The Prize commands your attention.. An absorbing book and necessary read for all who think educational reform will ever be realized. I consider myselfThe Prize commands your attention.. An absorbing book and necessary read for all who think educational reform will ever be realized. I consider myself an optimist, but Russakoff's years of research took me on a painful roller coaster ride. Four powerful leaders with contributions of $200 million dollars join in a race to reform the Newark Public Schools. Lofty goals for sure, but obviously misplaced. It becomes evident in this case that political gain supersedes all. Once again, uninformed capitalists believe they can mold schools into their corporate model structure. NO! It is not the teachers! You can't replace community schools without considering the insiders. What about people...students...parents...yes and those dedicated teachers? Support is needed on so many levels. As the author concludes and I concur you need to "....put the real needs of children at the center of the national conversation about education reform, which in its ideological decisiveness is in danger of leaving them behind." (218) Kudos to Dale Russakoff for unveiling the shortsightedness of people in power. This is a dynamic and valuable addition to the educational library book stacks.
Great read aloud or whole group read for kids in elementary school. Students in my school rave about this one. Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite chGreat read aloud or whole group read for kids in elementary school. Students in my school rave about this one. Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite children's authors. I knew when I read Tales of Despereaux that DiCamillo was outstanding. I have yet to read anything written for children by her that is not original and compelling. Flora and Ulysses is a combination of her gift of fantasy and a realistic portrayal of children who must balance their creativity with their parental expectations. Ulysses is the star in my opinion, as he will touch the reader's heart because of the addition of K.G. Campbell's spot on illustrations. The graphic novel style pictures enhance the essence of the author's sentiment with clear and emotional depth. A Newbery Award winner among others. Teachers, librarians and students will love this one. Tissues anyone?
PS:....Note the numerous awards listed on the main page in Goodreads.
The heroine of this coming of age novel is a feisty, headstrong, inherently impulsive powerhouse-a memorable character destined to be a classic. The HThe heroine of this coming of age novel is a feisty, headstrong, inherently impulsive powerhouse-a memorable character destined to be a classic. The Hired Girl, set in the year 1911 on a Pennsylvania farm is historical fiction. However, the author has a storyteller's magical gift to transport the readers into the mind of Joan Scraggs and her experiences through her daily diary. Joan, fourteen, lives with her three brothers and evil tempered father. After her mom dies, Joan is forced to assume her mom's arduous chores, exhaustive and thankless. She seeks solace in her passion for reading. The few books she owns have been read again and again. Her father is determined to end her educational goals and the close relationship she has with her favorite teacher. Joan is very quick witted and eager to learn. Yet, when her teacher tries to persuade her father that Joan should stay in school she is rebuked. Later, her father spews words of vitreous hatred at his daughter. Sadly, it just confirms what she has felt all along. Unloved and shackled to a hard life on the farm she makes plans to flee. As hateful as her father is, she recalls her mom's love and support. Fortunately, her mother left a rainy day treasure in the ruffles of her favorite doll. With her mother's gift and and timely luck Joan secures a job as the hired girl, with a Jewish family. Although she leads her employers to believe she is eighteen, assumes the name Janet, she settles into this new life. It is through her diary that the reader will come to empathize and love Janet (Joan). Her struggles with her own faith, love, women's roles, Anti-semitism and the social class prejudice prevalent are believable. The author captures not only the flavor of this period in history, but she allows the reader to experience Joan's her inner most thoughts, as only a diary will allow. Laura Amy Schlitz is a gifted storyteller, one of my favorite young adult/tween writers. This one is now on my list to be order for my school's media center. The Hired Girl, with multiple themes and character study possibilities, is the perfect novel for classroom libraries, literature study and read aloud. Yet it will stand out as a well loved free choice read for young and adult readers. Highly recommended. ~Wisteria Leigh...more
My students will line up for this one. Thankful to receive an arc prior to start of school. No money for books in the school library budget this year.My students will line up for this one. Thankful to receive an arc prior to start of school. No money for books in the school library budget this year. So sad....more
Review: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite classics, and no doubt many of my readers. The characters have lived in my memory since the firstReview: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite classics, and no doubt many of my readers. The characters have lived in my memory since the first time I read it. When I heard the sequel, written during the 1950's, would be released, the anticipation included an anxious daily countdown.
Briefly: Scout is twenty-six when she returns home to her rural roots in Maycomb, Alabama. New York City is her home, but her father's health prompts her to travel south to see him. Scout is still as sassy, remembered for her recalcitrant social skills, no frills, and witty spirit. Her father Atticus is as unflappable as ever. Yet, to her surprise, her return brings her face to face with the racial divide that still remains. The line that divides white and black has never moved within Maycomb. Most heinous of all is the discovery that her boyfriend and father are representatives of the divide. Her witness to this reality is painful and repugnant, which leads to an unstoppable angry tirade.
Harper Lee brilliantly captures the intensely vitreous conversation between Scout and Atticus. The essence of this scene will leave an indelible imprint on this reader for years. It is no surprise that this sequel would contain memories that complement the intensity of the action that began in To Kill a Mockingbird written so long ago.
Loved it! Read this literary gift that enhances the original classic. ...more
I'm still processing this book. Loved it because it stimulates your cognition and beliefs. You need to keep an open mind to appreciate this incredibleI'm still processing this book. Loved it because it stimulates your cognition and beliefs. You need to keep an open mind to appreciate this incredible book. Well written...quite the surprise. Will search out others by Ms. Maclaine. As my curiosity was engaged I picked up There is a River, a biography about Edgar Cayce, written by Thomas Sugrue. ...more
This book offered a view of the relationship between dog handlers in the military and their dog. The bond that develops over time during training andThis book offered a view of the relationship between dog handlers in the military and their dog. The bond that develops over time during training and ultimate deployment in action is remarkable. Rebecca Frankel has put together a collection of war dog stories that is memorable and thoughtful. Readers will no doubt take pause to reflect as each story is unique. However, a common thread exists throughout the book that ties these tales together. Each handler and his dog have an unbreakable bond. Each is devoted to the other with an unbreakable trust and love. So much so that they will often give their life for each other....dog for man and man for dog. Rebecca Frankel presents her stories with clarity, sensitivity and realism. Highly recommended. ...more
Beeholding Bee will engage readers from the first page. Life has not been fair to Bee who at eleven became an orphan when both parents were tragicallyBeeholding Bee will engage readers from the first page. Life has not been fair to Bee who at eleven became an orphan when both parents were tragically killed. She was born with a disfiguring facial birthmark which causes her to hide and withdraw inwardly. However, fortunately, Pauline, a carnival worker who knew her parents has befriended her. They both work for Ellis, the sleazy owner of the traveling carnival. By day Bee cuts onions and works with Pauline at the hotdog concession. Her home is the back of a hauling truck used by the carnival. She fears Ellis, who lurks around with threats to include Bee in his freak side show act.
Kimberly Newton Fusco uses precise descriptive prose to setting and place for readers to fully realize. Characters are multi-dimentional, descriptively real thus a perfect novel to have students focus on character traits. The novel is written in first person through Bee's voice an important author strategy that makes the reader feel Bee's pain and low self-esteem. Bee would rather be a shadow, hidden and forgotten. Another devastating break forces Bee to take charge, in order to find a new place to live. Readers will adore her spunk and vulnerability, a memorable and relevant character to identify with.
Beholding Bee lends itself to classroom discussion and literature group study in elementary and early middle school. A perfect classroom read aloud with themes reminiscent of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. Themes that emerge for discussion-difference, acceptance, bullying, special needs, courage and perseverance, women's roles/rights and more.
Beholding Bee, by Kimberly Newton Fusco is an essential first choice purchase for school and public libraries, and consider a classroom set purchase grade 3+. I'm sure this will be a student favorite...highly recommended.