Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday-Celebrating a Woman

art by Sarah S. Brannen

      Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her post and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books! 

         How could anyone not like books by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney? Here is one from a few years ago, seems appropriate because not only is it about freedom for slaves, but about the rights of women
         She escaped from slavery but did not stop remembering others and fighting for their freedom, too. 
         Imagine, Belle was a big girl, grew to six feet with size twelve shoes as quite a young girl. Because of her strength and ability to do hard work she was sold away from her family at the age of nine. She worked hard, really hard, was promised freedom if she worked even harder, but when she did and when she went to her owner to ask for her freedom, he said no. She ran away and fortune smiled because a Quaker family hid her, then paid her fee when the owner found her. They freed her!
        Her name was Belle and she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, started traveling to work for better lives for all her people, to tell the truth. She knew many Quaker abolitionists and one of them, Olive Gilbert, wrote Sojourner's story about being a slave, published in 1850, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave. Sojourner never learned to read or write but memorized the entire Bible during this time spent with Gilbert. She must have been so, so intelligent. In her life, she met Abraham Lincoln, who signed her book, and she lectured to standing-only crowds. She fought for women's rights, too. One quote from her struck me as one to remember: "As she traveled, she learned even more about the meaning of freedom. She found that freedom is not a place. Freedom is the fire that burns inside." A highlight of the book gives the words, with step-stomps, of her famous "Ain't I A Woman" speech at a women's rights' rally. 

         It is a wonderful book to introduce this powerful example of a former slave who fought for others and became famous and respected even in the turbulent years she lived. Illustrations are earth-toned with loose inky brushstrokes. There is added information and a couple of photographs of Sojourner Truth in the backmatter. 
         There is much to discover if one wants to know more. Here is the Library of Congress website about this important woman in our history.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Reading Recap

          Visit Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.  

Ninth "Must-Read" book

           Amina, a quiet but talented Pakistani-American Muslim girl holds a dilemma that others will recognize, perhaps in their own homes. She has never been comfortable in the spotlight and struggles to stay true to her cultural traditions. She loves hanging out with her friend, Soojin, but this year in middle school, even that friendship is changing. I enjoyed the honest showing of a young girl's thoughts, about her family, including an older brother with his own growing-up problems; about her religion, and the new ideas brought from an uncle visiting from Pakistan; and about her changing friendships. Hena Khan's writing alternates chapters between Amina's school days and her family struggles, a clever way to show those parts of a young girl's life, and ending with both coming together in a satisfying way.

              Thanks to Candlewick, I received a copy of this second (adventure?) in the life of the little red chicken and his Papa, again clever in the approach to the story with boisterous illustrations and laugh-out-loud conversation between the two. The little red chicken has homework and needs help. He must find and identify the "elephant of surprise" in three books. His teacher says every good story has that "elephant" or is it "element"? It's that thing that makes one say "Whoa! I didn't know that was going to happen." Papa not only continues to find a few surprises as he reads the stories, like Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid, but the little red chicken does, too. This can't be missed as a read aloud!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Poetry Friday - Still Summering

             Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm hosts our Poetry Friday today. Thanks for hosting, Amy! Hoping your sniffles disappear soon!

          Our weather is back hot again after that brief cooldown that made me so ready to welcome autumn. However, I did write one other summer poem, this time for Karen Edmisten in the poem swap. Because it's in the nineties again, I thought it would be my last mention of summer, hoping it will bring luck for dipping temperatures now that I've said goodbye!

                  Today I am thinking of these September days that bring the terrible storms of hurricane season. I know a few have had to evacuate and hope that the dark predictions will be less than predicted.