Sunday, March 19, 2017

#SOL17 - 20/31 - It's Monday!

      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Twenty of Thirty-One.
           

          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

Happy Spring!  My poem, Ode To Wind 
is visiting Today's Little Ditty today.

         I know many of you have heard me say how much we need rain or snow. Recently, I even posted a picture of a couple of puddles because I was so excited. While it was wonderful, that little rainstorm lasted about 20 minutes! Despite recent snow, and significant snow in the mountains, Colorado's plains and foothills have emerged in drought-like conditions. There are fires in various places happening right now.

        Somehow I seemed to have read three stories about rain this past week. And if you consider also the sci-fi talk about potable water on Mars, I can also count The Last Day on Mars as a futuristic water challenge.
       Here are the current facts from Water.org, including one in ten people on earth, 685 million people who lack access to safe water.


Figuring out how to make water.

         It takes some time to set up this futuristic universe, and the story of a population's last day on Mars, because the sun will soon implode is fast paced and tense. There is an alternate group that's shown in the prologue, with ominous foretelling, and away Kevin Emerson goes with Book One of the escape. Emerson is clever in the beginning, showing the main character Liam a little nostagic to leave the only home he's ever known. He and two friends actually skip school to have one adventure that helps set the pace. It didn't turn out to be the fun expected. Just when one thinks it's over and they can take off with the millions leaving, something else happens and then something else. I imagine middle school readers who love sci-fi will love this too. The biggest problem is the wait for Book number two.
The plight of those who are desperate
for water.

        This story, one of my #MustReadin2017 choices, rather screams to be read quickly. It is difficult to imagine that children can witness their parents' death by people who are desperate for water, and in anger, shoot to kill and set fire to the small home. This heart-wrenching story is told from three points of view, the girl Sarel, whose parents died, a boy Musa who is enslaved because he has the gift of dowsing, and Nandi, the lead dog of a pack of Rhodesian Ridgebacks that belong to Sarel's father. The descriptions of the drought and the terrible thirst are vivid, and the persistence of these children to fight to survive shows us how little we really know about people in other parts of the world who are managing to live in unbelievable situations. It is a book with spare text that won't let you quit until the end. It is not as fully developed, but when reading I was reminded of my feelings when I first read Night by Elie Wiesel.


Those who have a good time with water.
        This boy's grandfather is something of a tease, and while his grandson keeps asking to go out, Granddad keeps saying, "wait." You'll see why in the surprise at the end. The illustrations fill the pages in rain-soaked ways, and finally cleverly done puddles of reflection. Thanks to Templar books and Candlewick Press for the ARC.
The conflcts of water, too much or too little.
      Out of Canada, the author of In A Cloud of Dust brings a new story of the rain that brings goodness to the crops of most of the people who live in Sri Lanka, but can also bring danger. An ox-cart filled with rice seedlings comes into town and young Malini is excited to hear the clop-clop coming because it will soon be planting day. She's asked by the driver to hold the ox while he takes a break. While he's gone, the wind and rain of the monsoon comes "whoosh whoosh whoosh" and goes "Boom boom booming". Malini would love to run away but stays holding on. The ox is huge and stamps its feet, and Malini hangs on. I won't give away the ending, but an author letter at the back explains how children in Sri Lanka help with the crops. While education is important to the families, having crops to harvest and sell, and then to eat means survival. The ilustrations as you can see from the cover are stylistic and highly emotional, from rain to sun, from escape to welcome. I liked them a lot.

          I imagine most know these next books, but thought it would be good to share them too:

       A Long Walk to Water - Linda Sue Park, Water Can Be - Laura Purdie Salas, Water Is Water: A Book About The Water Cycle - Miranda Paul, 

32 comments:

  1. I love water and anything written about it. Thank you for adding to my collection.

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    1. You're welcome. Hope you enjoy these!

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  2. The emotions and points of views on rain differ based on circumstances. It is good to be reminded of these differences.

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    1. I was struck by this too, Terje. Each one tells us something about rain.

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  3. These look like valuable books. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. The search for water will be cause for mass migrations and displacement, the experts say. Sigh. Thanks for sharing these timely books, Linda. I will have to look for Parched, it sounds like an important, if disturbing, read.

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    1. Parched is simply one of what must be thousands of stories of the desperate need for water. Hope you do read it sometime, Tara.

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  5. Interesting that your reading had a theme this week. Sometimes that just happens. I just put Last Day on Mars on hold at the library. I just read an adult novel related to water - The Dry by Jane Harper. From the title you can probably tell it takes place in a setting (Australia) where there is a drought. Parched sounds like an emotional, but important book. Have a great week!

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    1. I had received Rain, the already had Parched on my list, Lisa, and the library had the other one to add in. Then there is our own problem here at home. Thanks!

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  6. Parched sounds pretty intense. Your book choices reminded me of a YA dystopian novel I read a few years ago called The Water Wars. If you continue to explore this theme, you may want to check it out.

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    1. I'll look for that book for sure. I'm sure I've read other picture books too, but wanted to share a few at least.

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  7. Oh, how I wish I could pack a few rain clouds in an envelope and send your way. Interesting to see how a theme emerged from your reading this week. A Long Walk to Water has been on my WTR (want to read) list for a long time.

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    1. Long Walk to Water is a must, Ramona. I've used it as a read aloud more than once. And, wish you could send a few rain clouds our way. Thanks for the thought!

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  8. I have to agree with Lisa above, you have an interesting theme going on here today. It's a nice look at weather extremes though, especially as our weather does become more and more extreme.
    Happy 1st Day of Spring!

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    1. Thanks, Alex, hope you enjoy some of these, and Happy Spring to you, too!

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  9. We had a minor drought last summer in my normally soggy part of the world,and it was eye-opening to say the least. When you live in a rainy climate it's all too easy to take water for granted, and we're terrible wasters of water here because we're just so used to having it. It's easy to forget how precious and vital water is!

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    1. I have spent too many years worrying about how much water to use on my lawn & garden, but still we don't have close to the problems others in the world have. I know what you mean, Jane.

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  10. The book Parched looks like required reading for all in our administration/EPA. Have you see the book The Water Princess by Susan Verde? Slightly different slant on water - not having pipes/running water. My preschoolers loved this - found it fascinating that people lived without bathtubs, toilets, sinks. Water is life!

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    1. Yes, I've read The Water Princess, should have added it to the list at the bottom. There are several books that try to help us understand how others view water in the world.

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  11. I am a fan of science fiction so the first book you mention looks good to me. These books offer something to think about for those of us who just turn the tap and water appears. Thanks for the timely reads, Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Bob. I hope you like Last Day on Mars! Yes, we seem to be aware of the needs, but water comes freely here in the US.

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  12. I just ordered When the Rain Comes from the library. I can't wait to read it, as it looks like a powerful story.

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    1. I liked it very much, a part of life still happening I don't know about.Thanks, Jana.

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  13. I enjoyed your book reviews, Linda. Just talking about drinkable water-- last April when a 7.8 earthquake hit my son's home, drinkable water was scarce. He was able to get and distribute numerous Sawyer filter systems. The only thing the people have to have to use this is a bucket. Forgive me for taking over your comments with a link. :) https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-point-zerotwo-bucket-purifier-assembly-kit/

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    1. Thanks for the link. I know there are quite a few inventions to help with potable water, but of course you first have to have the water. What an awful thing to suffer because of thirst.

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  14. Such important books to pair with information about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. When students put this information together they can think about the communities near and far who need water.

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    1. So many issues in varied places, I agree. Thank you!

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  15. Good morning! I really want to get to MARS. K just read it because she needed a science fiction for school and that one fit the bill! She enjoyed it too.

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    1. Hi Michele! I'm glad to hear that your daughter liked the book! Hope you do, too! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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  16. What a wondrous theme you have going on here, dearest Linda! Loving the water stories! We've been having rain practically every day during the late afternoons, makes for such humid weather, really, but I'm pretty used to it my whole life. :)

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    1. Different climates everywhere, of course. Since I wrote this, we do have some rain in our forecast, so exciting! Thanks, Myra!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!