Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday Reading - New Books!

    Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! 
  This will be as quick as I can write. I am so busy, sprained my ankle last Tuesday which took a day, doctor, etc. It has no breaks, thank goodness. I'm leaving on a long weekend trip this Thursday, meeting my son and daughter-in-law and flying to Lexington, Kentucky to see my grandson, at UK. I am finishing one poetry writing group every day in February, starting another today! What am I doing, reading others' writing instead of books! Thus, I am not finished yet with Too Bright to See! Maybe things will settle down soon?

            However, none of my busy days compare to the terrible events in Ukraine. I am watching the news, trying to help from afar, hoping for resolution.

Thanks to Candlewick for all the books shared today! 

         This new book by Leda Schubert is one to be sure you have in March. It is a tale for the year, defining each season as the title states, "Firsts & Lasts". Starting with spring, celebrating, and/or regretting what's coming "first" and what may make you sad or glad to say goodbye to. For example, "Fall is . . the last time we are too hot to move" and "Summer is . . the first time we hear june bugs hitting screens". It's simple and would be so much fun writing personal or class poems that include personal "first times" and "last times". Clover Robin is a collage artist and fills the pages with delightful items and scenes in her illustrations. It's a new idea of a book, just right for younger readers. 

          "Justice is not three hots and a cot. Justice is having your own key." Christine McDonnell (remember When The Babies Came to Stay?) tells a poignant story of Kip Tiernan who grew up living with her grandmother during the Great Depression. Although her grandmother had ten kids, most of whom lived with them, she still made extra food and Kip helped serve those who came to the door for a handout. She watched and helped and grew into the woman who could not look away, began to notice that some in the lines for food were women, dressed as men. They had nowhere to go for the shelters were only for men. This story, shown poignantly in Victoria Tentler-Krylov's illustrations, tells about another woman who persisted, finally was given a building in Boston, and opened Rosie's Place. It was a place for women where people would listen, would help in more ways than just "three hots and a cot". 
           A memorial to Kip Tiernan can be found in Copley Square, Boston. McDonnell has added more information and an extensive timeline of her inspiring life at the back.
           This tragedy here in our country obviously continues. Denver is now working to build homes in various ways for the homeless but the population has grown during the Pandemic. There is a shelter only for women here that also has a daycare, employment education, and help with obtaining GEDs, plus so much more. Its name is The Gathering Place. My students volunteered there in their daycare and kitchen. It is one place I donate these new books that I receive. 

         If you have a school garden, you need this book of marvelous, funny, thoughtful, and informative poems. Most are in rhyme, not all, and Allan adds a brief note at the back about each one. The poems include topics, as the sub-title says, "poems fresh from a school garden". One celebrates volunteers, another shows the children making observations in their journals. Here is a part: "We are keeping track of progress/in the garden day by day./From the moment spring comes calling/until winter's here to stay." There is a hilarious one titled "Diary of a Carrot" who, until the bitter end, cannot figure out what it is. "Day 20 ---- I am not a hairy snake./But now long green blades/are reaching out from my head./I think I am a helicopter. Hooray!"  Whimsical, enhanced by Daniel Duncan's illustrations that include all kinds of children working and plants growing, bugs entertaining and fighting, but having a marvelous (most of them) time in their garden. Terrific book. 

Next: Finishing Too Bright To See, Kyle Lukoff. 


  1. I;m so, so glad that books like Sanctuary are being written. For so long, the people we learned about in books and in school were kings and queens, generals and presidents, musicians and movie stars. Sure these people are important to learn about, but what about the regular people who used their lives to better the lives of the people around them, and leave the world a better place just by being alive? These are the real heroes of society, and I'm so glad their stories are finally being told. <3

  2. Firsts and Lasts sounds very interesting. Sounds like a great mentor text.

  3. Sanctuary sounds like an important book. It terrifies me that in my lifetime I have seen poverty and living conditions deteriorate for people in our countries.


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