This book I highly recommend for reluctant readers! Written at a 2.5 reading level and with only 79 pages Louis Sachar fills every page with humor as Marvin faces his worst fears.
Poor Marvin. The word at school is Marvin is riding down Suicide Hill on Saturday. Riding down Suicide Hill is scary enough, without adding the fact that Marvin can't even ride his new mountain bike. The truth is, he can barely climb on! So who started this rumor and what will his classmates think if he chickens out? Does he have what it takes to face his fear? Does he even want to?
(This would be a great book for scouters! Bike safety requirement 9e for Wolves, Ride Right for Bears pg 118.)
Basic Outline: Play Wizzle Fish Tag while waiting for all Book club members
Go for a bike ride: make sure everyone has helmets.
Game: Wizzle Fish Tag pg 15-16
(I've never heard of this game. If it is a real game and you know it- feel free to play it. Or you can play my version.)
Give each boy two paper plates.
Toss a few paper plates around in your yard or playing field.
Boys use their plates as a Frisbee to toss and tag people out. Plates that are on the ground can either be picked up and tossed OR can be used as a "base" a safe place to rest. To stand on a base- you MUST have a plate in hand to toss. (In other words: no "camping" on plates.) Run around and gather plates to toss, while dodging other people's attempts to get you out. If a boy is standing on a base, once they toss a plate they must run. They can pick up the "base" plate and move to another space.
So bases and boys are always on the move! Last boy standing- wins!
ACTIVITY: Make sure to review bike safety before you head out on your bike ride. You can just let the boys go around the block, or you can meet at a park with a bike trail and have a longer ride. If you plan on a longer ride, make sure to bring water and a snack of trail mix would be a great treat.
* You can use extra treats as rewards for answers to your book questions.
Book Talk: Your book talk can be done before you ride, while you stop for water breaks along longer bike rides or at the end of your ride. ( Or throughout the whole trip!)
1. Who is the main character? Marvin
2. Who are his best friends? Nick & Stuart
3. How did the rumor of riding down suicide hill begin?
4. What did Linzy, Marvin's sister, want to play?
5. What does frolic mean? pg 19
6. What was Jacob's advice about riding down Suicide hill?
7. What was Linzy afraid of?
8. How did Marvin encourage her to be brave?
9. How did he encourage himself to be brave- when he started down Suicide Hill?
10. Why did the Police Officer come to his school?
General Topic to discuss: Peer Pressure
What is peer pressure?
Do you ever feel pressured by friends or parents to do things?
Talk about the good and bad of peer pressure.
What do you think about the end of the story?
What is a fear or challenge you have faced?
Are you a golden unicorn?? (just kidding)