Wednesday, March 16, 2016

MG Realistic Fiction Review: Dead Possums Are Fair Game by Taryn Souders

25159534Dead Possums Are Fair Game by Taryn Souders
Format:  Ebook
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Number of Pages: 92
Published:  November 3rd 2015

Source:  Library
Genre:  MG Realistic Fiction

I checked out Dead Possums Are Fair Game thinking this  might be a humorous book, I mean look at the cover and title, kinda interesting right?  So, my expectations were a little off going in, but I still enjoyed this quite a bit.  Ella is staring down the possibility of summer tutoring for her difficulties in math.  If she doesn't do well on the last two tests, then it will be a reality.  As the end of school year approaches, the math teachers realize that there just isn't enough time to get the lessons in that they planned, instead they decide upon a math fair team project that will count for two test grades.  Ella is devastated when she hears the news.  How will she ever bring her grade up now?  Lucky for Ella this is a group project and her best friends, Jolina and Lucille are assigned to her team.  New kid Jonathan also joins and comes up with a winning idea, to show the life expectancy of various animals broken down into years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.  Everything with the project is going along swimmingly until her Aunt Willa comes for a visit and brings her dog Chewy along.  Now Ella has to share her room, which for someone with "control issues" is a lot harder than it looks.  Just when it looks like the math fair might actually be the answer to her summer tutoring problems after all, everything gets ruined by Aunt Willa's dog Chewy.  Will Ella and her friends be able to sort everything out and turn in a winning project? Or will she be destined to summer school after all.  

I enjoyed how  this book was about Ella and her problems with math, as well as her need for control over all aspects of her life.   Ella is enthusiastic about science and photography, like her Aunt Willa, but like some kids didn't realize how much math is used in daily life.  I could see where someone struggling with a subject in school could identify with Ella's anxiety.   At first her parents approach to her math problem was to encourage her to learn to like math, feeling by extension she would then get better at it.   It isn't until her mother suggests viewing math through the eyes of a scientist that she begins to appreciate doing the age conversions for her project. Ella also receives lots of support from her friends, who recognize her struggles and encourage along the way.   From her Aunt Willa she learns that being a photographer is more than taking a picture, it involves things like lens lengths and measuring chemicals, and that it's important to not think of doing something "math-related as a test every time." At first she thinks this puts a damper on her wanting to be a photographer, and although Ella doesn't come to love math, she does come to appreciate that it's necessary.    

1 comment:

  1. I can see why you went into this one thinking it would be full of humor! It sounds like a story I can relate to because I am definitely challenged by math. Thanks for sharing!