The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter by Kimberly Willis Holt

Schema: Westward Expansion, old west stories

Text-to-Self Connections: being cared for by an elderly relative

Figurative Language: Holt has filled the book with lots of similes such as “the land was as flat as Ma Clearwater’s burnt corncakes;” “Little Critter shot out of the wagon like cannonballs;” “and their tongues went to hanging like a half-starved hound dog’s.”

At the end of the book the author includes information mentioned in the book about true events that occurred during the 1800’s such as westward migration, the gold rush, stagecoach robberies, and the Pony Express.

Holt’s has written a humorous story in tall tale fashion about Granny and little Critter who get separated from the rest of the family as they travel out west from the Appalachian Mountains. ¬†Granny uses her wits and all that her relatives have taught her about survival skills in the desert and the mountains. This book would make a great addition to a fifth grade western expansion unit.


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