Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.
Be sure to go here to Buffy Silverman's post at Buffy's Blog for line number eleven of Irene Latham's Progressive Poem.
It's also April, poetry month. I've taken a few days away to visit my family in Texas, so have not written a poem a day as I started this month. I do have a wonderful book to share that's all about poetry!
Daniel Finds A Poem - Micha Archer
Working in gorgeous collage and oil, Micha Archer tells the story of Daniel who finds a sign as he enters a park that announces "Poetry in the Park", coming Sunday at 6 O'clock. Daniel begins asking the animals he meets if they know what poetry is. A spider answers: "when morning dew glistens" and later by a pond, a Turtle tells Daniel that poetry is "sun-warmed sand". There is a surprise at the end when Daniel goes to the poetry time at the park, and recites the poem "he found". The book will make a beautiful mentor text to help students start finding their own poetry, just as these animals have.
Puddle - Hyewon Yum
With a hint of other books that begin with drawing, like Harold and The Purple Crayon, Hyewon Yum begins this story with a young child upset and bored. It's raining! Mom says come draw, but no, not even that helps, until Mom draws a blue umbrella, and the child moves closer, and asks if she will draw him holding it. You might guess the progress made, but there are later surprises too, and lots of fun with puddles! The book is cute, makes imagination seem like something that will fill up a day that has started off boring.
I read the following from my #MustReadIn2016 list. See the list above. And missed the link with Carrie Gelson last Friday to share my progress. I have 23 books on the list, and have read 7 so far. I think that's better than last year!
Stella By Starlight - Sharon Draper
I am late reading this, another book on the tall stack that kept getting put aside, and so many of you said how much you loved it! Well, now I love it, too, at least I love the people like Stella and her family who live in Bumblebee, North Carolina, a town of African Americans who stick together. Draper manages to show us the love and care among the community, but at the same time show the restrictions they live under, and the hate they endure. “Red fire. Black Cross. White Hoods. They’re here, Now.” is an early set of words that keeps tension high in the background despite the goodness that Stella has in her family and friends. It’s a mixed up world she lives in. In addition, she has some personal problems; she thinks she is a terrible writer. And to prove it, she sits in school during writing time, trying hard to get the words on the paper, but somehow failing. Her thoughts are poetic; the scratches on paper are not. Somehow, she cannot get them down. The story takes Stella through some fun, some anxiety, and some tragedy, but the strength she shows as she helps others, sometimes when it’s a tragic emergency, is amazingly strong. She is a thinker, as her Daddy tells her, his “standing stone”. It’s an inspiring story to read of scenes like when Stella’s father, with two other men, goes to town to register to vote. They stand firm, take the test, pay the money (when white men are not required) and Stella is witness, and so proud. And it’s a sad story to see what our past has been and in many places, continues. It will serve as a wonderful book for discussions about discrimination, power misused, and keeping strong, what happened then, but continues to happen today.
With Malice - Eileen Cook
Coming in early June, I read this ARC thanks to Net Galley. Jill, a nearly graduated senior in high school wakes up. What? She's in the hospital, body and brain injured, and while her parents and the staff keep a tv from her room, and she is told her phone was destroyed in the accident, she cannot figure out why her best friend Simone has not tried to "sneak in" to visit, nor has anyone else! Jill Sharron cannot remember anything about a special trip to Italy, and eventually, the shock happens. She discovers that not only was she in Italy, her best friend Simone died there in a car accident, and Jill was the driver. Told in first person, Jill is a good student on her way to Yale, with divorced parents, but a wealthy father. She is an opposite personality from Simone who comes from a family of modest means, is not too interested in school, but beautiful, and very interested in being the center of attention. They have been best friends since fourth grade. The unraveling of what happened in Italy is also the unraveling of other things, including stereotypes, and what one thinks of certain actions is often contradicted. Eileen Cook's story twists and turns, and it isn't ever easy to figure out just who are the good ones and who are not. It's a life lesson from the adage, "Things aren't always what they seem." I enjoyed it thoroughly, believe it would be an interesting book in a group for deep discussions about truth and integrity.
NEXT: A blogger friend has a book coming out tomorrow, and as soon as it arrives, I will read The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, a verse novel by Laura Shovan. And, I just started Maybe A Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee.