Bibliographic Information: Cooney, Barbara. (1982). Miss Rumphius. New York: Viking.
Plot Description: As a child Alice tells her Grandfather she will travel and live by the sea when she is old, just like him. He makes her promise to do one more thing: make the world more beautiful. Before long Alice is grown up and called Miss Rumphius. She moves away from the sea and works in a library where there are books about far away places. Miss Rumphius visits many of these places, but when she hurts her back on one of her adventures, she decides it is time to move to the sea side. She is almost happy, but she still needs to make the world more beautiful as she promised her Grandfather. The problem is that she doesn’t know how…yet.
Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: 680L Interest Level: Lower Grades ATOS Book Level: 3.8
Qualitative Reading Analysis: The story is told by a third person narrator. Miss Rumphius is supposedly the great Aunt of the narrator, so the story is limited to what Miss Rumphius has passed on about her life. The story begins with a paragraph talking about the little old Lupin Lady and then from there goes back in time to when the Lupin Lady was a little girl. The story progresses in chronological order from then on. Language closely adheres to readers linguistic base. Miss Rumphius’ story does not contain events that will be familiar to readers, but they may relate to hearing oral histories from their elders like Alice and the narrator do in the story. The conventionality is largely explicit and easy to understand. The author uses primarily simple and compound sentences with some complex constructions. There is a little bit of figurative language, such as alliteration for the ‘Lupin Lady’.
Content Area: Reading, Literature
Content Area Standard:
English Language Arts Standards: Language: Conventions of Standard English: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
English Language Arts Standards » Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
Curriculum Suggestions: Have students think of things they could do to make the world (or their community, school, etc) more beautiful. Alice tells her Grandfather two things she wants to do when she grows up and then he makes her promise to do a third thing as well. Have students write a paragraph about the things they will do when they grow up. On her travels Miss Rumphius makes friends she says she will never forget. Have students write about a friends that they will never forget.
Supporting Digital Content:
Awards: National Book Award; American Book Award
Character names/descriptions: Miss Rumphius, who has three goals in life: to travel, to live by the sea when she is old and to make the world more beautiful.
Personal Thoughts: I love the illustrations in this book. As well as, the ideas of broadening your horizons through travel and of trying to make the world more beautiful.
High interest annotation: Miss Rumphius has adventures traveling the world and then lives by the sea, but how will she fulfill her promise to her Grandfather to make the world more beautiful