Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SOLC # 18/31-non-fiction inspiration



            






Day Eighteen, sliding downward, of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.  Tweet at #SOL15
                Thanks to Tara, Dana, Anna, Betsy, Beth and Stacey for hosting!

    Also blogging with my students at Linda & Jonathan's Class Blog


And linking to Alyson Beecher at Kidlit Frenzy, non-fiction Picture Book Wednesday!
          Sharing about those who rather single-handedly changed our world is something all of us can do with books like I'm sharing today. Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rachel Carson are those everyone should meet.

Top of the World, Climbing Mount Everest - written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
          It’s another beautiful and informative book by Steve Jenkins, telling some of the history, the beginning of readying for this amazing goal, to climb the tallest mountain in the world. Considering the incredible changes in equipment from 1953 when the first ascent was accomplished by Hillary and Norgay, it is hard to understand how they and others made it to the top with limited equipment. In his usual collages, Jenkins not only shows the beauty of the outdoor adventure in nature’s harshest climate, but the work that is needed. It’s an interesting book, would be good for younger students who are interested.



My Brother Martin, A Sister Remembers -
written by Christine King Farris and illustrated by Chris Soentpiet
           This is a book of memories from Martin Luther King’s sister, Christine. From birth through childhood, Martin, his sister and brother helped each other while family members visited and/or worked. It’s a most beautiful story of siblings playing all day long, helping each other play pranks and on, like every child during this time. There was a white family that owned a local grocery, and their boys played with Martin and his siblings. But one day I guess they got too old, and told Martin and his brother they couldn’t play together any more because they were negroes. It was a change. Their father, a minster, always kept his dignity and showed Martin how to do that too. I saw Chris Soentpiet present at my reading conference this year. His process for the beautiful realistic acrylic paintings is amazing. He takes many photos, stages the scenes, then does the layout and drawings. This time, his live models are friends and living descendants of Dr. King. There is this explanation plus an author’s note and an inspirational poem in the back matter.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed The World - written by Laurie Lawlor
and illustrated by Laura Beingessner
            With the book above and this one, we see two young people growing up in ordinary circumstances, with passions that either they themselves nurtured or others supported in their passions. This story about Rachel Carson shows a rather comprehensive story of her life, from the early childhood days in her poverty-stricken family (that didn't change) to her persistence in learning more and more about the world of science. It tells of her education when few women were entering the world of biology, and her turning to writing to share what she was observing in the outdoors. I enjoyed learning about her life, the grit she showed when things weren't good, and the beautiful books she wrote, the last of which changed our world positively. The writing shows her love of nature: "she lost her heart to a world of restless water and sky", and the illustrations paint a simple life, centered only on the learning she wanted to do. There is good back matter about the influence Silent Spring has had and is still having on our environment.

22 comments:

  1. Such a thread of perseverance and passion running through these books. Thinking back, in elementary school biographies were my go to reading. I think it was the inspiration they fostered.

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    1. Our students today are fortunate to have so many different kinds of bios to choose from too.

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  2. I agree with Julieanne's thoughts and want to add that these books all have one thing in common: being a difference maker. Jullieanne alerted me that your topic of heroes pairs well with my poem on being a difference maker. Thank you for your reviews of these books that seem so engaging.

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    1. You're welcome Carol. They are all important books.

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  3. For some reason, I thought Jenkins only wrote animals books. I see now that I'm mistaken. The Rachel Carson book looks interesting. I didn't know about that one either!

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    1. This is an older Jenkins book that I discovered, Earl. I think someone in the past couple of weeks reviewed it & I got it from the library. Just like the others, his collages are wonderful.

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  4. All three books look so good!

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    1. Glad you like the look of them, even better reading them!

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  5. These looks like great books for kids. Thanks for sharing them.

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  6. Linda, I love learning about new nonfiction picture books. Requesting My Brother Martin and the Rachel Carson book now.

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    1. Both so well done, Ramona. Hope you enjoy them!

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  7. My Brother Martin sounds like a fascinating book. As a kid I read and loved reading a series of books that were biographies...Helen Keller, Florence Nightengale...these would all have been right up my alley.

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    1. There are many bios that are being published and are so interesting. I've always loved biographies, too, Donna.

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  8. A few of these are new to me and I need to see if my library has them. Thank you for the inspiring reminder.

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  9. Steve Jenkins can really do know wrong! I haven't read this one though I can tell it'd be a great companion to Peak.

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    1. You're right about connecting them up, Kellee. This book by Jenkins is old, but I think younger students who will want the basic info will like it.

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  10. I love Steve Jenkins, but the other titles are new to me. You always find such wonderful books to share, Linda. When do you sleep?

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    1. I do sleep, ha! But I don't need a lot. I really do find the titles "mostly" on other's reviews, & the Denver Public Library rarely fails me. Hope you like some of these for your own work, Catherine.

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  11. I thought I had every book Steve Jenkins had published, but I don't know this one. I need to get it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

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  12. I just shared Rachel Carson with my higher degree class a few days back and they enjoyed it. I know of the MLK book and I look forward to finding it. I know of someone who climbed Mount Everest (a friend's friend fromt he Philippines) and it was amazing to listen to her stories. Will be on the lookout for the Jenkins title.

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