Monday, April 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Warner, Gertrude Chandler. The Boxcar Children. Niles, Ill. : A. Whitman, c1977.
Summary: Four children head out on their own after their parents death. They are running away from being sent to the grandfather's house, whom they've never met but are sure is not very nice. After the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to make it their home. Henry, the oldest goes to look for work in town as the younger children Jessie, Violet, and the youngest, Benny, take over making the boxcar a home. The kids enjoy their new home and take pleasure in the small treasures they find. Eventually, they find out that the kind man who has hired Henry is their grandfather. He moves the boxcar to his backyard as a gift to celebrate them moving in with him.
by Amanda Porick "Mandie Porick" Amazon.comI read these books in 3rd grade. I'm 25 now. I still think fondly about the times when I read the Boxcar Children series. I still remember the vivid explaination by Gertrude Chandler Warner of the treasures the children find including a cup with a chip in it that they use to survive while living in the boxcar.
This is one of the many books that helped me develop a great love for reading. As an educator, I can now say that this is one of the literary gems out there that is timeless for students (and adults) of all ages to enjoy.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Rappaport, Doreen. Martin's Big Words. New York: Jump at the Sun/ Hyperion Books, 2001.
Summary: This book tells the tale of how young Martin felt growing up during the segregation years. As a boy he sees the signs denoting what was for "whites" and what was for "blacks." Even to a child, this was obviously wrong. Martin's Big Words tells of the strength and bravery MLK had in taking a stand for what he knew was right. Through very simple and carefully selected quotes, Rappaport weaves a great account of the life of a great man.
Horn Book starred (Spring, 2002)
The text is a mix of finely honed biographical narrative and appropriate quotes from King himself, emphasizing the concept that from his youth Martin had sought to inspire others with his words. The essential events of King's life are presented in a straightforward yet moving style. The facts are extended by breathtaking collage illustrations. A chronology and informative notes from author and illustrator are included.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Krull, Kathleen. Harvesting Hope. San Diego: Harcourt, 2003.
Summary: Cesar Chavez was born and spent the first part of his childhood in Arizona on his family's farm. In Harvesting Hope, Cesar describes his childhood in Arizona as peaceful and happy, filled with wonderful memories of family gathering. After a devastating fire and his father's death, Cesar and his other family members are forced to move to California as migrant workers. Moving from place to place in search of work, Cesar is shocked by the changes in his life. As Cesar becomes aware of the poor conditions of migrant life and the lack of right it entails, he is determined to do something about it. Starting off brave yet shy, Cesar works to get the migrant workers to united for their rights. Always staying true to his ideals of peaceful change, Cesar eventually wins rights for the migrant workers. Chavez continues his fight until his death.
Kirkus Review (July 1, 2003)
"Cesar Chavez, like his heroes Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, believed in non-violent change. He fought ceaselessly for the rights of migrant farm workers to have a decent living conditions and a living wage. Krull does not offer a birth-to-death biography, instead focusing on the influences of his early years, the organization of the National Farm Workers Association, and the first contract with the grape growers. She portrays Chavez as a quiet, patient, strong-willed man who believed implicitly in his "causa" and worked tirelessly for his people. She presents additional events in his life and the circumstances of his death in an author's note. Morales uses bright acrylic colors that flow across the pages, mirroring the constant movement in Chavez's life. The overall look of the work is reminiscent of a Diego Rivera mural. Krull and Morales introduce a long-neglected figure from recent history to a new audience in an informative, eye-catching manner. A notable achievement."
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2002.
Summary: 16 year old Matilda "Mattie" Cook lives with her mother and grandfather running a coffehouse in Philadelphia. The epidemic becomes personal when Mattie learns that their servant girl has died of yellow fever. This begins Matilda's journey of coping and survival as the disease decimates the city, turning the place into a ghost town. With her mother missing, Matilda mess grow up quickly and learn to take care of herself and her grandfather who becomes ill. After the death of her grandfather, Mattie faces hunger, robbers, hostile neighbors, and illness. She comes to rely on her former cook, a free African American with whom she has a special relationship. Together they forge ahead to survive the fever.
Publishers Weekly (March 4, 2002)
"PW called this ambitious novel about the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged 18th-century Philadelphia "extremely well researched. However, larger scale views take precedence over the kind of intimate scenes that Anderson crafted so masterfully in Speak." Cahners Business Information.