Tuesday, March 25, 2014

26/31 Books With Connections?

        Five more days! What will you share in those five?  
         Great to be writing for the Slice of Life Challenge at the blog, Two Writing Teachers.   And today I'm also posting at Alyson Beecher's blog, Kid-Lit Frenzy for Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday. 

          Tweet at #SOL14
          I’ve loved reading about Teddy Roosevelt all my life. He is a fascinating man in our history, and it a pleasure to read about his life. Today, I share two different books that include his acts, both with positive endings, but the first one shares a side of his breaking the law to get what he wanted. I’ve read of his egotism, his pushing the limits sometimes even placing his well-being in jeopardy in order to “conquer” something. So I am not surprised. These two books are worth reading as starters for information in unique ways.

The Panama Canal A Wonders of the World Book – written by Elizabeth Mann, illustrations by Fernando Rangel
       According to Goodreads, This series is well-known for Elizabeth Mann's ability to synthesize technical and factual information about a topic in easily understood and accessible language for younger readers. The illustrations include detailed drawings of the canal locks, beautiful paintings accompanying the varied stories of the canal’s building, and photographs where important. I took this from our library because I wanted to read some background of the canal and the story of its building before I began reading Margarita Engle’s verse novel, Silver People, out today!
       The book gives a broad overview of the history and challenges of the canal.  Each part 


summarized is well done, but really the summaries only hint at the details behind the stories. For example, the evasive tactics taken by Theodore Roosevelt means really that he broke laws to get what he wanted, and while the book says that, it concludes that complaints faded, and he charged ahead to get the canal done. There must be many things written about his tactics, and I infer that he was never a hero to Panamanians.
         Also, toward the end of the book, there are some few pages about the hardship of all the workers on the canal, except the Americans. Americans were housed in fine homes, their children went to excellent schools, etc. The “others” lived and worked in horrid, unsanitary conditions, and were paid much less than white workers.
         This is a taste of the incredible accomplishment of the canal, with a positive conclusion of the benefits to commercial shipping throughout its use. And the book was published just before the country of Panama again became free, no long having ties to the U.S.
          I imagine all of these books offer good overviews of the building of amazing structures all over the world, like this canal, The Great Wall, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. They are beginnings of research, and for younger researchers provide a bridge to the next, deeper step.


The Camping Trip That Changed AmericaTheodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks – written by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

           It’s a romantic and beautiful picture book about the one time these two renowned people met, camped, and dreamed. Fortunately, Roosevelt was the president at the time, and motivated to do something to save the wilderness so loved by Muir, and thus the idea was born of the acts to save America's special wilderness lands.


28 comments:

  1. Great selections I've never seen. I often find these kind of books are particularly fascinating for me! Adult reads on complex topics are often overwhelming. Those experiences make me realize how it is for young developing readers, trying to make sense of everything.

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    1. Yes, these books are so helpful to start the process of "knowing", I agree, Julieanne. And it's hard to find the time to be more thorough in the understanding of a topic. In new topics, we and the students have some common challenges. Thanks!

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  2. These sound like great books. Being an outdoorsman myself, I am especially interested in reading "The Camping Trip that Changed America!" Thanks for the note!

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    1. You're welcome. The camping trip was delightful, imagining these two men of history under the stars.

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  3. Great books! I will have to remember the first one next fall when my ELLs are learning about the Panama Canal. Showing them a picture book would greatly enhance their understanding without using so many words! Thanks Linda!

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    1. Terrific, glad to touch on a topic you will need, Jaana!

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  4. I've always enjoyed reading about Teddy Roosevelt too! Quite a character. I don't know either of these books. Will have to put them on reserve at the library!

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    1. I imagine the library will have them both, Carol. That Wonder series seems very good! Thank you!

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  5. And we just finished studying the Panama Canal! Shoot! This would have been a great addition to our discussion. I may just try to find it anyway. Thanks!

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    1. If you have the background knowledge, you might want to find Silver People, too, Cindy. Glad I connected to a book you will enjoy!

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  6. Thanks, Linda--I'm off to put THE CAMPING TRIP on my tbr list. Sounds terrific!

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    1. It was terrific, illustrations good, too! Thanks Laura!

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  7. Sounds like 2 great connected texts! Can you compare/contrast 2 different actions of Teddy Roosevelt in these two books? Might be good for text based evidence for opinion writing!

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    1. Yes, for sure, Michele. TR's actions were contradictory, not protecting beautiful forests in Panama, plus passionate about protecting those in the US.

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  8. I loved thee Camping Trip - it captured that expansive TR spirit so well. I'll have to check into the Panama Canal book, Linda - it looks like just the thing for our nonfiction unit.

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    1. Thanks Tara-look for some of the other books by Elizabeth Mann, too. They are great beginning layers of the topics.

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  9. I'm a fan of Mordicai Gerstein's work so I will have to get the Roosevelt book. Thanks for sharing it today! (It's a new title to me.)

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    1. This is another beautiful one from Gerstein, Stacey. Glad to introduce you!

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  10. Thanks for the share! I am really interested in the Roosevelt book. We just studied the Great Depression and I don't think I gave enough time to Roosevelt so this is a book that will help me next year.

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  11. Thanks for these titles, Linda! I'm particularly interested in the Panama Canal book and would love to explore the other titles in the series. I think they sound like books that children would enjoy reading through and would be a great link to a study on man-made structures. Have a great week.

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    1. I've read the backgrounds of some of these through David McCullough, Adrienne, and these will give great background too. You're right about support for man-made structures, will be good!

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  12. I look forward to reading these. I haven't read much about Teddy. but these look intriguing.

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    1. They are both good, and interesting, Beverley. Thanks!

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  13. Teddy Roosevelt is such a fascinating president. I'm always interested in learning more about him. Thank you for sharing this book, Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Kellee. It's a good one to add to the biographies too!

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  14. Both of these books sound terrific, Linda. I'm passing this along to our librarian to order for our collection. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Catherine. I'm glad you might be able to enjoy them too!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!