"For my birthday I was hoping my parents would give me a bicycle. they only gave me a dime. I was disappointed, but not surprised. It was 1932, in the midst of the great Depression..."
Those are the first few lines of The Babe and I by David Adler. The narrator of this story becomes a "newsie" to help the family out in tough times after he finds out his dad has lost his job. He and his friend Jacob sell their papers in a prime spot, right outside of Yankee Stadium.
In a brief chance encounter, the boy meets his hero, which is better than any birthday present he could ever imagine.
Writing minilesson ideas:
1. Cause and effect
3. Jumping off point for unit on informational text-- All of the newspaper headlines mentioned in the book are actual events reported between July 14 through July 22, 1932.
4. Heroes-- your students could write about somone to whom they look up or admire.
Reading Minilesson Ideas:
1. Making connections: Unfortunately, our students may be able to relate to the tough times depicted in the book. They would also be able to make connections with the themes of friendship and family, role models/heroes, and teamwork.
2. Asking questions: Your students may have questions, both thick and thin, about the Great Depression and/or Babe Ruth.
3. Synthesizing: The question that I ask myself when I think of a book for synthesizing is, "Does this book have the power to change a reader's thinking?" The answer for this book is yes.
You don't have to be a baseball fan to read and enjoy The Babe and I. To me, the theme of family rings the loudest. Check it out and see which theme makes you think.