Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Hundred Dresses (Eleanor Estes)

I love this book. I bought it last summer. I put it on my shelf at school and waited for just the right time to read it to my students. This week was the moment. I started it on World Read Aloud Day. I was so excited to read it to them. It is an excellent character book. It isn't too long, and the chapters go quick. Perfect!

On Friday, at the end of the day, was the moment. We had just enough time to read the last chapter, so I asked, "Want to go to the carpet and finish this great book?"

I got a loud and long, "Nooooooo!"

I did my best to read it with great expression. I realized as I went that some of the words were a little old fashioned, so I changed them on the fly. It wasn't good enough though. They really weren't taken by it. Why didn't I see this until the last chapter??

I'm so disappointed.

I still love it though. To heck with them!!!

Actually, I wonder if I don't read the last chapter to them, if they will even ask me to finish it?

The story is centred around a girl named Wanda Petronski. She is Polish, poor and an outsider in the class. One day, Wanda claims to own a hundred dresses, even though every day she wears the same tired blue dress to school. The girls tease her daily about this. 

The interesting thing is the book is told after the fact. One day Wanda stops showing up at school. It takes a few days for the girls to even notice. One girl starts to feel remorseful. They never do have a chance to fix what they have done though. 

I loved this book because it didn't have a happy ending. It teaches the importance of being kind every day because you never can go back in time, and sometimes it is too late to fix things.

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