Absolutely Almost

Absolutely Almost
Written by Lisa Graff

Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny, Calista, helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.

Primary Source Pairing:
In this realistic story about Albie and his life, we experience both the celebrations and the challenges of a kid living in New York City. The setting of this book becomes a character in and of itself. In this primary source pairing, use the New York City Public Transportation MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) map to follow their trips to donut shops, the art museum, the zoo, and more. Pairing the MTA map creates background knowledge for students who may not be familiar with New York or big city life.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What size and shape is the map?
  • What graphical elements do you see?
  • What on the map looks strange or unfamiliar?
  • Describe anything that looks like it does not belong on a map.
  • What place or places does the map show?
  • What words do you see?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
MTA Map: Mappery

For more information and detailed maps, visit the MTA website.