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Friday, May 15th, 2009 by

Walk into Annell Gordon’s middle school reading classroom, and this is what you will probably hear: “I want a book that’s fun!” or “What can I read now?” According to Ms. Gordon, students are constantly on the prowl for good reading material. Ted Dunagan’s novel A Yellow Watermelon, recently added as a listing by Renaissance Learning as an Accelerated Reader book, will fit the bill for any avid young booklovers, she says.

Students at Wilson Hall Middle School in Grove Hill, Alabama have been involved with the Accelerated Reading Program since kindergarten. It is a program that makes success in reading easy. Students select books that match their reading levels, read them at their own pace, and then take a quiz developed by Accelerated Reader. The quiz serves as a motivational device when coupled with concrete incentives (taking the form of prizes) for younger readers and with reading grades for elementary and middle schoolers. These quizzes monitor and provide for teachers and students immediate feedback regarding reading performance and vocabulary growth.

“What a delicious option A Yellow Watermelon presents for book-hungry students! They will savor the adventure, mystery, and the lessons learned by Poudlum and Ted in a coming-of-age story that is set in their own back yards,” says Ms. Gordon.

Ted Dunagan writes about his book being accepted by Accelerated Reader, the sequel to A Yellow Watermelon┬áto be published by NewSouth Books, his nomination as Georgia Author of the Year in the young adult category, and about a special moment of recognition by two students, in his weekly newspaper column. Read why Ted is “fixing to float all the way home” here.

A Yellow Watermelon is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

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