Just Grace and the Double Surprise
Written and Illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper
Just Grace and the Double Surprise is a joy to read for the third grade reader. It has many illustrations and the paragraphs are broken up on the page so the third grade reader will not get bored reading about the fun that Grace and her friend Mimi experience.
The best part of the book and throughout the story is that Grace and her friend Mimi talk about real feelings and emotions that third grade students feel. The author does a wonderful job of making the story real. She clearly gives descriptions of words that are new to the third grade reader, words like empathy and the difference between a surprise and a mystery. The text is written at the third grade level of comprehension yet would be enjoyed by those students a grade older who were at this reading level.
The plot of the story is the double surprise for both Grace and Mimi, and the reader will have the same surprise because the story has such fun twists and turns. These twists and turns give parents and teachers an opportunity to discuss the feelings that the girls feel during the story and compare them to how the third grade reader might also feel under similar circumstances.
This book is part of a series of books about “Just Grace” written by this author. So many life lessons in this book are threaded through a story that entertains and engages the third grade reader. The illustrations offer depth to the story and help the reader to understand the concepts the author is stressing, such as dealing with disappointment or how to research for an answer. I would recommend this for every third grade classroom.