Author Autobiographies and Memoirs Unit

Autobiographies Unit

Hello fifth graders – Mr. Chapuis here.  I wanted to use the blog to tell you a little bit about your next language arts unit.  Each of you will select an autobiography, written by a children’s author.  You’ll read the book and do some activities in class around the book and the genre.

Your first job will be to decide which author you’d like to read more about.  Here are your choices:

“From first memories through high school, including first kiss, first punch, first trip to the principal’s office, and first humiliating sports experience, this is not merely an account of a highly unusual childhood. Rather, like Spinelli’s fiction, its appeal lies in the  accessibility and universality of his life. Entertaining and fast-paced, this is a highly readable memoir– a must-have for Spinelli fans of all ages.”


“Naylor takes readers on an often humorous journey as she describes her pursuit of her life’s work. As she says herself, this book will not teach anyone how to become a writer. Rather, it gives insights into how difficult the process can be, how failures and successes are handled, and why individuals keep trying even when rejection slips keep piling up. Many samples of her writing at different stages in her career are included.”

“Three generations of African-American women remember their “childtimes” in this lyrical memoir spanning a century of American history. This book preserves the lives and communities of times past for future generations. Complete with a family tree, Eloise Greenfield and Lessie Jones Little’s Childtimes beautifully captures the experiences of grandmother, mother, and daughter as they recall moments from their childhood.”

Young Laurence didn’t really where he fit in. He thought of himself as American, especially since he didn’t speak Chinese and couldn’t understand his grandmother, who lived in Chinatown. But others saw him as different in the conformist American of the 1950s. In this engaging memoir, the two-time Newbery Honor author tells how writing helped him start to solve the puzzle.

“I would like to introduce you to this book. It has no plot. It is about moments, memories, fragments, falsehoods, and fantasies. It is about things that happened, which caused other things to happen, so that eventually stories emerged.” Children as well as adults often ask Lois Lowry where the ideas for her stories came from. In this fascinating, moving autobiography, the Newbery Medalist answers this and many other questions. Her writing often transports readers into her own world. She explores her rich history through family pictures, memories, and recollections of childhood friends. She details pivotal moments that affected her life, inspired her writing, and that magically evolved into rich and wonderful stories that one is reluctant to put down. Lowry fans, and anyone interested in the writing process, will tremendously enjoy this poignant trip through a remarkable writer’s past.”

Pendragon: The Merchant Of Death

Author: D.J. MacHale

Genre(s): Science Fiction

Short Summary: A 14 year old boy named Bobby Pendragon is on hot pursuit of the evil Saint Dane to save the universe. In order to do this, Bobby is taken out of his home, transported across the universe, fights in a war, witnesses several deaths, and then is “Flumed” back to “Second Earth,” otherwise known as the real world.

Additional Info: My favorite character is Bobby, because he makes the best out of bad situations.

Recommendation: I recommend this book for people who like sci-fi stories. It’s better to read at night because then you will get the PERFECT background. Science fiction + darkness = AWESOME!  5 stars.

Reviewer: N.S. (Nelson)




Three Times Lucky

Author : Sheila Turnage

Genre : Murder Mystery

Mo and her friend Dale are going into the 6th grade and they’re going to have a wild summer, with lots of twists and turns!

Someone in Tupelo Landing was killed. They are searching for who the murder is, but Mo and Dale might solve the mystery first.

I think this book was amazing because of its theme – murder mystery, and I love murder mysteries!

I rate this book 5-star!

N.A. (Nelson)

Three Times Lucky

Author: Sheila Turnage

Genre: Murder Mystery

Mo and her best friend Dale are out of school because of summer, but their summer is wacky, sad and even funny.

In Three Times Lucky someone is murdered in Tupelo Landing. Mo and Dale want to figure out who murdered the cafes crankiest customer and why they would murder the poor person in Tupelo Landing.

Recommendation: I think you should read this book because it has a lot of action and is really funny in my opinion.  I think this is 5 stars.

Call No: F Tur

Y.T. (Nelson)

The School For Good and Evil

Author: Soman Chainani

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: The School For Good And Evil is a book about two girls named Agatha and Sophie. Sophie believes that the Schools for Good and Evil exists. Agatha told Sophie, “Every 4 years, two idiots run off into the woods hoping to scare their parents.”

Every 4 years, a creature called The School Master kidnaps two children. One attends the School for Good, the other attends the School for Evil.

Sophie hopes she is chosen this cycle, and to hers, and Agatha’s, surprise, she is! As Sophie is dragged away, Agatha leaps on top of her, hoping to weigh The School Master down. Because of Agatha’s mistake, both girls are taken to the two mythical schools.

Sophie and Agatha feel like they switched places. Sophie is forced to attend the School For Evil. Agatha is forced to be a pupil in the School for Good.

Remember, the schools chosen for each student are chosen for each pupil’s destiny, not who the student was as of that moment.

Call No. : F Cha

Rating: 5 stars

Blog Post By: S.G.R

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.

Author: Jeff  Kinney

Genre(s): Realistic fiction, Humor

In summer, we always go outside to play or we go on a vacation. Unless,you’re the Heffleys and your summer vacation will be totally different than other summer vacations. Well, the Heffleys went on road, but there was a lot of promises, gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and runaway pig.

This book is one of a funny series. I really like the series. If you did not read the series yet, I would recommend you start with the 1st book. This book is the latest book of the series. I would recommend this to people who like funny book. I would rate this book 5 star.

Call #: F Kin

Reviewer: A.R.A (Mr. Nelson)

The Royal Ranger

Author: John Flanagan

Genre: Realistic Fiction

The amazing story of Crown princess Madelyn, turning into a Ranger of the elite Ranger Corp. They are trying to stop kidnappers that are going to sell them as slaves. Madelyn and her mentor have stop the kidnappers. Who shall prevail or will they both die?!

Rangers are incredible with their bows. They could hit a target the size of a dinner plate from 200 meters away!

I recommend this book with 5 stars because there is always action, so you shall never get bored.

Call Number: F Fla

C.M.B (Nelson)

Out of my Mind


Author: Sharon M. Draper

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Melody has a disease  that stops her from doing a lot of things in life. Melody can’t talk, she can’t walk, she can’t write either. She is incredibly smart, but does not have a way to share it. And when she does find a way to share it, not everybody is ready to listen.

My favorite character in the book is Melody’s little sister Penny. I liked Penny because she is cute, funny, and not afraid to be herself. I thought the author wrote this book to connect with people, and inform people that this can happen in real life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read it, but is willing to challenge themselves because the concepts can be hard to grasp at some points of the book.  I give this book 4.5 stars!

Call Number: F Dra

By: N.R.E (Nelson)


Author: R.J. Palacio

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Short Summary: August Pullman is living a very hard 10 years of his life due to a facial deformation, but he’s getting used to it. People should think about being in his shoes. He gets insulted so many times, but should be cared for. Only 1 living thing in this world thinks of August like anyone else. No one wants to be near him, but people change…

Additional Information: Some characters are August, Via, Jack, Julian, Summer, His Parents, Mr. Tushman. August is the main character who has a deformity. Via is his very defending sister who will do anything for him. Jack is a close friend, but they’ve had some differences. Julian is a bully that will do anything to hurt August feelings. Summer is a girl who doesn’t care about how you look on the outside, it’s the inside that matters to her. Mr. Tushman is the very nice and welcoming principal at Beacher Prep.

Recommendation: I rate this book 5 stars because it will probably be the best book I’ll ever read. I love this book because the authors looks from so many point of views to make this an amazing book.

Call Number: F Pal

J.G.D. [Nelson]

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

Author: J.K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Harry is trying to find a murderer named Sirius Black while Hogwarts is protected by  Dementors. Of course Harry does not follow the rules and goes looking for Black. Then, Professor Lupin teaches Harry a new spell to protect him from the dementors.

Professor Lupin can turn into a werewolf than fights black.

Watch out for words – they get double in the same line. It happened in the first three books.  I give this book 4 stars because all of the magic is really cool and fun to read about.

Call Number: F Row

M.J.W. (Nelson)