The John Hancock Club

by Louise Borden and Adam Gustavson

For many children, learning to write in cursive is something they eagerly anticipate.... read more

For many children, learning to write in cursive is something they eagerly anticipate. As the school year starts, however, new third grader Sean McFerrin is nervous. School is hard work for Sean, and cursive is one more worry—what if he can’t do it? Luckily, Sean has a terrific teacher—one who keeps him fully engaged from the first day. When Mrs. Tovani finally does start teaching Sean and his classmates cursive, she emphasizes the importance of practice and offers an intriguing incentive—the promise of induction into the “John Hancock Club.” Sean soon has favorites among the letters he’s learning as he works toward mastering the lowercase and uppercase alphabets. In the meantime, he and his classmates are also learning about John Hancock and the Declaration of Independence in preparation for the day when Mrs. Tovani announces they are ready to sign their names—with quill and ink no less—as newest members of the John Hancock Club. Louise Borden captures the realistic anxiety and ultimate pride of a child for whom things don’t always come easily, as well as the excitement of a classroom working toward a common goal in this engaging story. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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