Richard Peck is best known for his novels for middle grades and young adults. He won the Newbery Award in 2001 for A Year Down Yonder. However he has more recently written Secrets at Sea, an irresistible adventure story which features mice as its main characters. These mice are secretly living among humans and when in 1887, the humans undertake a voyage from New York to London by sea, the mice go too. Many of my good Year 2 readers have read and enjoyed this book. For a more extensive review and ideas about its possibilities, read about this book here at Momo Celebrating Time to Read .
Also while researching Richard Peck I learned that he had written an autobiography which included these wonderful words which every school librarian likes to hear.
"I read because one life isn't enough, and in the page of a book I can be anybody;As I write this, it is Friday night and the second last week of term and I am feeling very tired because the library has just been so busy this term. In fact since school began at the beginning of February we have already loaned more than ten thousand books. But the purple words above make it all worthwhile!
I read because the words that build the story become mine, to build my life;
I read not for happy endings but for new beginnings; I'm just beginning myself, and I wouldn't mind a map;
I read because I have friends who don't, and young though they are, they're beginning to run out of material;
I read because every journey begins at the library, and it's time for me to start packing;
I read because one of these days I'm going to get out of this town, and I'm going to go everywhere and meet everybody, and I want to be ready."
This video of Richard Peck talking about why we need to read to children if we want them to write would be good for a parent night at school if I needed to stress the partnership between parents and school when creating readers and writers. The statistics tell me that my parents are very good library borrowers but I guess there's always some I haven't yet convinced.