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The talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

The talented Clementine (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Sara Pennypacker

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8823510,042 (4.33)10
Title:The talented Clementine
Authors:Sara Pennypacker
Info:New York : Hyperion Books for Children, c2007.
Collections:Your library

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The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (2007)


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This book explores the difficulty Clementine goes through trying to figure out what her talent is. She consults her parents and her friends, but seems like there isn't anything that she's especially good at besides making clever attempts to get out of the talent show. eventually she learns that talent isn't just about singing or dancing. It can also be about being creative and thoughtful. This book has a lot of positive messages about being yourself and thinking your way through a problem.
  williamlong33 | May 14, 2017 |
In this installment, Clementine tries to get out of participating in the class talent show because she doesn't think she has any talents - none that she can do on stage, anyway. But the fact that she pays attention (just not always to the class lesson) comes in handy and she is able to help make sure the show goes on! I love this kid. ( )
  JennyArch | Sep 28, 2016 |
This one was just a teeny bit sappy & cliched. Still wonderful. Oh I hope there are more and more and somehow the author keeps up the good work. Tell the illustrator that the 2-page spreads in which our little darling communicates with Mrs. Rice (the principal to everyone else, but a favorite counselor/ auntie to C.) are a must for every book in the series. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Narrated by Jessica Almasy. Clementine’s class is holding a talent show fundraiser for the big school trip. Unfortunately, everyone but Clementine seems to have a talent to perform at the “Talentpalooza.” Clementine considers tap-dancing (she opens 24 beer bottles to glue the caps on her tennis shoes for taps), making her little brother laugh, and even claiming the family is moving to Egypt. However, on the night of the show, Clementine proves to be an effective director and stage manager and she gets the applause she seeks when the principal acknowledges her help.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This is a story about a misfit third grader that feels like she has no talent to offer at her school’s talent show. Clementine’s teacher explains that there will be a talent show for the whole school and encourages the children to figure out what talent they will do up on the stage. Immediately Clementine feels uneasy with this and excuses herself to the principal’s office (a place where she is often sent anyway). She does her best to avoid having to find a talent for the show because she is embarrassed to figure out for herself, and for others to know, that she has no talent. Her annoying friend that is a year older than her, and in the fourth grade has so many talents that she is asking Clementine for advice on how to choose just ONE. Clementine asks her dad about what her talent is, and he goes off on a typical dad list of how wonderful and talented she is…without naming any real talents. She finally decides her talent is to making her little brother laugh, but on the evening of the show, when she asks to bring her brother, her father won’t let her because part of the act she came up with involving her brother includes putting a leash on him. So she ends up going no talent to show on stage. She is embarrassed about this when all of a sudden, last minute, the teacher that is supposed to help the principal run the show can’t be there. So the principal, realizing how well Clementine has paid attention in rehearsals and how she has a talent for paying attention to details, pulls her into the director’s chairs with her and relies on Clementine to help run the entire show. So many things are about to go wrong, but Clementine is there to save the show. At the end, Clementine gets her moment on stage when the principal pulls her up there to thank her in front of the entire audience.

The thing that makes this story Clementine herself. She is an endearing character because of her “I’m my own person” attitude. Yet she is also a humble character in a way. She is the kind of kid I wish I was at her age and the kind of kid I would love hanging out with now. She is funny (although I suppose it is in a slightly self-deprecating way) and realistic.

I think this would be a great story to read to third graders as a read aloud or in small groups. I would focus on Clementine’s feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment, two feelings that elementary children often feel and struggle with in life. I would use the chapter where she is comparing herself to her slightly older friend with many talents and what that feels like. We could talk about the difference between how your parents perceive you, how your friends perceive you, and how you perceive yourself. When the book is over, the teacher could make a list of talents that people have that aren’t necessarily talents you can see on a stage. Making your brother laugh when no one else can IS a talent! Paying attention to details so much so that you can run a show IS a talent. And so on. Then the teacher can have students think about what their “true” talents are and possibly even write about them as a follow up to reading this book.
  WeaverJ | Dec 6, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pennypacker, Saraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frazee, MarlaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Steven Malk and Donna Bray—

my talented agent and editor—

who knew before I did


To my big brother,

Mark Frazee,

who probably thinks

this dedication stuff

is stupid

First words
I have noticed that teachers get exciting confused with boring a lot.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Eight-year-old Clementine, convinced that she has no talents, tries to find a way to avoid participating in the class talent show.

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