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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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    The Enchanted

    Rene Denfeld 9780062285508

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It isnand#8217;t that Abby Carson canand#8217;t do her schoolwork. She just doesnand#8217;t like doing it. And in February a warning letter arrives at her home. Abby will have to repeat sixth gradeand#8212;unless she meets some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project to find a pen pal in a distant country. Seems simple enough. But when Abbyand#8217;s first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, the village elders agree that any letters going back to America must be written well. In English. And the only qualified student is a boy, Sadeed Bayat. Except in this village, it is not proper for a boy to correspond with a girl. So Sadeedand#8217;s younger sister will write the letters. Except she knows hardly any English. So Sadeed must write the letters. For his sister to sign. But what about the villagers who believe that girls should not be anywhere near a school? And what about those who believe that any contact with Americans is . . . unhealthy? Not so simple. But as letters flow back and forthand#8212;between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of central Asia, across cultural and religious divides, through the minefields of different lifestyles and traditionsand#8212;a small group of children begin to speak and listen to one another. And in just a few short weeks, they make important discoveries about their communities, about their world, and most of all, about themselves.

Review:

"Clements (Frindle) successfully bridges two cultures in this timely and insightful dual-perspective story. When Abby learns that her teachers want her to repeat sixth grade, the Illinois girl pledges to improve her grades and complete an extra-credit pen pal project. Since her favorite pastime is scaling a climbing wall, she's fascinated by Afghanistan's mountainous terrain and sends a letter to a one-room school there requesting a pen pal. So it will reflect well on his village, the teacher decides that his best student, Sadeed, should reply, but with a letter supposedly written by his sister, since it's deemed improper for a boy to correspond with a girl. In chapters devoted to Sadeed and in his missives to Abby (which he eventually admits he's composing), the sensitive boy shares illuminating information about Afghan beliefs and traditions, as well as his own aspirations. Abby responds with similar candor and the two gain much from their correspondence — as will readers. Clements effectively broadens his canvas in this worthy addition to his oeuvre of school-themed novels. Ages 8 — 12. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

It isn't that Abby Carson can't do her schoolwork, it's just that she doesn't like doing it. And that means she's pretty much failing sixth grade. When a warning letter is sent home, Abby realizes that all her slacking off could cause her to be held back — for real! Unless she wants to repeat the sixth grade, she'll have to meet some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project: find a pen pal in a foreign country. Simple enough (even for a girl who hates homework).

Abby's first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, and Sadeed Bayat is chosen to be her pen pal.... Well, kind of. He is the best writer, but he is also a boy, and in his village it is not appropriate for a boy to correspond with a girl. So his younger sister dictates and signs the letter. Until Sadeed decides what his sister is telling Abby isn't what he'd like Abby to know.

As letters flow back and forth between Illinois and Afghanistan, Abby and Sadeed discover that their letters are crossing more than an ocean. They are crossing a huge cultural divide and a minefield of different lifestyles and traditions. Their growing friendship is also becoming a growing problem for both communities, and some people are not happy. Suddenly things are not so simple.

About the Author

Andrew Clements has written more than fifty books for children, including the enormously popular Frindle and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller Lunch Money. Mr. Clements taught in the public schools near Chicago for seven years before moving east to begin a career in publishing and writing. He and his wife, the parents of four grown children, live in Westborough, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416949299
Author:
Clements, Andrew
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Illustrator:
Elliott, Mark
Author:
Elliott, Mark
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
Letters
Subject:
School & Education
Subject:
Family - Siblings
Subject:
People & Places - Middle East
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Children s-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series:
Junior Library Guild Selection
Publication Date:
20090623
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 3 up to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
f-c jkt (spcl fx: spot gloss UV, emboss;
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
08-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy

Extra Credit Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Atheneum Books - English 9781416949299 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Clements (Frindle) successfully bridges two cultures in this timely and insightful dual-perspective story. When Abby learns that her teachers want her to repeat sixth grade, the Illinois girl pledges to improve her grades and complete an extra-credit pen pal project. Since her favorite pastime is scaling a climbing wall, she's fascinated by Afghanistan's mountainous terrain and sends a letter to a one-room school there requesting a pen pal. So it will reflect well on his village, the teacher decides that his best student, Sadeed, should reply, but with a letter supposedly written by his sister, since it's deemed improper for a boy to correspond with a girl. In chapters devoted to Sadeed and in his missives to Abby (which he eventually admits he's composing), the sensitive boy shares illuminating information about Afghan beliefs and traditions, as well as his own aspirations. Abby responds with similar candor and the two gain much from their correspondence — as will readers. Clements effectively broadens his canvas in this worthy addition to his oeuvre of school-themed novels. Ages 8 — 12. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , It isn't that Abby Carson can't do her schoolwork, it's just that she doesn't like doing it. And that means she's pretty much failing sixth grade. When a warning letter is sent home, Abby realizes that all her slacking off could cause her to be held back — for real! Unless she wants to repeat the sixth grade, she'll have to meet some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project: find a pen pal in a foreign country. Simple enough (even for a girl who hates homework).

Abby's first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, and Sadeed Bayat is chosen to be her pen pal.... Well, kind of. He is the best writer, but he is also a boy, and in his village it is not appropriate for a boy to correspond with a girl. So his younger sister dictates and signs the letter. Until Sadeed decides what his sister is telling Abby isn't what he'd like Abby to know.

As letters flow back and forth between Illinois and Afghanistan, Abby and Sadeed discover that their letters are crossing more than an ocean. They are crossing a huge cultural divide and a minefield of different lifestyles and traditions. Their growing friendship is also becoming a growing problem for both communities, and some people are not happy. Suddenly things are not so simple.

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