It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. And shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.
And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews.
Tweet! at #IMWAYR
Yesterday's post reviewed one of Jacqueline Wilson's books about Hetty Feather, titled Emerald Star. You should visit to check out what's next on the blog tour, and submit your name on the Rafflecoptor entries to try to win an IPad Mini.
I've read a few books this week in addition to the reading for the Blog Tour and for the books I'm reading with teachers and with students. Nothing finished, but good conversations!
Here's my reading for the week:
A Bag of Marbles – based on the memoir by Joseph Joffo and adapted by Kris, illustrated by Vincent Bailly, translated by Edward Gauvin
I found this book on display at my library, a serendipitous find of a serious and
inspiring story. In 1973, Joseph Joffo published his memoir
of his constant movement with his brother, sometimes with the older brothers,
and his parents throughout occupied France in order to escape the Nazis. He was ten years old when he first left Paris
with an older brother, Maurice. As Jews,
they had to lie, sometimes cheat, but so often they also helped others, even at
their own risk. Their quick wit saved
them again and again. They traveled from city to city in the south of France,
called the free zone, although it was often as harsh as the northern part ruled
by the Nazis.
|The French cover!|
This is the graphic novel adaptation that tells that amazing story. All but their father survived, but the boys say that they learned to be courageous from stories their father told, some of which are included in the early part of the book. The art is so detailed, showing many, many people and settings that occurred in this harrowing, four year crazy life that many led at that time. I think middle school and up will enjoy reading this specific tale that shows one small part of WWII, not in the Death Camps, but the challenges of staying hidden from anyone’s notice.
Mr. George Baker – written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Jon J Muth
It’s a book that brings some tears, about a little boy telling the story of his next-door neighbor, Mr. George Baker, the hundred year old man who is learning to read. The brief text along with the pictures tells enough to be inspired, for the friendship between these two unlikely friends, the boy and his neighbor, a drummer who still dances with his wife and rides the bus to school with all the kids, to learn to read. A special book bound to bring conversation about the blessings of reading, how you’re never too old to learn, and how the little things in a friendship mean so much.
Carmine, A Little More Red – written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
I have never read this first book by Melissa Sweet, I suppose you could say her first book about the color red, and be reminded of A Splash of Red, and this year, Little Red Writing. This particular book is filled with color and tells an “adapted” story of Little Red Writing Hood that uses highlighted words on each page that help tell the story a little girl named Carmine, on her way to Granny’s house to eat delicious alphabet soup. Carmine loves to draw and paint, and takes her art materials with her as she travels to Granny’s with her dog, Rufus. She also, as the story is told, loves to “DILLY-DALLY”, and stops along the way to paint a scene for her granny, becomes engrossed in the beauty of the red poppies, well you know some of the story. But you must read this one, because there are more than a few changes, and Melissa Sweet adds such wonderful details in the illustrations that one must look and look some more. It’s a great book, as they all are.
Daredevil, The Daring Life of Betty Skelton - written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy
Things have changed a lot since Betty Skelton was a little girl in the early 1930's (my mother's age). Part of those changes have to do with women like Betty, who, according to this wonderful picture book for young children, flew her first solo at age 12. Officially, she got her license at 16, but her dad let her take off secretly at 12! That was just the beginning. She was not allowed to be a pilot, either in the military or as a commercial pilot, because she was a female. But she flew, wow, did she fly, as a daredevil pilot! And in the 1950’s, when she retired, Betty went on to race cars, then boats, and trained as one of the Mercury 7, hoping to go into outer space. Sadly, she was left behind, but her work was an inspiration for Sally Ride, the first woman in space. The book is written in simple language for the younger readers, and illustrated somewhat like the early readers. It is quite a story, among many about women who dared to do what they were not supposed to do!
Cowboy Up! Ride The Navajo Rodeo – written by Nancy Bo Flood, photography by Jan Sonnenmair
With amazing photographs, a narrative explaining the excitement of a day in the life of Navajo rodeo, and poems that describe the action-packed events, this book offers a new look at a culture students may not know about, in addition to the way poetry can be used for description. I didn't know anything about the Navajo rodeos, and now I see that it's an exciting time for both adults and kids. The photographs show just how challenging this sport can be! Here's the beginning of Bronc Riders: "No saddle or stirrups,/Are you crazy?/Got my lucky saddle hitched tight./Nothing to hold on to/but a braided rawhide rigging./Got my reins held right."
Next: I have started Words With Wings by Nikki Grimes, and would love to get started with The Year of Billy Miller, too. I have more Jacqueline novels to read, and a few picture books. I have plenty to read, but our school's book fair is this week, so I'm sure I'll bring a few home and buy some gifts, to help the school of course!