One of the many intriguing plot threads in this incredible novel is a metaphorical juxtaposition of protagonist Ivy Green's longing to be with her absent mother and the mythological story behind the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Y'all, that is just one of the literary gems laced and layered in the storyline. Seriously, I cannot recommend that you read this novel more highly. It's truly one of the finest that I've read - EVER! Mark my words...we have a Newbery contender here.
In the Educator's Guide, you will find a super easy, step-by-step constellation creation project. If you can gather up some black construction paper, tape, and a thumb tack you, my friends, can create a little corner of the galaxy to enjoy for days and to day to come. Just watch the video below and see what I mean!
Book Title: The Great Good Summer
Author: Liz Garton Scanlon
Synopsis: Ivy Green's mama has gone off with a charismatic preacher called Hallelujah Dave to The Great Good Bible Church of Panhandle Florida. At least that's where Ivy and her dad "think" Mama is. But since the church has no website or phone number and Mama left no forwarding address, Ivy's not entirely sure. She "does "know she's missing Mama. And she's starting to get just a little worried about her, too.
Paul Dobbs, one of Ivy's schoolmates, is also having a crummy summer. Paul has always wanted to be an astronaut, and now that NASA's space shuttle program has been scrapped, it looks like his dream will never get off the ground.
Although Ivy and Paul are an unlikely pair, it turns out they are the perfect allies for a runaway road trip to Florida--to look for Mama, to kiss the Space Shuttle good-bye, and maybe, "just maybe," regain their faith in the things in life that are most important.
Educator's Guide Overview: This in-depth guide consists of discussion questions, a study of the scientific method, writing exercises, a study of point-of-view, a thematic study, a lesson involving the creation and observation of a paper airplane, and the creation of a constellation.