19 Nov It’s Monday! We Read The Parker Inheritance and Had a Fangirl Moment at NCTE #IMWAYR #BuildYourStack
You know a middle-grade novel is compelling when you are sitting in your driveway after a two-hour commute because you can’t stop listening. This was our experience listening to The Parker Inheritance. In this novel, Varian Johnson brings history and mystery together to create one incredible story. The chapters alternate between current day life in Lambert, South Carolina, and living in Lambert during the late 1950’s. The contrast between the two time periods gives readers an understanding of life in the segregated south while inviting them to grapple with the racial and gender struggles of today.
The Parker Inheritance is a complex story. We wanted to support students in exploring the depths of this novels so we created a basket for students to access as they read this book. The basket has books and two digital bins with mixed-media text sets. The basket includes picture books set during the civil rights movement for readers to explore as they read the novel or after they read the novel. The QR code on the left side is a digital bin filled with photographs of the segregated south and song lyrics from a few civil rights songs. The QR code on the right side is a digital bin for readers who want to learn a bit more about Varian Johnson and see The Parker Inheritance receive the Horn Book Award. These resources provide the background knowledge some readers may need to fully appreciate and understand the time period in which this novel is set. Once readers see a digital bin of mixed media text, they are typically inspired to add to it or create their own. It is a great way for them to respond, connect with other readers and express their interpretation of a text. We love digital bins – our students join us in expanding our classroom library without any additional costs! If you want to see these digital bins, scan the QR codes on the basket or click on our Pinterest Board – Multi-Media Text Set for The Parker Inheritance.
We must admit, we had a fangirl moment at NCTE when we heard Varian speak and even had the chance to talk with him about The Parker Inheritance. He shared that he has been reading this book with fifth and sixth graders and loves how this age group is responding to the text. This was the audience he had in mind when he wrote it. He spoke on a panel of authors and reminded all of us of the importance of curating classroom libraries that reflect the world in which we live.
Happy Reading, Everyone!
If you want to read more ideas on how to use books to engage and instruct readers, check out our latest book, It’s All About the Books. We are donating all of our royalties to the Book Love Foundation. The Book Love Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving classroom libraries and putting books in the hands of students.