Sunday, February 22, 2015

Monday Reading

           Link up with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers. and Sheila at Book Journeys.  Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki, our lists grow (and grow)!


Gaijin – written and illustrated by Matt Faulkner
           Koji Miyamoto, whose father has returned to Japan because his parents are ill, celebrates his 13th birthday on Dec. 7th, 1941, not a good time to be half-Japanese in the U.S. This graphic novel tells the story of this young adolescent and his white mother who are sent to what was called a re-location camp, first right outside San Francisco at an old race track. Their new home is a stall in a horse stable. Koji’s anger at nearly everything builds from the beginning. First they must sell all their belongings except for two full suitcases, and the ‘junk’ man pays them only $50. Sadly, the insults continue, fighting at school, then at the camp, a gang also harasses. Somehow, Koji doesn’t even fit in this group. He has freckles! The plot holds the reader’s attention through conflict between Koji and his mom, Koji’s fights and then the joining of the local gang. Friendship with an older man is like a lifeline; he gives Koji advice and helps him out of trouble more than once. It’s a good complex story that will hold young adolescents’ attention and hopefully help them understand the terrible times in war, even in America.


 
Once Upon An Alphabet, short stories for all the letters – written and Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
          Wow! This is a great book, filled with little stories to tickle and delight. Sometimes the letters take us on a journey to other letters. Sometimes the stories end so quickly that one wants to re-read them again, and then again. And then, you laugh. I can’t wait to read some aloud to my middle school kids. They wonder about stories, and sometimes think they can’t write good ones. Is this a good mentor text? Yes. It may not have all the parts for long, long stories, but it has all the parts.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich - written and illustrated by Julia Sarconne-Roach
             One of the picture books of 2015 is one others are discussing, and I managed to find it at my library! It's a fanciful story of a bear whose appetite for berries gives him both a nap and a ride to his new forest, a city. Through several amusing adventures, the bear's antics are caught out by a surprising thing. I won't tell what, but it's a clever end. Sarconne-Roach's illustrations are dreamy and good, like the story.

Still Reading – Black Raven, White Dove by Elizabeth Wein. I'm sorry to say I think I wrote more than I read this week, but it was fun! I am also reading Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart because I have a book group in my class that I'm starting this week. I didn't get to so many of the books I wanted to.  




26 comments:

  1. I just loved Once Upon an Alphabet too! I'm going to have to look for Gaijan and The Bear Ate Your Sandwich! They both look interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Stacey-all good! Once Upon An Alphabet was just delightful!

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  2. All three of the books reviewed look really interesting. Gaijan sounds amazing. There are some good books out there that show the Japanese internment, but not enough of them. I will definitely be looking for all three of these books! Have a great reading week!

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    1. Thanks Andrea, Gaijin, and the others, are good for different reasons. Hope you enjoy them!

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  3. Once Upon an Alphabet was one of my favorite 2014 books. So much fun! I need to look into Gaijin. Looks like it would be a good addition to my library. Can't wait to get my hands on the new Wein!

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    1. I've not been very good about reading steadily with the Wein book, just too many other things to do-out soon! Hope you enjoy Gaijin-I did, & yes, Once Upon An Alphabet is terrific! Thank you!

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  4. Things Fall Apart is one of those classics on my shelf of shame. Maybe someday I'll get to it! Gaijin is one I really want to get. Think it would circulate a lot in my little lending library.

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    1. I like Things Fall Apart, Elisabeth, & love bringing it to my students. It's of interest to them because they so often talk about stereotyping and how much they wish it wouldn't happen. Gaijin also touches on that topic, is good! Thanks!

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  5. I really enjoyed Once Upon an Alphabet! The Bear Ate Your Sandwich looks really good!

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    1. Thanks, Holly! Yes, this ABC book is something new & fun!

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  6. Between you and Tara, as well as my experience last week with El Deafo, I might have to become more of a graphic novel fan. Gaijin sounds really interesting!

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    1. Both touch on trying hard to be who you are, and often not getting to. I enjoyed Gaijin very much, Melanie.

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  7. Hi there Linda! I featured Gaijin during our war and poetry reading theme and really enjoyed it. There's another graphic novel about the Japanese internment - Pyle's "Take What you can Carry" that is written in two different timelines - they would be great companion books. Lovelovelove Once Upon an Alphabet - will be featuring it very very soon. :)

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    1. Thanks for the title, Myra. I looked it up & it, too, looks very good. Yes, the ABC book is terrific!

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  8. I loved Once Upon an Alphabet! Such a great book!

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    1. Yes, agreed. I enjoyed it thoroughly, re-read some parts just to see the fun all over again. Thanks, Beth!

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  9. I liked Gaijin, too, Linda - so wonderful to see the graphic novel form take off in so many new, rich ways.

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    1. Yes, will share with my students to see if I should purchase it. I have it now from the library-very well done! Thanks, Tara!

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  10. I also enjoyed Once Upon an Alphabet. I am glad you liked it too! We have read it several times to Henry. KEEP WARM!

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    1. Thanks Ricki, isn't it just fun? Hope you keep warm, too!

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  11. We are big Oliver Jeffers fans - Thank you for telling us about Once Upon an Alphabet. We can't wait to read it.

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    1. It's refreshing to see the innovation in this book. Hope you enjoy it, too!

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  12. Once Upon an Alphabet is such a great read. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich looks exactly like something I must read soon!

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    1. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is so surprising, would be fun to share with the younger students. Hope you like it, too, Kendra. Thanks!

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  13. Once Upon an Alphabet is a title I must read. I do need to get to it.

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    1. You and your students will love it, Carrie! Have a great week!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!