Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Stella Batts Needs A New Name - Courtney Sheinmel and Jennifer A. Bell - Stella Batts Book 1

Needs A New Name
Stella Batts Book 1
Courtney Sheinmel (Author)
Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press

ISBN 9781585361854
eISBN 9781585368662

Recently I read my first Stella Batts book to check them out before recommending them to my daughter. I loved the concept and the writing, so I showed them to my oldest who is 9. She loved the cover and description so we added book 1 Stella Batts Needs A New Name to our reading list. Shortly thereafter my daughter received a homework assignment, she had to pick a book, read it, and make a bookmark representing the story and a brief description. She choose this book and so we read it together. Currently when we read together we alternate pages. She loved the story and as soon as she was done her assignment we started book 2.

These are great fun reads. They are much more realistic than a lot of children's fiction. They are stories about a family, and revolve around family and school life. Each book begins with a series of facts about Stella Batts, in Stella Batts Needs a New Name the list is as follows:

A List by Stella Batts: Things You Should Know About this Book
1. It's an autobiography. That means I wrote it and it's all about me. I'm eight years old, I'm in third grade, and I live in Somers, California. My favorite place in Somers is Batts Confections - that's the candy store my family owns, and there's a lot about it in this book.
2. There's also stuff about some of my favorite people, like my best friend, Willa, my parents, and even my sister, Penny, who copies me a lot but she's still one of my favorites.
3. I even wrote about some people I don't like very much, like Joshua, the biggest meanie in my class. Joshua calls me Smella, because of something that happened on our class nature walk.
4. That's when I decided I had to change my name to something that does NOT rhyme with Smella.
5. You'll just have to read this book to find out what happened next!

My daughter and I both really enjoy these stories. My daughter who is a somewhat reluctant reader pounced on the start of reading another book in this series. As such I cannot give it a higher recommendation. My daughters summary of the book is:
"Stella Batts needs a new name because on a school field trip she fell in dog poop. A boy in her class started making fun of her and started calling her Smella. Stella started to want to change her name, because of the teasing. 

On the next field trip to Batts Confections, her family's store, Stella shares her wish to change her name with her friends. They decide they want to change their names as well. For their new names they decide on candy names, Kit Kat, Caramel, Truffle, Candace. By Changing their names things get very complicated very quickly. 

Reading this book opened my eyes to the power of words. It made me realize that something done in fun can really hurt someone. Words really can hurt so we need to be careful about what we say. It also made me appreciate my name and the importance of names."

And she even handed in her assignment a week early she was so excited to work on it. As you can see it is a pretty powerful book for you and for children in your life. Give it a try and you might just become hooked on Stella Batts also. 

(Below is the bookmark and Summary my daughter did)

Books by: Courtney Sheinmel:
Stella Batts:

Stella Batts Needs A New Name
Stella Batts Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Stella Batts Pardon Me
Stella Batts A Case of the Meanies
Stella Batts Who's in Charge?
Stella Batts Something Blue
Stella Batts None of Your Beeswax
Stella Batts Superstar

Other Books:
My So-Called Life
All the Things You Are

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