From my Literary Journal in my Children's Literature class:
Allard, H. (1977). Miss Nelson is missing. Ill. Marshall, J. New York, NY. Houghton Mifflin
Company. 32 pp. (Grade Level: 1st-4th Grade).
Miss Nelson teaches in room 207, the room with the naughtiest students in class. One day, she goes missing and horrible Miss Viola Swamp teaches for the week. The students are forced to work hard and have no fun, and they begin to miss Miss Nelson, and try to figure out where she has gone. Eventually she comes back, and the children are so happy to have her back that they behave well, and neither teacher or students will tell what happened to them.
The watercolor pictures are interesting and exaggerated well for a children's book. The colors are a little dull, however, and muted, but it works well with the storyline. The plot is intriguing, and children will be caught up in it quickly. A teacher could use Miss Nelson Is Missing in his/her classroom to talk about proper behavior, or about how sometimes we do not know what we have until it is taken away. As a creativity prompt, and a prediction exercise, halfway through the book when the students are guessing what happened to Miss Nelson, the students could be asked to come up with some possibilities of their own, a few likely ones, and a few unlikely ones. There are other Miss Nelson books that could also be used in the classroom to talk about other topics.
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