Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Day Gogo Went to Vote


The Day Gogo Went to Vote

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Thembi accompanies her hundred-year-old great-grandmother to the polling place in the first election in which black South Africans are allowed to vote. Infirm and housebound, Gogo is determined to vote and does so with a little help from her community. Excellent pastel pictures capture the happy occasion."

Parent's Choice Review

This book can be used as an avenue to explore the history of voting in other countries and compare that history with that of the United States.

Online Resources:
http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/byrnes-africa/micmea/index.htm

Wanted Dead or Alive: The True Story of Harriet Tubman


Wanted Dead or Alive: The True Story of Harriet Tubman

Written by: Ann McGovern
Illustrated by: Richard Powers

Elementary Grades

"After gaining freedom from slavery, Harriet Tubman also vowed to help others become free. As a result of her efforts, about 300 slaves were able to leave the South safely. A dramatic biography packed with adventure."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://bookwizard.scholastic.com/tbw/viewWorkDetail.do?workId=2260

Pio Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes


Pio Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

Written by: Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, Alice Schertle
Illustrated by: Vivi Escrivia

Elementary Grades

El sol es de oro
la luna es de plata
y las estrellitas
son de hoja de lata.

The sun's a gold medallion.
The moon's a silver ball.
The little stars are only tin;
I love them best of all.


"Here is a groundbreaking bilingual collection of traditional rhymes that celebrates childhood and Spanish and Latin American heritage. From playing dress up to making tortillas, and from rising at daybreak to falling asleep, these joyful rhymes are sure to delight young readers."

Publishers Synopsis

Online Resources:
http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/1913

Down the Road


Down the Road

Written by: Alice Schertle
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis

Elementary Grades

"Mama and Papa agree that eggs for breakfast would be nice, but they’re too busy to go to the store. So they decide that Hetty is old enough to go by herself. Although she practices walking smoothly up the hill so she won’t break the precious eggs, she can’t help running all the way down. Young readers will hold their breath as Hetty tries her very best to get those eggs home safely. “The story is remarkable for its evocative imagery, and the loving interchange between the characters sets a charming tone. The words are perfectly complemented by Lewis’s dazzling, impressionistic watercolors that show the joyous power of love and depict a warmly supportive world in which Hetty ventures forth toward independence. A fine book that speaks straight to the heart.”

Booklist Review

The Silk Princess


The Silk Princess

Written and Illustrated by: Charles Santore

Elementary Grades

"Princess Hsi-Ling Chi has heard tales of a sleeping dragon and ancient gods residing in the Holy Mountains beyond her father’s palace. But when she emerges from the gates for the first time, she is not afraid. She has with her a magical thread unraveled from a tiny cocoon that dropped into the Empress’s teacup, and she knows it will lead her back to the palace garden. But she is very far from home when she notices that the thread has broken, and that she is lost. How will she find her way back? And will the secret of silk be lost forever?"

Publishers Synopsis


Online Resources:
http://www.embracingthechild.org/Asantore.htm

Grandfather's Journey


Grandfather's Journey

Written and Illustrated by: Allen Say

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Through compelling reminiscences of his grandfather's life in America and Japan, Allen Say gives us a poignant account of a family's unique cross-cultural experience. He warmly conveys his own love for his two countries, and the strong and constant desire to be in both places at once."

Publishers Synopsis


From the Author:
"I am striving to give shape to my dreams--the old business of making myths--the fundemental force of art. And so, GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY is essentially a dream book, for the life's journey is an endless dreaming of the places we have left behind and the places we have yet to reach."--Allen Say (Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech )

Online Resources:
http://faculty.salisbury.edu/~elbond/grand.htm

Tea with Milk


Tea with Milk

Written and Illustrated by: Allen Say

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"When her Japanese-born parents leave America for their homeland, an independent girl reluctantly follows and melds her experience and her heritage to find a new meaning for the word home."

School Library Journal Review


Online Resources:
http://www2.mcdaniel.edu/Graduate/TI/pages/thayer/lesson.htm

Friday, March 19, 2010

When Jessie Came Across the Sea


When Jessie Came Across the Sea

Written by: Amy Hess
Illustrated by: P.J. Lynch

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Jessie lives with her grandmother in a poor village in Eastern Europe. When Jessie is chosen by the rabbi to travel to America and leave her grandmother behind, they both feel their hearts will break. Award-winning author Amy Hest brings her touch to the story of immigrant heritage as she follows Jessie across the ocean to a new life--and a new love--in America."

Publishers Description


Online Resources:
http://web.bsu.edu/00smtancock/CyberLessons/jessie/jessie.htm

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt


Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

"Clara, a young slave, works as a seamstress and dreams of freedom. Overhearing drovers talk of escaping North enables her to make a patchwork map of the area. When she escapes, she leaves the quilt behind to guide others. Based on a true event, this is a well-written picture book."

School Library Journal Review


Online Resources:
http://www.africanaheritage.com/sweetclara.asp
http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/escaping-slavery-sweet-clara-127.html

Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories


Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories

Written and Illustrated by: Aliki

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Returning to her own childhood for inspiration, Aliki has created an exceptional sixty-four-page book that presents Marianthe's story -- her present and her past. In Painted Words, Marianthe's paintings help her to become less of an outsider as she struggles to adjust to a new language and a new school. Under the guidance of her teacher, who understands that there is more than one way to tell a story, Mari makes pictures to illustrate the history of her family, and eventually begins to decipher the meaning of words. In Spoken Memories, a proud Mari is finally able to use her new words to narrate the sequence of paintings she created, and share with her classmates her memories of her homeland and the events that brought her family to their new country."

Publishers Description


Online Resources:
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/cross-cultural-communication/printable/64815.html

How My Family Lives in America


How My Family Lives in America

Written and Illustrated by: Susan Kuklin

Elementary Grades

"A glimpse at how three families impart a sense of ethnic identity to their children. Five-year-old Sanu's father is from Senegal. Her mother grew up in Baltimore. Sanu and her father buy food for a traditional dish he will prepare and share with other relatives. Eric and his mother were born in New York City, while his father is from Puerto Rico. When relatives gather at their house, they like to dance the merengue. April's parents were born and raised in Taiwan. On Saturdays she and her siblings go to Chinese school to learn calligraphy. All three families live in middle-class urban settings. All three children have sensitive, caring parents; two of them have strong ties with extended families. Religion is not discussed directly, but there are hints of Christian backgrounds in two cases. Each child's first-person narration is simple and uncomplicated, with occasional humorous touches. One can almost hear them speaking. The full-color photographs are well composed and serviceable. As there is a growing demand for books depicting multicultural heritages, this one will be useful."

School Library Journal Review


Online Resources:
http://www.susankuklin.com/how_my_family_lives_in_america_18794.htm

Saturday Market


Saturday Market

Written by: Patricia Grossman
Illustrated by: Enrique O. Sanchez

Elementary Grades

"This well-designed book successfully combines text and vibrant artwork to portray the cultural richness of the Zapotec people and bring to life a Saturday market in a town in Oaxaca, Mexico. The story is simply written in carefully crafted words that effectively capture the spirit of the vendors."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://www.kidseconposters.com/keb/Title%20List%20Poster%20Set%20B/Market/Saturday%20Market.htm

The Wednesday Surprise


The Wednesday Surprise

Written by: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Donald Carrick

Elementary Grades
This book is available in English and Spanish

"A seven-year-old girl teaches her grandmother to read. This is a warm story about responsibility between the generations. The unusual twist shows that children can be very responsible and prove their own worth. Also available in Spanish as AQUƍ VIENE EL GATO."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/readers_guides/bunting/wednesday.shtml

To Be a Kid


To Be a Kid

Elementary Grades

Written by: Maya Ajmera
Illustrated by: John D. Ivanko

"In a truly multicultural book, brilliant photographs contributed by Peace Corps volunteers and award-winning photographers illustrate a spirited look at the joys and activities shared by children in forty countries around the world."

Publishers Description


Online Resources:
http://www.lessonplanspage.com/SSLAOCICountriesandCulturesIdeas18.htm

La Tortilleria / the Tortilla Factory


La Tortilleria / the Tortilla Factory

Written by: Gary Paulsen
Illustrated by: Ruth Wright Paulsen

Elementary Grades
This book is available in English and Spanish

"The story of how tortillas are made. Readers will observe corn seeds being planted in the earth, then watch the grown corn being ground and sent to the tortilla factory. At the factory the ground corn is transformed, by workers and machinery, into tasty tortillas which are eaten by the people who plant corn seeds in the earth. Color illustrations accompany the text."

Publishers Description


Online Resources:

http://www.kidseconposters.com/keb/Title%20List%20Poster%20Set%20A/Productive%20Resources/Tortilla%20Factory.htm

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's Eat! What Children Eat Around the World


Let's Eat! What Children Eat Around the World

Written by: Beatrice Hollyer

Elementary Grades

"Colorful photographs detail the lives of five youngsters from around the world: their homes, families, lifestyles, traditions, and typical foods. Each section also explores a special day in one child's life and the role of food in it: a wedding in South Africa, a fiesta in Mexico, a day out with Dad in Thailand, mushrooming in France, and a birthday in India. A map and food glossary are useful aids. This enjoyable adjunct to country studies provides vivid snapshots into the lives of children outside the U.S."

School Library Journal Review

The Legend of the Bluebonnet


The Legend of the Bluebonnet

Retold and Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola

Elementary Grades

"This legend of the Comanche people describes how the bluebonnets came to Texas and celebrates the sacrifices of the Comanche people. Students could investigate the bluebonnet as an important symbol related to spring in Texas."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/3395
http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/collateral.jsp?id=701

Meet Martin Luther King



Meet Martin Luther King

Elementary Grades

Written by: Johnny Ray Moore
Illustrated by: Amy Wummer

"Beginning with King's childhood and following his life through his "I Have a Dream Speech" and subsequent death, this book reveals (in age-appropriate language) how King ended segregation in America and influenced the way we live our lives today."

Publishers Description


Online Resources:
http://www.kiddyhouse.com/Holidays/MLK/MLK.html

Freedom's Gifts: A Juneteenth Story


Freedom's Gifts: A Juneteenth Story

Written by: Valerie Wesley
Illustrated by: Sharon Wilson

Elementary Grades

"Wesley explores a unique holiday in Texas that has recently begun to be celebrated by African Americans in other parts of the U.S. as well. While Lincoln declared the slaves free in January 1863, the slaves in Texas were not freed until June 19, 1865. Set in 1943, this story tells of June, a young African-American Texan, and her cousin who is visiting from New York City. Juneteenth is June's favorite holiday, but Lillie belittles it until the girls go to the big celebratory picnic and their great-great-aunt Marshall, once a slave, helps her understand the importance of "freedom's gifts."

School Library Journal Review


Online Resources:
http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/subjects/juneteenth.htm

Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Written by: Mir Tamim Ansary

Elementary Grades

"The historical events behind Martin Luther King Day are explained and ways to celebrate the life of a famous American."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://fun.familyeducation.com/martin-luther-king-jr/activities/32832.html

If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks


If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks

Elementary Grades

Written and Illustrated by: Faith Ringgold

"If a bus could talk, it would tell the story of a young African-American girl named Rosa who had to walk miles to her one-room schoolhouse in Alabama while white children rode to their school in a bus. It would tell how the adult Rosa rode to and from work on a segregated city bus and couldn't sit in the same row as a white person. It would tell of the fateful day when Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man and how that act of courage inspired others around the world to stand up for freedom.

In this book a bus does talk, and on her way to school a girl named Marcie learns why Rosa Parks is the mother of the Civil Rights movement. At the end of Marcie's magical ride, she meets Rosa Parks herself at a birthday party with several distinguished guests. Wait until she tells her class about this!"

Publishers Description


Online Resources:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/rosa/index.htm

Walking the Road to Freedom: A Story About Sojourner Truth


Walking the Road to Freedom: A Story About Sojourner Truth

Written by: Jeri Harris
Illustrated by: Peter E. Hanson

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"The story describes the life of Sojourner Truth, a freed slave, who vowed to spread the word about the evils of slavery. This book is a recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award (1989)."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/byrnes-famous/sojourn.html
http://learningtogive.org/lessons/unit133/lesson2.html

A Very Important Day


A Very Important Day

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Captures the excitement of immigrants who are becoming U.S. citizens. All across New York City, people are preparing for 'a very important day'...not the least bit daunted by a snowstorm....A tale told with vigor, exuberantly displayed in Stock's people-filled watercolor landscapes and cozy interior scenes of all the pre-oath preparations, this is a thoughtful celebration of one of this country's most meaningful ceremonies."

Kirkus Reviews

Online Resources:
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr082.shtml

Followers of the North Star: Rhymes about African American Heroes, Heroines, and Historial Times


Followers of the North Star: Rhymes about African American Heroes, Heroines, and Historical Times

Written by: Susan Altman and Susan Leachman
Illustrated by: Bryan Woodsen

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Through rhymed verse, Altman and Lechner present the history of African Americans from the early slaves who followed the North Star to freedom, to youngsters today. Most of the poems are vignettes about individuals such as Crispus Attucks, Benjamin Banneker, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Matthew Henson, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr. Groups such as the Buffalo Soldiers, the Little Rock Nine, and participants in the sit-ins of the civil rights movement also receive attention."

Publishers Description


Online Resources:
http://www.npl.org/pages/kidsplace/Sites/afr.html

A Picnic in October


A Picnic in October

Elementary Grades

Written and Illustrated by: Eve Bunting

"Tony doesn’t understand why his family always has a picnic in October on Liberty Island to celebrate Lady Liberty’s birthday until the day he helps out a woman who doesn’t speak English and he comes to understand what the statue means to his grandmother."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://www.suffolk.lib.ny.us/youth/jcssimmigration.html

Freedom Train


Freedom Train

Written by: Evelyn Coleman
Illustrated by: David Riley

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Clyde Thomason is proud to have an older brother who guards the Freedom Train. It's 1947, and the train is traveling to all forty-eight states, carrying important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Clyde is lucky that the train is stopping in Atlanta. In the segregated South the train will only stop at cities that agree to integrate the crowds lining up to glimpse its famous contents.

Clyde has been chosen to recite the Freedom Pledge, but he's afraid that he'll chicken out. It doesn't help that he's the favorite target of the class bully. When the bully tries to beat him up, Clyde is shocked that an African-American boy, William, comes to his rescue. He's even more shocked that William's family lives in the rich — and white — part of town. But why is he so surprised? And why can't he be open about his friendship with William? When William's family is threatened, Clyde must make a choice: Will he have the courage to speak out to protect William's freedom?

Evelyn Coleman paints a touching, often humorous picture of the 1940s South. Based on the real journey of the Freedom Train, this is the inspirational story of a young boy's awakening to the injustices around him — and to the idea that things could change."

Publishers Description

Online Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Train