My name is Nikki S. and I am an elementary school reading specialist who really enjoyed reading The Adventures of Mo! I think the characters are relatable (even though they are animals) and that the reader can get a strong sense of character development throughout the course of the story, especially with Finchy and Mo.
The plot is easy to follow and the length of the chapters is nice, especially for use in the classroom. When doing reading groups, or using this text in a whole group environment, I would be able to break down each chapter to discuss elements like: characterization, visualization, suspense, humor, descriptive language, use of dialogue, vocabulary and figurative language. It is very accessible for children and I think the built-in illustrations really aid with comprehension, and enable the kids to be successful both with and without support while reading. I also really like the geography aspect embedded into each chapter, as well as references to historical elements.
Before reading the chapters together, I would lean on using visuals like physical or online maps and timelines to strengthen the students’ background knowledge of where Finchy and Mo are, and where they are headed. Children who are not as strong with literacy could get weighed down by some of the geographical references and transitions. With that said, the story provides a great platform for integrating social studies with the literacy curriculum. Overall, I found the story interesting, and I would definitely use it in my classroom. I also read it to my own children and they really enjoyed the storyline and the humor that shines through. We are curious to see how it ends!
-Review from Nikki S., Elementary Reading Specialist, Massachusetts