Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's Monday-Reading Joy


           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.   
Tweet #IMWAYR


           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

11 comments:

  1. All these books sound interesting. I love that The World From Here may be relevant for many students. The others sound useful for providing a new perspective and exploring other cultures. I'll have to check them out.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. considering how fearful some middle graders can be, I think that The World. . . would be very helpful. Thanks!

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  2. I ordered A Piece of Home from my library, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Looks beautiful. You just reminded me that I need to see if I can find my own copy of Running the Road to ABC! I read that before I went on my trip, and loved it. Would love to have it in my classroom library for the first week of school. Have an awesome week!

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  3. Linda I have All Rise for The Honorable Perry T. Cookon my list to read this week as well. Have you read Ruby on the Outside?

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  4. Glad you enjoyed A Piece of Home! My focus for next semester is Latin America, so I will definitely be checking out Running the Road. Thanks Linda!

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  5. I really love Hyewon Yum's illustrations, so I'm always happy to discover new titles she's collaborated on!

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  6. I'm always looking for books my kids can connect to, so The World From Up here looks especially tantalizing.

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  7. The World From Up Here was such a surprise for me this summer - I didn't have any expectations reading it and ended up just loving it!
    I liked the realistic portrayal in A Piece of Home, I'm glad it showed the little boy getting upset. Good acknowledgement of feelings.

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  8. I've been gone all day with my granddaughters, so thanks to all who visited. I hope you will enjoy the books that look like good reads, and a fit for you wherever you are in your teaching.

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  9. I've read the two picture books - what a beauty with Running the Road, but I haven't seen The World from Up Here. I'll have to watch for it.

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    1. I thought Running The Road to ABC was beautiful, Crystal. You are probably the one who gave me the title! Thanks!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!