Author: Mary Amato
Publisher: Holiday House
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Alexander H. Gory Jr. is excited to own a new blank book. He convinces his classmates to help him fill it with ideas about their teacher, the vampire. As everyone takes turns helping to write in the book, the truth about their teacher finally comes out. Then something new happens to divert their attention, and they continue to write it all down during the school year.
Although Alexander is the owner of the book, everyone is equal in making their voices heard. The group is made up of distinct personalities which comes out in their thoughts and words. A bookworm, a perfectionist, a class clown, a new kid, and others all have something important to say. But when a substitute teacher arrives, he threatens their fun with the book. Their only choice is to make him part of the team.
Our Teacher Is a Vampire and Other (Not) True Stories demonstrates how much fun it is for kids to keep a shared notebook. They will see what it takes to write a good story, through the wise words of an author who writes letters to the students and encourages their efforts. Kids may have trouble identifying with one particular student since no one is a true main character, but they may naturally gravitate toward the one who most resembles their own personality. This book would be a fun read and also a great classroom resource in teaching creative writing. Teaching guides are available at the author’s website.
Reviewer: Alice Berger