I finally had the time during Winter Break to give this book the attention it so deserves. What an amazing story about the mission to bring Adolf Eichmann to justice. I was literally on the edge of my seat when the men were finally able to put their plan into action. Just an unbelievable, powerful, emotional story. A must-read.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
What a beautifully written book. Like Lois Lowry's Newbery speech, describing the streams of stories that flowed into the river that became The Giver, this book makes me want to go back go all of the little streams of stories that have built the river of my life. Jackie grew up in the 60s, but I saw myself in her. The many branches of her family, the uncertainty of home. Beautiful.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
El Deafo is a cleverly written graphic novel about Cece Bell's childhood and the hearing aides that impacted her every interaction. I learned several things from Cece about living with hearing loss. I loved how brutally honest the narrator was with the reader in regards to how she felt about how people treated her. A great read!
Monday, December 1, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Beautifully written and well-thought out. Students will need some scaffolding on the shifting narrators and flash forwards. At times heartwarming and heartbreaking, this tale is an important one to discover. I still have to read the notes at the back of the book. Fascinating!
I wasn't very sure about this graphic novel at first, since I was unfamiliar with the story. Students will struggle with the background/ intro information load -- I did (unless they already have background knowledge of the topic). But, once I got into their journey, I really enjoyed the little narratives of the jokes, struggles, and activities that passed the time. I was audibly surprised at the many acts of courage and ingenuity of these brave men. Fascinating! It left me wanting more.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
This book is so smart! I love a main character with sarcasm. Short, cliff-hanger chapters make it a great pick for a kid who needs some motivation to keep reading! I listened to the audiobook of this and really enjoyed (and laughed out loud at) the wonderfully unique voices the narrator created. It made me want to step up my own read aloud game. Loved how all the pieces of this puzzle fell together.
I actually read BLOODY TIMES: THE FUNERAL OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE MANHUNT FOR JEFFERSON DAVIS, which is the "special adaptation for young people" published by Scholastic. I learned so many things! For one, I didn't know that the South had a president during the Civil War, Jefferson Davis. I felt so ignorant when I announced that fact to my husband while he was driving and I was reading. He, a history buff, couldn't believe I didn't know that. There were a lot of details about Lincoln's funeral train that were fascinating, and seeing the images of his Springfield house and tomb bring back memories from my many years chaperoning 7th graders on a field trip to visit. It made me see those places in a different light after seeing the vintage photographs of each place decorated for his memorial. Fascinating!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
I teared up a few times reading about the bonds that develop between the dogs and their handlers. Especially the story of the soldier who was shot and his dog who laid over him to protect him though he died. The dog comforted the family at the soldier's memorial without ever having met them before. He could sense the connection. Wow. A great pairing with Letters from Wolfie.
I was intrigued at first about the artist's severe dyslexia and his struggles in school, but when it got more into his process, I was fascinated. The grid process he uses to create his art is unbelievable - genius, really, for him to devise a way to combat his natural tendencies that could be self-destructive. I love his discipline - 3 hours of work in the morning, and 3 hours in the evening. Even though he has parameters for his work, I appreciated that he leaves space (NEEDS space) for his creativity. He also understands how the human brain works; that our brain will fill in the unanswered gaps. This is why he leaves some work for the viewer in some of his paintings - he doesn't draw a nose, or an eye. He draws a blob, that when viewed as part of the whole (the landscape, as he calls it) creates for your brain a symbol of a nose or eye. My two favorite lines: "In life you can be dealt a winning hand of cards and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and in life: you pretty much make your own destiny" (47) and "I think problem solving is highly overrated. Problem creation is much more interesting" (51).
Sunday, August 10, 2014
I love pretty much everything Faith Erin Hicks touches. She can do no wrong. I laughed out loud more than once and I appreciate that this story doesn't get too babyish with its message of "can't we all just get along?" I can think of many students who would devour this and come back up asking for more F.E.H.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
I wish I could give this six stars! Loved all of the characters in this book. Albert's one-liners are perfection. And Ally. Kids everywhere will connect with her. Teachers everywhere need to know her story.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Loved the style of this graphic novel -- black-and-white, bold lines, interesting use of the page. Students may need support understanding the unique use of storytelling when they come to scenes where the typical "frames" are not used. Those were some of my favorite pages, though. The barrier that I usually feel when reading graphic novels melted away as I read this one. I loved the message of creativity.
What a wonderful book for the comfortably quiet, in-her-head girl (like I was! Wait, am!) I can't wait to give this to the artist, daydreamer, doodler, creative spirit, new student in my class. I always struggle with finding non-series, age-appropriate, engaging GNs, and this one fits the bill!
I love that Myers so honestly shared the trials of his childhood, particularly the challenges he faced at home and the struggles of feeling different from his family and friends as a reader and writer. And some of the "bad" classroom behavior will surely slip into some of those teacher nightmares we dread. It's hard to believe he came out of some of the situations he faced alive! I loved reading about Harlem in the 50s and the big names that Myers came across growing up: Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Billie Holliday. I didn't love the writing; some of the chapters jumped around to a bunch of different topics: basketball, school, reading, girls, gangs. I think some students may struggle with the lofty literary allusions (this former English major did!) but if they can accept their confusion and read past it, it could be an enjoyable book for the right kid.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Want to know the winner? Who would you have voted for? Comment with your vote to know our winner! :)
Synopsis from Doug TenNapel's website:
Sometimes graphic novels are the gateway into a love of reading for some of my non-readers. I really enjoyed TenNapel's other graphic novels, Ghostopolis and Cardboard so when I came across this at the library this weekend, I had to grab it for a Spring Break afternoon read. It would require some scaffolding for struggling readers because of the split narratives, but overall it's an interesting story. I would definitely recommend starting with Cardboard though if you're first starting with TenNapel's works.