In a courageous debut novel, Holly M. McGhee explores the loss that shakes one girl’s world — and the unexpected consequences of the things we do for love.
Sussy and Guy are best friends, fourth-graders who share their silliest thoughts and deepest hopes. One afternoon, the two of them decide they must have something of their very own to love. After a trip to the pet store, they bring home a spotted lizard, the one with the ancient face and starfish toes, and they name her Matylda (with a y so it’s all her own). With Guy leading the way, they feed her and give her an origin story fit for a warrior lizard. A few weeks later, on a simple bike ride, there is a terrible accident. As hard as it is, Sussy is sure she can hold on to Guy if she can find a way to love Matylda enough. But in a startling turn of events, Sussy reconsiders what it means to grieve and heal and hope and go on, for her own sake and Matylda’s. By turns both devastating and buoyant, this story is a brave one, showing how far we can justify going for a real and true friend.
Unit plan includes:
- Unit plan sequencing and pacing guide
- 14 Lesson plans aligned to CCSS.
- Vocabulary Word Wall Printable
- Vocabulary notebook work printable (with example)
- Comprehension Discussion Questions Sentence Starters
- Student self-assessment rubric for journal work.
- Teacher assessment rubric for journal work.
- Unique end of the unit project ideas and worksheets for students to submit project proposal.
- End of the unit project student self-assessment rubric
- End of the unit project teacher assessment rubric
- A list of suggested fiction books to pair with/after this book.
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Unit Plan for The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner
Unit Guide for 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
Unit Plan for See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Unit Plan for The Paperboy by Vince Vawter