I loved the illustrations in this picture book bio. I also enjoyed the topic. Gordon Parks was not a person I was familiar with so I appreciated gettiI loved the illustrations in this picture book bio. I also enjoyed the topic. Gordon Parks was not a person I was familiar with so I appreciated getting to know him a little. The text was kept simple and that was okay. There is a section at the end that fills in a little more, but I think a serious gap is leaving out what the name "American Gothic" meant. I also noticed a conflict between the text and back matter. In the story, he is 15 when his mother dies and goes to live with his sister in Minneapolis. In the back matter he is 14 and goes to live with his sister in St. Paul. I checked at the Gordon Parker museum in his biography there and the back matter was correct.
The illustrations and topic make this one worth the read, but I wish that the mistakes weren't there and that things were explained just a little more for younger readers. Resources would be helpful too....more
I appreciated learning more about the Freedom Riders and the civil rights movement. Again the graphic novel format works well with this narrative. A hI appreciated learning more about the Freedom Riders and the civil rights movement. Again the graphic novel format works well with this narrative. A huge element to the movement was getting the visuals out to the world. Forcing the nation and the world to see what was actually happening was critical for getting more people involved in making change happen.
This trilogy can help share history with a wide audience....more
Laura Amy Schlitz had me from the first chapter. Young Joan Skraggs wants more from her life than the drudgery of farmReview copy: ARC from publisher
Laura Amy Schlitz had me from the first chapter. Young Joan Skraggs wants more from her life than the drudgery of farm work. Her father and brothers seem to see her as a worker rather than a person. Her father is particularly horrible in this way. He doesn't want her reading because that would be a waste of time. She can no longer go to school and he doesn't want her former teacher encouraging her to learn or do anything to change her lot in life. He wants her to cook, clean and do what he says for the rest of her life.
Joan's mother had always planned more for her though. After her mother died, Joan has trouble finding a way to get beyond the farm. When her father punishes her harshly for standing up for herself, she finally figures out another path.
I was cheering for Joan the whole way. She made many mistakes, but never gives up.
Schlitz kept a perfect balance of tension throughout the book. Just enough to keep readers flipping pages.
I also loved the inclusion of religious discussion. Joan is Catholic and comes into contact with a Jewish family. This could have been a surface detail, but Joan questions and ponders what she believes and why. This presents a fascinating glimpse into two distinct faith backgrounds.
This will be a great book for fans of historical fiction. It really reminded me of Hattie Big Sky. Hattie and Joan have huge challenges, but they're strong, intelligent young women that go after what they want....more
The Berlin Wall is certainly an interesting topic for a children's book. It didn't seem very likely for things to woReview copy: provided by publisher
The Berlin Wall is certainly an interesting topic for a children's book. It didn't seem very likely for things to work out the way they did though. Also, as others have said, the dark text on a dark background was difficult to read.
The book could have used a little more context for readers unfamiliar with the history around Berlin. ...more
I loved this alternate look at what happened in the house where Anne Frank lived sReview copy: Digital audio book through http://www.audiobooksync.com
I loved this alternate look at what happened in the house where Anne Frank lived some of her last years. I recently re-read Anne Frank's Diary and we were also able to visit the house in Amsterdam where she and her family hid. It was nice to have another perspective.
Mien shares her own history along with that of the Frank family. It reinforces the idea that it was a very difficult time for many people. There were so many indignities and needless deaths.
She also shares the vibrancy of Anne's personality. Going through the memories and telling the story was not an easy ing for Miep to do, but she celebrates Anne's spirit too....more
So many stereotypes. Some of that was for humor purposes, but some was just poor wording. So many things are explained as absolutes. Koreans...... RatSo many stereotypes. Some of that was for humor purposes, but some was just poor wording. So many things are explained as absolutes. Koreans...... Rather than saying some Koreans. ...more
This is a fun way to learn about some of the lesser known African American people who overcame adversity in the past. I had read about Bass Reeves andThis is a fun way to learn about some of the lesser known African American people who overcame adversity in the past. I had read about Bass Reeves and Henry "Box" Brown, but otherwise the people and stories were new to me. I appreciate learning about these heroes. I would love to have a similar work that highlighted some females.
Also, Bass Reeves lived with several groups of Native Americans, but the author melded them all together. I think a better way would have been to chosen one of them to go with. The pictographs in the word balloons were not a good replacement for research....more
Many non-Native people have ideas about what it means to be Indian. They may or may not ask the questions that bounce around in their heads. They mayMany non-Native people have ideas about what it means to be Indian. They may or may not ask the questions that bounce around in their heads. They may not even know which questions they would ask if given a chance. In this book, Anton Treuer shares his answers to many questions and "offers a critical first step to comfortably dispel erroneous imaginings and develop deeper understandings."
This is a good beginning place for learning about Indians. It isn't meant to be exhaustive, but attempts to provide answers to common questions in a way that is easy to understand. He took very complex issues and explained them simply and with diplomacy.
As he delved into the history, he noted, "We cannot afford to sugarcoat the dark chapters of our history, as we have for decades upon decades." He brings some of the dark moments out into the light - not for purposes of making people feel guilty - but to see that these moments aren't repeated and to work towards healing.
Along with history, Treuer focuses on terminology, religion, culture & identity, powwow, tribal languages, politics, economics, education, and the future. He covers many topics, but they are in small bite size pieces for the most part. The book isn't necessarily meant to be read cover to cover in one sitting.
There were several things that stood out to me as an educator in Wisconsin. The first big revelation was The Great Seal of the Territory of Wisconsin (you can see it here). The Latin caption on the seal says "Civilization Succeeds Barbarism" and there is an Indian facing west towards a steamship. This would likely be one of the Ho-Chunk who were forcibly moved to Nebraska. I have seen the state seal, but hadn't ever looked at the territory seal. This would definitely be something to look at critically with students when discussing the history of Wisconsin and the perception of settlers in the 1800s. It would also create space for discussion of the Ho-Chunk perspective.
The explanations surrounding sovereignty were also helpful, but another thing that really stood out was the questions and answers around tribal language. He noted that tribal languages "are defining features of nationhood." He also noted that tribal languages should be important to all U.S. citizens. He states, "the survival of tribal languages and cultures is a litmus test for the morality of our nation and its ability to provide for the needs of all of its citizens."
Throughout the book there are issues that could generate guilt or anger, but Treuer points out that these emotions aren't going to fix anything. Fortunately, he also includes a section about what people can do moving forward.
This is a great book for educators, but I would recommend it to anyone who has gathered knowledge of Indians primarily via history classes and the media....more
I cannot wait for berry season now. I am excited to make this dessert once we have fresh berries. It is fascinating to see the changes in the kitchenI cannot wait for berry season now. I am excited to make this dessert once we have fresh berries. It is fascinating to see the changes in the kitchen over time. To see the ways that tools have changed, but also society.
Review from blog http://readingtl.blogspot.com/2015/05... In this amazing book, readers are taken to four different time periods visiting four different families making what looks to be a truly scrumptious dessert - blackberry fool. I haven't yet made it since I am waiting for the appropriate season, but you can bet I will. I adored the illustrations and Sophie Blackall paid attention to detail as she created the lovely pictures. She shared some of the process on her blog (click on the title in the tags below the post to see all of the entries). You may see the decisions and the research that went into many of her illustrations. She even shares about the endpapers. I love it when I see something other than white endpapers. She used blackberry juice to make them. Very cool. Also, if you have a copy of the book that isn't covered for library use, do take the jacket off. The cover is also beautiful.
The text is awesome too. Looking for changes over time is a key component of our social studies curriculum. This book is a perfect way to show that even cooking can have changes over the years. For older students especially, you can talk a lot about the social changes as well as the invention of tools and even as I noticed, the change in diet. It is only later that people are adding refined sugar to the whipping cream. Another interesting aspect to discuss would be where people are getting the raw materials.
There is so much to love about this book. If you want to know more, be sure and visit Sophie's blog, but also read the Publisher's Weekly interview with both Emily and Sophie....more
This picture book takes a historic walk through Sugar Hill. I loved the bright colors and the jazzy text. This is a good introduction and beginning poThis picture book takes a historic walk through Sugar Hill. I loved the bright colors and the jazzy text. This is a good introduction and beginning point for an exploration of Harlem. I will be using this with my upper grades next week. It leads off well into picture book biographies. I think we'll want to listen to some music too....more
In the author's note, she explains that it interested her that these two women knew each other. She imagined what theirReview copy: ARC from publisher
In the author's note, she explains that it interested her that these two women knew each other. She imagined what their conversation might be like and told that story based on their actions and recorded words.
It's an interesting way to deliver information, but I'm not sure that it is lively enough for most young readers on their own. It would be a great resource for a teacher to use though. There is a lot of information here and the relationships between so many well known figures is neat to see.
Originally, I thought this was a nonfiction picture book, but it is actually historical fiction....more