Summary of Blackout by John Rocco: One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, "Mommm!" His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can't work on her computer, and Dad can't finish cooking dinner. What's a family to do?
When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights--in stars that can be seen for a change--and so many neighbors it's like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun--talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once. They even have time to play a board game together. When the electricity is restored, everything can go back to normal . . . but not everyone likes normal. The boy switches off the lights, and out comes the board game again.
Using a combination of panels and full bleed illustrations that move from color to black-and-white and back to color, John Rocco shows that if we are willing to put our cares aside for a while, there is party potential in a summer blackout.
Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2
DRA Level: 16
Lexile Measure: BR330L
Guided Reading Level: I
Read-Aloud vs. Individual Reading:
For most of the kids in this book's intended audience, this book will need to be a read-aloud rather than for individual reading, as kids do not generally read at this reading level until the end of first grade. Many/most second graders may be able to read this book on their own.
2012 Honor Book
* School Library Journal Notable Children's Book
* Publisher's Weekly Notable Children's Books
* Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of the Year
* New York Times Best Children's Books of the Year
* Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Below are sample spreads from early inside this fantastically illustrated book:
There are few lesson/activity packets available for Blackout by John Rocco on the popular teacher website teacherspayteachers.com. We haven't personally used them with our classes, but they all seem to have a lot of positive reviews. (If you aren't familiar with this site, it's full of lesson plans, activities, learning games, and other curriculum materials made by teachers. We LOVE the site!!).
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