Oregon Battle of the Books selection committee didn’t disappoint with this one. Again, another story that is so relevant to the times. Shayla, along with her besties Julia and Isabella, make up the United Nations….friends for years, all from a different background. But true to kid fashion, it didn’t matter to them. As they start middle school however, things start to change. Moore Ramee does a great job talking about BLM. Shootings, protests, standing up for what you believe in. A great book to read together as a family or as a read aloud in class.
I was happy to see this type of book come across my check in desk at the library. The illustrations are fantastic. The message is important and educational. There are resources for parents. I just didn’t love the flow of the text. It would be difficult to be a read aloud for me, just because of the flow. There are many ways to talk about gender and this book is a step towards a more inclusive, diverse selection of picture books. People are people, no matter how they identify and they deserve respect and opportunity like everyone else.
Areli is a little girl who lives in Mexico with her abuela and her brother. Her mother and father live in New York, trying to make a better life for the family. Areli talks to her parents every Sunday and after those calls, she wonders why she isn’t in America with her parents. It is especially confusing because her brother is able to go to America as he pleases because he was born there. As time passes, and Alex is moved to New York, Arelia starts school and then the day arrives for Areli to leave Mexico. America is so loud and different than the mountains Areli lived in. She learns English, makes friends and becomes a “Dreamer”. Based on the life of the author, Arelia Morales, it is a beautiful, heart tugging story of being an immigrant in the United States. Through the creation of DACA, Areli is eventually approved and is now a Dreamer. The DACA program is always at risk, especially in this current administration, but these children deserve to be treated as equals and deserve to have a life here in America. An important and beautiful read that should be in every classroom.
Have you ever been told that you aren’t enough? Fast enough, strong enough, pretty enough, tall enough. Bessie Stringfield was told almost all of that. She wished to ride a bike, like the boys, but didn’t know if she could. She began to ride everywhere as fast as she could. One day, as the boys were getting ready to race off, Bessie got ready as well and rode so fast she flew past them all.
Bessie Stringfield was a real person. She was the first African American woman to ride cross country solo on a motorbike. She would toss a penny on a map to see where she would ride to next. It wasn’t always easy however. These were the days when blacks weren’t allowed in all places so if she couldn’t find a hotel that she was allowed to stay in, she would sleep on her motorcycle overnight.
Great illustrations, easy text with some biographical information at the back.
Did you ever want to run away as a child? Well, Sophia has had enough. Life just isn’t fair and she plans on running away to the moon. She leaves her mom a note and blasts off with her kitty, Mr. Wubbles. Mom wishes her a good trip and then sends Sophia cookies. Sofia is making friends and having a great time. Mom tells Sophia that she is going to let a moon friend sleep in her bed. Eventually Sophia gets homesick and wants mom to come to the moon. A great story for all kids. Lovely illustrations and text that is written as notes between Sophia and her mom.
So many things I can’t keep up on right now. Unfortunately reading is one of them…grrrr…I have so many books I want to read and so many more that I want to look for but I am standing in my own way. I have, however, started a book mobile so that I can take books to kids. Mostly these are kids I already serve at my school. I realized some of them might not have had a new book in 6 months. Since they aren’t allowed in their school library (ya know that thing called Covid) I decided to purchase some books, purchase some bins and put them in my car. It is slowly picking up pace now that they are settled into their distance learning. I have also taken books to kids that I didn’t know. Friends of friends, that kind of thing. I have received donations of books and cash (that was a surprise:-) you should check it out:
I don’t think I ever read elephant and piggie to my kids. I’ve started enjoying them since I’ve started working with kids. Kids were very sad about the series ending but I however am very excited about the Elephant and Piggie Like Reading. This newest one is by one of my absolutely favorite picture book authors, @RyanT_Higgins author of the fabulous Bruce books. Tiger does not like worms but everywhere he goes, he runs into worm potential. He breaks his flower pot, throws his apple and throws a book. Little does he know that the worms think he is nice and brave. Another great addition to this spin off series, all written by some very fabulous authors.books.disney.com/book-author/ryan-t-higgins
So it’s the beginning of April and the whole world is in turmoil. I can’t physically work at either of my jobs so I haven’t been able to connect with kids at all. I am however working in an Emergency Operations Center for my county. It isn’t working with kids, but I’m trying to contribute. With publishers and authors relaxing the rules for reading their books on video, my goal is to start reading out loud hopefully this week. As it looks like we could possible not to return to school this year, my focus is on the OBOB titles for 20-21 (are you sick of hearing about OBOB yet?). I’ve read a few and so far I don’t hate anything. I think I’ve written about Front Desk by Kelly Yang previously. Well it is an OBOB selection for the coming year and I’m super happy about that. I’m also amazed by Kelly Yang. She has offered free writing classes on her website (scroll down after you land on the home page) and I hope I can watch the videos soon.
Almost 19 years ago (as of my writing this post), our country, our lives, our view of the world was sent into chaos. We are all in different spaces as far as how much we know about that event, how it affected us and how we pulled through.
Nora Raleigh Baskin has ventured into a very hard day in the past. Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story takes place before and during 9/11. It is told by 4 different middle schoolers who all have a different story about that time. Told with language that kids will understand but without the gore and true violence, it was an impactful read. It does talk about the planes and the crashes but thats about the extent. I say read it with your kids because they may have questions. If you aren’t old enough to have been alive for that day, ask your momma or your daddy or your auntie or uncle or any adult who was alive…..I promise they will know exactly where they were and what they were doing.
I’m sure that I have written about OBOB before. A state wide voluntary reading competition that students in grades 3-12 can compete in. I am a coach for both 3-5th grades and 6-8th grades. It seems that I won’t have a 6-8 team so I have stopped reading those titles but I didn’t get through a few:
These are the three titles I read from the 6-8 list and I enjoyed them all. I’ll write about Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and it’s follow up Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus.
The elementary (3-5) list this year is very engaging and also very different from one another.
These are just three of the books for the 3-5th grade list. There is something for everyone. If you have kids in school, I sure hope that your state/city/county has some version of Battle of the Books.
I am so happy to read another suck me in until the end Patterson book. As I have never read an adult novel by him, I was not sure if this story is a continuation of an Alex Cross book. Ali is the youngest child of Alex Cross and he tends to go all in when something needs his attention. His father is going to trial, his friend is missing and he has to deal with bullies at school. Ali thinks that the police aren’t doing enough to find his friend Gabe, so he starts his own investigation. It’s Christmastime so houses are full of gifts. Break-ins start to happen, even at the Cross home. Ali wonders if his friend Gabe has anything to do with it.
A book about not giving up, being true to your friends and standing up for what’s right. I hope this is a series.