Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Module 7: Wait for Me

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Book Summary:  Mina and Suna are two Korean sisters that have a strong relationship.  Mina tries to live up to her her mother’s ,Uhmma, expectations to be at the top of her class.  Mina has secrets and tries to hide them from her mother and does not tell everything to Suna.  Suna is younger that Mina and is deaf in one ear.  She sees things differently and likes to hear music and tries not to be a burden to her mother.  It is during her summer of her senior year and Mina works for her family at their dry cleaning business.  When her father, Apa, hurts his back and they have to find someone to take his place.  They get help from their friend, Mrs. Kim and hire a young migrant worker named Ysrael.  Mina finds Ysrael attractive and can not lie to him.  Suna suddenly feels jealous because she wants to be older and looks as beautiful as her older sister Mina.  Mina falls in love with Ysrael and they both end up spending much time with each other.  Mina does not lie to Ysrael and tells him the truth about her education.  Thing soon to unravel for Mina when her mother finds out that someone is stealing from the cleaning business and blames Ysrael and fires him.  Jonathon, who is a friend of Mina’s and is getting ready to leave to college, helps Mina by altering her report card.  Mina wants to live her life of her own with freedom away from her mother.  Mina in love with Ysrael wants to be with him but in the end she realizes that spending time with her sister is a true value.

Na, A.  (2006).  Wait for Me.  New York, NY:  The Penguin Group.

Impressions:  I really enjoyed this book because it dealt with multicultural issues.  This book was a realistic fiction novel that deals with situations that are uncomfortable and with multicultural issues that are dealt with today’s issues.  Reading about an Asian girl falling in love with a Mexican was a shock.  I was not expecting another character to steer Mina to be independent.  She was not fulfilling her duties as a dutiful daughter.  She was lying to her mother to make her believe that she was fulfilling a dream to be educated and be the top of her class.  I would recommend this book to other avid readers to learn and talk about different ethnicities.  This book can teach readers about accepting others for who they are.

Professional Review:

Welch, C.  (2006, June).  Wait for Me (Review)

           [Review of the book Wait for Me, by A.N].

        Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 59(10), 464.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2355/journals/bulletin_of_the_center_for_childrens_books/v059/59.10welch03.html

“This is a well-crafted tale, sensitively told: Na fashions the story and fleshes out her characters by juxtaposing Korean and American cultural traditions, parental dreams, and young adult desires, even birth-order differences between siblings. This opposition is emphasized by the format: alternating chapters in which Mina speaks for herself while Suna’s story is told in a third-person, present-tense narrative capturing her feelings of being once removed from the world and her mother’s love. There are some familiar cultural patterns here, but the mother-daughter conflict will resonate with teens of any culture who have wrestled parents for the right to choose their own paths. At times the ending seems inevitable, but Na doesn’t settle for easy resolution, and the conclusion respects her characters and their growth.”

Library Uses:  The book can be used as a theme to make bookmarks.  It can be a craft for young adults that can create something out of Korean cultural or tradition.  The book can be summarized and the ideas are passed around how to create a unique bookmark.  We can explain the different traditions and food that they may do or eat and use a favorite quote from the book.


Module 7: Out of My Mind

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Book Summary:  Melody is a young girl that has cerebal palsy.  She can not talk, walk, and eat.  She has problems with each of these skills and has to be taken care of twenty-four seven.  Melody has photographic memory but no one knows how smart she is.  Her neighbor Ms. V. believes that she is special and that she can learn.  When she enters school everyone is misguided because they believe she can not learn.  As she continues to grow Melody enters middle school and is given a tutor that will help her with her assignments.  Her tutor or a school aide Catherine helps Melody find a machine that will let everyone hear her voice.  Melody wonders if everyone is ready to hear her voice and is she ready to show her skills to her peers?  Melody receives her machine and is ready to speak among her peers and parents.  However, she is challenged in the classrooms but is able to withstand the assignments she is given.  Melody is able to compete in a competitive academic team.  She is challenged by her teacher and her peers that she can’t withstand the pressure of the competition.  She decides with the help of her neighbor to study constantly and prove that she is smart and can compete.

Draper, S.  (2010).  Out of my Mind.  New York, NY:  Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Impressions:  The book is written in a first person point of view.  The book is a realistic fiction novel.  The content and subject matter is a challenge for children that learn about appropriateness for their age.  The book was a challenge for me to read and deemed uncomfortable.  I first viewed it as a dairy of Melody.  She seemed like a normal girl wanting to do things and go on a adventure and prove to everyone that she is normal.  When she mentioned that she had cerebal palsy it was shocking to discover that she also had a photographic memory.  Her thoughts affect the reader that Melody can do anything.  She wants to be noticed and heard.  She wants to tell her parents that she loves them and does not want to be a burden to them.  Through the end the descriptive details of Melody’s thoughts and difference teaches the reader that a mental illness does not have to define who someone is.  Some people did not believe she can achieve the impossible.  Though she could not talk and walk she is was an intelligent girl.  A teacher did not want to take her to the competition and her peers were embarrassed by her.  In the end I was fascinated by the author to write a tale that anyone can achieve what they believe in.

Professional Review:

Coats, K.  (2012, March).  Out of my Mind Review

        [Review of the book Out of my Mind, by S.D].

        Bulletin of the Center for the Children’s Books 63(7), 278.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2355/journals/bulletin_of_the_center_for_childrens_books/v063/63.7.coats01.html

“Draper’s smooth style enhances the story, and there’s a romantic element to the notion that Melody isn’t simply capable but actually gifted. The drama is overplayed, though, with Melody’s abilities implausibly superlative. Melody’s school experiences are somewhat anachronistic, and her classmates are little more than a collection of clichés, from the special needs kids who are unfailingly kind and noble to the normal kids who are outspokenly rude. Draper is a master of melodrama, though, and Melody’s story certainly doesn’t lack that; she may not be a particularly believable character, but she’s an interesting one, and her plight will do its work of making students think twice about their classmates, acquaintances, and siblings with special needs.”

Library Uses:  This book can be used as a lesson to teach other kids about disabilities.  The book can explain that everyone is an individual and judging the way they look is not appropriate.  The book can be read to those that have disabilities and teach others about formalities with those with disabilities.  It is a lesson about treating others how you want to be treated.  It teaches children about uncomfortable situations but can make the best out of it.

Module 6: Crow Call

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Book Summary:  The story begins with a girl telling her story of the early morning.  She talks about not seeing her dad for a long time because he has been away at war.  Their relationship is strained but it soon grows deep when he takes her out to hunt.  He puts her in charge of the crow call.  Before they go hunting her dad takes her to go shopping for a shirt and takes her out to eat at a diner.  Their relationship grows with time and during the day with they spend it with each other.  As they walk through the woods to search for the crows they bond with each other.  They have a discussion about being afraid of certain things and they bond by searching for crows and have different  conversation.  The little girl soon learns more about her dad and learns how to crow call.  She is not afraid anymore calling the crow and proud of her accomplishment at the end.

Lowry, L.  (2009).  Crow Call.  New York, NY:  Scholastic Press.

Impressions:  In the beginning of the book it was confusing over what the girl was talking about.  She did not mention that her dad was in the war or military.  When they went to buy a shirt the writer explains how her dad has been out at war and she has not seen him in a while.  The emotional part for me was when she told her father that she missed him when he was away.  It hit a sensitive spot for me because it dealt with military families.  The bond between her and her father was growing by spending time with each other.  I was familiar with the bond because of my father.  The book had realistic illustrations that looked 3D.  The patterns of the book look rugged and help tell the story of the young girl traveling with her dad into the woods.  The composition of the artwork balance the contrast of the people drawn in the book.

Professional Use:

Stevenson, D.  (2005, January).  Crow Call (review)

[Review of the book Crow Call, by L.L].

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 63(5), 337.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2355/journals/bulletin_of_the_center_for_childrens_books/v063/63.5.stevenson15.html

“Though the format is that of a picture book, the text is a thoughtful short story, depending on reader comfort with sophisticated vocabulary and willingness to read for implication. That’s a bit of a tall order unaided, and even then the payoff is a little slight; what the story’s best at is evoking the tentative but genuinely affectionate camaraderie of a father and daughter together on their own special outing. The mixed-media art, in subdued autumnal tones, is sometimes stilted in its human portraiture, but it’s got a pleasing period flavor; the outdoor scenes, with the tracery of dark branches and inky crows against the sky, are effective in their treatment of the crisp autumnal landscape. This will probably be best introduced with adult moderation that encourages readers to consider what’s being unsaid as well as what’s being said, but it does offer a sensitive take on a young girl’s complex anxieties about family change.”

Library Use: For this book I would use it with a movie day for the children on a Saturday.  The theme would be about family and the bond of a family gathering or an adventure.  The book would accompany the movie by having a book talk or story time before the movie.  The kids can have a discussion or questions how each of them spend time with their family.  They can discuss how sharing is important and giving to one another.

Module 5: Looking for Alaska

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Book Summary:  The book starts off with a date that says before suggesting it is a dairy of Miles Halter.  Miles Halter is tired of his life with his parents and being the loner at his school.  He leaves to boarding school Culver Creek Preparatory School, where his father studied.  Miles left to boarding school to find the “Great Perhaps.”  Miles become friends and becomes close with the Colonel, Takumi and Alaska.  His friends nickname him, Pudge.  Miles goes day by day trying to fit in by drinking and smoking.  He is surrounded by the Colonel’s and Alaska’s adventures and trying to hook him up with a girl.  Miles falls in love with Alaska and has his first kiss with her.  However, Alaska has her own problems and when she makes out with Miles she abruptly leaves during the night after a pay phone call.  Alaska drives away from the school and Miles is left wondering what he did wrong.  The next day Pudge and the Colonel are suddenly awaken early in the morning.  They and the whole Preparatory school are guided to the gym to tell them news.  There the Colonel and Pudge are told that Alaska was in a terrible car accident and did not survive.  The Colonel and Pudge refused to believe that she was in a car accident and died.  The second part of the book is suggested with the date of After Alaska was killed.  Miles (Pudge) tries to uncover why Alaska left suddenly after the pay phone call.  Pudge is also looking for the answer of “where do we go after this life” for a school project.”  He comes up with an interesting answer when finding out the truth about Alaska.

Green, J.  (2005).  Looking for Alaska.  New York, NY: Dutton Books.

Impressions:  A winner of the Michael L. Printz award is the youth award for best writing for young adults.  This story by John Green is an emotional tale of a young boy trying to fit in his age group.  The story had an emotional attachment to me because Miles has a self-identity crisis and does not fit in with any group at home.  When we wants to be on his own it is a fleeing time that makes him and individual and have his freedom.  He wants to experience something new and meet new friends.  The emotional drama of being with a girl and a relationship was moving because Pudge wanted to be part of the group.  He wanted to feel needed and important.  Alaska was just a girl that outwitted him and wanted adventure.  The book did have controversial issues such as drinking and drugs but it was interesting to read how teens can sometimes control themselves.  The issues of Looking for Alaska is another way to know how groups, boys and girls can mature in a evolving society.  The book was interesting and emotional to read and was a good book to read to be informed on how student’s comprehend the issues of morality and ethics.

Professional Review:

Blasingame, J.  (2006, September).  Looking for Alaska

[Review of the book Looking for Alaska, by J.G].

English Journal 96(1), 93-94.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/237303748

“John Greens story of high school juniors at a Georgia boarding school is for our times what The Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace were for their times. The characters are complex and memorable, and their life experiences provide an accurate chronicle of how convoluted and confusing growing up has become. The literary quality is impeccable as the novel invites readers of all ages to join in the characters’ search for life’s answers. While following in the footsteps of Salinger and Knowles, Green ventures beyond identifying the absurd ironies of life and provides a philosophical, religious, and spiritual subtext for his characters and his readers.”

Library Uses: Looking for Alaska can be used during a presentation of Drug Free program.  The book is a Michael L. Printz award winner.  A showcase of the four winners of the award can be talked and pamphlets can be given out to explain the award and review why each book is a good read.  The book has controversial issues it can teach kids about these issues.  The book can also be showcase during banned book week in October.

Module 5: Jazz

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2012 at 5:10 am

Book Summary:  Jazz incorporates a part of history of music.  The introduction of the book explains the development of Jazz and it’s history.  From the first poem called Jazz  it explains the rhythm and heart of the music.  Jazz music is appreciated because of the music speaks to the soul.  These 15 poems represent the impressions of how Jazz is played and represents the appreciation of the art.  Each poem describes each instrument and how it is played and danced by Americans.  The words of each poem represents the lyrics and how it is sung from ragtime to swing.

Myers, D. W.  (2006).  Jazz.  New York, NY.  Holiday House

Impressions:  This book represents the Jazz of African Americans and how they fulfilled their life with jubilant, swing, and bounce.  The Coretta Scott Kind award book illustrates the African American culture.  Jazz represents the values and culture that African Americans love music and sing with a melody through the flow of life.  The illustrations capture each poem as it is written to a soulful and sultry to a bounce and swing.  The vibrant colors of the illustrations represent the Jazz melodies and has a New Orleans vibe.  Reading this book was like singing a song through different notes and musical instruments.

Professional Review:

Bush, E.  (2007, February).  Jazz

[Review of the book Jazz, by W.M].

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 60(6), 262.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/223708234

“C. Myers creates a gallery of instrumentalists and divas whose slightly elongated, sinuous forms are sometimes contemplative, sometimes snaking in fluid motion, often ignited in primary colors, occasionally flanked by deep, moody shadows.  Although only black performers are visually represented here, Myers’ introduction does address the fusion (collision?) of influences from African and European tradition sthat gave birth to this American musical idiom.”

Oleck, J.  (2007,February 28).  Walter Dean Myers Nabs Poetry Award for Jazz

[Review of the book Jazz, W.M].

School Library Journal.  Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6420379.html

“In an interview, Vardell added of Jazz: “It’s a wonderful example of a poetry picture-book that showcases the music of language along with music itself. This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to this uniquely American music form.””

Library Use: The book can be used during a music festival held in the library.  A music appreciation day can be filled with storytime with books about composers or instruments.  This book can be used to tribute to the jazz culture.  A craft can be done by creating an instrument for the children.  They can create any instrument that is described in the book Jazz.  The day will be filled with different type of music and have the children appreciate different type of genres.

Module 4: Out of the Dust

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2012 at 4:58 am

Book Summary:  Out of the Dust is written in short verses or poems.  It is a verse in a novel.  The young girl shown on the front cover is named Billie Joe.  Billie Joe lives during the time of the Great Depression during one of the events call the Dust Bowl.  Billie escapes the time by playing piano.  Her fingers touching the keys make her tell a story and feel an urge to express herself in a different form of sound.  Living with her Ma and Pa they live a normal life that is suffering through economic times.  Billie Joe tells her story in verses.  She talks about her Ma setting rules for dinner and how jealous she is when Joe plays the piano and about the debts her dad is rolling.  Through the hardships of getting burned on her hands and her Ma’s  and baby brother “Franklins'” death and Dad’s sickness, Billie Joe sees that life isn’t about what we need but what we have in front of us.  She talks about the government and politics and forgiveness.

Hesse, K.  (1997). Out of the Dust.  New York, NY:  Scholastic Inc.  

Impressions: The John Newbery Award book is an original book that was creative to show the side of a young girl’s side during the Great Depression.  Children’s book of history in a narrative form can engage new readers and teach them a lesson on history at the same time.  The verses in the book is short and simple but sometimes a bit confusing if the reader does not understand the history part of the Dust Bowl.  I really enjoyed this book.  My younger sister read it at the same time because of class and we had a great discussion of Billie Joe’s life and the Great Depression.

Professional Review: 

Donelson, K.  (1999, Jan).  Out of the Dust

[Review of the book Out of the Dust, by K.H].

English Journal 88(3), 120-121.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/237284426

“Heavens to Betsy-a Newbery winner I liked. What a strange feeling after I’d argued over the years that awards were reserved for books that sensitive adults would love and kids would generally ignore. But I really liked Out of the Dust, even if it won an award and if I wonder whether many kids will pick it up voluntarily, though English teachers and librarians will probably admire it.”

Finnegan, M.  (1998, Sep).  Out of the Dust

[Review of the book Out of the Dust, by K.H].

Voices From the Middle 6(1), C1.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/213934378

“This book documents a year in the life of an Oklahoma girl, growing up through the dust bowl. It’s a remarkable narrative written entirely in poetry. Karen Hesse breathes life into this adolescent by creating her with spirit and honesty, innocence and experience.  Accessible to young adults and older people, this is a fast, but truly engaging, read. Do not miss Out of the Dust. It’s no wonder it won the Newbery Award.”

Library Use: Out of the Dust can be taught as a history lesson in a school library.  Since the book is written in a short verse, poem format it can help kids appreciate this type of new writing.  The Dust Bowl was a serious time during the Great Depression.  The reader can appreciate that working hard helps achieve a goal in life.  The library use can be centered on persistence.  Persistence is the benefit in the end.  There can be a treasure hunt in the library.  The search is for certain books and see if they can find them all.   Towards the end of the treasure hunt the kids that find all the items can be rewarded with a candy.

Module 4: kira-kira

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2012 at 4:57 am

Book Summary:  Katie Takeshima grows up with a family that is caring, loving and close knit.  She is close to her big sister Lynn Takeshima and they both take care of each other.  They are a Japanese family trying to live a decent life.  Her family moves to the South to work in chicken factories.  Their mother and father want to make the best for them and live with their aunt and uncle.  Their father starts working at a chicken factory and their mother starts helping out by working as well.  Their mother takes an extra shift and is always on time to work.  Katie and Lynn share adventures but Lynn teaches Katie about the people around them.  Lynn is smart and always knows everything by helping her sister out.  When Katie is six years old and is sent to first grade it’s her sister that tells her how people will treat her differently.  Katie befriends another girl and starts to hang out with her all the time.  However, Lynn suddenly falls ill to a cancerous disease that leaves her always tired.  Their mother and father try to make her feel comfortable and buy their first house.  Their mother tries to make ends meet by working double time to pay the hospital bills.  However, with the changing times their are unions forming in the factory.  Katie soon learns to take care of her parents, Lynn and her little brother.  Katie learns from Lynn that life is always a challenge and to make the best of it through hard times.

Kadohata, C. (2004).  kira-kira.  New York, NY:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Impressions:  kira-kira was a heart inspiring novel about two young sisters.  Their love and devotation for each other and their family inspiring through the hard times that their parents lived through.  This Japanese American family trying to work in a factory to support thier children and help thier daughter Lynn live her life to its fullest by making her dreams come true.  The emotional and heart-warming novel brought me to tears at the end with the family coming together and make thier life something worthwhile with the changing of times for Japanese American lifestyle.  The Newbery award winner shows the author’s creativity of writing a story about Japanese American sisters and their bond.

Professional Review:

Kelleher, W.  (2006, Feb).  Kira-Kira

[Review of the book kira-kira, by C.K].

Journal of Adolescent & Adult 49(5), 449-450.  Retrieved from http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/216919136

“Sisters have a special relationship that cannot be truly understood by anyone except, perhaps, other sisters. Kira-Kira, Cynthia Kadohata’s Newbery Medal-winning book, quietly and matter-of-factIy allows readers a glimpse of the depth and intensity of such a relationship. Katie, Kadohata’s young protagonist, tells the story of growing up with her only sister Lynn, a victim of childhood lymphoma, in the purely simple, understated language of a young child. This is not a simple story, however. Within the pages of Kadohata’s first book for young adults, her child protagonist plumbs the many layers of meaning experienced by a girl coming to terms with racism, poverty, and the death of someone very close to her.”

Library Uses:  kira-kira can be used in the library during a book talk.  The book talk can have a theme around Japanese-Americans or a cultural appreciation day.  The book talk can also have a theme of award winning books of the Newbery Award.  Different decorations can surround the book observing the cultural aspect of the book and what Japanese eat or celebreate.

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