Saturday, May 31, 2014
Krosoczka, J. (2010). Lunch Lady and the league of librarians.New York: Albert A. Knopf.
Dee, Hector, and Terrance ( the Breakfast Bunch) are awaiting the book fair when they suspect foul play. The Librarian ( Mrs. Page) kicks everyone out of library as she heads to her League of Librarian meeting. Clues are left, bullies are threatening and the Lunch Lady squad is on the case. The League of Librarians are foiled in their devilish plot to destroy all the video games. After a cataclysmic battle the world is made safe for both books and video games. The text is filled with puns and super hero posturing. The plot is classic with evil villains and heroes coming to the rescue. The illustrations are hilarious and the action never flags. This low fantasy novel handles new age themes of the place of technology versus traditional acquisition of knowledge.
http://www.scholastic.com/wonderstruck/ & www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/
This wonderfully lyrical book is set in the swamps between Texas and Louisiana . This story flows back and forth between the present day lives of a dog, a cat, her kittens and ancient elemental creatures. An abandoned cat who is looking for a safe place to have her kittens is taken in by an injured hound dog who is chained to the front porch. They all form a pseudo family beneath the front porch. The house is owned by a nefarious character named Gar-Face. Gar-Face is a mean hunter who is obsessed with killing a hundred foot alligator that has eluded him for a long time. At the same time a force that has been trapped for a thousand years is waiting to get out. A storm unleashes all of the characters.
and Gar Face meets an ironic end. The cotton moth Lamia is freed and finally is reunited with her spiritual Gran-daughter. This beautifully written novel deals with difficult subject. The themes of death, animal cruelty, and physical abuse are explored and made accessible by Appelt's lyrical text. Interwoven with glimpses of the Caddo culture and East Texas topograghy, this is an excellent companion for social studies units. The book Cd read by, Gabra Zackman is exceptional and would be wonderful on a family road trip.
Many roles are needed to run a village in any time. Medieval England is examined through personal tales of the members of one village. From "Will the plow boy" to "Giles the Beggar", we are treated to insight into professions that are now extinct or remain today. Schlitz' uses there inter- relatedness to examine how all these roles worked together for the benefit or detriment of the village. Written in lively free verse, the period language brings the past to life. The illustrations reflect the style of a bygone era. The author designed this multiple short story structure to provide multiple roles for reader's theater. Side notes are provided on most pages defining medieval words and author insights on the practices of the medieval period.
The diary entries made by Greg chronicle the minefield that is the life of a middle school student. Greg is not popular or physically fit, but he is a great reader and artist.Greg and Rowely (his best friend) spend their days avoiding bullies, trying to be popular, and managing teacher expectations. Greg struggles with doing the right thing in ethical situations. When Greg does not take responsibility for a poor decision , he loses his best friend. After a major altercation with some bullies, he regains his friend and life as a middle schools student goes on. Kinney has created in a distinct style with the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", series. The graphic features add a comic book quality to his novels. Everyone has doodled at one time or another. The characters are well developed and authentic. I feel that the themes of belonging, mischief, and friendship are universal themes. Everyone can relate and that is what makes this book special. The movie is good, but does not match the magic of Jeff Kinney's book.
Draper crafts a wonderful portrayal of Melody a young girl dealing with the limitations of her cerebral palsy. Despite her supportive parents and care-giver, Melody feels trapped in her body. People doubt her intelligence because of her out word appearance. In actuality, Melody is highly intelligent. Technology eventually gives voice to that fact and she becomes involved in her inclusion class. With study and support she makes an academic competition team. Displaying remarkable smarts and courage, Melody helps advance her team to the finals. Through a heartbreaking betrayal and accident, Melody realizes her own worth. I found this book to be a wonderful character exploration. As an inclusion teacher i hope to understand the inner workings of my students. I found Ms. Drapers' account inspiring and provocative. The characters where multi-layered and presented realistic points of views. The themes of acceptance , courage, acknowledgment where presented in an easily accessible way. Sharon Draper has created wonderful book club questions on her site at: http://sharondraper.com/bookdetail.asp?id=35
Leigh Botts begins a correspondence with author Mr. Henshaw after an assignment issued in sixth grade. Leigh asked Mr. Henshaw a list of questions to which Mr. Henshaw replied with his own set of questions. Through their correspondence over the years, Leigh comes to terms with his relationship with his estranged father. The letter format is a uniquely engage method of drawing the reader into the story. Through Leigh's often surly correspondence we are treated to an authentic experience of a young man's feelings. Setting the novel of a larger time span will allow students to observe Leigh's growth. They will be able to compare and contrast Leigh's tone over the length of the book.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ieDZOkVZkU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ANsvikfnlk
http://www.nicbishop.com/ to see his other award winning books.
Lane Smith has crafted an amusing tale of Monkey trying to read a book with Jackass badgering him with questions. Monkey continues to read his book while Jackass peppers him with questions on how Monkey is processing the information in his book. Eventually, Jackass commandeers Monkeys book. Monkey heads to the library to get a new one. Lane Smith creates large scaled and richly colored characters against a neutral background. The simplicity of the pages allows the characters expressions and postures to speak volumes about their emotions. This would be a wonderful book to introduce all aspects of computer communication to young students. It's a Book, is also available in board book form for toddlers.
This story is based on the fairy tale of, The Three Little Pigs, with surprising and entertaining differences. The wolf is hunting each pig in turn when the huffing and puffing blows the first pig out of his book page. Once freed from their scripted pages the pigs go on an adventure in the in between pages and visit other stories. Along the way they rescue a dragon and a cat. Finally, they decide to go home to the lovely brick home the third pig built. They re-enter their story in time to change the ending. The pigs, the cat, and the dragon make themselves at home. The author engages us by revealing a behind the scenes world . The illustrations carry us along as pigs flypaper airplanes and phase into alternative illustrative styles. This book would be excellent to demonstrate alternative story endings and re-imagining traditional stories.
Max has been sent to bed without his supper for his misdeeds. Unrepentant Max begins an adventure as his room transforms into an exotic forest. Sailing across the sea, Max's boat beaches on the land of the "Wild Things" where Max is made king and much celebrating begins. After a nap, Max decides that it is time for him to return to his home and those who love him best. The magnificent illustrations by Sendak serve to differentiate the setting of Max's home and the Wild thing island. The patina and depiction of the Wild Things serves to emphasize the difference between Max and his fellow revelers. The art work starts simply, swells with vibrancy, then returns to the original tone of the story. This technique visually supports the reader through the story. The wild thing was interpreted in film some what succesfully by Spike Jonze.
Martina the beautiful cockroach has reached the age when she can marry. Because of her beauty, there will be many suitors. Her abeula advises her to apply the coffee test to all of her suitors. After many offers for her hand, Martina meets the mouse of her dreams. Cleverly written with liberal use of clever word play, Deedy writes an engaging romance. Set in old world Havana, this book takes us to a bygone era, which will be illuminating for students. Michael Austins’ illustrations are very engaging with his use of perspective, scale, and exotic patina. The book tape is delightfully read by the author. I would include this book in character education lessons, and fairy tale units.