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    Scholastic Book Guides: Fourth Grade Rats

    Scholastic Book Guides: Fourth Grade Rats

    Teaching "Fourth Grade Rats" is effective and manageable with this Scholastic Book Guide. Everything you need is here to build important skills for successful instruction in reading. Includes: book summary and author information to build background and prior knowledge; vocabulary-builders to help your students learn important word meanings for better comprehension; discussion questions to deepen understanding, and build and check comprehension; reproducible graphic organizers and writing activities to extend the meaning of the text; effective management ideas for whole class, small group, and independent instruction! 17 pages.

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    Literature Guide | Grades 3-5
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    Fourth Grade Rats (EBK)

    Fourth Grade Rats (EBK)

    by Jerry Spinelli

    Being a fourth grader is not like being a third grader at all. Fourth graders are rough and tough—like rats. At least that's what Suds's friend Joey tells him. According to Joey, Suds needs to say no to his mother, eat real meat (like baloney), push little kids around, and get over his fear of spiders.

    But Suds isn't sure he wants to be a rat—until Judy, his secret crush, starts ignoring him and following Joey around. Will acting like a "real" fourth grader impress her, or should Suds leave the rat race behind?

    Readers will sympathize with Suds's many worries in this engaging tale about the hardships and humor of moving up to fourth grade.

    books;ebooks;ebooks | Ages 8-10
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    Fourth Grade Rats (EBK)
    Ages 8-10 $5.99

Fourth Grade Rats

Author: Jerry Spinelli

Illustrator: Jennifer A. Bell

Interest Level:

Lexile Framework:

Grade Level Equivalent:

Guided Reading Level:


Manners and Conduct, Mischief, Friends and Friendship, Elementary School, Peer Pressure

About This Book

"First grade babies!
Second grade cats!
Third grade angels!
Fourth grade...RRRRRATS!"

Suds doesn't mind being in fourth grade, but he doesn't want to be a "rat." Ordinarily, this wouldn't be too much of a problem, except that his best friend, Joey, takes it very seriously. According to Joey, being a rat is the next step up to being a man. And if you're a rat, Joey explains, you can't cry or be afraid of things. You have to leave your lunch box at home, make a mess of your room, and say "no" to your mother. You have to push little kids off swings and take their Twinkies.

Suds tries to follow Joey's lead, but his heart isn't in it, until the day that Joey lets himself get stung by a bee and doesn't even flinch or cry. Suddenly Judy Billings, the girl Suds has loved for as long as he can remember, is following Joey around everywhere. If being a rat will get Judy to notice him, Suds figures that he can do it. And it even works, at first...but after Suds rescues Judy's cat, she literally leaves him up a tree, and he has some time to think. Without even realizing it, Suds takes his first real step toward becoming a grown-up.

Full of humor and drama that will ring true for elementary-school children, this brief novel captures the mix of emotions and experiences that accompanies the transition to fourth grade, or any grade. Jerry Spinelli, author of the Newbery Medal-winning Maniac Magee and the Newbery Honor Book Wringer, is an expert at targeting the issues that weigh on his readers' minds, and he addresses them seriously, without condescension, in this fun and thoughtful chapter book.

About the Author

Jerry Spinelli won the Newbery Medal for Maniac Magee, the sixth of his more than fifteen acclaimed books for young readers. Growing up, he played no fewer than five different sports, including football, track, and basketball. He wanted to be a shortstop in the majors long before it occurred to him to be a writer. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book. And, of course, to show the world a little bit about athletes and what makes some of them tick. Jerry Spinelli lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

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