Sunday, August 6, 2017

It's Monday! Good Books Everywhere!

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

       I have a busy week ahead, completing quite a few from the "to do" list because I'm gone next week to visit my brother in Missouri so I can see the eclipse! I'll be reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond and Refugee by Alan Gratz

       REMINDER! Thursday is PictureBook10for10 (#PB10for10) where many share ten picture books that are Must Haves! Be sure to link up with Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek. Here's how!


       I savored this book for a few weeks, learned about it from Tara Smith, so thanks, Tara. It's for adults and older teens, a series of essays written about Eula Biss's life, her moves, her response to racism and often, how it happened to be that way. She backs her thoughts and experiences with research. I learned a lot of history and new ways to contemplate what I see and read in other areas. The Goodreads review ends with this: Faced with a disturbing past and an unsettling present, Biss still remains hopeful about the possibilities of American diversity, "not the sun-shininess of it, or the quota-making politics of it, but the real complexity of it."



      Remember the movie Philadelphia with Tom Hanks? It was so long ago, and broke some barriers then, and we've come a long way so that now that same kind of story can be found in books for kids. I had such a happy feeling coming away from that movie, thinking that it held the kind of family I wish everyone had. And now Richard Peck has also offered that wonderful kind of family, the one that does the right thing in being good people. Archer is eleven; the story is about him from first grade to seventh, and the telling moves back and forth showing the quirky friends he makes, yet somehow he has chosen those who do good, too. The thread that holds the story together from the title is not only a "Best Man" in a wedding, which Archer becomes, but the "best man" that he aspires to be, like his grandpa, his dad, and his Uncle Paul. There is humor and some "hold your breath" moments, but I don't mind telling you that it all comes out in the "best" way, like all of us wish for our families. I loved it very much. (from my #MustReadIn2017 list)


         A must-have for the beginning of a school year. A diverse set of six voices in six grades tell us what's going on "The Night Before," "In The Morning," "At School," and "After School". As the stories move from part to part, we learn a bit more about each child and about their teachers. Good things happen like kindness in school mates and teachers, new friends made and parents who understand how to support in good ways. The illustrations are simple, showing just enough of each child and his or her emotions to add to their stories. It's a perfect mentor book for point of view. 
      If I taught in the early grades, this would be one of the first readalouds I would do. Matthew Cordell's illustrations pack the pages with Little Louie's exasperation, frustration and finally, contentment as Louie navigates the worst cold ever, and all he needs is Bob (read Mom with a stuffed-up nose). It's a story that can happen to many, especially if they own a dog named Bob!


        I love books that cover the year in some way, like John Updike's A Child's Calendar, and this is another, but this time Michael J. Rosen focuses his haiku on birds, beginning with spring. The first seasons show seven birds and the final two show five. 
        Here the title poem:
the cuckoo's haiku
hidden like the chance of rain
its name, repeating

The thoughtful haiku are further illustrated in fabulous watercolors by Stan Fellows, and on each page, handwritten notes offer a few basic bits of information. Added info about each bird can be found at the back. Such a lovely book will inspire more poetry.
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“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life



22 comments:

  1. A New School Year sounds great for the beginning of the year. I think kids will really like Bob, Not, Bob and appreciate the humor.

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    1. Yes, both are great in their own special ways, Lisa. Enjoy!

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  2. A New School Year is going on my wish list. I made notes last year to return to Haiku to inspire poetry. You have helped me with a resource. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome, Kendra. This haiku book is very special, and A New School Year is so apt for this school year beginning. I hope you like both!

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  3. The poetry books about school looks really great. A friend spotted it at the bookstore the other day and told me about it. Now, I am on the look out!

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    1. I think it's just perfect for your age group, Carrie. Enjoy!

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  4. I am so excited for A New School Year. I think it can be used as a mentor text for quite a few things. Great find!

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    1. I was glad to read it, Michele, a wonderful new idea for the beginning of the school year.

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  5. The Best Man is fairly upbeat, and it's been popular with my students, who don't really even blink at the uncle's situation. How things have changed in the last 40 years, even though there is still room for improvement!

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    1. I'm happy to hear about your students' response to it, Karen. Yes, a lot has changed, makes me happy, and there is always room to do more. Thanks!

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  6. Bob, Not Bob is such a fun book. Definitely one of my favorite picture books of the year. :)

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  7. I love your comparison of The Best Man and Philadelphia! But you are right--The Best Man just makes everything within it seem as ordinary as it should seem.

    Happy reading this week :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, the book pleased me very much. Happy reading right back!

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  8. The Best Man was so enjoyable. A New School Year hooked me ON Mika Song's art.

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    1. So glad to hear that you liked The Best Man, too, Earl, and yes, Mika Song's art is great. Thanks!

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  9. Bob, Not Bob is such a fun one to read aloud! Hope you have a fun and safe trip to Missouri! Enjoy the eclipse, but be sure and protect your eyes!

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    1. Glad you liked Bob, Not Bob! too, Jana. What a laugh! And yes, we have our glasses ready for the eclipse, so excited!

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  10. I'm so glad you liked the Eula Biss essay collection, Linda. I learned about it through Ruth Ayers, and now all my kids are reading this book and we are having such meaningful conversations about all manner of important things.

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    1. I'm so glad you shared it, Tara. It is a book that both fascinated and horrified. How wonderful that you all are discussing it together!

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  11. I really need to find a copy of The Best Man. I agree with many comments that we have come a long way, even if we still have a long way to go.

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    1. Yes, good things have happened, and am hoping for continuing inclusiveness, Cheriee. I hope you like The Best Man!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!