Here are twelve deeply moving short stories from the perceptive pen of Cynthia Rylant. Each captures the moment when someone's life changes -- when an animal causes a human being to see things in a different way, and, perhaps, changes his life.
When Lewis, his uncle Jonathan, and their friends Rose Rita Pottinger and Mrs. Zimmermann take a trip to a small town near Lake Superior, they expect a pleasant vacation. <P><P>Instead, they find themselves facing the ghastly Ishmael Izard, son of the fiendish creator of the Doomsday Clock that was once hidden in the walls of Uncle Jonathan's house. Ishmael himself is a cruel and heartless sorcerer, and he is determined to wreak vengeance upon the entire world. Will Lewis and his friends be strong enough to defeat him, or will their fate be decided by their most formidable foe yet?
Are kids interested in learning about the very first American census? Probably not. Do young readers clamor for stories set in the very, very olden days of the late 18th century? Uh, not really. Okay, but do they like nutty cat-and-mouse trickery, wacky slapstick, and animals disguised as people? You bet! So let them have all that, and if they end up learning a thing or two about our country, its history, and the ways our government works, shhh . . . we won't tell!Tricking the Tallyman accomplishes the tricky task of showing kids the way the 1790 census was tabulated (or tallied) and how the country's new citizens came to understand (after much misunderstanding) how it worked to help them and the country. Excellent for classroom use or to put in the hands of bright kids with a taste for the quirky and irreverent, young readers may enjoy this story so much they might not even notice how much they've learned!
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