Fish – a book to inspire inquiry and action #graFISH

IMG_8304Four weeks before the end of school, I was in a bind. My class had just finished reading Under the Mountain and there wasn’t enough time left in the school year to start a new book.

I thought about reading some short stories and then came across Fish by LS Matthews a book that will be part of this year’s Global Read Aloud. On her book review site Pernille Ripp noted that this was small book that packed a lot of punch. I read it and decided that this would be an amazing end of year book.

I loved that the book was about going on a journey as so many books are. The twists always had the children begging for more.

I loved that the book left so many details – there were so many passionate discussions from this book.

I loved the simple language that made this a highly accessible book for ESOL learners.

I loved the central themes of courage, determination, cooperation and love.

Fish is the story of a child from an unknown country forced to leave his or her land. We never learn the name of the land nor the gender of the child.

There was so much for the children to compare and contrast their lives to the central character. Everyone of them had left their homeland, knew of packing up a life for an unknown future. But there were also discussions of global poverty, soil erosion, the causes of war and displaced people that I wished that we had more time to take action.

This book is a must-read for any upper-level PYP classroom, particularly for any class about to embark on a Sharing the Planet inquiry or beginning the process of the PYP exhibition.

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