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Classroom Adds “Beneath Claire’s House” to Readers’ Workshop

Mrs. Mary Shandonay (left) is showcasing books with sophomores Jetta Popp and Natalie Flom (right).

Mrs. Mary Shandonay (left) is showcasing books with sophomores Jetta Popp and Natalie Flom (right).

Corey Popp (Local author), Good Reads Blogger

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An NHS classroom added Beneath Claire’s House to an upcoming Readers’ Workshop according to author Corey Popp’s blog posted on Goodreads.com  (Click to read complete blog).

Mrs. Mary Shandonay, a cross-categorical teacher with reading intervention and Lit/Comp 10 co-teaching experience, became intrigued with Beneath Claire’s House when one of her English/Lit 10 students did an enthusiastic book conference on the young adult horror novel.

During the conference, the student revealed the book had been written by a friend’s father and local novelist (Spoiler: Popp is the author). The student said Shandonay could have her copy of the novel since she had another at home, and she would leave it in the library.

Curious, Shandonay picked up the book from the high school library to read for herself. She enjoyed it so much she decided to bring it into her classroom, where her students share her love of scary stories.

Recently, Mrs. Shandonay and Popp had a conversation about what enthused her about the book and why she decided to introduce it to her workshop students.

Shandonay shared that she was intrigued by the heavily fictionalized Wisconsin landscape — including the fabricated communities of Harrison and Mount Herod. As a one-time resident of a Wisconsin town named Harrison, she wondered aloud if there was a real-life connection. Popp explained the book contained a heavy dose of fictionalized lore as well as Wisconsin-inspired “Easter eggs,” and although her “Harrison” may not exactly match the fictional town of Harrison in the book, it is always fun for a reader to imagine a story taking place right in her own backyard.

Additionally, she liked the length and clarity of the chapters, two important factors which make it possible for students to read much of chapters within the 53-minute time frame of the class. When a student can read a book using class time alone, the end result usually equals success.

Most importantly, she said she found the book entertaining. A healthy inclusion of legitimate scares along with the absence of graphic adult situations and language makes Beneath Claire’s House a mature yet suitable selection for high school English classes.

Also Shandonay revealed she recently added Curse of the Black-Eyed Kids, the second book in the Mount Herod Legends series, to her Goodreads “To-Read” list and is patiently awaiting the upcoming release of the third book of the series, due later in 2019.

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Classroom Adds “Beneath Claire’s House” to Readers’ Workshop