Emmanuel is inspiring. It is no wonder that Laurie Ann Thompson wrote this story: Emmanuel is truly a changemaker. What gets me about Emmanuel’s story is that he never gives up even when faced with challenges that most of us would crumble under. He proves that kids can make a tremendous difference and that we should be strong in the face of hardships.
Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls did an amazing job on this text. The story is perfectly paced and truly takes readers on Emmanuel’s journey with him. Additionally, the illustrations are pieces of artwork. I think mixed media was the perfect form for the story.
Please read this story to your students. Talk about Emmanuel, talk about the theme of his story, talk about how he changed the world, and talk about how anyone can do the same....more
If you have read A Corner of the Universe, you know what an emotionally-charged author Ann M. Martin can be, and she once again tells a heart-wrenching story with a voice that will not leave your head. In Rain Reign, Martin tackles Rose’s story. Rose is such a true character. A brilliant young girl with OCD and Asperger’s syndrome who is obsessed by homonyms. She is a girl that is so unique and intriguing. As a teacher, I very much connected with her and how I would nurture her gifts within my classroom; however, I also saw the challenges that Rose faces as well.
What makes this book truly stand out is the first person point of view. You, as the reader, are in Rose’s mind and living her life. You experience the neglect of her father, the love of Reign, the obsessiveness, the homonyms, the outbursts, and the support of her uncle. Because I was IN her life, I just couldn’t put down the book. I had to know that Rose and Rain were going to be okay.
As a teacher, I want kids to read this book because they will fall in love with Rose and Rain. Through this love, they will build empathy in their hearts because they will just want to know that Rose and Rain will be okay....more
While reading this book, I had no question that it deserved the Schneider Teen Award. The Schneider Family Book Award honors a “book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for adolescent audiences,” and Girls Like Us take us into Quincy and Biddy’s worlds as they learn to transition from a special-ed classroom in high school to real life in such a true matter, it definitely meets the criteria for the award. In many ways, the book is like any book about girls who just graduated from high school: learning to live with a roommate you don’t understand, learning to be responsible, etc. However, the challenges that these young ladies face because of their disabilities puts the book on a whole different level. Although the book is primarily about Quincy and Biddy’s life, it does illuminate some serious issues towards the treatment of differently abled individuals. (P.S. I love the ending very much!)
There is so much to talk about with this book! Because it impacted myself and a few of my friends, we decided to have a Twitter chat focused around it (#GLUChat). If you have read the book (because there are spoilers) check out our conversation: https://storify.com/trkravtin/girls-l.... Thank you to Teresa for archiving and Michele, Carrie, Alyson, and Leigh for taking part in it with me!...more
5 stars times 100. I adore so much about this book. Ally is so many students that I have had over the years that just needed a teacher to take the time. Mr. Daniels is the teacher that I hope I am, that I wish I could be, that I want all teachers to be, and that I want to be friends with. Ally's journey is one that I hope I inspire my students to have. Keisha is the friend I wish I'd had. Albert is so many student in our schools that are just a bit different thus leading to a life of sorrows. Shay shows that meanness often is because of meanness. Travis shows that it is never too late to change a kid's life. So many special characters and such a special story. Once again, Lynda Mullaly Hunt made me cry. Well done!...more
Summary: In this dual story told in words and pictures, Brian Selznick tells the story of two deaf children. One in 1927, Rose is trapped in her home and just wants to be free. One in 1977, Ben has just lost his mother and has recently become deaf from a lightning strike. Both looking for a parent, acceptance and a true home. Wonderstruck follows the two characters who live 50 years apart, but have both lost a mother- one is dead, one is not but still gone. Both of the characters want more than anything to find somewhere where they belong. So, both run away to New York City to try to find what they are looking for.
What I Think: Anyone who has read Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick knows how beautiful his work (both his words and art) is and Wonderstruck continues the tradition he set with his first novel. It always amazes me how Brian Selznick can tell a story completely through pictures, but yet the message is as deep and clear as the story he tells with words. Just like Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck has a very good chance at winning the Caldecott because of its beauty. Once again, I wish that Selznick's book fit the Newbery criteria, because it is good enough for that award as well.
Lastly, three things- 1) I didn't think Brian Selznick could compete with Hugo Cabret, but Wonderstruck does and it may even be better! 2) Dedicated to Maruice Sendack and feels as magical as one of his books. 3) As you read look for allusions to Konigsburg's Basil E. Frankweiler that Selznick mentions in his author notes. I am definitely going to reread both books and look for them!
Snatch of Text: "But let us pause here and ask ourselves, What exactly is a museum? Is it a collection of acorns and leaves on a back porch, or is it a giant building costing tens of thousands of dollars,, build to house the rarest and finest things on Earth?
'It's both!" Ben heard himself say out loud.
Of course the answer is both. A museum is a collection of objects, all carefully displayed to tell some kind of magnificent story." (p. 97)
"The street was a riot of cars and flashing signs and people. Buildings climbed toward the sky on either side of the street the way the trees back home surrounded Ben's house. Dirty cars and yellow taxis paraded by. Smells he couldn't place bombarded him... Everyone everywhere seemed to be a different color, as if the cover of his social studies textbook had come to life around him." (p. 264)...more