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Picture Book: A Visitor For Bear by Bonnie Becker (Candlewick Press 2008)
Oh, that lovable, grumpy old bear and his indomitable mouse friend! Bear is determined to be alone with NO VISITORS ALLOWED, but a small mouse is equally determined to be Bear’s friend. This is a wonderful story to use for a friendship unit. It would also work really well as a character study. Students can compare and contrast the bear and the mouse and use descriptive adjectives to illustrate the uniqueness of each character.

Novel: Rent a Third Grader by B.B. Hiller (Scholastic 1988)
There are fewer and fewer novels available with younger elementary students as the main characters, so I wanted to remind you about this tale of a third grade class that sets out to save the local police horse from a terrible fate. Although the story problem is a dark one (the retired horse has been sold to a pet food factory), the book itself is light and cheerful. The students work together to save the horse and learn a lot about friendship and cooperation along the way. This is a great book for your higher level third graders, but could also be enjoyed by all upper elementary students.
 

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