|It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts|
The Kid Lit Challenge is hosted by Alyson at Kid Lit Frenzy
First, three books which I re-read for our first round of book clubs:
There are so many wonderful new books being written for the YA crowd, that one loses track of treasures such as the ones above. We launched book clubs with some new favorites...but I reached back for these and I'm so glad I did. All three stories are rich with lessons, rich with real life experiences that my kids can relate to, and rich with imaginative leaps that transport them into the awesome world of the maybe. Best of all, these are stories that make for rich discussions which I was so happy to be a part of last week. Some of my class copies are getting rather tattered, but that happens with much loved books...it's a good sign, right?!
The I picked up a different mirror : A History of Multicultural America for Young People by Ronald Takaki adapted by Rebecca Stefoff
The publisher's blurb reads:
A longtime professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Ronald Takaki was recognized as one of the foremost scholars of American ethnic history and diversity. When the first edition of A Different Mirror was published in 1993, Publisher's Weekly called it "a brilliant revisionist history of America that is likely to become a classic of multicultural studies" and named it one of the ten best books of the year. Now Rebecca Stefoff, who adapted Howard Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States for younger readers, turns the updated 2008 edition of Takaki's multicultural masterwork into A Different Mirror for Young People.Spanning the vast time frame from the very beginnings of America to today, this is an important book for our kids to be exposed to in bits and pieces - woven into our historical fiction book clubs or social studies lessons. There are first person accounts as well as informative narrative sections which tell the story of the immigrant groups who came to America in search of better lives. Through these stories we learn of challenges overcome and new trails blazed, and how each group struggled through the process of assimilation. I know that I will be sharing pertinent sections of this book when we launch our historical fiction book groups, when my students will research time periods and events for their book selections. And, this is also a wonderful book to share with my students who are new to America - from Japan, India, Germany, England, Korea to name just a few.
Drawing on Takaki's vast array of primary sources, and staying true to his own words whenever possible, A Different Mirror for Young People brings ethnic history alive through the words of people, including teenagers, who recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and poems. Like Zinn's A People's History, Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People offers a rich and rewarding "people's view" perspective on the American story.
Finally, I read The Lonely Book, written by Kate Bernheimer and illustrated by Chris Sheban... because I had read so many wonderful reviews and knew I had to.
So, everyone was absolutely right about this charming story of a girl who discovers magic within the pages of a book, only to forget about it for a time and allow it to languish, lonely and forgotten...and almost abandoned, until she is reunited with its magic once again. The evocative illustrations are just gorgeous, and I think even my sixth graders who lay claim to great sophistication these days, will love to hear this as a read aloud at the end of one of those crazy hectic, stressful middle school days. I can just hear the "Awwwww's" and see the wistful smiles....