Wassaja's story begins with his kidnapping, subsequent sale to a white photographer, and eventual rise through education and hard work to become a voiWassaja's story begins with his kidnapping, subsequent sale to a white photographer, and eventual rise through education and hard work to become a voice for Native American people.
This lovely story is simultaneously heartbreaking and inspirational. While appropriate for 4th-12th graders the language and historical concepts will be more fully understood if introduced by a teacher at the 4th and 6th grade level. It would make a wonderful read aloud for anyone teaching about prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, American policy, Westward expansion and Native American History.
As an elementary school teacher among a predominantly immigrant population I will use it to supplement the 3rd grade Native American unit and the Migration unit taught to 5th graders in the spring. This remarkable man, Wassaja, also opens the door for a discussion about the value of education when faced with trying to live in a new culture.
Both of these reviews praise the book highly commenting on the pictures and the historical notes at the end of the story. They both recommend it for grades 2-5 however and I think this completely misses the mark when you look at the depth of the experience and the different educational strands it addresses. We are just beginning to hear about the Native American experience in their own words. If this book taught me new things as an adult it certainly will be educational for those in middle school and high school classrooms. It also provides an accessible text and format for the high school or junior high student who reads with difficulty....more
This history of the Chinook Indians has much to recommend it. Written by a member of the Chinook tribe, it's voice authentically retells historical evThis history of the Chinook Indians has much to recommend it. Written by a member of the Chinook tribe, it's voice authentically retells historical events from a unique and often unheard point of view.
I'd never before read that there were over 20,000 Chinook in 1828 and malaria carried by European sailors on trading ships had reduced those numbers to 2,000 people by 1834. While not explicitly drawn out the information in this book allowed me to finally understand why the French maps housed in the Library of Congress depicted numerous villages along the Columbia River as opposed to the open empty spaces shown on the maps of Lewis and Clark.
The story is simply told with factual information giving the reader an opportunity to learn about a fully formed civilization and form their own conclusions about historical events, cause and effect.
As a resident of Washington and the Columbia Basin I was especially interested in the maps and pictures as they depict my home environment. I was also entranced with the dictionary created by European traders so they could communicate with the Chinook. I highly recommend this book for first graders through 8th grade recognizing the political and social ramifications of many events will elude most children. 1st-3rd graders will be interested in the subject matter and the pictures but are unlikely to be able to read the text independently.
Horn Book (Spring 2004) states "these are serviceable introductions, the simple texts are full of generalizations" and School Library Journal (February 1, 2004)states "they (the books in the series) will be useful for reports. The books' main flaws are the maps. The one in the first title shows Chinook territory, but does not clearly state the time period."
Had I not been looking for Native American stories told by Native Americans these reviews would have put me off. As it is I think the simplicity of the books gives children a way to build understanding about an unfamiliar culture. The fact that neither review recognizes the voice of the story teller is unfortunate especially since neither reviewer give the reader an alternate suggesion. As to the maps, these certainly depict the geography I am familiar with and lose nothing with an absent time line. ...more
A gentle everyday story about Mr. Putter and his cat who go for a midnight stroll when Mr. Putter who has over indulged wakes up with a tummy ache.
TheA gentle everyday story about Mr. Putter and his cat who go for a midnight stroll when Mr. Putter who has over indulged wakes up with a tummy ache.
The illustrations are key to this story as Tabby expresses many different emotions on his cute kitten face. Broken into three chapters the language is just right for emerging readers and the text is used sparingly so even the most halting reader can get through the story in a timely manner.
Good for both boys or girls 1-2nd grade this book is part of a continuing series about Mr. Putter and Tabby.
1) Horn Book (Spring 2008)
Simply recaps the story. Not a very useful review as it doesn't tell which audience they recommend the book to.
2)School Library Journal (September 1, 2007)
Recommends the book for beginning and developing readers grades 1-2 while recapping the story and commenting on the humorous watercolor illustrations. A much more informative review that would lead to my purchasing this book. ...more
Amber Brown wants a watch for her birthday. She is sure a watch will help her change her friend Justin's chronically late behavior. When Justin finallAmber Brown wants a watch for her birthday. She is sure a watch will help her change her friend Justin's chronically late behavior. When Justin finally arrives Amber learns something new about time and friendship.
This is a great book for emerging readers grades 1-3 who still need to practice with high frequency words. Built around the subject of what Amber wantes for her birthday as well as her conflict with her best friend Justin, there is some lovely word play as well as a humourous glimpse of family interactions. The story resolves with Amber's recognition that she can't change her friend and they go off happily to play.
1) Publisher's Weekly March 11, 2001 who comment the author Danziger has taken the same energy used to create Amber Brown in her original series to reach a younger reading audience.
2) School Library Journal 3/1/01
gives a brief synopsis of the story and suggest it will be welcome in most libraries serving the 6-9 crowd.
Both reviews were helpful in determining who would be most interested in the book and in their recommendation. ...more
A lovely collection of poems told from the viewpoint of a young monolingual Spanish speaking boy newly arrived from Mexico as he navigates and integraA lovely collection of poems told from the viewpoint of a young monolingual Spanish speaking boy newly arrived from Mexico as he navigates and integrates his way into an English speaking school.
Jorge's distate at the mispronunciation of his name, "my teacher makes it sound like a sneeze" to his joyous experiences leaping down the halls on the way to see a language specialist, we feel what Jorge feels and share his emotions. The reader will be just as deflated as Jorge is when reading the cruel comments of classmates who say, "only the "Stupid kids" go to that room".
This poetry rings true from both a student and teacher's perspective. A poignant look at the misunderstanding and miscommunications that so often result when we gather together with our varied cultures, linguistics and experience.
Reading levels and experiences are both accessible to 4th grade on up but the tale's poignancy may be best understood by those who teach.
Reviewed by 1) School Library Journal (February 2000) who opine; "not as sprightly as Francisco X. Alarc-n's Laughing Tomatoes/Jitomates Risue-os (Children's Book Press) or as deeply moving and celebratory as Alma Flor Ada's Gathering the Sun (Lothrop, both 1997), this book does carry significant emotional poignancy." Review is useful because it gives the reader several other books to compare.
2)Children's Literature who also notes the books serious theme and black and white illustrations but gives no review as to who the book appeals to or recommendations. ...more