Every Monday, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want to share with others. Come discover new books!
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.
There must be a few kids who will read this book and say to themselves, “That’s me! I feel that scared, too.” It’s a slow deliberation of Wren, a twelve year old, who thinks through everything, worried how she will look to others, and like a little mouse, she’s usually ready to run back into her hole in case something is too scary. As Cecilia Galante slowly reveals Wren and her family, a brother with Asperger’s Syndrome and a mother who appears depressed, yet Wren is not sure what’s really wrong. Her father keeps saying her mother just needs rest. And then there’s her mother’s sister, newly moved to the town with her cousin Silver, the same age, beautiful and already popular. Everyone loves Silver, but she too is not what she seems. Swirling in Wren’s story is Witch Weatherly, alone on Creeper Mountain, with tales wound around her so tight that even the adults believe them. This story of Wren during only a few weeks of her life reveals old family secrets, a new friendship, and new knowledge about being brave.
I just read this to my seven year old granddaughter. It needed some explaining, and some connecting to her own life, but she learned another perspective, and how great that is. The story is about a family, including a respected grandmother/teacher, a young boy and his little sister who move from Korea to West Virginia, U.S.A. The differences are highlighted, particularly the language differences and how challenging it is when one doesn't understand. A bit of looking different is included too. Slowly Jeri Watts brings things together in a sort of happy ending. It's a story for younger children, and perhaps the middle grades to start a conversation, but the challenges are more complex and it would be good for older kids to know that, too. Realistic and colorful illustrations by Hyewon Yum show the action and emotions well.
You need to know little more than this is a book to share with students, about students in a very different place, Haiti, who have to rise early in the morning, and run and run, to get to school. In a song-like cadence, the story is told of children who wouldn't miss this long journey, carrying book bags made of palm tree leaves and little metal bowls of food for lunch, wrapped in an embroidered cloth. And wow, the folk-art illustrations show them running through forests and traffic, past farmers and cars, all to get to "one more word and one more line, one more line and one more page of their little songs. . .on the road to ABC." Simple text, powerful message, beautiful art!
Nearly finished: Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
Next - All Rise for The Honorable Perry T. Cook - Leslie Connor