Library Card by Jerry Spinelli takes the reader through the stories of 4 different characters who find a blank blue library card that ends up changing their lives. Mongoose finds the card and even after Weasel tries to throw it away, it comes back to teach Mongoose the amount of interesting information he can find in the library. Brenda finds the card and it helps her through her TV addiction, helping her realize how empty her life had been. Sonseray wanders into the library, discovering the card in his pocket and finds much more than air conditioning. Finally, April Mendez takes a ride in a bookmobile and finds a friend that will last a lifetime. What else can this library card do?
Teachers: Here are some resources and ideas to help you teach this novel...
- Discussion Guide: A discussion guide and discussion questions from Scholastic.
- Reader's Theater: A section of "Mongoose" in Reader's Theater format.
Vocabulary: Here are some words that may need to be pretaught by section: Mongoose: careen, vandalism, cicada, seething, cahoots, constellation. Brenda: cold turkey, sitcom, hostage, boutique. Sonseray: odometer, chassis, impertinence, spite, panorama, mayhem. April Mendez: manure, hallucination, fiance.
Before Reading: Ask students what they know about library cards and whether they have one or not. Also discuss as a class resources offered by libraries and from books. Give students the opportunity to apply for a library card if they do not have one by getting applications from your local library.
During Reading: After each section, explain how you think the character's life was changed from the library card. Did they continue to live with this change or do you think they went back to how they were before the library card found them?
After Reading/Writing: If you found this library card what do you think it would teach you? Write a short fictional story about the day when you found the blue library card.
Spinelli, J. (1997). The library card . New York: Scholastic Press.
Happy Reading (& Running) =)