Monday, May 9, 2016

You Wouldn’t want to Be at 
the Boston Tea Party!     
  By Peter Cook
Illustrated by David Antram
Published 2014

This book is part of the “You Wouldn’t Want to be….” informational book series which has approximately 80 different titles, all connected to different kinds of big interest events throughout history. Whereas many of the titles focus on American history—many, also focus on Greek, Roman, Medieval, Egyptian and the like.

The “You Wouldn’t Want to be….” series is a fun, informational  group of books that cover interesting historical events and facts through a narrative that is lively and intriguing for students. I would recommend this mentor text for upper elementary and middle school students.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party  is a solid choice for an informational writing mentor text to model many of the text features students need to know about to include in their own informational writing. 

Starting before one even opens the book, the title is intriguing and invites immediate inquiry by students ("What? Why wouldn’t I want to be at the Boston Tea Party?”). In addition, it is an excellent example of a title that would invite- or grab- a reading audience into a book.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party is written as a narrative non-fiction, which makes it an easy read-aloud and demonstrates to students an effective way to write informational events and non-fiction texts. A fictional character (who is historically correct) is introduced,  ‘travels’ through the chapters and shares the events with readers through his eyes and experiences.

In addition, You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party is filled with non-fiction text features that will guide your students as they create their own informational texts: timelines, maps, headings, subheadings, captions, labels, table of contents, glossary, index.

The book actually begins right inside the book’s cover with a timeline of events before, during and after the Boston Tea Party giving the reader an overview of the historical significance of the main, historical, book-titled event. 

The story continues with each chapter covering an event introduced in the timeline, helping to cement the sequence of developments surrounding The Boston Tea Party. Each ‘chapter’ is placed over two open,facing pages in the book, so there is an unbroken flow of information on the specific topics making easy reading and understanding of the important topics. This organization and presentation of information also makes a great example /mentor for upper elementary and middle school writers.

Also to grab your students interests: the illustrations throughout the book are humorously done with a caricature style and amusing “Handy Hints” are given in a textbox in each open page section (Handy Hint-Get use to drinking coffee. Tea is going to be in short supply!”).

Other Titles in this series (all written as narrative non-fictions, with similar text features and humorous caricature illustrations) :
You Wouldn’t Want to Be….
American Colonist                American Pioneer      Civil War Soldier          Egyptian Mummy
Roman Gladiator                  on the Titanic            Medieval Knight           Viking Explorer
on the Mayflower                 on  Apollo 13              Wild West Town           Pyramid Builder
…..and many, many more!

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Informational / Non-Fiction Text
Reading Workshop strategies: Reading Informational Text,   Search for and Use Information, Anaylyzing, Questioning Visualizing
Writing Workshop genre and strategies: Informational Writing, Elaboration, Details, Strong Title/ Strong Lead, Non-fiction text features
Curriculum Connection: Social Studies/ History

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