Grade: 5 – 8
Editor Justin Chanda asked six Newbery award winning young adult authors to write an original one-act play. As an extra challenge, each author nominated one word to be included in all the plays: DOLLOP, HOODWINK, JUSTIN, KNUCKLEBALL, PANHANDLE, and RAVEN. What fun it is to see how different each play turns out while still including all of these words. In The Bad Room by Patricia MacLachlan, none of the students is actually bad, and the teacher finds an unusual way to channel their energy in a more positive direction. Sharon Creech s clever satire considers what would happen if young “Eddie” Poe were pitching his idea for “The Raven” to a modern publishing executive. Katherine Peterson has rewritten “The Nightingale, the traditional Hans Christian Andersen tale. Susan Cooper shows the environment fighting back against overdevelopment in her conservation themed work. In Richard Peck’s play, an unusual teacher moves heaven and earth to take control of a rowdy classroom in a turn of the century schoolhouse. The authors include staging directions. These fresh new selections would work equally well in a classroom, on the stage, or simply read silently or aloud.
Reviewer: Mary Melaugh
LibraryCity: Marshall Middle / Billerica, MA