously touches. Another image shows a scruffy and comfortable family scene on the sofa: Clementine shows her little brother eyeglasses made from lunch meat, while Dad naps under them both.

In language and image, this scrappy, clever and very funny book celebrates the originality of youth and loving acceptance from those charged with their care.

  •  

    Have you ever made a wrong assumption about something? How did you feel? Should we believe everything we hear? Why or why not?

  •  

    Clementine faces many problems, yet she finds solutions to each one. Think of a problem, at school or at home, and come up with a creative way to solve it.

  •  

    Invent a “sibling” and describe their unique character and physical traits. Name your new sibling after a fruit or vegetable and explain why you chose that name.

  •  

    Clementine uses her journal to remind herself about things she might forget as a grown-up. Write five things you want to tell or remind your future self about.

  •  

    Using a Venn diagram, compare Margaret and Clementine. Share with a partner.

  •  

    Have you ever made a wrong assumption about something? How did you feel? Should we believe everything we hear? Why or why not?

  •  

    Write your definition of paying attention. Compare it with others. Compare your definition to Clementine’s in a Venn diagram.

  •  

    Use a graphic organizer to identify Clementine’s problems and solutions, and show how you would have solved the problem.

  •  

    Create a mind map of the people who interact with Clementine. How do they react to her creative spirit? Who can she count on for support? Draw a similar map for yourself. Add the creative ways you interact with these people. Identify those you can go to for support.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Visual Arts