Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friendship Can Grow Anywhere

Picture Book Month
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Day 18 theme: Friendship

Friendship Can Grow Anywhere

The Other Side 
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: E. B. Lewis
Publisher: G. E. Putman's Sons

Description from

Clover has always wondered why a fence separates the black side of town from the white side. But this summer when Annie, a white girl from the other side, begins to sit on the fence, Clover grows more curious about the reason why the fence is there and about the daring girl who sits on it, rain or shine. And one day, feeling very brave, Clover approaches Annie. After all, why should a fence stand in the way of friendship? Beautifully rendered in Earl B. Lewis's striking, lifelike watercolor illustrations, Jacqueline Woodson gives us a moving, lyrical narrative told in the hopeful voice of a child confused about the fence someone else has built in her yard and the racial tension that divides her world.

There are so many wonderfully written picture books based on the theme of Friendship yet, the first one that always pops into my mind is The Other Side by the incomparable Jacqueline Woodson.  This sweet story slowly unfolds as two girls, so much alike in many ways, yet different too. The two girls, at first, unsure of each other, are drawn to each other by curiosity. They understand they are not suppose to go into each other's yards but no one told them they couldn't sit on the fence that separates them. When sharing this story with students, they quickly understand the symbolism of the fence that divides the two girl's worlds and are quick to offer their own thoughts and opinions. 

This is my favorite friendship story because we see the friendship as it is born and slowly grows affecting those around them too. Genre: Historical Fiction/Realistic Fiction set in the time of segregation in America amid changing times. 

The Other Side Teaching Resources
Discussion Guide from Suburban Mosaic
Activities from Storybookipedia
Lesson from Readers Tool Kit

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