Rent a Third Grader is a really fabulous kids' book I discovered at the Lilly Library when no one showed up for my writing group one day. I read the entire thing 190 pages of big print and easy reading because it's designed for third graders. I read it on the bus route to Boston, I was sorry that I hadn't packed another for the ride back. It's not like I don't have plenty in my house, but I digress.
Rent a Third Grader is the story of Brad and his entire class. When they hear that the police horse is going to be sold to a pet food company, they decide to do something. They're class is studying communities and Partner, the horse has been really valuable to the community as a crossing guard horse. What can third graders do? They take on odd jobs which have some funny outcomes. They try to do several projects, none of which work out quite right. Eventually, they come together and get the job done. What I was most impressed by is that these kids just don't ask grown-ups to fix the problem for them. They have initiative. Of course, adults help them, but it never become the adults' project. I think this book is very valuable as a teaching tool for anyone who works with kids of this age, especially those trying to educate them about making a difference in the world, no matter what age they are.
I rate this book a 7.5 out of 10. I am sure I would have rated it much higher had I been 8 when I read it instead of 34.