Check this one out from my elementary library, it is a great fit. This is clearly written for upper elementary school, so I will not judge it with me...moreCheck this one out from my elementary library, it is a great fit. This is clearly written for upper elementary school, so I will not judge it with me as the audience, I will judge with my students in consideration.
Plot: yes, it pulls from To Kill a Mocking Bird in that it is about a strong willies southern girl who comes to realize that her lovely southern town rots of racism. It is interesting to see Glory grow, and realize that there is a reason for the odd little things that she always accepted were just status quo around town....and the reason for that is hate. The book focuses mostly on the irrationality of the hate-mongers in the story , students will be able to relate to this confusion Glory feels, being not born in this time and not understanding how hateful people can be. It's focus on "why are people lying about the pool" makes it more of an intellectual story of lies and hate and less about the pure scariness of the time. Which again, is good for upper elementary students.
Characters: Glory and Jesslyn's relationship is well written and growing apart from a sibling is something my students can relate to. I really felt for Glory as she was being ditched as being part of Jesslyn's childhood when Jesslyn was so eager to grow up. I actually wish Jesslyn had more to do in the book with the situation. It is clear that she is strong and from the first chapter and had her head on straight, unlike some other characters in the book.
Writing: This is a upper elem book and it reads like such. Glory's letter is a poignant moment in the book, but in general the story is simply written, as it should be for the audience.
Mostly this a character based book, the situation (radical concerns in the South in the 60's) is seen from the point of few of Glory, and it is in the context of her own life, how she at first accepts life as is because she never really thinks about it, she is busy thinking about herself and her pool (not in a selfish way, in the way a child sees the world, through what impacts their day to day life.) This is a great way to approach the issues with young readers actually. Allows them to see a historical situation they don't really relate to, but through the eyes of someone they can relate to.
I would recommend this book for purchase or an elem or junior high/middle school library. I feel it is mostly going to connect with 4th-7th graders.(less)
Bought for my students and am taking this on a test run tonight. I'm on a middle reader kick, trying to find something for my kids to read that is NOT...moreBought for my students and am taking this on a test run tonight. I'm on a middle reader kick, trying to find something for my kids to read that is NOT written in diary form(less)
Amusing. I have a specific student I know will love this but I can see my easily being enjoyed by any of my students who appreciate a bit of absurdity...moreAmusing. I have a specific student I know will love this but I can see my easily being enjoyed by any of my students who appreciate a bit of absurdity (less)
So, I have to say this, I am an Elementary Librarian who, until now, has never read this book. Let me explain how this happened, see, once, like a mil...moreSo, I have to say this, I am an Elementary Librarian who, until now, has never read this book. Let me explain how this happened, see, once, like a million years ago I was in elementary school (hey, I'm finally old enough to make that joke...damn) and this was on the shelf of course, but I had a strange rule about books back then, I would go and pick books based on when they were last checked out (see children, back in the 80's you signed your name to book inside and the librarian stamped the date) so I would wander around the library taking out books that had not been read in at least several years, because I felt bad for these older books....now looking back on that I REALLY messed up the librarian's circulation stats ha) and since this was already a classic by that time, I avoided it. Then, as I grew older I seriously thought I had already read it, but realized I was mistaken it for "The Phantom Tollbooth." Then I became a librarian. Librarians have far less time to actually READ then you would expect ;) I knew the background, I grew the themes, I knew the characters names, I knew the ENDING, so I read things that were unknown to me instead. #excuse over
The main action begins on a dark and stormy night when the Murray's get a rather unique visitor who turns out to be so much more than the slightly off-balanced old lady she appears to be, and the story progresses across the universe, where I spent equal time thinking about science and religion. When you think about it, it's really ground-breaking, even now...where do you see those two things not only together, but connected? Growing up I always felt it was like a switch you had to turn off and on. I had a Sunday School brain and a school brain. At school I believed that the world was created by a big bang and slowly building up, and at Sunday School I believed God made the world in seven days. What is so wonderful about this book is that L'Engle was able to show her religious beliefs from the view of science, and it does not feel like they are competing, it feels natural in the story. The wonder of scientific exploration, for trying to see outside our own small view of things is compared to trying to to understand the human connection to to spiritual. Isn't that what people have tried to do as long as possible, find their place by pushing outward, past themselves?
Hahn's books were some of my favorites when I was in elementary school, so I picked this one up at the book fair to see if it lived up to her books fr...moreHahn's books were some of my favorites when I was in elementary school, so I picked this one up at the book fair to see if it lived up to her books from the late 80's and 90's. I felt it took a bit too long to get to the good and spooky stuff, some of my students might have given up on it early...but that would be a shame, because it really had it's moments that even gave me the shivers (but in a good way). The watery cover and dark imaginary relating the lake is enough to make me wonder what might be underneath me next time I go for a swim.(less)
I love "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" as do my students (I work in two k-5 libraries) so when my ALA going friend offered to send me the ARC of Brian...moreI love "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" as do my students (I work in two k-5 libraries) so when my ALA going friend offered to send me the ARC of Brian Selznick's new work "Wonderstruck" I really was excited, and rightfully so, this book truly is a wonder!
It is similar to Hugo in that it is half yet and half graphic novel, but in this book the switching between graphics and text is very structured. Ben's story from 1977 was in text, while Rose's sections of the story are pictorial and set in 1927. Ben's story was engaging because it read as both an adventure and a mystery, I'm the type of person who would love to find herself living in a museum or a library.
You would think that Ben's story would be more detailed, that a reader would connect to him more as a character due to the opportunities text stories give for explanations, dialogue and character study, but following Rose's adventures in New York city was just as accessible. Selznick's detailed pictures are a visually treat to view, a wonder box itself, but it's the expressions of characters and the moments he choses to focus your attention on ( often done by showing a close up and expanding the view out to show more elements) that give you insight into Deaf Culture and the loneliness that comes from feeling like you don't have a place in the world.
I actually think my students will enjoy this as much Hugo, maybe even more because it is more accessible for them based on subject matter. Hugo looked flippin' cool, that's why they love it, not because they understand French cinema and automations.
This is a story that they can connect with more personally - filled with the excitement and wonder of a field trip to a world class museum and the heart and emotion of a Hallmark movie lol yeah I cried, I'm a sap like that ;)(less)
This book completely appealed to my 12 year old self, the one who used to read Fear Street, and had her own secret ghost story club under the bridge i...moreThis book completely appealed to my 12 year old self, the one who used to read Fear Street, and had her own secret ghost story club under the bridge in town (very Midnight Society)and even as an adult I was completely hooked by this concept. Last year one of my students brought his copy from home, and I had a huge crowd of AM library go-ers who would watch the videos as he reached the correct points...they would replay them over and over until the next day when he was ready to move on to the next video (I love that he did not skip ahead, even though at times tonight I really wanted to) So I had answered the "MISS C YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS!!!" call and probably had seen all the videos without reading the book at the time, haha...but they creeped me out, and I LOVE scary movies haha. I really enjoyed the format of this book, text and vlogs, and "live" videostreaming. I'm giving this 5 stars because the concept, and execution was so fun and because it hooked a whole grade of students into reading. It's nothing out of the world writing wise, or plot wise (though I haven't worked it all out yet) it's just a great adventure for those who like ghost stories, and mysteries. My Third-5th graders love this series, but I could see it being popular with middle school too. I agree with another reviewer, the characters seemed younger than 15...but I would be running around with a video camera at 15 hunting for ghosts so maybe it's not THAT unrealistic ;) Oooh man, if they had digital cameras when I was a kid...(less)
Boght this at the book fair, and will be cataloging it soon for my kiddos, but I wanted to read it first. I thought book one actually was chill induci...moreBoght this at the book fair, and will be cataloging it soon for my kiddos, but I wanted to read it first. I thought book one actually was chill inducing for a middle reader book, so was looking forward to trying this one. As a kid who LOVED ghost stories and ghost books and TV (Remember "Are you Afraid of the Dark" 90's kids?) this really appealed to me even as an adult now. I think my students will really like it, it wasn't scary enough to give nightmares, but creepy in ways that I know my 5th graders will love(less)