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THUNDER IN THE BACKYARD

Author: Jay B Winderman

Illustrator: LuAnne E. Becker

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Pill Bug Press, ©2008

Material: paperback

Summary: When we last saw Thunder, he had moved with family and friends to the “Tortoise Reservation” in the California Desert, where natural habitat is protected by the government. On his returning from a visit with friends, a young woman illegaly captures him and takes him to her home in Los Angeles. There, he meets two other desert tortoises whom the family is keeping as pets. Thunder shares his experiences, fears, anxieties, while living in captivity. This is the third title in this trilogy about a turtle and his adventures.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, independent reading, middle grade reader, read aloud book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together; 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 13

Interest Level: 8 to 13

Reading Level: 3.1

Age of Child: Read by student at Denbigh High School (Newport News, VA) as part of our Use Your ABCs program.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked the book because turtles were on the front cover and I like turtles. I thought this was going to be about a thunderstorm; I didn't know the turtle's name is thunder. I liked the way the tortoise was talking and telling the story. That was cool. I learned that when people are around, you don't stereotype them. They are probably doing the same thing to you, so you need to look at people the way you want them to look at you. I didn't like how Bulky was being mean to Thunder. I would buy this book because I really don't like reading but this book helped me out a lot. I forced myself to read, and as I read the book, I started to like it and I thought to myself it ain't nothing wrong with this book and I liked it and I understand that book a lot better than the ones I've been reading.

Adult Reader Reaction: Thunder and his friends are lovable, memorable characters. Seldom is the sequel as good as the original and, even more unusual, is the third book of a trilogy able to maintain a reader’s attention. This is one of those rarities. Enjoy!

Pros: Adventure fantasy and animal lovers will enjoy this trilogy that draws on the harsh realities of life on earth in telling a turtle's story.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. These stories easily lend themselves to discussions of everyday situations that occur with siblings, their friends, or classmates. They provide a parent or teacher with a simple and effective story to use to help their children or students understand and resolve real issues and problems.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THUNDER ON THE DESERT   PING: A FROG IN SEARCH OF A NEW POND   AUNT GUSSIE AND GRANDFATHER TREE

Educational Themes: There are all kinds of lessons to be learned, friendship, sharing, care for one another, appreciating personal differences, importance of habitat to all of the earth’s inhabitants and more.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 3.1

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal stories, adventure, fantasy, series book

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

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