Sunday, September 27, 2009
Augusta Savage was one of the primary artist of the Harlem Renaissance. This is a picture book biography of Augusta's early years. The author quickly establishes young Augusta's love of clay, she creates clay animals in the backyard, even through her father disapproves. Augusta has the support of her mother and teachers.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"Upon reading these words, John felt a tremendous force growing inside his chest. He would never forget the day he discovered these words; it was then he mad an oath to fight slavery until its very roots were destroyed. So John began to formulate a plan of grand liberation. This plan would not free one man at a time it would free thousands"
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Where it all began Girls Got Game, I link to old sports reviews prekick and list a few to be reviewed.
It continues with Girls Got Game II again I read and reviewed all the books mentioned here. There obliviously should have been another post because I never did a round up. So here it is now.
Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy, my review I enjoyed this one a lot. This was a fun middle grade book about a girl who joins the football time. I loved that all her friends played sports and one girl even joins the team with her.
The Necessary Hunger by Nina Revoyr, my review I loved this one, do check out the google preview.
The Ring by Bobbie Pyron, my interview + review , I really enjoyed this one, do check out the interview
Twenty Miles by Cera Hedley, my review I really enjoyed this one, do check out the google preview.
Soccer Chick Rules by Dawn FitzGerald, my review This book was so much fun to read in a Meg Cabot sort of way, which to me is a very good thing.
I Wanna Be Your Shoebox by Christina Garcia, my review. I loved this book, the MC was many things including a surfer.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
When Marina and Fern find out Rogelia is a curandera (a folk healer) they want her to mentor them in magic. Rogelia agrees, if Xochitl agrees to return to her studies. She does and the magic lessons begin.
I really enjoyed Rogelia's House of Magic. Wood's has created three very different and believable characters in Marina, Fern and Xochitl. I enjoyed their friendship. I do think Marina and Fern accepted Xochitl a little too easily. Though sometimes people just click. The chapters alternate beween the friends smoothly, with the author avoiding unnecessary information. I loved that Wood's doesn't favor one friend over the other. They get equal time are their stories to unfold. The three friends learn how to trust, each other, themselves and the magic. The characters in Rogelia's House of Magic are 15 but like many of Meg Cabot's young adult novels its perfect for reader's 11up.
Check out the book trailer. I think the song is a perfect fit.
Read an excerpt
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
illus. by R. Gregory Christie
Bad News for Out Laws is the remarkable story of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal. Reeves was born into slavey in 1838. In 1860's he escaped to Indian Territory, living there until 1874. I love that this book talks about the relationship between Native Americans and African Americans during slavery times. In 1875 Reeves is hired as U.S. Marshall to work the Indian territory which was over run with out laws. Reeves was a quick shot familiar with the area, and the perfect man for the job. Usually I start with the text but since this is a graphic novel, I will change it up a bit, and begin with artwork. The first time we see Deputy Reeves, he' s chasing an outlaw on horseback. Desperate to escape the outlaw jumps into a store window. Christie's artwork is alive on the page. Its the small details I noticed and loved. Reeves bracing down on his horse getting ready to make the capture. The outlaw covering his face from flying glass and wood panel. Steeped in earth tones, the reader easily gets the feel of the old West. In the podcast interview Christie said he only had one photo of Bass Reeves to work with. That must have been one great photograph. Anyone of Christie's art panels I could see hanging in a museum. I started with the illus. but in no way is the text lacking. Nelson does a wonderful job of detailing Bass Reeves life. Nelson places Reeves life into three key periods. Slave Days, Freedom and Family (life on the Indian territory) and Deputy U.S. Marshall . I love the tone and feel of the words.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans by Carmen Tafolla Papertigers review
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Djo shares a story with Jeremie
A few professional reviews
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Olu doesn't want to go to sleep, and miss anything. Olu's dad tells him sleep is important and fun can be found there too. Once asleep Olu dreams. He goes on great adventures with Brindle his faithful teddy. They escape from monsters, ride a whale, fly a spaceship and win a very close car race. Evan's words are rhythmic, except for the last two pages no more than 3 lines per page. Making it an excellent read aloud. The illustrations are beautiful. Evans has drawn much personility into Olu. In Olu's face I see everything from happiness, joy and wonder. Fans of Evan's previous books will continue to appreciate and love his artistic style. Evan's text and illustrations enhance one another. See for yourself
I loved Olu's dream. It's a wonderful bedtime story. It's a great book for fathers and sons to share. Ages 3up
I couldn't find any other reviews of Olu's Dream but I found some wonderful interviews with Shane Evans
28days later @TheBrownBookshelf
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"Another historical point I can relate to after Nixon resigned as president, Vice President Gerald R. Ford succeeded him. Now just because G. wasn't nominated in the first place doesn't mean he wasn't legit enough to be head of state. Which brings me to a present situation that will soon be recognized as official fashion history I may have become the house leader by default - a first in the catwalk competition's 35 year history but I' m an authentic leader, nonetheless"
The other entries are just as good. Someone questions where have all the Black designers and models gone. Giving a little fashion history mentioning designers Jon Haggins, Scott Barrie and Stephen Burrows. Gregory's found a very smart way to slip in a little knowledge and make it work (as Tim Gunn would say) without it coming across as forced. These are student's of fashion so it makes sense that they would know and love talking about its history.
Pashmina and her team come up with a great idea for the design challenge. Unfortunately, the author doesn't reveal the design concepts of the other houses. I would have loved to see what the other houses came up with even if it was only on the competition blog. Even so this was a good follow-up. I am still not a fan of the catvocab, in the House of Pashimia that's just what they do. Though it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. Anyone who liked the first book should definitely check this one out. This is a fun series for young fans of fashion. Ages 12up
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Toni, told me this wonderful tribute to author E. Lynn Harris. When asked if I was going to put it on my blog, I said no. I try to only post about fiction books that crossover to teen readers. When I saw tribute I quickly changed my mind. 1, its too beautiful and to share and 2, it fits in perfectly. Amy Bowllan is running a must read series over at her School Library Journal Blog Writers Against Racism (W.A.R) Everyday I look forward to reading the next entry. Only three questions. All the answers are very telling, and honest. The final W.A.R. question, In what ways combat the effects of racism and promote tolerance? Harris introduced many readers to their first contemporary Black gay characters. With each new book Harris gave a voice to characters that were ignored. He made it okay for people to start talking about homosexuality. That is what W.A.R. is all about.
In April of this year two 11 year old boys in different states committed suicide. One Black, one Hispanic because of homophobic bullying in school. Read the NYT's article Both stories are sad and senseless. As far as children's books go, these boys do not exist. They are a myth to be ignored. If only that weren't so. If only there were books out that could be discussed openly in the classroom or maybe even read in private, giving a voice to this very real population. Dr. Zetta Elliott, is the author of the bestselling middle grade novel Bird. She wrote a wonderful piece about why the inclusion more stories in children's literature is important and necessary. Its a must read. Posted today on a holiday weekend mind you, and already has 18 comments. So do check it out.