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Ashes

ashes

 

Title: Ashes

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Series: Seeds of America Trilogy

Recommended for: 6th grade and up

Pages: 298

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION ANDERSON L.

 

 

Thoughts: This is the third book in this thrilogy and she took quite a few years to complete the third book.  I did like the completion of the story because it was a realistic account of what could have happened to people in that era.  I loved reading about how other people may have lived and all the trials they underwent. I think teenagers will like this book if they like having a peek at a different time in history. Curzon and Isabel are very well developed in the three books.

Synopsis: As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies.

Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.

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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Historical, Teen

 

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Freedom Song: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown

freedomTitle: Freedom Song:  The Story of Henry “Box” Brown
Author: Sally M Walker
Recommended for: 4-8 years old
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E WALKE 

Synopsis:  Henry Brown copes with slavery by singing, but after his wife and children are sold away he is left with only his freedom song, which gives him strength when friends put him in a box and mail him to a free state.

As we have had a lot of people from children’s lit classes coming in and asking for historical fiction picture books, I really wanted to give them the highly acclaimed Henry’s Freedom Box.  Unfortunately, this assignment was too little, too late, and we weeded the book because it hadn’t gone out in years.  I was delighted to find out that we had another book on the same topic that had avoided that fate!

This fictionalized true story is sensational.  There is a transcribed letter at the end which is a historical document outlining Henry Brown’s escape.  There is artistry in the storytelling, using songs as a device to drive the story.  It is too long for a preschool audience or for a storytime, but for a one on one readaloud or for use in a classroom, this book is a gripping way to tell a real story.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Sound of Kwanzaa

Title: The Soukwanzaand of Kwanzaa
Author: Dimitrea Tokunbo
Recommended for: Preschool to 1st grade
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E 394.2612 TOK 

Synopsis:  This chant-like text explains the meaning of each candle lit for Kwanzaa. Each word is explained with the meaning as well as an example of what a person might do to celebrate that day.

Our primary audience for Kwanzaa books are preschool teachers who are talking about the holiday to people who do not celebrate.  While they need to convey information, they also need something that is a good read aloud. The repeating refrain should help drive the presentation of this book.  Unfortunately, the pronunciations of the presumably Swahili theme words is only included in the glossary, rather than within the text itself.  Teachers will need to practice ahead of time to be able to master this book, but of the choices, this book is appropriate for preschoolers.

 

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Juneteenth For Mazie

juneteenthTitle: Juneteenth – For Mazie
Author: Floyd Cooper

Series: N/A

Recommended for: Grades 1-2

Pages: 40 pages
Call Number/Link:  E Cooper, F.

Synopsis: Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history ― the day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth.

Recommendation– I think this a great read aloud book during Black History month.  I did not know about this holiday myself and so I think it would be very interesting to young children.  The graphics are muted and really pull across the history that they are trying to convey.  So a must read for school teachers and preschool to educate the young about a little known holiday.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Holidays, Picture Books

 

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Firebird

firebirdTitle:   Firebird:  Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird
Author:   Misty Copeland                                      Illustrator:  Christopher Myers
Series:  not applicable
Recommended for:  Everyone, second grade and up.  Especially dancers and people who love dance.
Pages:   32 pages (approximate)
Call Number/Link:  E COPELAND, M.

Rating:   ****  

 

 

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Synopsis:

American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author’s note about dancers who led her to find her voice.

Comments:

I recommend that all of you read this book.  Its illustrations are striking and beautiful and the message is inspiring.  Unfortunately, the text is more poetic than direct, which could be confusing to some readers (or listeners).  I’m not sure of its child appeal, especially when kids are walking through the picture book area grabbing books that attract their attention. However, dancers and and dance fans will love it.  Both protagonists are African American so it would fit in a Black History Month display.  It could also be a good choice for Children’s Lit students and teachers who teach grades 3-12.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Juv, Realistic

 

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