Tough Boris

Bibliographic Information: Fox, Mem, and Kathryn Brown. Tough Boris. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1994. Print.

Brief Annotation: This simply worded story tells us all about Boris von Borch, a really tough pirate, who cries when his parrot dies.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Children who like pirates will love this story. I feel all students can be engaged with the image of a tough pirate and will be surprised to see he cries in the end.

Rating/Response: 4 – This is a very simply written book that readers can easily take on independently, but you’ll want to read this one with them. The repetitive structure and simple sentences on each page are encouraging for young readers, and the illustrations nicely depict each trait of a pirate (scruffy, greedy, etc.).

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What words would you use to describe a pirate?

Reading Strategy: Synthesizing

Rationale for Strategy: This gives students a chance to monitor their thinking and how it’s changed by the end of the story. Often times, children wouldn’t think that tough people cry, but this story shows otherwise. This book can also be used to teach word choice or characterization as well as reading and phonics, since the pages repeat with “All pirates ___.”

Posted by: Caitlin Miller


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