Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman by Ben H. Winters

Summary from Booklist:  Ms. Finkleman, a mild-mannered Music Fundamentals teacher, is a completely anonymous figure at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School. She is such a nonentity that ace student Bethesda Fielding determines there must be more to her—a secret history that needs to be uncovered. When Bethesda discovers her teacher’s punk-music past, the repercussions are hilarious, revolutionary, and TWR (“Totally Way Rock”)

Mr. Melville is notorious for assigning "special projects" in his social studies class.  Who knew his assignment "to solve a mystery" would turn the quiet mouse-like music teacher's life upside down. 

Students who enjoy Andrew Clements' (Frindle, No Talking, etc) style of writing. It is a quick, engaging read that will also serve as an introduction to mysteries. The characters are well developed and the plot moves along at a good pace.  Students will enjoy the musical references.  Would make a great read a loud for the classroom.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5


  1. Sounds good! Good for a good reader in 3rd grade?

  2. It would be ok. I think the kids would enjoy it. Though the characters in the books are middle school kids - 7th graders if I remember. Since it's very similar to the books by Andrew Clements, I think it would be ok. I find that younger kids like to listen to his books - several of Clements later books have been stories about middle school kids and I've had a few 3rd graders check those out.