The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man SwampThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In my pursuit of the possible Newberry prediction, this very fun book comes closer than the others I have read so far. I absolutely love the voices in this romp through the swamp. Kathi Appelt gives us the voice of the Scouts themselves (raccoon brothers), the desperate grieving Chap, the ridiculously depraved Jaeger Stitch (alligator wrestler), the amoral, greedy Sonny Beaucoup and a third person narrator with a great sense of humor. These characters only scratch the surface though. As you can imagine the bayou is full of Characters, whether they are human, humanoid, or animal. Kathi Appelt brings them all to your living room to tell their story. I have read her The Underneath and was taken by her talent in writing personification. Beyond the fun characters and their stories that are all on a crash course to merge into a fabulous tale, this book would be a wonderful model for exploring the writer’s craft. In our fourth and fifth grades we assign a unit on writing personification, or the giving human qualities to non-human or even inanimate objects. This story would be so wonderful to kick that unit off. The voice and point of view of the narrator is worthy of dissection for a mini-lesson also. Oh yes, she also has some extraordinary examples of onomatopoeia. I will let you look that one up. 🙂 All in all, I loved this book, both its story and its writing!
I have included a wonderful blog post from Kathi Applet about her writing of this fun story. http://kirbyslane.blogspot.com/2013/08/friend-friday_16.html

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