If I were a high school history teacher, all my students would read this book. Lanier was the youngest of the Little Rock Nine—the nine black kids who...moreIf I were a high school history teacher, all my students would read this book. Lanier was the youngest of the Little Rock Nine—the nine black kids who went to Central high school after it was forcibly integrated. As a high-achieving, captain of this, queen of that 8th grader, when she heard that Central was opening to black kids, signing up was a no-brainer: it was a much better school, with much nicer equipment and labs, and it was closer to her house than the all-black-by-default high school. She had no idea what was coming. When she showed up to Central the first day, the National Guard was there—to keep the Nine safe, she thought, because crowds were jeering and spitting at them—but the state governor had actually called out the Guard to prevent the black kids from entering (it was the President who integrated the school, not the governor). The Nine were not allowed to participate in any sports or extracurriculars, a shock to the usually-involved-in-everything Carlotta. Many of the Nine didn’t return to Central after the first year. Carlotta, the youngest, entering as a freshman, survived all four years and was the first black female graduate of the school. Fantastic and eye-opening, with a forward by Bill Clinton.(less)
So short it's practically a pamphlet, Seedfolks manages to be an incredibly insightful book about community, stereotyping, and the suspicion with whic...moreSo short it's practically a pamphlet, Seedfolks manages to be an incredibly insightful book about community, stereotyping, and the suspicion with which we can regard those neighbors of ours that "aren't like us."(less)
A useful, practical introductory or refresher course for designers of everything from websites to maps to instructional videos to signage.
Notes: "Don...moreA useful, practical introductory or refresher course for designers of everything from websites to maps to instructional videos to signage.
Notes: "Don't underestimate the power of watching someone else do something. If you want to influence someone else's behavior, then show someone else doing the same task" (I've added images of parents sitting with and actively interacting with their kids during storytime to the "welcome" sign I put out at Family Storytime, to encourage attendees to do the same). Similarly: "Video at a website is especially compelling. Want people to get a flu shot? Then show a video of other people in line at a clinic getting a flu shot...Mirror neurons at work."
"Mirror neurons are involved in synchronous activity, and there is a certain type of happiness that humans can't get any other way than in engaging in synchronous activity" (like belonging to a marching band, cheering a sports team with other fans, dancing in time as a group, etc)
"Check your images and websites with www.vischeck.com or colorfilter.wickline.org"--to see how they appear to someone with colorblindness. Especially important with charts, maps, graphs. 9% of men and .5% of women have colorblindness.(less)
A library patron recommended "Daemon" to me and I owe him a thanks: it was a blast to read, and I likely wouldn’t have found it otherwise. I think I e...moreA library patron recommended "Daemon" to me and I owe him a thanks: it was a blast to read, and I likely wouldn’t have found it otherwise. I think I enjoyed this book the way some enjoyed Ernest Cline’s "Ready Player One" (which was full of insurmountable holes for me--though I see from other reviews on GoodReads that some had the same feeling about "Daemon"). Similarly to "Ready Player One", "Daemon" starts with the death of a programming and game-writing titan who’s devised a little surprise for humankind. But instead of a contest, Matthew Sobol’s left behind a daemon--a program that, once set in motion, needs no human interference to keep running. Sobol’s daemon is designed to expose and exploit all the weaknesses of society as we know it--perhaps to "prove" that democracy is outmoded in a time when a free individual has access to enough technology and computer power to wreak huge havoc. It was a fun, fast-paced read with lots of things I usually don’t go for (at least not at the movies): explosions, automated vehicles, etc--and it was also smart and full of psychological insights that worked, at least, for me. While it might not be quite as brainy as "Snow Crash" or "Neuromancer", my enjoyment of it felt similar to my enjoyment of those. And it was much, much brainier and more well-thought-out than "Ready Player One". (less)
"Perfect Square"=perfect book. Hall's square is perfect on Monday, then gets holes punched in it...and is perfect again, transformed into something ne...more"Perfect Square"=perfect book. Hall's square is perfect on Monday, then gets holes punched in it...and is perfect again, transformed into something new (a fountain!). Then it gets torn...and is perfect again, and so on. A beautiful book about change and transformation and how there are no mistakes in art (and life?), just new opportunities to reimagine. (less)
"Spunky"'s a wonderful read that would also make a great classroom read-aloud. It's certainly the closest I've ever felt to being inside a dog's head....more"Spunky"'s a wonderful read that would also make a great classroom read-aloud. It's certainly the closest I've ever felt to being inside a dog's head. Cameron uses the beginning-chapters-level vocabulary to give Spunky a voice that's funny, thoughtful, and true.
A few excerpts--
*when Huey, Spunky's boy, can't play with Spunky because of homework:
"What is homework? Why is homework? I do not know. For thousands of years, we Dogs have passed on to new generations the knowledge of how to survive and enjoy life. We overcame many difficult times and have populated the entire world with the great race of Dogs. In all our many thousand years, not one of us have ever needed homework. What use is it?
Homework involves paper. Paper sport--smelling, chasing, licking, or occasionally eating paper--can be good. I know that from experience. But homework is different. Homework is doing dull things with paper."
* "I went to find Ralph. He was in his Thinking Room. His shoes and socks were lying on the floor. He was sitting in his big lean-back chair. His eyes were shut. His legs were stretched out. His feet were high in the air. He was wiggling his toes.
I sniffed deeply, pleasurably. Ralph had another smell besides car! An interesting smell, a delicious smell--the best smell of anyone in the Bates family. The smell was strong near his toes. But mostly, it came from his socks.
I loved Ralph. Yet he was a mystery to me. I had always wished to know him better, but I had never found a way. His socks could be the answer."
*"Julian shrugged. Huey copied him and shrugged too.
We Dogs don't shrug. We think it is a big mistake to be a species that shrugs. 'Whatever!' is usually what a Human shrug means. A dangerous word. If you want to survive, you must pay attention to what's coming down the road straight at you and say Yes! to it, or No! to it, but never 'Whatever.""
"Spunky Tells All" is related to Ann Cameron's "Julian" and "Huey" books--he's their dog, and they're the family in "Spunky Tells All", but it's not at all necessary to have read those in order to enjoy it.(less)