Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SOLC # 11 and Non-Fiction That Inspires





Also writing with my class at Linda & Jonathan's Class Blog

Day Eleven of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.  And, Come Visit the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Alyson Beecher at Kidlit Frenzy.  

        One large slice of every day of my life involves books, sharing with students, with our librarians, with my granddaughters, anyone really who would like to hear about the latest books I've loved. In the past year, I've been reading more and more non-fiction for all ages, and much of this learning has come with connecting with Alyson Beecher, and those who share non-fiction picture books each week on Wednesdays. I'm happy to share a couple of recent books with the slicing community today, too. If you don't know them, you should take a look. Some of the blogs I read have reviewed them, and I thank them for sharing so I can discover the books, too. 


One Plastic Bag, Isatou Ceesay and The Recycling Women of The Gambia - written by Miranda Paul and illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon
             When someone sees a need, or even worse, "lives a need" and steps up to do something to fulfill that need, it's a special person. And living in tough circumstances, yet still taking the time to solve a problem, taking a risk that means learning to do something no one else was doing, no matter how hard, no matter who laughed, then that person is a hero. 



            In this story, the hero is Isatou Ceeay who as a young girl saw family goats die because of the ingestion of plastic bags. Those hundreds of bags were in the community dump, along the walkways, everywhere! Isatou had an idea, she began collecting them, got others to help. They first washed them, and everyone laughed. Then they thought they could crochet something if they cut the bags into strips, creating plastic thread. And others laughed. They took purses crocheted from plastic bags, and people laughed. But, a big but, the purses were beautiful, and people bought them, and Isatou took enough money home so the family could buy a goat. They laughed then, but for the right reason! The book shows that this story didn't end there. The women of The Gambia still collect the bags, and the back matter tells that the dump is not so disease-ridden, families are healthier, all because someone had an idea, took a risk, became a hero. The illustrations are filled with gorgeous color. Here's a sample:
The women crochet by candlelight, away from those who mock them . . .

Earmuffs for Everyone, How Chester Greenwood Became Known As The Inventor of Earmuffswritten by  illustrated by Meghan McCarthy
               Chester Greenwood wasn't the first inventor to fashion something to keep one's ears warm, but he was the first one to devise something that was warm and comfortable against the head and ear. The book tells the story of a variety of inventors that I suppose rejected head gear, wishing only for something for those exposed ears! The illustrations are cartoon-like, show quite a few different characters throughout the book wearing earmuffs. It's both amusing and informative, about taking an idea and improving it because you have a better idea! 
Happy reading!

24 comments:

  1. These are great books! Haven't heard of either of them so thank you for sharing. I especially need to find the first one...how inspiring!!

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    1. One Plastic Bag is well worth finding, Marcie. Hope you enjoy it.

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  2. Earmuffs for Everyone looks delightful! And One Plastic Bag looks inspiring and lovely. Thanks for sharing these titles.

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    1. You're welcome, Kendra. Both are terrific, for different reasons.

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  3. Thank you for sharing those books...I'm still in the process of choosing the non-fiction side of the course that I'm teaching. xo nanc

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    1. Click on Alyson's blog, Nancy & you'll find so many wonderful ones. I've learned so much from all these bloggers.

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  4. It's always great to discover new books, especially when they are engaging nonfiction.Thanks for keeping up and sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Elsie, there are many really good ones coming out lately.

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  5. Thank you for the recommendations. The first book is perfect for the sustainability unit coming up and the second one for the inventions unit.

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    1. Terrific, so glad that both fit your needs so well, Terje!

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  6. One Plastic Bag sounds like an important and inspirational book, Linda - thanks for sharing this review.

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    1. It is good, and just gorgeous to see, Tara.

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  7. Linda, your advocacy for quality non fiction texts is admirable. It is critical that such texts be championed. Engaging non fiction texts are so powerful. I love using such texts with kids. The books you recommend here looked most interesting.

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    1. Thanks, Alan. As said above, there have been numerous excellent and entertaining books published in recent years. I'm using them as mentor texts for non-fiction writing too.

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  8. So many books, so little time. Thanks for adding two more to my list of books to check out.

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    1. Enjoy! They are both informative and entertaining!

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  9. Thank you for telling us about One Plastic Bag - It sounds like a "must read"

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    1. It is a special story of special people.

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  10. I loved One Plastic Bag, and am looking forward to reading Earmuffs for Everyone. Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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    1. Isn't it great, Catherine. Hope you like Earmuffs, too. You're welcome!

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  11. Okay, One Plastic Bag has been in my cart for a couple of weeks. I will go hit place my order. Your post has convinced me. Thank you, Linda. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    1. So many are on my list, too, Melanie. I'm glad that some come from the library at least. Enjoy!

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  12. Thank you for reviewing One Plastic Bag - I've seen it mentioned in a few places but had not read much about it. I think there are more and more books being published about what people can do to help - the environment, other people... I think I need to start making a list of them!

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  13. I enjoyed Earmuffs and appreciated that it wasn't just about inventions but patents as well!

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