|Oh, how I love book sales! I volunteered at this one and got first pick of the loot ...|
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
- Books about Seeing the Possibilities. This collection of picture books include real-life and fictional stories about people who seek out the possible in their lives and make the most of it. Inspire the young artist and inventor in your life!
- Call Me Tree / Llámame arbol. This new bilingual picture book is a poetic ode to trees, their power, and their potential.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the recycling women of the Gambia (2015) by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. This book tells the true story behind the Njau Recycling and Income Generating Group and their success at creating sellable goods from discarded plastic bags. It is a great, inspirational story of how one person can make a difference, but I am concerned that readers will come away with the wrong idea about Africa and life in the Gambia.
No real explanation is given in the text or copious author's notes about why plastic bags became such a problem, and my fear is that children will misinterpret the beginning of the story - seeing the people as too "stupid" to know about garbage cans or how to throw away trash safely. I understand it may be a hard issue to explain in a picture book. I am curious whether those of you who have read the book had a similar concern?
You can read an in-depth interview with the author here on Carrie On ... Together!
When I Was Eight (2013) and Not My Girl (2014) by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. These two powerful picture books tell the true story of co-author Margaret's experiences attending an Indian Residential School in Canada. When I Was Eight introduces her desire to go to school and learn to read, contrasted with the realities of school once she arrived. Not My Girl tells the painful rejection by her father when Olemaun/Margaret is finally allowed to return home.
These books are an incredible way to introduce older children to the history of indoctrination and discrimination faced by Native American children. It would be really helpful, however, if both books were updated with an expanded author's note providing a bit more context and information.
Palazzo Inverso (2010) by D. B. Johnson. This incredibly clever and complex picture book is an ode to the work of M.C. Escher, and the book itself is a convoluted Möbius strip of a story that turns in on itself and is read front-to-back-to-front again. I am a bigger Escher fan and was quite astounded at how this whole book came together. Definitely one that will fascinate the visual among us!
Wings (2000) by Christopher Myers. This unique take on bullying features a supporting character, Ikarus Jackson, a young (presumably black) boy with wings. The narrator, a bystander and fellow student, shares his/her own observations about the new boy and everyone's reactions to him. Only after witnessing much does the narrator step up and stop the bullying. This could be a great book for generating discussion about diversity, inclusion, bullying, and differences.
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans (2015) by Laurence Yep and Joanna Ryder, with illustrations by Marie GrandPré. This entertaining but brief (152 pages) middle fiction fantasy novel is a great fit for the reader who can't get enough of dragons. Told from the perspective of elder dragon, Miss Drake, the book immediately grabs the readers' attention with the particular tone and style of the narrator. With some action, adventure, and, of course, magic thrown in, this is a book many students might enjoy.
Smile (2010) by Raina Telgemeier and with color by Stephanie Yue and Sisters (2014) by Raina Telgemeier and with color by Braden Lamb. These two autobiographical-graphic novels detail different episodes in the author's childhood. Smile covers the years of middle school and high school when Raina struggled with her dental-related adventures, while Sisters focuses in on a family road trip and reunion that revolves around Raina's relationship with her younger sister, Amara.
Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Tales (2014) by Terry Pratchett. This was another of my recent book sale finds, and with my current Terry Pratchett kick, I knew I had to pick it up. This book is a collection of short stories written by the young Terry Pratchett during his stint as a newspaper reporter. There are some interesting and engaging little worlds created here, and one cannot help but think of the influences of Roald Dahl with the inclusion of the very Quentin Blake-esque illustrations. An amusing read and the short story format might be a good one for drawing in reluctant readers.
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 10 books, 2 dedicated posts
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 80 books, 26 dedicated posts (Books about Seeing the Possibilities and Call Me Tree / Llámame arbol)