Kendall Children's Lit. Spring discussion

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message 1: by Deb (new)

Deb Kendall (mskendall) | 21 comments Mod
Please post your multicultural book #1 with the professional review and your response below.


message 2: by Karli (new)

Karli Abels | 16 comments "K Up-Smith's knack for pairing poetry and photography is well documented in books such as Hoop Queens (Candlewick, 2003) and Rudyard Kipling's If (S & S, 2006). Here, his artful images engage in a lyrical and lively dance with Langston Hughes's brief ode to black beauty. Dramatic sepia portraits of African Americans-ranging from a cherubic, chubby-cheeked toddler to a graying elder whose face is etched with lines-are bathed in shadows, which melt into black backgrounds. The 33 words are printed in an elegant font in varying sizes as emphasis dictates. In order to maximize the effect of the page turn and allow time for meaning to be absorbed, the short phrases and their respective visual narratives often spill over more than a spread. The conclusion offers a montage of faces created with varying exposures, a decision that provides a light-filled aura and the irregularities that suggest historical prints. A note from Smith describes his approach to the 1923 poem. This celebration of the particular and universal will draw a wide audience: storytime participants; students of poetry, photography, and cultural studies; seniors; families. A timely and timeless offering.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted."
Wendy Lukehart (2009 February, 1). [Review of the book "My People" by Langston Hughes.] "School Library Journal." Retrieved from http://www.booksinprint2.com.leo.lib....

(I put the title of the book and journal in quotations because I could not figure out how to italicize on goodreads)

I agree with this review for a few different reasons. I also felt the book could appeal to many different ages do to the meaning behind the words and images. Second I found the images to be very relatable and appealing. The short amount of words was very effective in relation to the images that went with it. I believe the review did very well at stating how the simplicity of the book was able to carry a powerful message.


message 3: by Bethany (new)

Bethany The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas
"The varieties of African-American ethnic heritage are often rendered invisible by the rigid construction of racial identity that insists on polarities. This collection of 12 poems makes the complexities of a layered heritage visible and the many skin shades celebrated. Read-aloud-sized spreads offer luminous artwork that complements the verses in which children speak of their various hues: "I am midnight and berries…" a child says in the title poem. In another selection, a boy recalls his Seminole grandmother who has given him the color of "red raspberries stirred into blackberries." In "Cranberry Red," a child asserts that "it's my Irish ancestors/Who reddened the Africa in my face," understanding that "When we measure who we are/We don't leave anybody out." The large illustrations match the lyrical poetry's emotional range. Cooper's method includes "pulling" the drawing out from a background of oil paint and glazes. With his subtractive method, he captures the joy of these children-the sparkle of an eye, the width of a grin, the lovely depths of their skin, and the light that radiates from within. This book complements titles that explore identity, such as Katie Kissinger's All the Colors We Are (Redleaf, 1994)."
http://ehis.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mcc...

The Blacker the Berry. By: Pfeifer, Teresa, School Library Journal, 03628930, Aug2008, Vol. 54, Issue 8
Database: Academic Search Premier

I definitely agree with this review on all levels. I think children and people are often times looked down upon based on their skin color and misunderstood because of the stereotypes. This book shows that all of the children are the same but highlights all the different shades of black. The illustrations are very well-done in this book and I enjoyed looking at them thoroughly.


message 4: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Hannibal | 15 comments School Library Journal
( May 01, 2011; 9780888999757 )
Gr 2-5-This beautifully written story tells of a girl who belongs to a group of Mennonites who moved to Mexico in the 1920s, but still migrate to Canada annually to labor in the fields. Anna wishes she could stay in one place, to "be like a tree with roots sunk deeply into the earth" so that she could have stability and see the seasons change. Instead, readers get a glimpse into the child's musings as she compares her family to migrating geese, butterflies, or bees. The artist's mixed-media renditions of Anna imagining herself as a rabbit or her siblings as kittens and puppies are priceless. Even the geese wear tiny kerchiefs and hats as they soar through the air. There is a sense of childlike whimsy as well as deep longing conveyed through the illustrations, while the language of the text is rich with similes and descriptive words. Background information about this sect of Mennonites and migrant workers in general appears at the back of the book.-Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

I agree with the review from School Library Journal. I found that the similes brought the book to life and gave a sense of what is was like to belong to a group of Mennonites for all of those who have never experienced it. The illustrations where soft and welcoming. They assisted with the metaphors that the author was trying to convey. Overall I think this a great book to familiarize young children of the different lifestyles and conditions that a person who is not from our culture may experience.



Trottier, M. (2011). Migrant (I. Arsenault, Illustrator). Groundwood Books.

[Review of the book Migrant, by M. Chase]. (2011). School Library Journal. Retrieved from Books in
Print database.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 14 comments Just Because by Rebecca Elliot

PreS-Gr 2-A perceptive observer of the cover of this picture book will notice that the rocket bearing Clemmie and her little brother on an imaginative space journey is actually a wheelchair. Refreshingly, the story is about the bond between the siblings and all that they can do. The boy doesn't worry that Clemmie "can't walk, talk, move around much.." He admits honestly that he doesn't know why some people can do things and others can't. His answer to these big questions is a simple if not always satisfying refrain: "Just because." Those two words provide a format for the boy to explain that Clemmie's enormously curly hair, love for their pet ladybug, and ability to cuddle him to sleep are some of her best qualities. He also explains that his special talents include being good at drawing and pointing to things in books. Eating crayons and being scared during a thunderstorm top his list of his own shortcomings. The warm cartoon illustrations on canvas depict children with cheerful round faces and rosy cheeks. Although the story lacks examples of typical sibling friction that may have made it more believable for young readers, it serves as an excellent reminder that children in wheelchairs are not defined by their disabilities.-Jenna Boles, Washington-Centerville Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.



I agree with this review. This book shows a loving store about the children. However, at times it lacks the realistic connection of sibling rivalry. In the end the book gives you a great feeling of acceptance and understanding although you never really understand why this happen the way they do but really that just do...I think this book shows the importance of accepting everyone for all reasons. The book review for this book is very accurate and I highly suggest reading it to teach kids the valuable lesson of accepting everyone in what they are and do.


Elliott, Rebecca. Just Because. Oxford: Lion, 2010. Print.

[Review of the book Just Because, by Rebecca Elliot]. (2011). School Library Journal. Retrieved from Books in Print database.


message 6: by Leigh Anne (new)

Leigh Anne | 15 comments Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome. By: Liezl Venter and Clarabelle van Niekerk.

Database: Books in Print
School Library Journal ( June 01, 2008; 9780974721712 )

PreS-Gr 2-A third-person past-tense narrative tells the story of Sam, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. Positive qualities are listed first: "Sam loved to giggle-. Sam was a happy boy." Next come some of his challenges: he is afraid of loud noises, he has trouble making friends, and he does not like change. When he leaves the house at night, walking all the way to the local fairgrounds because he loved the Ferris wheel so much, his parents know that something must be done. They take him for a check-up and receive the diagnosis. The doctors and therapists give them some suggestions for helping their son at home and at school. The book concludes with Sam playing the cello at a school concert. Because of the interesting story line, the positive approach, and the notion that others can learn to help Sam instead of expecting him to change, this is an excellent introduction to the topic. The pictures are bright and lively, showing mostly happy faces. The book concludes with 10 helpful tips to remember when a friend or a classmate has Asperger's. A useful introduction for both children and adults.
-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Thought there wasn't much of a review here in that it's mostly a summary, I agree on the idea that it's a very interesting story that kids can easily understand. I find that the bright, lively illustrations help engage the reader's interest and, in turn, makes this story very appealing to read. With a story like this, students can understand that Sam is just like they are, even though he has Aspergers. I think that this is good for kids to know, so that if/when they meet a classmate/colleague/neighbor/etc. with Aspergers, they'll already be in the mindset of acceptance. This is a great story for everyone to read, and kids should definitely read this and others like it during their schooling.

Venter, Liezl and Van Niekerk, Clarabelle. (1, April 2008) Understanding Sam and Aperger Syndrome. Zeekel Press.


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Chancellor | 15 comments Grade 7 Up—On the first day of seventh grade, Pierre Anthon announces that life has no meaning and walks out of school. Everything, he has concluded, is a useless step toward death. Pierre's shaken classmates scramble to prove him wrong. They begin to assemble a "heap of meaning" in an abandoned sawmill. Each child must add a possession of the others' choosing. The children's need to avenge their losses spins out of control. A Muslim boy gives up his prayer mat and spirals into a crisis of faith. Another child must contribute the head of a beloved dog. A boy demands a girl's innocence. That girl demands something even more unthinkable. This story is horrifying, and draws obvious comparison to William Golding's Lord of the Flies (1954). Despite the somewhat-idyllic provincial setting, the total lack of parental supervision is hard to swallow. Agnes, the narrator, is increasingly matter-of-fact as the horrors escalate, and this tempers the emotional impact of the story. This narrative distance also impedes character development; even Agnes remains unknowable. Her methodical telling sets a lulling pace, though, which sets the shocking events in high relief. The author writes sparely, even simplistically, and some chapters are only the narrator's haikulike commentary. Danish kids apparently love a good existential discussion, but the group's circular debates may bore and/or confuse American middle schoolers.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

I agree with this review. I do agree that it can be boring. I think this because it is a very deep and confusing story. You would need a very high degree of maturity to really understand the story without being bored. It is an Intermediate book almost to Young Adult because of the level of maturity needed to really understand and be able to discuss the book. It raises a lot of questions about life and what it means to live. It was difficult for even me to understand.

Teller, Janne. (2010) Nothing.

Teller, Janne. "Nothing: Janne Teller, Martin Aitken: 9781442441163: Amazon.com: Books." Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. .


message 8: by Ashley (last edited Mar 15, 2013 09:56AM) (new)

Ashley Sandel | 15 comments "PreS-Gr 2-Twins Callie and Charlie have a lot in common, but they are also very different: Charlie has autism. Callie narrates the story, describing what autism is and exploring the issues that come along with it. The theme is of love, patience, and acceptance. Endnotes give a few basic facts for children unfamiliar with the disorder. The authors, a mother-daughter team, based this story on personal experience. Evans's bright, mixed-media illustrations skillfully depict the family's warmth and concern. Pair this with Ouisie Shapiro's Autism and Me: Sibling Stories (Albert Whitman, 2009) to raise awareness and understanding of autism. This title should have a place in most library collections.-Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted."

Butler, Laura. (2010, March 01). [Review of the book "My Brother Charlie", by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from Books in Print database.


I agree with this review, and enjoy how it is worded. It doesn't give too much away about the book, besides a general idea, and also tells the background of the authors and their reason for writing a book like "My Brother Charlie." I also enjoyed the illustrations, so I am happy that the review mentions them. This review suggests another book to pair with this one, which I think is a nice bonus because this book could be used to teach children about autism, but instead of having one book about it, children could have two and further their knowledge on this common disability.

Peete, Holly Robinson, Ryan Peete, Denene Millner, and Shane Evans. My Brother Charlie. New York: Scholastic, 2010. Print.


message 9: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey | 15 comments School Library Journal
( June 01, 2010; 9780375933349 )
Gr 1-5- Gr 1-5-One fall, two African-American brothers learn that they will be bused to a predominantly white school. While Bryan complains ("Ain't no Negroes at Central"), Mama reassures first-grader Brewster that they will benefit from the new school's fine facilities, such as a well-stocked library. Mama says that with such advantages, Brewster might even be president someday. However, angry whites gather at the school in protest, creating chaos inside and out. Brewster, Bryan, and others are sent to the library for detention in the melee. There they find a friendly librarian who encourages them to dream. The book effectively captures both the promises and the challenges of school integration in the 1970s. Roth's rich earth tones and bold patterns perfectly anchor the book in its era, while the mixed-media and collage illustrations convey the urban environment. The text also stays true to its historical period, using the word "Negro" instead of "African American." This provides an opportunity for adults to explain how and why language evolves as society changes. An author's note provides a factual overview of this era. Michelson also explains here that he wrote the story long before Barack Obama was elected president, and that he never expected such a historic event to become a reality in his lifetime.-Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Landrum, Mary. (2010, June 1). [Review of the book Busing Brewster]. School Library Journal.
Retrieved from Books in Print database.

I definitely agree with what the book review has to say about Busing Brewster. I think the author did a fantastic job of incorporating the setting and language into the history of the time in which the story took place, while still keeping it at an appropriate age level for young children. The story itself provides hope while still being realistic in that it still shows the continued hatred of people at the time (again, this is done tastefully in terms of appropriateness for kids). I also agree that the illustrations being in collage form are perfect in that they support the look of an urban setting (as the School Library Journal stated). Overall, I think this is a fantastic book for all ages of elementary students, can be read either independently or as a class, and can definitely be incorporated into a great history lesson.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Book Review
School Library Journal
( March 01, 2010; 9781590785508 )
PreS-Gr 3-A Vietnamese girl feeds caged birds outside a Buddhist temple, beginning a cycle of good deeds continued by the townspeople, including a girl who gives away her red-velvet shoes, before circling back to the birds. Although written to illustrate the Buddhist philosophy of karma, the lesson of this simple story, that helping others is helpful to you, is universal. The muted and warm watercolor-on-board illustrations glow with gold, orange, red, and brown tones, although the girls' unnaturally pink cheeks and lips give them a jarringly clownish look. One of the characters is a monk but the only explicit religious message is found in an author's note that explains karma, nirvana, and samsara (the wheel of life). The arresting cover illustration of a child holding her hands in the air as birds fly into the distance foreshadows the story's conclusion. That dramatic image will immediately engage readers in wondering how the birds will be freed. The slight story serves primarily as a framework for the lesson but the approach is gentle and nonjudgmental.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Whitehurst, L. S. (2010, March 01). (March 01, 2010; 9781590785508). [Review of the book Fly free, by R. Thong]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.booksinprint2.com.leo.lib.....

Thong, R. (2010). Fly free. Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Boyds Mills Press.

I absolutely agree with this review. Although the story speaks about karma and the Buddhist philosophy, the meaning is simple and an all-around good theme for a children’s book. The review speaks highly of the illustrations in the book. I definitely agree that the cover illustrates the ending and also brings readers to pick up the book. When I read the book, I was definitely amazed by all the beautiful colors present. Using the same image at the beginning and the end really pulls the story together. The review also says that there is a strong lesson in the book, but through the beautiful pictures and simple language it is “gentle and non-judgmental.” I agree with this because I never felt pressured to having the same views of the Buddhist philosophy. Personally, I thought the review summed up the book perfectly.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Routt | 15 comments School Library Journal
( March 01, 2009; 9780803731073 )
K-Gr 3-A girl remembers the summer of 1969 and the first moon landing in this lushly illustrated, 40th-anniversary tribute. From her small town of Star, Mae and her family pray for the astronauts, she and her cousins build a homemade "rocket ship," and they all watch the historic moment on television. Pinkney's remarkable graphite, ink, and watercolor paintings evoke both the vastness of space and the intimacy of 1960s family life. Writing in the voice of a nine-year-old African-American girl, Aston is lyrical and sometimes evocative, though some of her narrative choices are overworked. The visual format of the free verses, with every line beginning with a capital letter, is distracting and interferes with the text's natural rhythms. The choice of the name Mae for the character who aspires to be an astronaut may be homage paid to Mae Jemison, and even the name of the fictional town seems to exist just for its metaphorical value. That said, this book offers children a close-up view of an experience that seems quaint today, but that was life-changing in 1969.
-Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted

Lehmuller, Lisa E. (2009, March). (March 1, 2009; 978080373107 ). [Review of the book The Moon Over Star, by Dianna Hutts Aston]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.booksinprint2.com.leo.lib....

I agree with some of this review but not all of it. I agree that this should be a kindergarten through third grade level book and that the pictures were stunning but I disagree with the reviewer’s opinion that the “narrative choices were overworked”. I love the way that the words flowed in the visual format that the author used. It broke the story into three distinct parts that were similar but very different from each other at the same time. I agree with the reviewer that this books helps children of today see how life changing the moon landing was, they hear about it so often and it as so long ago that it has lost its luster and doesn't really seem as amazing as it was. This book, told from the perspective of a nine year old, really helps to show children how amazing it was that a man walked on the moon. I really loved this book!


message 12: by Katharine (last edited Mar 15, 2013 06:49PM) (new)

Katharine | 15 comments From School Library Journal on Fly Free by Roseanne Thong.
PreSchool-Grade 3—A Vietnamese girl feeds caged birds outside a Buddhist temple, beginning a cycle of good deeds continued by the townspeople, including a girl who gives away her red-velvet shoes, before circling back to the birds. Although written to illustrate the Buddhist philosophy of karma, the lesson of this simple story, that helping others is helpful to you, is universal. The muted and warm watercolor-on-board illustrations glow with gold, orange, red, and brown tones, although the girls' unnaturally pink cheeks and lips give them a jarringly clownish look. One of the characters is a monk but the only explicit religious message is found in an author's note that explains karma, nirvana, and samsara (the wheel of life). The arresting cover illustration of a child holding her hands in the air as birds fly into the distance foreshadows the story's conclusion. That dramatic image will immediately engage readers in wondering how the birds will be freed. The slight story serves primarily as a framework for the lesson but the approach is gentle and nonjudgmental.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I couldn’t agree more with the fact that this gives us an insightful look on the Buddhist philosophy and that karma is a language that speaks to everyone. What we put out into this world is what we get back. Just like the book states, "Fly fee, fly free, in the sky so blue. When you do a good deed, it will come back to you." My favorite part of the book is the authors note in the back that explains the reason for paying for the release of birds and more about the beliefs of Buddhists. I didn’t notice that the picture on the front of the book could foreshadow the end of the book. Thanks to this review, I now do. I think by reading these reviews we can see things that we didn’t see before while reading, good and bad things. This is an enchanting book that will appeal to young children and expand their mind on other cultures.

Thong, R. (2010). Fly Free. Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Boyds Mills Press.
[Review of the book Fly Free, by Roseanne Thong]. (2010). School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Free-Rosean...


message 13: by Kait (new)

Kait (ktlnbrns) Just Because by Rebecca Elliot

PreS-Gr 2-A perceptive observer of the cover of this picture book will notice that the rocket bearing Clemmie and her little brother on an imaginative space journey is actually a wheelchair. Refreshingly, the story is about the bond between the siblings and all that they can do. The boy doesn't worry that Clemmie "can't walk, talk, move around much.." He admits honestly that he doesn't know why some people can do things and others can't. His answer to these big questions is a simple if not always satisfying refrain: "Just because." Those two words provide a format for the boy to explain that Clemmie's enormously curly hair, love for their pet ladybug, and ability to cuddle him to sleep are some of her best qualities. He also explains that his special talents include being good at drawing and pointing to things in books. Eating crayons and being scared during a thunderstorm top his list of his own shortcomings. The warm cartoon illustrations on canvas depict children with cheerful round faces and rosy cheeks. Although the story lacks examples of typical sibling friction that may have made it more believable for young readers, it serves as an excellent reminder that children in wheelchairs are not defined by their disabilities.-Jenna Boles, Washington-Centerville Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.



I agree with this review. This book does a good job of showing Clemmie & Toby being siblings and playing together as all siblings do. It doesn't focus on Clemmie's disabilities or the fact that she is in a wheelchair. I think this book would be a good intro for students learning to accept and treat students with disabilities the same as their other peers.


Elliott, Rebecca. Just Because. Oxford: Lion, 2010. Print.

[Review of the book Just Because, by Rebecca Elliot]. (2011). School Library Journal. Retrieved from Books in Print database.


message 14: by Emilee (new)

Emilee | 15 comments Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome

School Library Journal
( June 01, 2008; 9780974721712 )

Review: PreS-Gr 2-A third-person past-tense narrative tells the story of Sam, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. Positive qualities are listed first: "Sam loved to giggle-. Sam was a happy boy." Next, come some of his challenges: he is afraid of loud noises, he has trouble making friends, and he does not like change. When he leaves the house at night, walking all the way to the local fairgrounds because he loved the Ferris wheel so much, his parents know that something must be done. They take him for a check-up and receive the diagnosis. The doctors and therapists give them some suggestions for helping their son at home and at school. The book concludes with Sam playing the cello at a school concert. Because of the interesting story line, the positive approach, and the notion that others can learn to help Sam instead of expecting him to change, this is an excellent introduction to the topic. The pictures are bright and lively, showing mostly happy faces. The book concludes with 10 helpful tips to remember when a friend or a classmate has Asperger's. A useful introduction for both children and adults.

-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

I agree with Leigh, who also read this book; this particular review was definitely more of a summary then a professional review. Compared to the other reviews I read in this discussion post, this review did not give any incite to what the author of the review thought of the book. With that being said, I do agree when she stated that the pictures are “bright and lively”, I think this book will catch the attention of many students. I really enjoyed what this book had to offer as well-beautiful images, a great story with an even better message, and the fact that it concludes with 10 tips for the reader. I really enjoyed reading this book.

Venter, L., & Van Niekerk, C. (n.d.). Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome. N.p.: Skeezel Press.


message 15: by Derek (new)

Derek Westerman | 16 comments *Starred Review* A year after her mother's death, fifth-grader Cally Fisher has started seeing her mom everywhere, though her family thinks she is imagining things. Meanwhile, she keeps getting in trouble at school, her best friend has dumped her, and her home life has been tough. Her once-lively father is distracted and withdrawn, and Luke, her brother, spends his time perpetually playing video games. But when Cally signs up for a sponsored silence school charity fund-raiser, she discovers not speaking has its challenges but its rewards as well, and she decides to continue her silence after the event is over. Life takes another turn when her family has to move for financial reasons, and she meets neighbor boy Sam, who is blind and mostly deaf; Jed, a kindly homeless man; and a large silver-gray dog that she often sees with both Jed and her mother. Progressively, her experiences with each transform her life and the lives of others in unexpected ways. This beautifully written, compelling debut offers an insightful portrayal of grief and healing. Cally is a deeply drawn protagonist whose first-person account eloquently relays poignant and powerfully affecting moments. Vivid supporting characters add depth, especially spirited, sensitive Sam, who not only embodies the meaning of friendship and family but also reinforces the value of connection, communication, and compassion in bringing hearts and lives together.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2010 Booklist

Lean, Sarah. A Dog Called Homeless. HarperCollins Publishers, 2012.

[Review of the book A Dog Called Homeless, by Sarah lean]. (2012). School Library Journal. Retrieved from Books in Print database.

This was a book that I read a few months ago. I was glad to see it on here as I didn't realize it won an award. My wife told me to read it, so I did. I absolutely agree with the above review. This young girl goes through terrible heartache after her mother passes away and becomes silent/depressed. Her new friends Sam, Jed, and the dog all help mend her life back together. Everyone has dealt with their own trouble and problems. Some get through it and some don't. As a reader, you couldn't help but to get a little emotional for this young girl. Great book for everyone!


message 16: by Jess (new)

Jess | 15 comments ( May 01, 2010; 9781933693675 )
Saltypie by: Tim Tingle

Looking back to his childhood, Choctaw storyteller Tingle introduces his capable, comforting Mawmaw (grandmother); recalls his shock as a six-year-old at realizing that she was blind (possibly, he learns, as a result of a racially motivated assault in her own youth); and recounts a hospital vigil years afterward when she received an eye transplant. His strong, measured prose finds able counterpart in Clarkson's subtly modeled, full-bleed close-ups of eloquently expressive faces and closely gathered members of the author's large extended family. The title comes from a word invented by Tingle's father as a stand-in for any sort of pain or distress, and its use serves to enhance the vivid sense of intimacy that pervades this reminiscence. A lengthy afterword provides more details about Tingle's family and Choctaw culture, and offers much to think about regarding American Indian stereotypes.--Peters, John Copyright 2010 Booklist
Grades K-5

Tingle, T. (2010). Saltypie. El Paso, Tx: Cinco Puntos Press.

Peters, John. (2010). School Library Journal. [Review of the book Saltypie, by Tim Tingle]. Multicultural. Retrieved from Books in Print database.

I agree with this review because of how powerful this story truly is. So many times throughout our lives we don't take the time to see things from other peoples point of view, but this book really makes you step back and think about how others are treated. It is a good book to have children read to enable them to get in the mindset of treating people equally.


message 17: by Sasha (new)

Sasha | 15 comments Gr 2-6-Dramatic, quiet, and warming, this is a story of friendship across cultures in 1800s Mississippi. While searching for blackberries, Martha Tom, a young Choctaw, breaks her village's rules against crossing the Bok Chitto. She meets and becomes friends with the slaves on the plantation on the other side of the river, and later helps a family escape across it to freedom when they hear that the mother is to be sold. Tingle is a performing storyteller, and his text has the rhythm and grace of that oral tradition. It will be easily and effectively read aloud. The paintings are dark and solemn, and the artist has done a wonderful job of depicting all of the characters as individuals, with many of them looking out of the page right at readers. The layout is well designed for groups as the images are large and easily seen from a distance. There is a note on modern Choctaw culture, and one on the development of this particular work. This is a lovely story, beautifully illustrated, though the ending requires a somewhat large leap of the imagination.-Cris Riedel, Ellis B. Hyde Elementary School, Dansville, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Riedel C. (July 1, 2006)[Review of the book Crossing the Bok Chitto by Tim Tim Tingle] Retrieved from http://www.booksinprint2.com.leo.lib....
I agree with the review. The pictures in this book are captivating and really pull you in. The story is intense enough that I don’t think it would be appropriate for students younger than 2nd grade. I think that to really understand the content your students need to have learned about slavery. I like that this book concludes with some facts on the modern culture of the Choctaw people.


message 18: by Alaina (new)

Alaina Rogers | 15 comments School Library Journal
( April 01, 2010; 9780316070164 )

Gr 3-6-Through effectively chosen words, Andrea Pinkney brings understanding and meaning to what four black college students accomplished on February 1, 1960, by sitting down at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. Her repeated phrase, "Their order was simple. A doughnut and coffee with cream on the side," along with other food metaphors, effectively emphasizes the men's determination to undo the injustices of segregation in a peaceful protest, which eventually led up to the 1966 Supreme Court ruling against racial discrimination. With swirling swabs of color that masterfully intertwine with sometimes thin, sometimes thick lines, Brian Pinkney cleverly centers the action and brings immediacy to the pages. Both the words and the art offer many opportunities for discussion. The book concludes with a civil rights time line and an update on the aftermath of the lunch-counter struggle.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

[Review of the book Sit-in How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney]. (2010). School Library Journal. Retrieved from Books in Print database.

I agree with this completely. The words that are chosen fit perfectly and the artwork that goes with it are amazing. You don't even need to look at the words in the book to understand what is going on. The time line that is in the back of the book is a great assest to children and with allow them to continue learning after reading the story. This book will allow children to understand what children went throught in the 60's. Even though we all know what happened for the ruling against racial discrimination, this book allows children to learn it in a way that is not overwhelming. This book is a great choice for children to read for many ages and the husband and wife team did an amazing job on this book!


message 19: by Nicolette (new)

Nicolette | 17 comments School Library Journal
( April 01, 2011; 9780810997318 )

K-Gr 3-Tonatiuh relates key moments in the famous muralist's life and ponders what would capture his interest if he were alive today. The stylized brown figures are shown in profile with open mouths, exaggerated features, and heads that seem hinged to the bodies. With only one page mentioning the subject's childhood (in which the young artist is wearing a hat and suit as he draws near his toys), the text concentrates instead on how Rivera internalized traditional and modern styles while studying art in Europe, absorbed the aesthetics of ancient Mexican civilizations after returning home, and then applied his training to local politics and culture. In scenes both thoughtful and humorous, Tonatiuh contrasts interpretations of Rivera's work with renderings of imagined work today. A contemporary mall scene faces the flower vendor with calla lilies. Dynamic, brightly lit luchadores (professional wrestlers) are paired with a scene of Aztec warriors and conquistadores. Back matter includes a glossary of words/concepts in sequence, an author's note, selected sites for viewing the murals, and a list of specific works that inspired the cartoonlike art. Students looking closely will note that some of Rivera's historical paintings include brown figures, in profile, mouths open. The original murals can be found along with biographical details in Mike Venezia's Diego Rivera (Children's Press, 1995) and in Guadalupe Rivera Marin's highly personal My Papa Diego and Me/Mi papa Diego y yo (Children's Book Press, 2009). An inspired approach that combines child appeal, cultural anthropology, and art history.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


message 20: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Messenger | 12 comments D Is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet

School Library Journal
( January 01, 2008; 9781585362936 )
Gr 1-5-A rich and varied portrait of the African-American experience presented in an alphabet format. The words selected range from the generic, such as cowboys, politics, and quilts, to specific events and people, such as the March on Washington, the Great Migration, the Little Rock Nine, and Malcolm X. A rhyming couplet highlights the significance of the chosen term. For example, "Poetry, paintings, photography-the stage!/Hit songs at the top of the chart;/H is for Harlem Renaissance,/a great birth of culture and art." Lewis's powerful watercolor illustrations depict the essence of the topic. This is an inspirational look at the contributions, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of African Americans.-Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(January 2008) [Review of the book: d is for drinking gourd by Nancy Sanders] Retrieved from http://www.booksinprint2.com.leo.lib....


I agree with this book review. I think "D is for Drinking Gourd" has a lot of information for young students about African American History and it is organized in a fashion that is appealing. Using the alphabet makes all of these topics seem easy to learn and that inclusion of rhyming makes the book easy to read. I too think this book is a great way for students to learn about history and the pictures are intriguing.


message 21: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn Tschida | 15 comments KIRKUS REVIEW


An endearing and enduring picture book about sibling love. On the very first page, Toby tells readers about his older sister. “My big sister Clemmie is my best friend. She can’t walk, talk, move around much…cook macaroni, pilot a plane, juggle or do algebra. I don’t know why she doesn’t do these things. Just because.” With the many books about disabilities that are already on the shelves, it is refreshing to find a book where the narrator is the younger sibling. However, Clemmie’s wheelchair plays only a minor role in this story. The wide-set eyes of Toby and Clemmie (and each creature on the page) reveal a deep concern and appreciation for each other. The list of quirky things about both children, whether it's eating crayons or having enormous hair, are accompanied by the refrain that emphasizes that the reasons why don't really matter: Just because. The double-page spreads burst forth in vibrant colors and energetic streaks and swirls. Clemmie, whose name, like the refrain, is always in the same distinctive faux-handwritten type, remains (mostly) serene and still. Full of unconditional love, this is a must-have title in today’s world of false perfection. (Picture book. 5-10)

AGREE
I love the way that Kirkus reviewed this book, it was simple and to the point. They backed up their information and their thoughts with actual passages from the book. I also agree with their statement of the narrator being the younger sibling, you do not see that very often in books, especially ones dealing with a main point like this. This book overall was fun and interesting to read and all the reviews that I read had great, positive feedback.


message 22: by Erin (new)

Erin (missesolheim) | 17 comments Book: Saga of the Sioux: An Adaptation from Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Audience: ages 9-13, those familiar with Native American culture or the area around Wounded Knee, those that have traveled around the Black Hills/Mount Rushmore area
Appeal: This book is very informative with character profiles and ample dialogue. The maps and journal entries included are helpful and not fanciful; they're also engaging, which is a plus. War can sometimes sound dry if you talk about it in a certain way; this book was not dry.
Application: This would go along great with a history class, I think. And American history, specifically. There's definitely a great multicultural focus here. The book does its best to sound unbiased, and that's a feat not easily completed. Because it's based off of Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" it does call into question the reliability of the narrator. But I think Dee Brown as a historian did a pretty good job of trying to stay impartial.
Award: 2012 Carter G. Woodson Book Award

School Library Journal Review:
Gr 6-9-It has been 40 years since the publication of Dee Brown's seminal work on the conquest of the American West from the Indian perspective. That the book was and remains a cultural force is unquestioned, but its accessibility has been vastly enhanced by this adaptation. Zimmerman's focus on one tribe condenses the length of the book while keeping intact the issues and the indignities visited upon the Native American tribes between 1860 and 1890. Well-known figures such as Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse attain new dimensionality, and the story taken as a whole is nothing short of unnerving and, ultimately, heartbreaking. A final chapter covers the Native American movements of the 1960s and 1970s as well as the state of tribal advocacy today. Spellings of names and places follow closely those in Brown's original, sometimes given in both the Anglicized and Native versions. The narrative style is straightforward and readable, depending heavily on primary-source documentation, an exemplar of sound historical research. Black-and-white period photos appear throughout, as do maps of the territory under discussion. Back matter includes a detailed time line from 1851 to 1909 and information on the Sioux calendar. A powerful work, this book will serve as a discussion starter and as an educational tool. It's especially useful for illuminating the fact that the historical record depends heavily upon the viewpoint of those recording it.-Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal. (2011). [Review of the book Saga of the Sioux: An Adaptation from Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown and Dwight Jon Zimmerman]. Retrieved from Books in Print online.

I agree with this review. The primary-source documentation and historical research is well done and accurate. The photos are helpful, and the storytelling is descriptive. It definitely is a discussion starter, and I really enjoy that this review points that out. I really want my students to be mindful/critical thinkers and books like this will help them discover that power within themselves. School Library Journal has always done a wonderful job with review, the grade estimations have been greatly appreciated. I will definitely remember this is a book to come back to thanks to this great review!


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