Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 01/16/17


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


    Picture Books



    Stepping Stones: a refugee family's journey (2016) by Margriet Ruurs and illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr (Bilingual in English and Arabic - Arabic translation by Falah Raheem). The artwork in this book blows my mind. Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr created each of these illustrations as a 3D collage of river stones, which were photographed for their incorporation into the story. The text itself is a powerful version of the modern refugee story - the fear, the flight, the dangerous voyage across the water, but it's the emotion of the illustrations that make this book memorable. Added to my new immigration series.


    Radiant Child: the story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (2016) by Javaka Steptoe [Mock Caldecott contender]. This biography of street artist turned museum-worthy artist Jean-Michel Basquiat has really grown on me after reading it aloud and discussing it with both of my classes. (Originally I was turned off by the decision not to include any of Jean-Michel Basquiat's original art in the story, so I showed selections from his web site instead.) They really appreciated how Javaka Steptoe took Basquiat's style and colorful palette but rendered it in a way that was more familiar and comprehensible to a younger audience. There are so many hidden details that make the reader keep coming back and back.

    Middle Grade


    I've been busily reading (and rereading) the finalists for the Cybils Middle Fiction category, but I have to wait to share my reviews until after the awards are announced in February. (You can read about the finalists here.)

    Happy Reading!

    13 comments:

    1. Thanks for the work for the Cybil's. I've loved doing that for poetry, Katie. Great finalists! I have Stepping Stones, and need to read it, but Radiant Child has a huge number of holds at the library. Maybe need a trip to my local indie?

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    2. Stepping Stones looks amazing. I really appreciated Radiant Child, but also needed to go to the Internet because I wasn't familiar with the art and needed to see it for myself.

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      1. Me too. I do still wonder about the decision to leave the actual artwork out of the notes at the back.

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    3. I'm next on the list for Radiant Child from my library. Thanks for the heads up about the art. While I wait I'll spend some time looking at Basquiat's work online. (As soon as I finish reading all the IMWAYR posts)

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      1. I feel like you really need some background in the inspiration for Basquiat's artwork (like the book shows the Picasso) piece, then you really see connections.

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    4. Just starting Wildings by Eleanor Glewwe. Love the artwork in Stepping Stones! Wow!

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      1. Wildings is an intriguing title - thanks for sharing!

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    5. We can't wait to read Stepping Stones - Can't believe the artwork is made out of pebbles. As soon as we read your post, we ordered a copy.

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      1. Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

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    6. I read Stepping Stones this week. I was stunned by how tender and emotional the illustrations are. I mean, they're made of pebbles! Really a strong title. And I adore Radiant Child. Shared with Children's Lit students yesterday and was pleased by how much time they spent pouring over the book and discussing.

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      1. I absolutely agree about Stepping Stones. I was a little surprised at how well my 7th graders took to Radiant Child, but they had lots of amazing ideas and insights about the book and the illustrations.

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    7. I will be featuring Stepping Stones very soon - very very powerful title. I am intrigued by Radiant Child - I figure it will go well with Life Does Not Frighten Me - a collaboration Basquiat did with Maya Angelou. - Myra from GatheringBooks

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