My Two Cents: There is so much to love about this book. Gorgeous language that challenges young readers without overwhelming them. A smart, endearing main character who grows so much. Humor and family and a great sense of history. And lots of science, carefully woven through the book so that it doesn't hold the story back--it actually drives it forward. When my daughters are old enough, I will absolutely read this with them. Lots to learn, lots to discuss.
Grade level: 5-7 (some challenging vocabulary)
Jacqueline Kelly's website
Discussion questions from the publisher
An in-depth Novel Study (for purchase)
Charles Darwin links for teachers and kids
More to Read:
Another smart, strong heroine figuring out her family: Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
Another brave, lonely girl who finds herself in nature: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
More on Charles Darwin (nonfiction): Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Be sure to out this great science activity from biologist Helen Boswell that fits perfectly with this book!