Code 7: Cracking the Code for an Epic Life

114p. Candy Wrapper. Sept. 2017. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781940556000.
Gr 5–7—This slim volume offers short stories about the lives of seven students at Flint Elementary School. Jefferson, Sebastian, Genevieve, Talmage, Samantha, Alec, and Kaitlyn each experience unique problems, both in and out of the classroom, that offer valuable lessons. Genevieve's egg-babysitting project goes awry, Talmage learns about effort through fishing, and Jefferson "paints what he sees" on a mural that celebrates the school's 50th birthday. Every chapter offers a complete vignette from each fifth grader's point of view, and a satisfying conclusion. The last chapter brings all six characters together for one final tale. Readers will enjoy these stories involving a diverse group of likeable children who find themselves in funny (and most likely, familiar) situations. Educators and parents will appreciate the life lessons of caring, having a strong work ethic, and embracing teamwork that are so important during a child's formative years. A supplemental website provides a downloadable discussion guide and activity book that can be used to further enhance character education curricula.
VERDICT Even if the book is purchased as a stand-alone title without using the website, it will be a suitable addition to any school library that is looking for short but fast-paced stories that reinforce pro-social behavior.

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