Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reading Pleasures



              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!        tweet #IMWAYR








            I finished the March Trilogy, another "MustReadIn2017". It made me wonder how John Lewis felt to relive so much sadness in one's life, yet then to celebrate the victories, too?   This final story from John Lewis takes us to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and we are still fighting against voter suppression. There are parallels to today, too many that are alarming. The trilogy is a must read for those who want to try to understand the challenges of those times, and those still faced today.









          I find it hard to imagine setting off with only a few things I can carry, in a terrible rainstorm so that my scent is masked. This is the story of a man and his daughter who set off to escape one stormy night. The thread that helps are the patchwork quilt squares that are symbols to help them survive, one about flying geese which means to follow because they're flying north, another that is called the "drunkard's path' that means to avoid a straight path, to walk in a zig-zag pattern, harder to be followed. Hannah's sister was sold, and soon after her mother died. She and her father made this journey together, walking miles and miles so they could make it to the crossroads (another patch) across Lake Erie and into Canada. The author credits Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard for allowing the use of these patch symbols from their book, Hidden In Plain View. Illustrations by Erin Susanne Bennett are folk art paintings that fill the pages with fear and happiness, lots of action.



      I'm late reading this, but thanks to Candlewick Press, I was happy to read this wonderful book out in the U.S. in March, but from Australia where it won several awards. I enjoyed every bit of this mysterious, edge-of-seat dystopian story. There is this village that has a history of being governed by the "Seven Mothers" who survived a terrible mountain landslide that blocked them all in. Severe winters and little sun make survival dependent on the heat given off by mica. But the only way mica is found is through the "line". This is seven girls, bound at birth, starved as they grow in order to become slim and small enough to wiggle into cracks of the mountain to gather the mica harvest. Strange, yes, but do the villagers believe? Yes! Told by Jena, a leader of the line, the story follows the harrowing tasks, the revered line who receive the most of the harvest, thus the utmost goal is to deliver a girl and one that is small. The action, then Jena's beginning questioning of her memories as a five-year-old mount the tension. This strong character guides us to a surprising and wonderful ending, but perhaps there will be more about this strange, locked in, community.


     If you've ever done a name exploration with a class, or read of immigrants having to change names, this book tells one story of a young girl who has moved to the U.S. and is now called "Mary". Her teacher says there is already a "Maria" in the class, so she now has to be "Mary". Not only does she explain her beautiful name, but she also gets in trouble when the teacher calls on her. She just doesn't respond to this new name! It's a brief story, meant for early grades, but I imagine it could be a quick read aloud for a name study, one that may encourage other stories. 


        This sweetest goodnight book will make a perfect book for a first or second birthday. Young Lala is putting off her bedtime by saying good night to the usual things like her cat, the fish her papa caught, the goat. She gets quite creative as she tries to gain a little more time before bed and also says good night to the chickens, the little ants, her dog. Finally, into bed, a surprise that I won't give away. The full-page illustrations show evening colors, first bright, slowly darkening. It's lovely!




#MustReadIn2017 - 11 of 26!

NEXT: I had the pleasure of winning Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder, and it's autographed! Thanks to Jen Vincent and Walden Pond Press! So many have praised it, I'm glad it's next!

20 comments:

  1. My mother and her family changed their names when they immigrated - my grandfather wanted everyone to sound "Canadian" so that they would better fit in, and he insisted that they only speak English, so that they wouldn't "stand out". I can't imagine being forced by others to change my name - it's such a part of who I am and how I identify! I'm glad we're slowly moving away from this tradition, and that we're encouraging people to embrace their names and their identities.

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    1. I certainly agree, Jane, and for younger readers, this shows such a great example to get kids talking about this. Perhaps especially when we all encounter names that are not those we're familiar with, it might also make people (kids) realize that their own names might be odd to the other person. Thanks!

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  2. I have used My Name is Maria Isabel with my class but didn't recognize that cover. I had a similar experience when my middle school French teacher decided to change my name to Sylvia. She'd call and call and I would have no idea she meant me. It was so embarrassing and I was just in a new class, not working on experiencing a new country.

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    1. It must be a new edition of "Maria Isobel". I'm happy to hear you've used it for your class, and to hear of your experience. Our names are important parts of who we are! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Lucky you for winning Orphan Island! I've heard so much about this one and look forward to reading it soon.

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    1. So far it's quite intriguing, Augusta. Of course there is the constant tension of why these children are there all alone, plus getting to know each one. Thanks!

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  4. The Alma Flor Ada book sounds really good. Mary Ann Scheuer recommended another one to me. I haven't read her books yet.
    Enjoy Orphan Island. I adored it.

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    1. I enjoy every one of Alma Flor Ida's books, Michele. And I am loving Orphan Island! Thanks!

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  5. As a quilter, I've long been aware of the role that quilts played in the underground railroad. I wish that The Patchwork Path was available through my library. I am also a fan of Alma Flor Ida. I must look for this one. All of these books look wonderful Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Cheriee, I hope that you will find The Patchwork Path some day. And enjoy the book by Alma Flor Ida. I do love her stories.

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  6. I added The Patchwork Quilt to my TBR list, it looks like a beautiful picture book. I'll also need to look for A Single Stone, I've not seen that one before. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jana, both are certainly worth reading and loving!

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  7. The March trilogy is on my must read list! I feel as if I am the last person in the world to read it! :-P

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    1. Ha! Glad to know it, Ricki. I thought I was the last! Enjoy when you can!

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  8. I still have to finish the final volume of March as well. I am saving it for just the right reading rainy day because I know how absorbing and compelling volumes 1 and 2 were for me.

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    1. I understand. I read it all one day. I'm not sure I can ever wait for a rainy day, but one day at home will do! Thanks, Elisabeth.

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  9. I'm glad you finished the March trilogy. I have Orphan Island on my eventual to read list.

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    1. Yes, I'm glad to have read the final one, too, Earl. It was great. I'm enjoying Orphan Island very much. It's such a mystery.

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  10. Yay for getting Orphan Island with an autograph! The March trilogy is fantastic. It looks like you had an awesome week of reading. I feel like I may have read Maria Isabel before, but I can't remember it so I think it's time for a re-read.

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    1. Maria Isabel is older, so you're right, you probably have read it. Enjoy again! Yes, I loved each book this week! Thanks, Crystal!

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