Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
A Graphic Novel by Raina Telgemeier
Publisher: Scholastic, Graphix, 2006
ISBN #: 0-439-73933-0
Kristi Thomas decides to create a Baby-Sitters Club with three of her friends. The four girls work together to take on challenging toddlers while becoming close friends whom they can share secrets with.
My Thoughts About This Book:
While the Baby-Sitters Club series has been popular with students, I must admit that I had never read any of Ann Martin's original series. Telgemeier's adaptation was my first exposure to Kristy and her friends. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I liked that this book was a good graphic novel for girls, as so many in this genre seem to be geared toward boys. I think that for girls who are reluctant/struggling readers, this book would be ideal. The limited text, and clear uncluttered accompanying drawings allow the reader to easily follow the story. The story line was well developed and moved along at a nice pace. It also included many situations that young girls could relate to such as a mother remarrying. I think this book would make readers want to read another in the series, or read a book from the original Ann Martin series.
From Booklist: "The story has been effectively trimmed to accommodate the format (Kristy's actions and feelings are the focus), but there's still plenty of content, comedy, action, and emotion--in both the text and the art--as the kids cope with feisty toddlers and personal problems and fight with and help one another, while modeling right behavior and the ups and downs of friendship. "
Thursday, May 7, 2009
As told to Michelle R. McCann by Luba Tryszynska-Frederick
Illustrated by Ann Marshall
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2003
ISBN #: 978-1-58246-098-7
Luba Tryszynska questioned why she was spared death as she spent her first night at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. When she discovers a group of children hiding from the Nazi guards she has her answer. She was spared to protect these lost children. Knowing she faced execution if caught, Luba risked her life to bring food and provide shelter for these children. She succeeded in keeping them safe until the camp was liberated by British soldiers.
My Thoughts About This Book:
This story was extremely moving and inspirational. Luba truly exemplifies the definition of an angel for her selfless acts during one of the most horrific events in history. This story is well-written and Luba's voice is what you hear as you read the words. This is a story that needs to be read, and would be a must read for any unit on the Holocaust. I particularly enjoyed the afterward where the follow-up to Luba's story was shared as well as photographs. These additions helped bring the story further to life, and I enjoyed learning how the children thanked Luba for her help. Ann Marshall's oil and collage illustrations are the perfect touch for rounding out this beautiful story.
From Booklist: "Just when it seems a nonfiction Holocaust book can't tell us anything new, along comes a story like this one, an inspiring, upbeat, true rescue account that is essential to the history. Just when it seems a nonfiction Holocaust book can't tell us anything new, along comes a story like this one, an inspiring, upbeat, true rescue account that is essential to the history."
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Written by Caralyn Buehner
Illustrated by Mark Buehner
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,2004
ISBN #: 978-0-06-623621-6
Small dog Dexter gets picked on relentlessly by other dogs and even Cleevis the tomcat. Fed up with all the bullying, Dexter starts superhero training to become the top dog. Soon, he is Dex--Superdog willing to help anyone in need, even Cleevis. Dex discovers size isn't always the thing you need to do what seems impossible, determination is.
My Thoughts About This Book:
This book is a treat! This story has a wonderful message that shows others how when you are determined to do or become something, anything is possible. I look forward to sharing this with students who sometimes feel down when they can't do everything an older sibling can. Anyone would find inspiration in Dexter's determination. The illustrations add a great deal to the story, portraying Dexter's determination through his expressions and actions. The pictures will bring a smile to your face--especially the ones of Dex flexing his muscles.
From School Library Journal: "The story line may be a bit predictable, but the Buehners' considerable talents render it fresh and funny. The author has created a lovable and memorable character in the endearing and stalwart Dex, and the illustrator's retro-style artwork is charming. As in Fanny's Dream (Dial, 1996), he has added to the fun by hiding cats, rabbits, and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the clouds and shadows. This dynamic combination of heart and humor should not be missed."
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Written and Illustrated by: Robert J. Blake
Publisher: Philomel Books, 2002
ISBN #: 0-399-23381-4
A small, wild and independent puppy, Togo was not expected to be a sled dog--especially a lead sled dog. Given to a woman to be a pet by his original owner Leonhard Seppala had no plans to make Togo a part of his dog sled team. However Togo was determined to become a sled a dog. That determination would go on to make him a vital part of the historic sled run that delivered the serum to Nome that would save the city form a life-threatening diphtheria outbreak.
My Thoughts on This Book:
This book not only won several awards, but also was nominated for many awards as well. I think it was definitely deserving of every honor it received. This beautiful story was inspiring, as well as informative. I, like so many others was aware of Balto's role in the great serum run, but had no idea about the role Togo played in this historic event. Robert Blake has done something wonderful in recording this heroic dog's story so that students can learn about Togo's bravery and determination to lead his team to a successful run. Blake's realistic illustrations help transport the reader to Alaska in 1925, and makes the reader feel like they are right there with Seppala and his dog team, braving the elements and helping get the serum to Nome. This book is a treasure that must be shared with students.
From School Library Journal: "Many people feel that Togo is an unsung hero, and so will readers, who will feel the terrible cold depicted chillingly in Blake's paintings. The urgency and desperation come across clearly in both the dramatic text and the full-page impressionistic paintings. The dogs are not anthropomorphized, but their expressions are haunting. Pair this first-rate historical adventure with Natalie Standiford's The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Random, 1989) or with Blake's Akiak: A Tale from the Iditarod (Philomel, 1997)."