Friday, May 14, 2010

book chat - Crow Call

I've been reading Crow Call by Lois Lowrey to my students, because it's a great example of a personal narrative. The absolute best thing about being a librarian is reading great books aloud. I love when an author has given you something amazing to perform. Crow Call is like this. You do not just read this story, you perform the part. I feel like taking a bow at the end of this book. The vocabulary is advanced and intricately woven. This is not a read a loud for the young, this is for older students, 4th and 5th graders.

Crow Call is about a day Lois Lowery spent with her dad soon after he got home from the war. I would guess that she was about ten years old at the time. He is a stranger to her and she feels self conscious calling him daddy. He buys her an overgrown men's hunting shirt, because it is rainbow colored and she really wanted it. Then he takes her out for breakfast where they eat pie and joke around. The mood changes when they set out for the real reason for the trip. Hunting crows that have been eating their crops.

"I want to scamper ahead of him like a puppy, kicking the dead leaves and reaching the unknown places first, but there is an uneasy feeling along the edge of my back at the thought of walking in front of someone who is a hunter"

She is torn between the fear of hunting and the fear of disappointing her dad.

When the crows come out in response to the crow call, she becomes wrapped up in the delight of being a bird.

"Listen, Daddy! Do you hear them? They think I'm their friend! Maybe their baby, all grown up!"

Of course, her dad doesn't shoot the birds. How could he?

"I feel there is no need to say thank you - Daddy knows this already. The crows will always be there and they will always eat the crops; and some other morning, on some other hill, a hunter, maybe not my daddy, will take aim."

This story has inspired me to write my own personal narrative. Something from the long past. I don't know what it will be yet, but I'm going to keep Crow Call close for inspiration.

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