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Dear Whiskers by Ann Whitehead Nagda
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Dear Whiskers

by Ann Whitehead Nagda

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I decided to read this book because the cover and the title seemed interesting enough. I also didn't bother reading the summary because I felt the book would be "good enough" for the assignment. The book immediately begins with the main character, Jenny, expressing how she feels it is hard to write a letter pretending to be a mouse named Whiskers. I immediately felt I was going to love this books because I also tend to have problems with writing. In the book, the 4th grade students were required to be an anonymous pen pal to a second grader at their school, but disguised as a mouse. Chapter 2 begins with the 4th grade class getting replies back from their second graders. All of the students letters from their 2nd grade pen pal seemed to be enough to write a decent reply, except for Jenny. After the next round of letters, Jenny doesn't receive a letter back like the rest of her class. She then learns that her pen pal, Sameera, is a new student from Saudi Arabia and doesn't speak English very well. After trying and failing to get another pen pal, Jenny finally meets Sameera and gets her to understand English through telling a story through mice shaped cookies. Instead of writing a letter to Sameera, she translates the body parts of mice and gets Sameera to play along with he story of her mouse Whiskers. Throughout Jenny and Sameeras meetings, Jenny learns that people from Saudi Arabia speak a different language, have different calendars, and have separate schools for boys and girls. At the end of the novel, Sameera finally learns enough English to write a letter for Jenny. This novel touched on topics that children may actually encounter in school. It deals with people making fun of a foreigners name, trying to cross a language barrier, and not giving up on someone. Even as teaching in training, I learned that ill probably have to deal with kids that wont be able to learn the same as the majority of the students in a class. You need to take a step back and try to put yourself in someone else's shoes. ( )
  CharleneMartin | Jan 31, 2017 |
My favorite part is when Sameera learns English. ( )
  ethanboo | Mar 15, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0823414957, Hardcover)

Jenny is discouraged when her second grade penpal turns out to be a new student from Saudi Arabia who does not speak English very well, but as she works with her they slowly become friends.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:43 -0400)

Jenny is discouraged when her second grade penpal turns out to be a new student from Saudi Arabia who does not speak English very well, but as she works with her they slowly become friends.

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