Have you ever wondered what life might have been like for Native Americans long ago? Buffalo Bird Girl is a peek into the life of a member of the HidaHave you ever wondered what life might have been like for Native Americans long ago? Buffalo Bird Girl is a peek into the life of a member of the Hidatsa tribe as they go throughout a year. You get a look inside their earth mound huts, which would house large families - 12 members of Buffalo Bird Girl’s family lived in one hut!
Girls and women planted vegetables and farmed while boys and men went out to hunt for meat. Everyone helped clean the animal skins when the men brought back game.
Other tribes lived in the same areas. The Hidatsa tribe lived with the Mandan tribe in the same village. They were allies that protected each other. But other tribes were not friendly and one day the Lakota tribe attacked. After the villagers defended themselves from the attack, they had a big celebration with dancing. [show spread on page 24] This is one of my favorite pictures because there’s so much to look at and such bright colors.
If you like learning about different people, if you’re interested in how the Hidatsa tribe lived long ago, pick up Buffalo Bird Girl. ...more
Freddie Ramos is surprised when he finds a mysterious package outside the door of his apartment. Inside are some awesome new shoes - purple with silveFreddie Ramos is surprised when he finds a mysterious package outside the door of his apartment. Inside are some awesome new shoes - purple with silver wings on the side - just what Freddie needed since his old shoes are falling apart. There's no return address on the package, so Freddie has no idea who sent them. When Freddie tries them on, he discovers something amazing - the new shoes make him SUPER FAST, able to outrun the El train, able to run past his principal in the hallway too fast for her to see him.
Freddie's shoes give him Zapato Power (Shoe Power) and he just knows that he can use his super speed to be a hero, just like his hero dad who died overseas. And when someone starts writing graffiti all over his new apartment complex, Freddie knows he's got what it takes to solve the mystery and make it stop.
This is a fun early chapter book series, great for kids just transitioning to chapter books. It's great to see a Latino family and a lower socioeconomic class family represented in children's lit. Hand this to kids who like to imagine what their own super powers would be! ...more
Miss Amanda has been suggesting this book for a long time, and in my quest for 3rd grade booktalking books, I finally picked it up.
Lulu LOVES ANIMALSMiss Amanda has been suggesting this book for a long time, and in my quest for 3rd grade booktalking books, I finally picked it up.
Lulu LOVES ANIMALS. Like, if you asked anyone in Class 3 who loves animals the most, they would immediately tell you that Lulu LOVES animals. Lulu has tons of pets at home (her mom's philosophy is "The more the merrier, as long as Lulu cleans up after them!") and one day her dog even follows her to school. As you can imagine, Lulu's teacher (who does NOT love animals) is NOT amused and lays down a strict no-extra-animals-in-the-classroom rule. When Lulu rescues an abandoned duck egg from the park, she doesn't mean to break her teacher's rule... but what will she do if the duck starts to hatch???
Author Hilary McKay is British, so some elements of their classroom life may be different than what American kids experience (they go down to the town park to go swimming once a week, for instance), but these differences aren't so great as to be a barrier. This sweet early chapter book will especially appeal to young animal lovers, and this series is a nice addition to diverse early chapter book shelves. ...more
Whether she's battling the neighborhood cats to deliver a fish for her mother or helping her brother collect money from their friends to watch a progrWhether she's battling the neighborhood cats to deliver a fish for her mother or helping her brother collect money from their friends to watch a program on their TV, trouble seems to follow Akissi wherever she goes. Told in short vignettes, these comics have a dry, subtle humor that reminded me of the Peanuts comics. The art and situations will open kids' eyes to town life in West Africa, while keeping them laughing about the scrapes that naughty Akissi gets herself into. ...more
When Olemaun was a little girl, her half-sister came back from the nuns' school and shared some of the stories she was learning to read. Olemaun longeWhen Olemaun was a little girl, her half-sister came back from the nuns' school and shared some of the stories she was learning to read. Olemaun longed to learn to read those stories for herself, so she begged her parents to send her to the outsiders' school. Her half-sister tried to warn her that she would not like it, but school was even worse that Olemaun expected. The nuns were super strict and spoke only English, despite the fact that their Inuit pupils could not understand them. They were forced to wear the outsiders' impractical clothing, eat their foreign food, and do chores upon chores before starting classes.
This true story of an Inuit girl leaving her village and suffering at a residential school set up to educate native people is an important one for children to know. Although Olemaun definitely has a trying time in school, she is quick to note that she and her people are resilient. She got what she wanted out of her time in school - learning how to read and write. Archival photos are included at the end, showing some members of Olemaun's family and showing what some of the buildings and places looked like at the time she was in school in the 1940s.
I would hand this to kids who, like Olemaun, value stories and the ability to read, or anyone who is interested in reading a first-person account that shares a more detailed view of historical native life. ...more
This made riveting lunchtime reading (and I'm not actually kidding...). This is my first foray into Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales and I will definitelThis made riveting lunchtime reading (and I'm not actually kidding...). This is my first foray into Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales and I will definitely be going back for more. The premise of this series is that Nathan Hale is about to be hung for being a spy, but before his executioners get on with the deed, Hale starts telling them a true story from history to buy himself some time. Occasionally the executioners comment on the story as it's being told, adding some much-needed humor to an otherwise grim tale.
So, you probably know what happened to the Donner Party. They set off for California in 1846 and take a "shortcut", which results in the party getting stranded in the mountains and eventually having to eat the dead bodies of their fellow travelers to survive. The heaviness of the tale is leavened by the humorous storytelling, though this is still not a book for the faint of heart. Kids who dig the gory stuff will dive right in. Sensitive readers will want to skip this one.
I appreciated the author's note at the end, which gave some additional information about what was true and what was in there for the sake of the story. This is a great choice for kids who love to hear about the gory parts of history and/or kids who like their nonfiction with a dose of humor. ...more
**spoiler alert** When Anda joins an online game called CoarseGold, she's recruited by an experienced gamer to take missions for real money. The girls**spoiler alert** When Anda joins an online game called CoarseGold, she's recruited by an experienced gamer to take missions for real money. The girls are being paid to kill "gold farmers", game characters run by people in sweatshops who collect gold and then sell it for real money to gamers who want to cheat the system. At first, Anda whole-heartedly believes she's doing a good thing (and making money from it doesn't hurt her feelings), but when she starts to get to know one of the gold farmers, she realizes that he's a real person in a bad situation. Paid little, working long days, with no health insurance, Anda feels sympathy for Raymond, but when she tries to help, she ends up making things worse.
This is definitely a story for gamers. An intro gives some information about the practice of gold farming, but judging from some GR reviews the story might be confusing to people who are not gamers. That said, it's also a quintessential YA story about a teenage girl who realizes that she doesn't know everything. Anda's heart is completely in the right place and she goes at her projects with that gusto that is so characteristic of many teens, throwing herself into the work or her plan to help Raymond. She learns the hard way that there are other sides to the story that she didn't know. And I think that's an experience that many teens can identify with.
This is also a story examining what "real life" is. Gold farmers are real people. Interactions within the game are still (lots of times) interactions with real people. Can you have a real friendship with someone you only know in-game? Is there always something you don't know? How can your actions in-game affect you "in real life"? These are a lot of great questions to ask and to think about.
I also have to say that I really love the art in this graphic novel, particularly the fact that Anda is a larger girl and that's not ever an issue. Her entire family is large; this is not a weight-loss book or a bullying story (bullying comes into it a little bit, but it's never a body-image thing). The art of the game world is beautiful and appealing, too, which is so realistic. When I was into gaming, that was definitely part of why I liked it: those beautifully stylized gaming lands. ...more
Okay, caveat: I am probably not this book's intended audience, but I was interested enough to pick it up and Corey probably falls into its intended auOkay, caveat: I am probably not this book's intended audience, but I was interested enough to pick it up and Corey probably falls into its intended audience and he shares some of my opinions, so that is what it is.
Corey and I listened to this audiobook on our way back from Myrtle Beach. On the way there, we listened to Amy Poehler's YES PLEASE, which I really enjoyed (and for which I am entirely the intended audience), which might have invited some unfair comparisons.
PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE is part philosophical musings, part treatise on the acting life, and part personal memoir. Nick Offerman waxes poetic on topics such as religion, mustaches, alcohol, technology overuse, woodworking, and much, much more. He also shares scenes from his life, from growing up in a small farming community in Illinois to theater acting in Chicago to moving to LA to pursue a film/TV career.
I think the biggest problem is that this is at least two separate books crammed into one volume. Corey appreciated Offerman's long rantings about religion, etc. much more than I did. I wanted to dig out the biographical parts and hear about Parks & Rec (which is the show he's most known for... which is probably the reason he gets to publish this book... which is crammed into the last tenth of the book...). (Another caveat: if I'd been reading the print edition, it would have been much easier to skim and pick out the parts I was actually interested in. I tried to talk Corey into skipping ahead to new chapters, but he would not stand for that...)
Another problem is that the book is just overlong and very repetitive. Even Corey, who I think enjoyed the book more than I did, admitted that it was repetitive. I would have been satisfied (and probably enjoyed it more) with 100 pages less. I am a pretty liberal person and I agree with a lot of Offerman's philosophies and idealogical rantings, but it was a bit much even for me because he just kept going on and on and then he would still repeat himself later in the book.
And it just wasn't as funny as I was expecting it to be. While Amy Poehler's book had both Corey and I laughing out loud at multiple parts, this one got just one or two big laughs and some chuckles from us. It makes sense, Poehler being a comedy writer, but it was disappointing in comparison. (Again, that is probably not terribly fair to compare them!)
As an actor, it makes sense that Nick Offerman would narrate his own book, and I think he does it pretty successfully. We had trouble adjusting the volume at first and he has a tendency to lower his voice at the end of sentences, which made it hard to hear and understand in the car. But Corey seemed to hear it better than I did, so maybe it's just my hearing.
For superfans of Ron Swanson or woodworkers or anyone with a big interest in how theater and the LA acting business works, this might be a good choice. If you're only a superficial Ron Swanson fan or just wanting to know about Offerman's relationship with Megan Mullaly, pick up the print edition instead so you can skip around. ;) ...more
Corey and I listened to this audiobook on our way to Myrtle Beach and it was very enjoyable; pretty much just what I wanted from Amy Poehler's memoir.Corey and I listened to this audiobook on our way to Myrtle Beach and it was very enjoyable; pretty much just what I wanted from Amy Poehler's memoir. It's a good mix of humor and more poignant/serious moments, stories about her childhood and young adulthood and tales about working on Saturday Night Live and Parks & Recreation. She doesn't talk about her personal divorce, but she does muse about divorce in general. She also tackles that demon voice constantly telling many women they're not good enough and talks about her trip to Haiti to work with orphanages after the earthquake.
Both Corey and I laughed out many times and it was definitely enjoyable as an audiobook. Amy Poehler narrates and the last chapter was read and recorded before a live audience, making it a great note to end on. Several guest narrators add to the fun, including Seth Myers reading a chapter that he wrote and Michael Schur basically having a conversation with Amy about how Parks & Rec was developed. Poehler's parents both make appearances, reading their own contributions.
If you're a fan of Amy Poehler, this is a must-read, and I especially appreciated how determined she is to inspire and mentor girls and women. My only disappointment is that I feel that the number of times she mentioned that writing a book is hard and isolating means that she may never write the witty and empowering YA novels I hoped we might one day see from her. ;)
Both Corey and I enjoyed listening to this book very much (and it was Corey's first foray into audiobooks! Huzzah!). ...more
I asked for suggestions of diverse titles I could potentially booktalk to 3rd graders and this was one of them.
Calvin Coconut (yes, his real last namI asked for suggestions of diverse titles I could potentially booktalk to 3rd graders and this was one of them.
Calvin Coconut (yes, his real last name; it's a long story) is a trouble magnet. It seems no matter how hard he tries to follow the rules, trouble follows him around. Trouble might appear in the form of the school bully who just won't leave him and his friends alone, forgetting to fix the lock on his bedroom door so that their new houseguest gets trapped inside, or accidentally having a huge food fight after his teacher had provided a special treat lunch on the first day of school.
Calvin's adventures are humorous, but with a lot of heart. Kids who like funny stories or kids who always seem to find themselves in trouble will identify with Calvin. Details about Calvin's Hawaiian home make this a good choice for exposing kids to diverse cultures. ...more