Sunday, April 13, 2014

‘Coaching Ms. Parker’ by Carla Heymsfeld

Book cover: Coaching Ms. Parker by Carla Heymsfeld. Ms. Parker stands at bat, a catcher in position behind her, inside a giant baseball mitt. Leaning over the top of the baseball mitt is a group of cheering students.
A reluctant reader finds himself in the position of teacher in Coaching Ms. Parker by Carla Heymsfeld (Bradbury Press, 1992).

On the day that his book-reading journal is due, Mike’s fourth-grade class is interrupted by the sixth-graders’ challenge: an annual baseball game pits the sixth grade against the elementary school teachers.

Tradition demands that Mike’s teacher play, but baseball is “not her sport.”

Mike and Ms. Parker work out a trade: He will coach her in baseball, and she will help with his reading. The fact that Mike’s sister is playing for the sixth-grade team adds complications to their agreement.

The team-sports setting of this story may appeal to reluctant readers. I also think children will enjoy the role reversal that puts a child in a mentor’s role.

Coaching Ms. Parker can be found in the Bellview Elementary School library. It is also shelved in the Ashland branch, Jackson County Library Services.

Cross-posted to the Facebook page of Jackson County Library Services

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