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Freckle Juice

Last updated Friday, July 20, 2007

Author: Judy Blume
Illustrator: Sonia Lisker
Date of Publication: 1984
ISBN: 0027116905
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2005

Synopsis: Andrew wants freckles so badly that he buys Sharon's freckle recipe for fifty cents. He carefully begins to mix a strange combination of ingredients -- and immediately runs into some unforeseen problems. How Andrew finally manages to achieve a temporary set of freckles -- and then isn't sure he really wants them -- makes a warm and hilarious story.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Ask the students if any of them read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing in July. Did anyone borrow the book from the library and finish reading it? Explain that this is the same author.
•  Do you have freckles? If you have freckles, do you like them? If you don?t have freckles, would you like to? Why or why not? Have you ever seen someone with freckles.
•  Cover the different physical characteristics that people have such as tall, thin, short, not thin, straight hair, curly hair, different hair colors, different eye colors, different skin colors, etc. Students can list their own physical characteristics.
•  Do you ever wish you could look like someone else? Who?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does Andrew want freckles?
•  What kind of person is Sharon? Do you know someone like her?
•  Why does he trust her? Would you trust her?
•  How do Andrew and Sharon exchange the money and the recipe? Do you pass notes in class? What do you do?
•  What happens after Andrew drinks the freckle juice? What would you have done?
•  How does Andrew finally get freckles? Why are his freckles unusual?
•  What kind of teacher is Miss Kelly? Does she remind you of one of your teachers? Who?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of yourself with freckles or make a collage of your face. Set aside a large piece of construction paper and sketch the outline of your face on it. Take various types of paper and tear up into rough shapes for eyes, nose, and mouth. Tear up more paper for face and add small pieces to be the freckles. Glue the paper and draw in the empty spaces with marker or crayons. Bring ahead option: tissue paper, wrapping paper, office paper, thread, yarn, or real fabric.
•  Make up your own recipe for removing freckles. Why did you include the ingredients that you did?
•  Draw your own freckle monster.

Special activities:
•  Andrew?s mom likes to play cards with her neighbors. You can play a simple card game with the students, such as Go Fish or Old Maid. Bring ahead option: deck of cards.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!