CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 31. . . .April 15, 2011.
Bats Mystery Series Teacherís Guide.
Toronto, ON: HIP-JR, 2011.
24 pp., stapled, $7.95.
Review by Janice Foster.
The Bats Mystery Series Teacherís Guide, by language arts consultant Lori Jamison, is an omnibus guide for all six novels in the series. The guide begins with a description of the HIP Jr. program which creates stories with a grade two reading level that include engaging text and cliffhanger situations that will appeal to the reluctant reader. It includes comments on each book by the author, Sharon Jennings, as well as information on the readability and key vocabulary for each title. A plot synopsis and before and after reading suggestions are provided for each of the six stories. There are four pages of reproducible graphic organizers; a Bat Gang chart, My Favorite Things and What Would You Do? Organizers and an Excitement Graph as well as a page of After Reading Activities. Unlike the separate Teacherís Guide for each individual title in the series, this omnibus does not have background information on using HIP Jr. novels in the reading program, setting up Literature Circles in the classroom or discussion on readability and matching readers to books. The individual guides also include more detailed lessons with chapter discussion points and student learning activities.
The Bats Mystery Series Teacherís Guide presents teachers and English as an Additional Language (EAL) instructors an overview of the series. For English Language Arts teachers experienced in programming for independent reading, guided reading or literature circles, this omnibus would be most useful in providing the novel synopses and general reading suggestions. However, for assistance in developing lessons and programming for struggling readers, the individual guides for each title in the series might be preferred over this omnibus.
Janice Foster, a former teacher and teacher-librarian, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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