Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Non-Fiction - always good!

Alyson Beecher hosts Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday at her blog, Kid Lit Frenzy. I have learned about so many wonderful books from reading others' posts. Learning about anything through good stories and beautiful illustrations is inspiring. I hope you visit to learn about the books available.

Here are three books I read this week that I enjoyed, new to me, but I've seen them reviewed by more than one person. Thanks for the recommendations!




(This book meets the challenge to read more books about or by Latinos at the blog, Latin@s In Kid Lit) See the link at the right!
Separate Is Never Equal, Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegegation – written by Duncan Tonatiuh
            Well before the Civil Rights Act, Sylvia Mendez and her family fought a years long battle to get her children into the schools where everyone went instead of those “for Mexicans” which were nearly falling down, without playgrounds, not to the standards of those built for white children. When her husband stopped being a migrant worker, leased his own land to become his own boss, they went to enroll their children in the nearby school. They were told they had to attend the “Mexican” school.  The family, and along the way, more families, fought back, and when they still couldn’t change the policy they sued. And they won their case, even on appeal, in 1947! There is a good author’s note and extra information at the back that extends the story. It’s wonderful to hear stories that were not told in the past, about those who fought for their rights, paving the way for freedoms for others. The story is straightforward, with lovely folk-art styled illustrations.

Off To Class, Incredible and Unusual Schools Around The World
written by Susan Hughes
         This is a book rich with information about schools all over the world that are giving education to those children who are in need, offering creative ways to get an education when it just seems impossible. It even ends with one section about “un-schooling” or as we often call it, home-schooling. There are schools that go to children and give them an education in boats when the rainy season keeps them away. There are schools that are so impressive because they are so eco-friendly, schools that were built by communities with local resources. I can imagine reading and doing research with each kind of school, comparing with our students’ own schools. What is the same? What is different?  There is a map at the end that shows where in the world the schools highlighted are located, and a page of resources, the way to contact and give support to the schools in need.
Dare The Wind, The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud – written by Tracey Fern and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

           What a book to see with these gorgeous full-page illustrations, adding so much to this adventurous real-life story about a young woman who loved the sea. Lucky Eleanor Prentiss had a father who loved teaching her about the sea, and she loved it too. Here is another little-known story of daring that we never heard about in our history books. By the time Eleanor was a good sailor and navigator, she met her husband to be, who also loved the sea. Together they took the challenge to see how fast they could sail from New York, around the Cape and up to San Francisco. It was gold-rush time, and those who could arrive faster would be much in demand.  It was the fastest way by far because others were still moving cross-country in covered wagons. Eleanor’s husband was hired to command a new clipper ship, the Flying Cloud, and with Eleanor’s wise navigation, they broke all records. She really followed her father’s advice: “A true navigator must have the caution to read the sea, as well as the courage to dare the wind.” Both parts of this advice are shown in the story.
        Have a great week reading!

14 comments:

  1. I've read Separate is Never Equal and Dare the Wind. The other one is new to me. Like I just wrote on your Tues post, I'm impressed with the quality of literature that is coming out these days!

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    1. You're so right, Michele. I think these books can be used and liked at any age! Thanks!

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  2. I love the school picture books, both are new to me and will be a great asset to my classroom library. The Separate is Never Equal is especially applicable to our student population. Thank you, Linda. I always get so inspired when I visit and read your blog. I hope your school year is off to a good start!

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    1. Thank you, too, Lee Ann. Glad that these will be helpful to you! Hope your beginning is good!

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  3. Great books, Linda! I read Separate is Never Equal this past week too. Will have to check out "Off to School" as it fits perfectly with my "around the world in a single book" theme that I am starting later this week. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, it will fit that theme well, Katie. Glad you will have a book to add to your list! Thank you!

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  4. Separate Is Not Always Equal looks like I should read it. We have it in our store and haven't gotten around to it!

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    1. It's certainly a story I haven't hear before, Earl. I hope you enjoy it!

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  5. How fun that we both read Separate Is Never Equal this week! I was trying to figure out the style of the illustrations, and you nailed it - folk art. I haven't read the other two, but now I want to!

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    1. There are some wonderful biographies/stories available now, aren't there? I hope you find and enjoy the other two also, Holly. Thank you!

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  6. I am really interested in this title Off to School - it is so interesting and important for children to see other children around the world experiencing similar routines (school day) in sometimes very different ways.

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    1. I liked it a lot, Carrie. It shares about quite a few schools all over the world.

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  7. Emily Arnold McCully is so prolific - I especially love her picturebook biographies. These titles are great especially with students coming back to school. As I read your review of "Off to Class" and the notions on home-schooling or unschooling, I was reminded of David Almond's My Name Is Mina - especially as he explored William Blake's:
    “How can the bird that is born for joy
    Sit in a cage and sing?"

    I have a feeling you'd love that book. Can be a great companion book to Counting by 7s.

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    1. I adore David Almond, Myra, & have My Name Is Mina on the long, long list. I need to get to it! I share Skellig with so many students! Thank you for your comment and the beautiful quote!

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