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    I love Eve Bunting!
    By m&mTeach

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    I used her books a ton last year with my third graders. I never really did an author study but we kept returning to her books over and over to talk about her writing moves and to analyze the decisions she made as an author. We especially loved . . . Fly Away Home, Cheyenne Again, Sunshine Home, The Wednesday Surprise, Rudi's Pond, Your Move.

    As a reader, we examined feeling empathy for the characters. "What would you feel, think, do if you were in the characters shoes?" The richer my students' responses became the deeper their understanding seemed to be. This is great to do with her books because she writes about characters that are so real in situations that mirror real life (a lot of her books do not have a "happy ending" but rather a revelation of a human experience. In addition, she doesn't give anything away. You have to do a lot of inferring to understand the characters in her books.

    As a writer, we explored "showing not telling." For the same reason as the one mentioned above. Eve Bunting, show you in SUBTLE ways how characters are feeling and what they must be thinking. She shows you in the way they do things, in the things they say and in the way they say things.

    We also explored her use of "symbolism." In Fly Away Home, she uses a bird to represent "hope" or "freedom." There's some symbolism in her other books too.

    I hope these ideas are helpful.

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