All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Candace Fleming

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Bio

In second grade, Fleming discovered a passion for language. She can still remember the day her teacher, Miss Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." She said it again and again, tasted the word on my lips, testing it on her ears. That afternoon, she skipped all the way home from school chanting, "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, she really began listening to words — to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made her feel. She longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful, and yet told a story.

As she got older, Fleming continued to write stories, but she never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, she went to college where I discovered yet another passion — history. She didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of her love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones — tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, Fleming married and had children. She read to her children a lot, and that's when she discovered the joy and music of children's books. She simply couldn't get enough of them. With her two sons in tow, she made endless trips to the library, and she read stacks of books. When she found herself begging, "Just one more, pleeeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep, it struck her. Why not write children's books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things she loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading.

Fleming is the critically acclaimed author of lively fiction for younger children, titles like Muncha!, Muncha!, Muncha! and The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary, as well as non-fiction titles like Our Eleanor and The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary.

Fleming lives with her family in suburban Chicago.

Selected Books

from Candace Fleming


Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Life

Age Level: 9-12

The life and times of Eleanor Roosevelt are presented chronologically as though one is examining a scrapbook. Much like the approach the author uses for other historical figures, this look at Eleanor is almost intimate, certainly thorough, and compelling.

Buy Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Life


The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

Age Level: 9-12

No one wants to take on the 4th grade class at Aesop Elementary: that is until Mr. Jupiter appears on the scene. The new teacher captivates his students while helping them learn a few lessons (remember the school's name!) along the way.

Buy The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School


Lowji Discovers America

Age Level: 9-12

Nine-year old Lowji Sanjana and his family move from a high-rise apartment in India to a garden-style apartment in suburban Illinois. Though lonely before school begins, Lowji befriends the landlady and a menagerie of animals as he adjusts to his new home.

Buy Lowji Discovers America


Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life

Age Level: 12-14

Benjamin Franklin's many talents are presented here in word and image. The organization from Ben's childhood to the end of his life is enhanced by the use of a scrapbook-like format.

Buy Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life


The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Mary and Abraham Lincoln

Age Level: 9-12

The lives and times of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln are presented through written and pictorial information in a scrapbook-like format. A well developed, tragic portrait of Mary Lincoln emerges as her life is presented beyond the assassination of the President.

Buy The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Mary and Abraham Lincoln