Monday, September 4, 2017

It's Monday! What Have You Been Reading? #IMWAYR 09/04/17


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Recent Posts


The "Catching Up from Summer" Edition


I read a ton this summer, which led to me getting very, very far behind in my blogging about my reading. To that end, I am giving myself permission to simplify the sharing process and just dump my quick notes, rather than longer, coherent reviews. So, here we go!

Middle Grade


Posted. (2017) by John David Anderson, p. 380. With cell phones banned, middle schoolers turn to sticky notes with wiggly escalating messages of meanness. About friendship, fitting in, and being true to yourself.

Forever, or a Long, Long Time (2017) by Caela Carter, p. 310. Adopted siblings Flora and Julian do not think that they were born, they somehow just appeared. To try and help them (and to find the missing details of their past) they take a mini road trip with their mom. A moving story about trauma, but I have questions about the author's authority. She wrote the story while starting her foster parent journey. I would be very curious to hear the opinions of foster and adoptive parents on this one. (Also, the kids and their step-dad are "incidentally" black or Latino. It's mentioned in their physical descriptions but does not come into the story.)

Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids (2017) edited by Elissa Brent Weissman, p. 200. Stories and illustrations from when authors were kids. Really fun as mentor texts and inspiration for your budding authors and artists.

Nevermoor: the trails of Morrigan Crow. (2017 ARC) by Jessica Townsend, p. 420. Fantasy series about a cursed girl who finds another world attached to her own when she receives an invitation to join the Wundrous Society. Inventive but long and fairly predictable.

Tumble and Blue. (2017 ARC) by Cassie Beasley, p. 400. Two families have been alternately blessed and cursed from a 200-year old meeting with a golden alligator. Blue is cursed to lose and Tumble is a damsel-in-distress. Can you guess what happens? Yes, you can. This one seemed really long to be this predictable.

Orphan Island. (2017) by Laurel Snyder, p. 290. Magical realism novel about nine kids on an island - each year another arrives and the oldest leaves. Some hints about the outside world - books, but otherwise isolated.

Thornhill. (Arc 2017) by Pam Smy, p. 550. Story told in alternating voices - a girl's journal from 1982 and illustrations of a girl in 2017. Like a less-well done Brian Selznick book. Supposedly creepy but really isn't. Predictable.


Young Adult


Saints and Misfits. (2017) by S.K. Ali, p. 330. YA about a Muslim teenager, Janna, who is nearly assaulted/raped by a respected boy from her mosque (and her friend's cousin). This is a story about friendship and learning to stand up to others.

If I Was Your Girl. (2016) by Meredith Russo, p. 280. Amanda is a MTF trans person who moves in with her divorced father after her transition caused problems in her hometown. She finds a group of friends and a boyfriend but worries how/when/what to tell them. Incredible writing and story. The author is herself a trans woman.

Poe: Stories and Poems (2017 ARC) illustrated by Gareth Hinds, p. 120. Graphic novel of several short stories and poems. Something about seeing Poe makes these even more creepy (if such a thing were possible).

Revolution. (2014) by Deborah Wiles, p. 530. [Listened to first half as audio book.] Story of Freedom Summer of 1964, told mainly in 12-year old Sunny's (white) point-of-view but with some chapters of 15-year old Raymond (black) and a few about her step-brother, Gillette. Also interspersed with a bunch of nonfiction material: quotes, photographs, and news entries. The format didn't really work for me, the story was slow, slow, slow (6 hours of listening for half the book), and Raymond, in particular, was a type, not a character.

Solo (2017 ARC) by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess, p. 320. Novel in verse from the perspective of 17-year old Blade, oldest son of a drug-addicted, fading rock star. A story about love, loss, family, and belonging. (Spoiler: it gets sprung on him rather roughly that he's actually adopted, leading him to jump on a plane to Ghana to find his birth mother.) Also I'm not sure there was ever physical description to confirm his race. YA but minimal YA content (Dad's drug addiction, girlfriend who is waiting for marriage). I've heard the playlists that accompany the book are fantastic.

When Dimple Met Rishi. (2017) by Sandhya Menon, p. 380. Cute romantic story in two perspectives as Indian-American Rishi heads to coding camp to meet his future-wife, Dimple, whose parents neglected to mention him to her. Cue awkwardness! I thoroughly enjoyed this nerd-out of a story.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September #diversekidlit

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, October 7th and the first Saturday of each month.

Upcoming Theme


Themes are a suggestion only; all diverse book posts are welcome. If you're interested, you can start planning now ...
  • Our theme for October (7th) will be #ownvoices. The #ownvoices hashtag was created to draw attention to diverse authors and illustrators who are creating books that honor their own heritage and experiences. Please share your favorite titles or authors / illustrators with us!

Most Clicked Post from Last Time



The most-clicked post from the previous #diversekidlit was one I am sure we all could use: 19 Multicultural Children's Books teaching Kindness & Empathy. This fabulous collection of picture books covers a wide range of cultures and topics including issues around immigration, acceptance, jealousy, and more. Thanks for sharing, Svenja!

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Jane @ Rain City Librarian
Blog / Twitter / Instagram

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook


Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Thursday, August 10, 2017

#pb10for10: Must-Reads of 2017*


Hooray! Today is August 10th, which means it is time for the annual Picture Books 10 for 10 event (#pb10for10). Teachers and educators are challenged to choose and share their 10 favorite picture books, and the posts will be aggregated by Cathy of Reflect and Refine and Mandy of Enjoy and Embrace Learning.


Previous #pb10for10




10 Must-Reads of 2017*


I had the awesome opportunity at nErDcampMI last month to peruse a wide range of brand new (and upcoming) picture books. Below are some of my newest favorites for books published this year (*ok, and one for next year). Enjoy!

(In order of publication date)


Jan. 31: Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey by Doug Kuntz and illustrated by Amy Shrodes. This is a lovely addition to the canon of refugee literature, as an Iraqi family flees their home heading for Europe via Greece. Endnotes explain how the author discovered this story and worked with the family to share it with the world.


April 1: Flowers for Sarajevo by John McCutcheon and illustrated by Kristy Caldwell. Another inspired by a true story, this picture book shares a powerful moment in the Bosnian War through the eyes of a young boy who witnessed both the destructive power of war and the transformative power of music.


June 13: Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. A must-read. I could take nearly any page in this book, frame it, and hang it proudly on my wall. This nearly-wordless book is a testament to a positive vision of America, its flag, and the true meanings of patriotism.


June 13: Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. This charming little wordless picture book is a story about distrust becoming acceptance, as the owl family's branch is suddenly invaded by a group of bats! (A review copy of the book was provided by Candlewick. All thoughts are my own.)


June 20: Claymates by Dev Petty and illustrated by Lauren Eldridge. This is a book that will make you want to create! Claymates provides a behind-the-scenes look at what two balls of clay can come up with while their artist is away ...


Aug. 15: Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Fans of Creepy Carrots! will be waiting with baited breath for this sequel. Personally, I actually found this one far funnier, perhaps because I was already willing to suspend disbelief based on the first book. Some very laugh-out-loud moments.


Sep. 19: It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk and Edwardian Taylor. And speaking of laughing out loud, I had the chance to help perform a read aloud of this book with author Josh Funk at Nerd Camp last month. This will be a great one for Readers' Theater or reading aloud in small groups, as Jack and his fellow characters try to take control of their story back from a demanding narrator!


Oct 3: After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat. What if things didn't turn out quite so glum for Humpty Dumpty? How do you get yourself back up after a bad experience (or a bad fall) and start again? A great lesson in resilience.


Oct. 24: A Boy, A Mouse, and A Spider: the story of E. B. White by Barbara Herkert and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. I only got a peek at the F&G of this one, but it's sure to be a charmer. Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet is still one of my favorites from last year, but I love the idea of being able to pair it with this book for younger readers or those looking for something more read-aloud length.


Feb. 6: Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill. This one is a must-have for any classroom or library. It addresses issues of bullying and bystanders but in a much more complex and meaningful way than many books for kids. Truly we need the power of this book's message about how individual actions (even if they may seem small) can have a big impact.

Looking for more #pb10for10? Check out #pb10for10 on Twitter or click the #pb10for10 tag to see my previous years' posts.

DiverseKidLit

Shared with #DiverseKidLit


Saturday, August 5, 2017

#DiverseKidLit for August!

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is socioeconomic diversity. Kids from all economic brackets should be able to find themselves in books - as well as to learn about the lives of others in different economic situations. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, September 2nd and the first Saturday of each month.

Most Clicked Post from Last Time



The most-clicked post from the previous #diversekidlit was What is Family? 18 Picture Books about Loving Families in All Forms from Barefoot Mommy. This post includes new books as well as old favorites including multigenerational, multiracial, LGBTQ, foster, adoptive, and divorced families.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Jane @ Rain City Librarian
Blog / Twitter / Instagram

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook


Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Friday, August 4, 2017

MKB Read Around the World: The Only Road


The Only Road (2016) by Alexandra Diaz, p. 300 [a Pura Belpré Honor Book]. 12-year old Jaime and his 15-year old cousin, Angela, are forced to flee north after the gang in their Guatemalan village kills their cousin/brother, Miguel. A scary but middle grade or middle school-appropriate version of the trip to illegally immigrate to the US. Definitely one I will be adding to my Latin American immigration book list.

See also Teaching Family History and Immigration for lesson plan ideas and additional books and resources.

Find more great, diverse book recommendations by visiting the rest of the Multicultural Kids Blogs Read Around the World Series! #ReadtheWorldMKB

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 07/24/17


It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Last Week's Posts


Middle School



The Great Greene Heist (2014) by Varian Johnson. Tag line: saving the school, one con at a time. In this Oceans 11 meets eighth grade mashup, con-man Jackson Greene is under suspicion at his school after his previous con made him a bit notorious (which makes for a bit of a confusing beginning, because I kept feeling like I had accidentally started on book two of the series, but this is book one). I appreciated the fast-moving plotting and diverse cast of characters but wasn't quite able to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy this one as much as others might.

Professional Development



Disrupting Thinking: why how we read matters (2017) by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. I am reading this book as part of the Book Love Summer Reading Book Club, and even though I haven't commented on any of the discussion posts, I did finish up the book this past week. Disrupting Thinking does a great job of laying out what reading and talking about books should really look like and how to foster a deeper level of engagement between an individual kid and the books they read. I will definitely be digesting this for awhile and trying to figure out how best to incorporate some of the their suggested questions and frameworks.


Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bravo! Poetry Friday Roundup


Welcome to this week's Poetry Friday roundup!

Quick intro: My name is Katie, and I am a language arts and social studies teacher in Wisconsin. I teach seventh grade language arts and previous taught both third and fourth grades. I have been holding weekly Poetry Friday time with my students for several years now, and it is one of my favorite things about teaching.

Bravo!



Today I wanted to share about this fabulous new book of poetry: Bravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics (2017) by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López. Each biographical poem gives insights into the life, desires, and dreams of a different person, paired with a full-page illustration. The backmatter includes a list of "more and more amazing Latinos" as well as short biographical sketches about the individuals featured. [You can hear a podcast about the book here, All the Wonders. Thanks Laura for the heads up!]

There are so many things to love about this book! To begin, it's a great way to introduce readers to a wide variety of Hispanic people, including both well-known and lesser-known names from the past 300 years. The poems themselves are powerful and insightful, as you would expect from Margarita Engle. Finally, this would be an excellent mentor text for having students research and write their own biographical (or autobiographical) poems.


Final Stanza from "The Magic of Words" about Cuban poet José Martí


I say that each day is a poem.
Some hours are green and peaceful.
Others are red, like festivals or storms.
I love teaching children how to tell
their own stories.



Please leave your link and a description in the comments, and I will continue to update the post throughout the day. (If you have any trouble, drop me a line at katie at thelogonauts.com.) I look forward to reading all your amazing poems and posts; happy Poetry Friday!

Poetry Friday Roundup


Original Poems


Laura Purdie Salas shares a new/old poem, How to Make a Dog Live Forever, in honor of her beagle, Jack.

Linda Mitchell shares an original poem about mid-summer stress, along with some new picture books in her TBR stack.

Linda at Teacher Dance shares an original poem (and photographs) inspired by the end of her summer beach vacation with family.

Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge shares an original poem inspired by the life of a dear friend, and she issues an invitation to all to use poetry as a way to soothe overwhelming emotions.

Author Kathryn Apel shares an original sollage and a collection of amazing family photographs. Great fodder for more poems!

Sharing, Reviewing, and Otherwise Celebrating Poems


Jan at the Book Seed Studio is hosting a Q&A with author / illustrator Lisa Desimini about her newest book, The Fleatastics. You can also win a copy (giveaway ends Mon. July 24th).

Linda Mitchell highlights an upcoming book by Pakistani-American poem Adeeba Shahid Talukder along with a link to one of her poems.

Laura Shovan shares about a new book, Into the Deep, Deep Brave, by three-year old poet Arthur. Laura's post also provides some background about Arthur's hyperlexia and the story behind his book's creation.

Brenda shares an original poem by Tabatha Yeatts that she received as part of the summer postcard swap. Part Narnia, part politics, pure pleasure.