Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind by Phillip Done (Review #2)

close1Reviewed by Julie Moderson

Phillip Done is a twenty plus year veteran of the California school system and has been honored to receive numerous awards; Teacher of the Year, Disney Teacher of the Year and the Charles Schwab Distinguished Teacher Award. Done has written Thirty Third Graders and One Class Bunny.

Done has a wonderful way of writing about children especially third graders. He sees children with humor and wit. He takes us on a month-by-month journey through a year in the life of third grade. He spies on children as they check to see who their teacher is before the school year begins and reflects on what they think of other teachers and himself. He knows what makes third graders tick and what makes them giggle and knows how to teach them. I am sure that he is a wonderful fun teacher who inspires children to grow into the people they will be proud to be. He feels for the kids who need extra help and your heart breaks for the child who struggles to read. He asks her to read to the secretary’s dog and she learns to excel and trust herself to read out loud to the class. I loved the part where the class jumps into help her in her reading.

This is a great book to give to a teacher in your life or to a parent to read in order to get a better understanding as to what goes on in a classroom full of children. After reading this book, a parent might want to volunteer in a classroom to help the teacher or just to let the teacher know they appreciate them.

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