Common core
Common core

Nuts to You

By Lynne Rae Perkins, Illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins

How far would you go for a friend? In Nuts to You, the funny and moving illustrated novel by Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins, two squirrels go very far indeed to save a friend who has been snatched up by a hawk. Nuts to You “begs to be read aloud . . . another completely original and exceptional package from Perkins,” said the Horn Book. Nuts to You features black-and-white art by the author on every page, as well as exclusive material original to this edition.

Jed, TsTs, and Chai are the very best of friends. So when Jed is snatched up by a hawk and carried away to another realm, TsTs and Chai resolve to go after him. Mysteriously, the hawk has dropped him. They saw it. Jed could be alive. New communities are discovered, new friends are made, huge danger is encountered (both man-made and of the fox and bobcat variety) and the mysteries of squirrel culture are revealed. Nuts to You is wholly original, funny, lively, and thought-provoking. Publishers Weekly said, “Readers . . . will relish the squirrels’ adventures, as well as Perkins’s laugh-aloud illustrations and equally witty footnotes.”

Includes an introduction, epilogue, and footnotes throughout, as well as original exclusive material from the author.

  • Grade level: 4
  • Interest Level: 3-7
  • Guided Reading Level: R


Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated. Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.

How does the illustrator use pictures and details to develop the characters, setting, and events in the story? How do the illustrations contribute to the meaning of the text? Give examples. RL.4.1,7

How does the author use point of view to create suspense and humor? RL.4.1,4; W.4.2,9

Identify one of the themes in the story. What can the theme teach you about your own life? RL.4.2; W.4.2; SL.4.1,4


Nuts to You Discussion Guide

This discussion guide for Lynne Rae Perkins's Nuts to You aligns with Common Core standards for grade 4 and contains discussion questions and extension activities. It addresses such concepts as characterization, reading comprehension, figurative language, analyzing word choice and meaning, perspective, and point of view.

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Imprint: Greenwillow Books
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On Sale: 11/30/-0001
  • ISBN: 9780060092757
  • ISBN 10: 0060092750
  • ISBN 13: 9780060092757
  • Pages: 272
  • Trim Size: 6.00 x 7.75 in
  • Subcategory:
  • Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
  • Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Friendship
  • Juvenile Fiction / Animals / Squirrels

Booklist (starred review)"A lovely and insightful creation."

Publishers Weekly (starred review)"[A] tall tale featuring three courageous squirrels. . . . Perkins's twisting-turning narrative provides plenty of fun; along with their impulsiveness, her characters have warm hearts and generous spirits. Readers . . . will relish the squirrels' adventures, as well as Perkins's laugh-aloud illustrations and equally witty footnotes."

Horn Book (starred review)"Perkins uses language like the best toy ever. ...The book begs to be read aloud, except that you'd miss the wacky digressions, the goofy footnotes, and the black-and-white illustrations with their built-in micro-plots. Another completely original and exceptional package from Perkins."

School Library Journal (starred review)"Perkins elucidates delightfully...This is a small story made larger by the ways readers can enjoy Perkins's whimsical conception of squirrel civilization. Some deeper themes may prompt readers to question their interactions with the natural world."

Newsday/Kidsday"An amazing adventure story full of humor, desperation and hope, executed perfectly. . . . A perfect read for kids 5 to 15."

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"Thoughtful, and amusing . . . Hand this lively tale to both the nature-loving kids and the animal fantasy lovers."

Toronto Star"Safe, accessible and laced with gentle philosophizing, this has an edge of poetry that gives it colourful tone and texture."

Montreal Gazette"The gripping tale of . . . squirrels who embrace adventure in order to rescue one of their own. . . . Generously illustrated with the author's black-and-white drawings, this is a lively story filled with humour and surprising bits of wisdom."

Kirkus Reviews"[An] entertaining story of friendship and adventure...funny and exuberant."

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