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The Picture-Book Club > September 2010: Discuss Our "Back-to-School" Club Reads HERE

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
The votes are in! For our September "Back to School" theme we will be reading:

The Junkyard Wonders

My Great-Aunt Arizona

Chrysanthemum

My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan

ALTERNATE TITLE:
Mr. Lincoln's Way

I'm very excited about the titles chosen and think we'll have a good variety while staying with the heart of our theme. Looking forward to discussing come September! :-)


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
My library doesn't have "Junkyard Wonders" yet because it is a new book so I'll be reading "Mr. Lincoln's Way" instead. Both are by the fabulous Patricia Polacco (her books were popular vote-getters, and for good reason!) so I hope you will be able to get at least one of them.


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Yay! I've read 4 of them, and 2 are on reserve: My Great-Aunt Arizona and Nasreen's Secret School (the latter from ILL).

Kathryn, Since you can't get Junkyard Wonders, I highly suggest you try Thank You, Mr. Falker!!!


message 4: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I will, thanks! I feel like I read it once before, but I definitely want to read it again--and write a review :-)


message 5: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
I have most of the books on order from the library, except for The Junkyard Wonders, which is actually on order at the library, so not available yet.


message 6: by Gale (new)

Gale YAY! A good excuse to purchase another Patricia Polacco book!


message 7: by Karol (new)

Karol Yes, this is an awesome selection of books for September!


message 8: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Great list! I'm definitely going to have to catch up on Patricia Polacco's works!


message 9: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Well, I've done a little investigating, and it looks like my library has everything except The Junkyard Wonders, which is still on order. I hope it comes in in time!"

I think for many libraries, that book is still on order, it's on order at my library as well.


message 10: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
All of the books have arrived, hooray! I am really happy I could get all of them (except "Junkyard Wonders"--my library is very slow in adopting newly published titles!) and hope to read a few before Wednesday. Looking forward to our discussion :-)


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I just finished the sixth book today so I'm ready to go in 2 days. Yay! It was yet another wonderful month of books for this club.


message 12: by Lisa (last edited Aug 30, 2010 03:24PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I had already read four. I recently read My Great-Aunt Arizona and today I read Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan. For once, I think I actually remember the four I've already read; I don't feel the need to reread. I certainly remember very well both by Patricia Polacco. (Gosh, I wish I'd stop being lazy and write to Polacco/her publisher and try to get permission to post a photo for her Goodreads' profile!!!)

Abigail, It would be worth it to read it at a bookstore! I'm so evil. I actually have done that very few times in my life. I'd have done it for The Junkyard Wonders if I hadn't been able to borrow it from ILL. ETA: I might have bought it, but probably not. Of her 52(?) books, I'd probably love to own 1/2 of them, but I have borrowed all I've read by her.


message 13: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 01, 2010 09:21AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
I am so glad you liked My Great-Aunt Arizona, Abigail; I found it a gorgeous story as well (a bit similar to Little House on the Prairie in tone, but even lovelier, even more engaging, as Arizona Houston obviously wants to be a teacher, while when you read the Little House series, it sometimes seems that Laura Ingalls becomes a teacher because she feels that it is her duty to her parents, to her family to do so).

I also think the book really shows not only what children (especially girls) had to go through to get an education, but also how important those teachers in the one room school houses were, who inspired their students to study, to travel, to take in the world, although many of them (like Arizona Houston) never actually had the chance to do this themselves.

One of the things I liked most about the book was that Arizona did not have to give up her teaching profession once she got married. She continued to teach, even bringing her baby to school. In many areas of North America in the late 19th and early 20th century, while many women did become teachers, they often were legally obliged to give up their profession once they were married. The fact that Arizona Houston was able to continue teaching after marrying is really quite amazing and quite novel, quite progressive.


message 14: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I'll join in tomorrow or Friday. I'd love to discuss all 6 books.


message 15: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I, too, loved My Great-Aunt Arizona. I was thinking four stars, right up until the end when I had to bump it to five stars. It really "got" me ;-) I thought it was just a lovely, lovely book. I really enjoyed word choice and illustrations, both created such a sense of atmosphere and warmth. And Arizona seemed like an amazing teacher! Like Gundula, I was very impressed that she was able/allowed to keep teaching after she married and I love that she brought her babies to work with her.


message 16: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 02, 2010 08:04AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "I, too, loved My Great-Aunt Arizona. I was thinking four stars, right up until the end when I had to bump it to five stars. It really "got" me ;-) I thought it was just a lovely, ..."

I don't know how to explain this exactly, but the book also had a wonderful rhythm and cadence to it, a rhythm so far removed from the stressful and at times frenetic pace of the modern world, which also at times permeates children's literature. It was a sweet, calming story which, nevertheless, was able to communicate much information.


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "I don't know how to explain this exactly, but the book also had a wonderful rhythm and cadence to it..."

I know what you mean! Yes, it really did. It was, as you say, very sweet and calming. Loved it!


message 18: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments I have just recently read Chrysanthemum and I really enjoyed it!!! I loved the way that Chrysanthemum (whew, what a name!) conquered her fear of being different from everyone else because of her long and unique name. This has always been a favorite of mine for a long time!!


message 19: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 02, 2010 03:27PM) (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "I have just recently read Chrysanthemum and I really enjoyed it!!! I loved the way that Chrysanthemum (whew, what a name!) conquered her fear of being different from everyone else bec..."

I liked the story a lot. And, the story of a girl with an unusual name being harassed at school is something any person (like me, for example, with a name like Gundula) can relate to. The book also shows how in many cases, bullying is not taken seriously enough. Chrysanthemum's teacher Mrs. Chud, for example, does nothing about her being bullied about her name, except that she says something sarcastic to Victoria (thank you for sharing that with us). And, even Chrysanthemum's parents, although they tell her that she is special and coddle her a bit at home, really do nothing about the actual bullying, they don't complain at school, they don't confront the teacher. They think that by telling Chrysanthemum that her name is beautiful, everything will be fine, but the bullying keeps happening (my parents did the same thing with me when people used to call me Gondola instead of Gundula or made fun of my accent).

Bullying usually means having to actively confront the bullying behaviour at its source, and the only one to do that was/is Mrs. Twinkle, probably because she knows from personal experience what name calling and bullying is like. And, she does it in a way that not only makes Chrysanthemum feel great about herself again, but it makes the erstwhile bullies realise that Chrysanthemum's name is indeed both an unusual and a pretty name.

The fact that Chrysanthemum's parents named her this also made me think of the problems of giving your child an unusual or difficult to pronounce name. If you are going to do that, you should also be aware of the fact that this might cause bullying problems or even not deliberate pronunciation problems in school and you must be willing to actively deal with this and confront these problems, which Chrysanthemum's parents really do not do (telling your daughter that her name is perfect will not help if she is being ridiculed at school every day).

As much as I loved the narrative, I did not really find the illustrations all that attractive. It's just a personal preference, but I found nothing in the narrative that indicated to me in any way that the story dealt with mice, so, for me, personally, I would have preferred illustrations of human beings instead of anthropomorphic animals.


message 20: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "I have just recently read Chrysanthemum and I really enjoyed it!!! I loved the way that Chrysanthemum (whew, what a name!) conquered her fear of being different from e..."

Wow! I didn't know you were teased because of your name Gundula! I was also teased when I was little because many kids in my class thought that Ronyell was a strange name, even though I do love my name because it is so original. My favorite character in this book was Mrs. Twinkle because not only is she a very beautiful looking character, she was able to convince the bullies that Chrysanthemum is a beautiful name by relating her own name which was also long and unusual (Delphinium, I think that's the spelling).


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "I have just recently read Chrysanthemum and I really enjoyed it!!! I loved the way that Chrysanthemum (whew, what a name!) conquered her fear of being ..."

She is definitely a great character, and the only one who actually does something that really stops the bullying, none of the other grown ups did anything really workable, anything that really caused the bullies to think and change their attitude.

I love your name, Ronyell, but I can just imagine how kid could have/would have teased you, with me it was made worse that I also had a German accent for a while (and still do, a bit). And, bullying does not just disappear most of the time, there often needs to be intervention.


message 22: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "I have just recently read Chrysanthemum and I really enjoyed it!!! I loved the way that Chrysanthemum (whew, what a name!) conquered he..."

I'm sorry that you were teased because of your accent. To be honest, I always wanted to learn German and seeing how you are so interested in the German language, I like to learn more about it! I also agree that the other adults didn't do a thing to help Chrysanthemum work out her bullying problems because sometimes when parents just tell their children that their names are perfect or that there is nothing wrong, then it makes the situation even worse because then the bullies are thinking that because the adults are not stepping in to stop the bullying, then they can take advantage of anyone who they considered are stranger than them.


message 23: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kathrynh) The first book I got from the libary was The Junkyard Wonders, the rest are still on order. You all will love this true story AND the very last page tells where everyone is today. The artwork is wonderful, too. Mrs. Peterson the teacher was so innovative in making each child in the Junkyard class feel special, unique and capable of absolutely anything.


message 24: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I, too, loved Chrysanthemum -- I can never hear that word without thinking of the part in "Anne of Green Gables" (the movie) where Anne bests Gilbert at spelling ChrysanthEmum! ;-) I think it is just pitch-perfect and I thought the illustrations were adorable and really added to the story (like how the parents are being all reassuring and upbeat with their daughter over how awesome her name is, but then the dad is reading books about adolescent angst and such on the side, haha!) I can't really add much to what Gundula and Ronyell said about the nature of bullying and the differences between the two teachers. I agree Mrs. Twinkle rocks!!! ;-> I did think it was interesting that all of the sources for Chrysanthemum's "wilting" or "blooming" (love that!) over her name came from outside sources--I think there were hints of her finding joy in it for herself, and especially at home on her own or with her parents, which is ultimately what I would have hoped for her at school, too. But, I think that the nature of school is often such that kids do feed off of others so much, the positive and the negative, that I'm glad there was someone like Mrs. Twinkle to be that positive change in Chrysanthemum's perception of herself in the classroom setting. I just love Kevin Henkes and I am so happy to have read this little gem!


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Well, I loved reading all the books. I needed to recently read only two since I'd already read four and remembered them well enough to discuss them.

Patricia Polacco is one of my very favorite picture book authors, and The Junkyard Wonders and Mr. Lincoln's Way are two of my favorite books by her. They both made me cry, as do many of her books. I love school centered books that feature kids with challenges. I really appreciate how Polacco tells stories that really happened in her own childhood.

I was really surprised at how touched I was by My Great-Aunt Arizona. I did wonder whether this was one picture book adults might appreciate more than would kids.

I think that My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World is the perfect book for this month's club's reads. It gives such a wonderful overview of different children's experiences.

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan is another great choice and also touched me. I was surprised at how powerful was this short & simple story.

Chrysanthemum was wonderful. I have loved everything I've read by Kevin Henkes.

So, I enjoyed the reading. I am having a difficult time participating in group discussions these days, so I'll follow this thread and post as I think of things to say, in response to others' message posts.

I appreciate how so many of this month's selections, all but Chrysanthemum actually, are non-fiction or based on truth.

The Chrysanthemum discussion so far is very interesting.

Another great month for this club. We haven't had a bad one yet!


message 26: by Crystal (last edited Sep 04, 2010 11:01PM) (new)

Crystal Marcos (crystalmarcos) | 477 comments I started with Chrysanthemum. I enjoyed this book and reading the discussion about it. I liked the attention to detail in the illustrations. For example, the books Dad was reading or the chalkboard with words. I also smiled at the little mice sleeping, some of them with their arms strait up in the air. Too funny! I got a kick out of the students names listed on the page seeing Kay and Max next to each other. I will have to share this book with Kaylee and her cousin Max when they are old enough to read.

As for the story itself, I agree with all points made in the discussion. I do believe the bullying should have been addressed more. I wasn't too thrilled that Chrysanthemum giggled at Victoria after her mistake. That isn't something I want my daughter to think is okay.

I loved Mrs. Twinkle and her interesting dress. Not sure I could have rocked that dress when I was pregnant, but she sure did! I did like that she named her baby Chrysanthemum. FYI I had to keep making sure I was spelling that right!


message 27: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Crystal wrote: "I wasn't too thrilled that Chrysanthemum giggled at Victoria after her mistake. That isn't something I want my daughter to think is okay.

Oh, I'm glad someone else pointed that out! I thought that, too. I mean, I guess I don't blame Chrysanthemum for *feeling* like she wanted to giggle--but to actually do so, and not even feel the least bit guilty... yeah, I wasn't a fan so much.


message 28: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Crystal wrote: "I wasn't too thrilled that Chrysanthemum giggled at Victoria after her mistake. That isn't something I want my daughter to think is okay.

Oh, I'm glad someone else pointed that ou..."


On the other hand, after all of the teasing she had had to endure, I can certainly understand Chrysanthemum's reaction. And, all she did was giggle a bit, not nice, I know, but she did not try to humiliate Victoria before the entire class (which was precisely what Victoria tried to do with Chrysanthemum, remember that she actually raised her hand in class and told the entire class that Chrysanthemum's name had thirteen letters). I am not trying to excuse Chrysanthemum's behaviour as acceptable, but I can certainly understand it.


message 29: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 07, 2010 09:16AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I suppose I just feel that when people are teased, etc. they react by teasing as a kind of defense or revenge or they become more sensitive and don't do to others what hurt them so much. I just kind of wish Chrysanthemum was the latter, as a "role model" to kids reading the book--but, like you said, it is totally understandable for her to react as she did, especially being so young.


message 30: by Manybooks (last edited Sep 07, 2010 09:26AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "I suppose I just feel that when people are teased, etc. they either become teasers themselves as a kind of defense or revenge or they become more sensitive and don't do to others what hurt them so ..."

There is also not enough information as to wether her giggling will mean that Chrysanthemum will now become a teaser or wether she will become a more sensitive individual who does not want to hurt others like she has been hurt. Giggling might also be somewhat a nervous reaction to an exciting day. And, as the book ends there, there is no way for us to know (and, I would hesitate to speculate, based on one action, a simple case of the giggles) whether Chrysanthemum will now become a teaser (I somehow doubt it because she did not single Victoria out, or publicly point out the fact that she made a mistake).


message 31: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 07, 2010 09:17AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Oh, that is true! I did not mean to imply that Chrysanthemum would become a permanent teaser (I'll edit my comment accordingly) just wished she did not tease at all. Since it was the end of the book, I just wanted it to end on a more positive note for her. (I still loved the book, even so, and think it has a great message for kids delivered in a fun and creative way.)


message 32: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Well, I loved reading all the books. I needed to recently read only two since I'd already read four and remembered them well enough to discuss them."

I'm so glad you are still able to contribute to our discussion given how busy you are, Lisa! And I'm glad you enjoyed all the books and have fond memories of those you read earlier :-)


message 33: by Lisa (last edited Sep 07, 2010 10:17AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Thanks, Kathryn.

It's not even so much busy as frazzled!

I'm interested that so much of the discussion has been about the one fiction book we read this month, Chrysanthemum.

So far anyway.


message 34: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments Not much to add...yet... I've read My Great-Aunt Arizona many times, including a number of times to my classes at school (in 3rd and 5th grade)... I don't know if students find it as wonderful as adults...but most of my students have been interested to see how different school was back then. It's a great example of historical fiction and they are able to do some great comparing and contrasting. I personally love it for all the reasons mentioned... that Arizona was such a wonderful teacher, the illustrations are great, it is so peaceful. I love seeing the Christmas trees that she plants... and how they symbolize all the years that she taught, the seeds (of learning) planted and the lives that she touched. Just absolutely love that book.

It's been awhile since I read Chrysanthemum, so I'll have to reread it now after reading the comments. Can't wait to read the rest...they are all ordered from the library but it will be a few days until they come and I can get to them since both my children and I are back to school.


message 35: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 192 comments My Great-Aunt Arizonawas a wonderful book to read. It really made me think back to watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie. The petticoats, straw hats, bonnets, pigtails and overalls how adorable. I guess you could say I got caught up in the illustrations. It certainly portrayed the time period very well. I think this story may pique childrens interest if it was coupled with other similar books, in a unit where students are talking about wants versus needs or when comparing various time periods. Certainly has multiple uses and a nice message.


message 36: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "I'm interested that so much of the discussion has been about the one fiction book we read this month, Chrysanthemum.

So far anyway."


Yes, I've been eager to read the others but this is a really busy time for me and every time I crack one open, I realize how much longer they are than the usual picture books so I can't squeeze it in. (I've been rushing to finish some novels before their due dates!) But, I'm really looking forward to reading the rest next week ;-)


message 37: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Brenda and Jenny, so glad you enjoyed Great Aunt Arizona, too. And it's great to hear that your students like it too, Jenny.


message 38: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kathrynh) Kathryn wrote: "I, too, loved My Great-Aunt Arizona. I was thinking four stars, right up until the end when I had to bump it to five stars. It really "got" me ;-) I thought it was just a lovely, ..."

I loved this book so much and the illustrations just flowed with the story. Don't you wish everyone had an Aunt Arizona for a teacher?


message 39: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments I have just recently read Mr. Lincoln's Way and I really enjoyed that book!! I loved Mr. Lincoln's strategy in helping Eugene conquer his prejudice against other students and Patricia Polacco's illustrations were just so beautiful to look at! I'll definitely be checking into more books by Patricia Polacco later on!


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Ronyell wrote: "I'll definitely be checking into more books by Patricia Polacco later on!"

Ronyell, A good number of Patricia Polacco's books are outstanding!


message 41: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Lisa wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "I'll definitely be checking into more books by Patricia Polacco later on!"

Ronyell, A good number of Patricia Polacco's books are outstanding!"


Yeah! I have read Appelemando's Dream by Patricia Polacco and I really enjoyed it!


message 42: by Karol (new)

Karol I certainly enjoyed reading all of the selected books for the theme this weekend. Not one clinker among them!

I, too, loved My Great-Aunt Arizona. According to the author's note, Arizona was a real person. What a wonderful teacher she must have been - and I can't imagine doing anything for 57 years, let alone teaching. I was touched the most, I think, by the fact that even though she had dreams of seeing faraway places she came back to her own little village to teach, and to encourage her students to follow their dreams.

Chrysanthemum was quite interesting. I related to it as a parent who named my son after his father. Dennis is not a particularly unusual names, but it's not the most common. Most children his age aren't even familiar with the cartoon character, but my generation is. And would you believe it was the ADULTS who called him "Dennis the Menace" when they first met him? I'd always correct them gently, but it really P___d be off! Anyway, I had the same reaction over the contrast between the worthless Mrs. Chud and the sensitive Mrs. Twinkle. As for the illustrations, they were a bit too cutesy for me - but I imagine they would engage children and make the bullying theme less threatening.

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan told the painful story of what it was like to be female under the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan in a way that would be understandable to children. I would highly recommend this one, both for the value it places on education as well as how it would help a child get a glimpse into another part of the world, with its culture and challenges.

Similarly, I really enjoyed Margaret Ruurs My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World. My son has been fascinated with this one, too. He thought it would be so cool to go to the "School of the Air" in Australia. But when I point out that the nearest child his own age would live as far away as I have to drive to go to work every day, he didn't like that idea at all. He is quite the social kid! I think this book is great for young school-aged children as a read-along, or older school-aged kids who can read it on their own. The different schools are fascinating, and learning about school helps make the other countries featured relatable. A great teaching tool for social studies, and expanding a child's world view!

Finally, there are the wonderful books by Patricia Polacco. I liked Mr. Lincoln's Way very much. I particularly enjoyed how he used the amazing variety in the birds that fascinated the troubled boy as an analogy to point out that all people, no matter the color of their skin, have value. And I loved, loved, LOVED The Junkyard Wonders. This story was compelling and uplifting as the teacher of a "special" class helped each child feel as though they could achieve their dreams. She counted them as geniuses, and allowed them to prove her to be correct. I liked the note at the end that described what the main characters in the story, children in the "Junkyard" had accomplished. Yep - genius.


message 43: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I agree that it's so wonderful Arizona was a real person and that her students were so fortunate. On the back cover of the copy I got from the library, there is a photograph of Arizona and, I think, the author of the book? I have returned it to the library so I can't be sure, but perhaps someone else also has this edition?


message 44: by Crystal (last edited Sep 15, 2010 04:58PM) (new)

Crystal Marcos (crystalmarcos) | 477 comments I have been on vacation and was worried I would be very far behind. I see many of you are just as busy if not busier. I enjoyed catching up on the conversations and discussions and can't wait to jump back in. I will also need to get over to the other thread to vote for next months books.


message 45: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Welcome back, Crystal! Yes, I am woefully behind on the picture books for this month (and shame on me since I'm supposed to be moderating, ha! Glad you are all so wonderful with carrying on the conversations on your own--thanks!) So, feel welcome to come in and discuss books any time :-) You are not behind at all!


message 46: by Gale (new)

Gale I am a HUGE fan of Patricia Polacco and have many of her books. The Junkyard Wonders has to be one of my favorites! As always, her delightful illustrations add a touch of humor to a serious topic--children who feel different from others. I didn't find the book predictable at all but kept wondering what was going to happen. The report at the end about what became of each child from the group was a big, uplifting surprise! This is a great book to help anyone of any age realize that differences in people are to be respected and nurtured.


message 47: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Gale wrote: "I am a HUGE fan of Patricia Polacco and have many of her books. The Junkyard Wonders has to be one of my favorites! As always, her delightful illustrations add a touch of humor to ..."

Wow, it sounds SO wonderful! I look forward to reading it when my library gets a copy--sooner than later, I hope!


message 48: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Gale wrote: "I am a HUGE fan of Patricia Polacco and have many of her books. The Junkyard Wonders has to be one of my favorites! As always, her delightful illustrations add a touch..."

I hope my library gets the book soon as well, I think really recently published picture books are always going to be hard to find at the library.


message 49: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments I just read My Great-Aunt Arizona and I really enjoy this book! I loved the fact that Gloria Houston made a story about her great aunt Arizona and how she loved teaching!! I really think that this is a truly inspirational book for both adults and children who love to be inspired into teaching!


message 50: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 17, 2010 08:12AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I finally read Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan and think it's a very important story. I can't say I was wild about the style of the illustrations(though I appreciated the content and what the illustrator was trying to convey--I think they were effective, just not really my style. Though I did love the illustration toward the end where Nasreen was imagining her parents on the clouds on the horizon!) Like those who've already commented, I agree it's a very important story about the power of an education and the beauty of optimism, persistence and ingenuity in the face of adversity. I also really appreciated the author's note at the beginning, clarifying the differences between women's status in pre-Taliban Afghanistan to what came after. I think this was an excellent way to show that it was a select group of people, not "all Muslims" or "the Muslim religion", limiting the rights of women.


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