Friday was the last day of school for my little ones, but even though the saying goes “no more teachers, no more books”, that is not exactly true in our house.
We are a book loving family, so a summer without books, would be a miserable summer. Even if your middle school child is not an enthusiastic reader, The Life of Og the Frog by Betty G. Birney will be one they want on their summer reading list.
Now, you may be familiar with the adventures in The World According to Humphrey who is the class pet in Room 26. This book also takes place in Room 26, but it is told from the perspective of Og the Frog! Og used to live in a marsh, but he has found himself as the newest class pet in Room 26.
There is so much Og the Frog wants to know. Of course he misses his friends from the pond, everyone except the bullying bullfrogs. The water in his tank is very clean, maybe a little too clean, Og the Frog enjoys a little muck every now and again, after all. The classroom is full of strange, unfamiliar noises and there is a furry, squeaky fellow living next to him, who is very entertaining. The kids are sure friendly and they put the biggest, fattest crickets right in Og’s tank!
All these new experiences give Og lots of inspiration for what he loves to do best, making up songs and poems. All was going along fine, Og the Frog was trying to figure out Humphrey, getting to know the kids better and then there was the frog debate. The debate had to do with whether or not to send Og to live in his own environment at Piney Woods or let him stay in room 26.
Og the Frog had a lot of feelings during the debate discussion and vote. Would he have to say goodbye to the kids he lovingly refers to as the Tads. What about Tabitha? Tabitha’s whole life had changed just like Og’s had. Og thought about Mandy, the little girl who finally started seeing the bright side of things thanks to his help. Let’s not forget about Humphrey who Og was finally beginning to figure out.
The tads had a discussion and took a vote. As their teacher starts pulling out the folded slips of paper and reading them to the class, it is only a matter of minutes before Og will know his fate.
About the Author:
Betty G. Birney has won many awards for writing for television, including an Emmy, three Humanitas Prizes, and a Writers Guild of America Award. In addition to the Humphrey series, she is the author of The Seven Wonders of Sassafrass Springs and The Princess and the Peabodys. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where her parents grew up as neighbors on Humphrey Street.
The Life of Og the Frog is a good book to read aloud with your kids or to let them read aloud to you. Of course, it makes wonderful reading for kids in grades 3-7 to read on their own as well. Let me know if, The Life of Og the Frog will be hopping onto your middle schooler’s summer reading list.