Currently viewing the category: "Biography/Autobiography/Memoir"

Who Wins? 100 Historical Figures Go Head-to-Head and You Decide the Winner!
Created by Clay Swartz
Illustrated by Tom Booth
Published July 12th, 2016 by Workman Publishing Company

Summary: Who would rock the mic at karaoke night? Abraham “The Great Emancipator” Lincoln or Jane “Lady Persuasion” Austen? How about a hot dog eating contest between Harry “Mr. Magic” Houdini and Mary “Mother of Frankenstein” Shelley? What about a pie contest? A staring contest? And who has a better chance of sneaking into Area 51, Isaac “Gravity Guy” Newton or Sacagawea aka “The Pathfinder”?

In Who Wins?: History, you decide the winner in over 50 head-to-head challenges between 100 of history’s most illustrious characters. But choosing the victor isn’t arbitrary. Readers must justify their answers using each of the historical figures’ six 0-10 category rankings in bravery, leadership, artistry, wealth, wisdom, and fitness; as well as facts from short biographies.

As funny as it is informative, the book is uniquely formatted so readers can match up each and every character in any of the head-to-head battles. History has never been so much fun!

Review (from 10/26/16): Who Wins? is informative, funny, and so cleverly formatted that it is going to be a star in homes and classrooms. I love how the book gives each historical figure a nickname (either one they already were given, like Satchmo, or made up, like Gravity Guru for Isaac Newton) to add a bit of humor to the book; however, still makes sure to include a plethora of information about each figure including a bio then 3 little-known facts. Each head-to-head situation also helps guide your decision by giving some example questions to think about. Let’s look at a head-to-head, so you can really see how clever it is!

In My Classroom: Whenever I begin a debate unit, I always start with a mini-debate, and I wanted this year’s to include Who Wins? because I thought it was such an awesome class resource (and my students were slightly obsessed with the book). To start, I randomly picked a male and a female historical figure from each side of the Who Wins? book for each class. I didn’t choose the middle activity yet because I wanted my students to get to know their historical figures before I gave them the rest of the topic for the debate. For two days, the students researched their figures and tried to learn as much about them as possible. We talked about making sure to not just list dates but to get to know them as a person: their strengths, their weaknesses, their personality, their education, etc. Finally, on day three, I randomly revealed the rest of the debate topic and randomly put each class into two groups. We ended up with:

Who wins WRESTLEMANIA? Queen Elizabeth I or Genghis Khan?
Who wins LIVING IN 10,000 BC? Harriet Tubman or Ramses II?
Who wins CELEBRITY JEOPARDY? Nelson Mandela or Marie Curie?

Each group then made a Google Doc that they could collaborate on, and they focuses on preparing their argument, possible counterarguments, and rebuttals to the counter argument. They could research more now that they knew the topic, and I shared Who Wins? information with them as well (see photo above).

Then, after a couple of days of collaboration, we had our mini-debate. The most successful was the Queen Elizabeth I vs. Genghis Khan because they not only researched their historical figure, but they also researched Wrestlemania which allowed the debate go to a whole different level than my other two periods. The Nelson Mandela vs. Marie Curie debate had the opposite problem: they didn’t research Jeopardy at all which made for the debate never really having a clear winner because they were just debating who was smarter. The Ramses II vs. Harriet Tubman went well though the Harriet Tubman side never pulled out their best argument: she primarily lived on the run in the wilderness! In the end, Wrestlemania was a tie; Ramses II would survive better in 10,000 BC; and Marie Curie would win Jeopardy.

Some Students’ Collaborative Notes: Here are some examples of the collaborative notes some groups put together when preparing for the mini-debate. These are not examples of the initial research notes they took on their historical figures.

Genghis Khan

Harriet Tubman: 

Marie Curie:

Second Debate Using Who Wins?For our second debate, I did things a little bit differently. Instead of giving them the historical person first, for each class, I randomly chose the center tile (the topic) and we ended up with: Rap Battle, Ironman World Championship, and Summiting Everest. I then let the students, within their groups, go through their side of the book to find the person they wanted for their side of the debate.

They used their prior knowledge, the bios, and the stats for each person to try to pick the best for the debate. Our people ended up being:

Who Wins a Rap Battle: Muhammad Ali vs. Sojourner Truth?
Who Wins the Ironman World Championship: Jim Thorpe vs. Mildred Ella Didrikson?
Who Wins at Summiting Everest: Ernest Shackleton vs. Alexander the Great?

This time around, students were much more invested in their historical figure and with the topic already chosen, they could narrow down their research. Also, they realized how important it was to research the topic. Students also were given 2 extra days to research this time though given the same amount of time (2 days) to collaborate.

Once we got to the debates, I made a decision I was so happy about: Students were not allowed to have their iPads with them. They could have 1 Post-it note (front only) with any specifics that were tough to remember (years, prices, times, etc.), but that was it. And the debates went so much better! Students knew their stuff, and the debates were so intense, detailed, and close!

In the end, we’re still not sure who would be most successful at summiting Everest, Shackelton or Alexander the Great; Jim Thorpe is more likely to win the Ironman World Championship; and Muhammad Ali would win a rap battle vs. Sojourner Truth.

Final Assessment: As a final cumulative assessment, I asked my students to write me an argumentative paragraph stating why they felt their historical figure would be more successful than the other. Students were asked to have multiple reasons why with evidence to support their claim.

Reflection: Using Who Wins?, I was able to create a standards-based unit that allowed students to not only debate, research, and read informational texts, but work collaboratively, think outside the box, and cite evidence to support their claims. I know the students learned from it as well, and they asked to do another, so I know they enjoyed it. They also now realize that learning just dates or facts about a person isn’t thorough research, it is important to know both sides of an argument so you can have a rebuttal, and that you need to research all aspects of a debate to ensure you are arguing for the right reasons. Overall, I call this a win!

Tagged with:
 

nfpb2017

Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

Stand Up and Sing!: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice
Author: Susanna Reich
Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Foreword by Peter Yarrow
Published March 21st, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Summary: Inspired by the rhythms of American folk music, this moving account of Pete Seeger’s life celebrates his legacy, showing kids of every generation that no cause is too small and no obstacle too large if, together, you stand up and sing!

Pete Seeger was born with music in his bones. Coming of age during the Great Depression, Pete saw poverty and adversity that would forever shape his worldview, but it wasn’t until he received his first banjo that he found his way to change the world. It was plucking banjo strings and singing folk songs that showed Pete how music had the incredible power to bring people together.

Using this gift throughout his life, Pete encouraged others to rally behind causes that mattered–fighting for Civil Rights, ending the Vietnam War, or cleaning up the Hudson River. For Pete, no challenge was too great, and what started out as a love for music turned into a lifetime of activism and change. His greatest talent–and greatest passion–would become an unforgettable part of American history.

Praise: 

“Gustavson’s mixed-media illustrations highlight Seeger’s modest upbringing and down-to-earth persona, pairing lushly illustrated scenes of him traveling and performing with rough, loose sketches . . . An intimate look at a pivotal American figure.” –  Publisher’s Weekly

“The ‘We Shall Overcome’ songwriter’s legacy spans decades, and this will surely help a new generation understand his fervor and still-relevant message.” –  Booklist

“Gustavson’s realistic art supports the admiring tone. . . . A solid introduction.” –  School Library Journal

Review: I grew up with parents who loved Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Van Morrison, and Neil Young, so I have definitely heard of Pete Seeger. I knew that he was influenced by Woody Guthrie just as Bob Dylan was (I once wrote a paper about Walt Whitman being the origin of American folk music because of his influence on Woody Guthrie). But I did not have any idea of Seeger’s influence on the social issues that I learned about in this picture book. Though Reich is clear in her Author’s Note that the picture book bio is just a snippit of his life, what she does cover shows me what an impact Seeger had in so many different social issues throughout his life. This story gave me hope. It showed me that music and people who care can definitely make a difference. That someone like Pete Seeger, someone of privilege, can join forces with the oppressed and fight against injustice. That music and poetry and words can make a difference.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Pete Seeger’s story intertwines with many parts of history that are taught. It would be interesting to read Pete’s story when studying the 60s and see how he was influential throughout the different social issues in the 60s. I think it would also be fascinating to listen to Pete’s music while reading the book and discussing how the poetry that he turned into music reflected the feelings of those fighting oppression during this time.

Discussion Questions: How did Pete use music to unite people fighting for a cause?; How is Pete’s use of folk music like Martin Luther King Jr.’s use of speeches and words to fight?; Why did Pete not enjoy fame?

Flagged Passages: “In 1955 Pete was called into court by some congressmen who didn’t think he was a loyal American. Pete refused to answer their questions in the way they wanted. The threat of prison would hang over his head for the next seven years.

Meanwhile the civil rights movement was picking up steam. On a trip to Tennessee in 1957, Pete introduced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the song ‘We Shall Overcome.’

‘That song really sticks with you, doesn’t it?’ Dr. King said.

‘We Shall Overcome’ spread throughout the country. In churches and community halls, at civil rights gatherings and protest marches, people stood arm in arm, their voices forming a bond of home and determination.”

“We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger

Read This If You Love: Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, When Bob Met Woody by Gary Golio, Blood Brothers by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil WallaceThe March Against Fear by Ann BausumBoycott Blues by Andrea Davis Pinkey

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall closereadinganalysisbuttonsmall

Signature

Tagged with:
 

NFPB2016

Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

How the World Was

How the World Was: A California Childhood 
Author: Emmanuel Guibert; Translation: Kathryn Pulver
Published: July 15, 2014 by First Second

Summary: In 1994, French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert befriended an American veteran named Alan Cope and began creating his new friend’s graphic biography. Alan’s War was the surprising and moving result: the story of Cope’s experiences as an American GI in France during World War II.

How the World Was is Emmanuel Guibert’s moving return to documenting the life of his friend. Cope died several years ago, as Guibert was just beginning work on this book, but Guibert has kept working to commit his friend’s story to paper. Cope grew up in California during the great depression, and this remarkable graphic novel details the little moments that make a young man’s life…while capturing the scope of America during the great depression.

A lyrical, touching portrait, How the World Was is a gift for a dear friend in the last moments of his life… and also a meditation on the birth of modern America.

Review: Many of you know Emmanuel Guibert’s graphic novel Alan’s War. Guibert is a French cartoonist who tells the true story of Alan Cope, an American GI in France in WWII. How the World Was: A California Childhood depicts Alan’s earlier childhood experiences, growing up during the Great Depression in California. The graphic novel is unlike others that I’ve read, and I really enjoy Guibert’s style. The chapters read like vignettes of Cope’s childhood; some of the scenes are graphic, and many are quite moving. This text would be excellent for close reading, and I don’t think readers even need to read it in its entirety to appreciate and understand each chapter.

Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: I’d love to use this text in the classroom, and I would probably use a single chapter. (This would inspire readers to take the entire book out on their own, which is a style I love to use when I am teaching.) I was particularly moved by the end of the book, where Alan’s mother goes in for surgery. I’d love to do a close reading of this section to discuss author’s purpose and Alan’s identity development.

Discussion Questions: How does this graphic novel differ from others that you’ve read?; How is the author’s writing style similar to short vignettes? Why might he have chosen to write the book in this why? Is it effective for you, the reader?; What scenes stand out to you? Why might this be?

Flagged Passage: I’ve included a section that stands out to me. It is a bit peculiar to include in a graphic novel, but there is a lesson in the pages that follow. I imagine that censors would be horrified to see this page alone, but within the context of the chapter, it is a very important scene.

how the world was

Special thanks to http://goodokbad.com/index.php/reviews/how_the_world_was_review for sharing this scene in his reviews. It’s a good one.

Read This If You Love: The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert; Alan’s War by Emmanuel Guibert; The Stranger by Albert Camus; The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Recommended For:

closereadinganalysisbuttonsmall classroomlibrarybuttonsmall

RickiSig

Tagged with:
 

NFPB2016

Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

around-america-to-win-the-vote

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
Author: Mara Rockliff
Illustrator: Hadley Hooper
Published August 2nd, 2016

Summary: The author of Mesmerized delivers another fascinating glimpse into history, this time the story of two brave suffragists on a trek across America to spread the word: Votes for Women!

In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers—not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud—the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.

Review: I am posting this review specifically today because it is amazing to hear for these women’s journey when today a woman is running for president under a major political power. It is amazing that in 2016 we have made it this far, which is amazing, but we also have to remember how hard woman fought for women’s rights and that women’s equality isn’t here yet.

Another reason why I posted this today is to remind people to vote. All election days are our opportunity to choose our futures. We are not powerless; voting gives us power and a voice. Please vote and remind all those close and dear to you to vote as well.

Now to the book. I loved reading Nell and Alice’s adventure. These are woman that are truly role models because they did something so unexpected and unacceptable at the time to fight for something they believe in a peaceful and intelligent manner. Mara Rockliff, along with Hooper’s busy yet muted and beautiful illustrations, tell us their story in an engaging way that will definitely make the reader think about so much.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: In addition to reading Nell and Alice’s story in conjunction to history lessons about suffragists and this time in history or as a lit circle text with other books about strong woman or people making a difference, Michele Knott had an idea that I thought would be fascinating: compare and contrast the way that politics has changed in 100 years. How has tactics changed? How has technology changed the delivery and reception of politics?

Discussion Questions: What obstacles did Nell and Alice face that they would not have faced if they were traveling 10,000 miles in 2016? How would their journey have been different if it was 2016? Do you think face-to-face works better than some of the use of technology that we see nowadays?; Do you think Nell and Alice made a difference?

Flagged Passages: 

around-america-spread

Read This If You Loved: The First Step by Susan E. Goodman, Fearless Flyer by Heather Lang, Hillary Rodham Clinton by Michelle Markel, Brave Girl by Michelle Markel or any book about a strong female of history; Sit-In by Andrea Davis Pinkney or any book about how people made a difference for what they knew was right

Recommended For: 

closereadinganalysisbuttonsmalllitcirclesbuttonsmallreadaloudbuttonsmallclassroomlibrarybuttonsmall

Signature

Tagged with:
 

NFPB2016

Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

who-wins

Who Wins? 100 Historical Figures Go Head-to-Head and You Decide the Winner!
Created by Clay Swartz
Illustrated by Tom Booth
Published July 12th, 2016 by Workman Publishing Company

Summary: Who would rock the mic at karaoke night? Abraham “The Great Emancipator” Lincoln or Jane “Lady Persuasion” Austen? How about a hot dog eating contest between Harry “Mr. Magic” Houdini and Mary “Mother of Frankenstein” Shelley? What about a pie contest? A staring contest? And who has a better chance of sneaking into Area 51, Isaac “Gravity Guy” Newton or Sacagawea aka “The Pathfinder”?

In Who Wins?: History, you decide the winner in over 50 head-to-head challenges between 100 of history’s most illustrious characters. But choosing the victor isn’t arbitrary. Readers must justify their answers using each of the historical figures’ six 0-10 category rankings in bravery, leadership, artistry, wealth, wisdom, and fitness; as well as facts from short biographies.

As funny as it is informative, the book is uniquely formatted so readers can match up each and every character in any of the head-to-head battles. History has never been so much fun!

Kellee’s Review: Who Wins? is informative, funny, and so cleverly formatted that it is going to be a star in homes and classrooms. I love how the book gives each historical figure a nickname (either one they already were given, like Satchmo, or made up, like Gravity Guru for Isaac Newton) to add a bit of humor to the book; however, still makes sure to include a plethora of information about each figure including a bio then 3 little-known facts. Each head-to-head situation also helps guide your decision by giving some example questions to think about. Let’s look at a head-to-head, so you can really see how clever it is!

William Wallace “Braveheart” vs. Isaac Newton “Gravity Guru”
Who Wins Living in the Wild, Wild West?

20161008_221140-1

Ricki’s Review: What a clever concept! This spiral-bound book will be a staple for car rides. I could also see it being a great book for fast finishers in the classroom. The book consists of three columns that are split. So, for example, I randomly flipped to three pages (one of each column). At the far right, there is a short summary of Louis Armstrong’s biography and picture. Then, in the middle, the column I flipped to is the “talent show” and asks “Who is the most well-rounded? Who has the most experience entertaining?” Then on the far right, I flipped to Abraham Lincoln. While this one seems like a clear winner for Louis Armstrong, I think we could conceivably argue for either person for the two questions. I’ll be hanging on to this book. It will be a great book to give to my kids in the backseat. Fun family debates are the best!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Are you an elementary school teacher or a social studies teacher or a language arts teacher? Then buy this. It is a perfect bell work or paper prompts or discussion starter or debate topic creator or whatever else you can think of!

Discussion Questions: Who wins?

Read This If You Love: History, Historical Figures, Debates 

Recommended For: 

closereadinganalysisbuttonsmall classroomlibrarybuttonsmall

Signatureand RickiSig

**Thank you to Estelle at Workman’s for providing copies for review!**

Tagged with:
 

NFPB2016

Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

antsy-adams

Antsy Adams: Ansel Adams, A Life in Nature
Author: Cindy Jenson-Elliott
Illustrator: Christy Hale
Published September 6th, 2016 by Henry Holt and Co.

Goodreads Summary: You may be familiar with Adams’s iconic black-and-white nature photographs. But do you know about the artist who created these images?

As a child, Ansel Adams just couldn’t sit still. He felt trapped indoors and never walked anywhere–he ran. Even when he sat, his feet danced. But in nature, Ansel felt right at home. He fell in love with the gusting gales of the Golden Gate, the quiet whisper of Lobos Creek, the icy white of Yosemite Valley, and countless other remarkable natural sights.

From his early days in San Francisco to the height of his glory nationwide, this book chronicles a restless boy’s path to becoming an iconic nature photographer.

Cindy Jenson-Elliott photo

About the Author: Cindy Jenson-Elliott is the author of 17 books, a teacher and environmental educator. She teaches writing workshops through her small business Words to Go (www.wordstogosd.com) You can see her work on her website at www.cindyjensonelliott.com.

Kellee’s Review: As a child of a museum director and a photographer, Ansel Adams has been a name that I’ve known since I was quite young. He was one of the first artists whose work I could identify on my own. I was fascinated by his photographs–almost spooky in their lights and shadows but beautiful to where you cannot take your eyes off of them.

I loved learning about Ansel as a child. His story rang true as a teacher especially because there are so many kids like Ansel who are not made for the traditional setting of school yet are brilliant and should be educated a bit differently than the norm. Cindy Jenson-Elliott and Christy Hale do a very good job at showing and telling how Ansel viewed the world. With detailed illustrations, onomatopoeias, and a rhythmic texts, Ansel’s story is told in such an authentic way that really takes the reader into his brilliant mind.

Ricki’s Review: I’ve heard the name Ansel Adams, but I never connected it to the beautiful photography. I am so glad to have read this book because it made me aware of an important man that I didn’t know much about! As a mom of a son that is always itching to go outdoors, this was a great book to read to him. He felt very connected to Ansel! It also taught him all of the lessons he learns while he is outside! It is great to learn about who this man was as a child and what his life was like when he was growing up. 

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Ansel’s story fits into art, history, and language arts. Ansel Adams is a very significant artist of the 20th century and his story could be told within the context of art history or American history. The historical aspect in addition to the imagery, figurative language, and rhythm makes this text perfect for the classroom.

Discussion Questions: How did Ansel’s life change after his dad pulled him out of school? How did this choice affect the rest of his life?; How did Ansel’s personality differ from what the school expected of him?; Who do you think had the biggest influence on Ansel’s life?; Ansel was able to do what he loved for a living. What do you love to do? How could you make a living doing it?

Author Guest Post: I really enjoyed working on this book, partly because I loved the character, but also because I spend a lot of time in the places Ansel Adams haunted. I went to Yosemite for the first time at the same age as Ansel Adams went. And each year, my family treks up to the High Sierra to camp and explore.

I also loved deeply immersing myself in his life and discovering so many things I had not realized: that he explored nearby nature — not far away and exotic locales — as a child, and that forged his connection with the natural world;  that he did commercial work to make a living for his family (so affirming for artists and writers who have to do the same thing!); that he was a concert pianist.

Sometimes when you deeply research a life in order to write a biography, you fall a little bit in love with your subject. Though this was my first biography, from what I understand from other biographers, that’s a common experience. I also understand that many biographers, after spending a few years with someone, fall out of love as they discover all the dimensions of a personality. That didn’t happen for me with Ansel Adams. Reading about the person, seeing where he lived and what he valued throughout his life, and particularly through reading autobiography, I felt such admiration and respect. In a well-written autobiography, you get into a state where you feel like you are experiencing a person’s essence. Reading Ansel Adams’s autobiography was like that for me — his poetic word choices, the way he described the world he lived in and his experience in that world, I had the feeling of standing beside him and seeing his world through his eyes. I wanted to carry that essence into my picture book about Ansel Adams. I wanted young readers to feel what Ansel Adams must have felt making a connection with nature in quiet Lobos Creek behind his house, or meeting his beloved Yosemite for the first time. I wanted the experience of reading Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature, to be visceral. I hope that through my words and Christy Hale’s collage art, that people experience the world through a beautiful set of eyes.

Flagged Passages: 

ansel-yosemite ansel-adams-spread-2

(Yosemite photographs to see the beauty and precision of Christy Hale’s artwork)

ansel-adams-spread

Read This If You Love: Art/photography, The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock, The Museum by Susan Verde, Dorothea’s Eyes by Barb Rosenstock, Photos Framed by Ruth ThomsonThe Sky Painter by Margarita Engle, On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall readaloudbuttonsmall closereadinganalysisbuttonsmall litcirclesbuttonsmall

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Signatureand RickiSig

**Thank you to Cindy and Morgan at Macmillan for providing copies for review!**

Tagged with:
 

NFPB2016

Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

blood-brother

Blood Brothers: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights
Author: Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace
Published September 13th, 2016 by Calkins Creek

Goodreads Summary: Jonathan Daniels, a white seminary student from New Hampshire, traveled to Selma, Alabama, in 1965 to help with voter registration of black residents. After the voting rights marches, he remained in Alabama, in the area known as “Bloody Lowndes,” an extremely dangerous area for white freedom fighters, to assist civil rights workers. Five months later, Jonathan Daniels was shot and killed while saving the life of Ruby Sales, a black teenager. Through Daniels’s poignant letters, papers, photographs, and taped interviews, authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace explore what led Daniels to the moment of his death, the trial of his murderer, and how these events helped reshape both the legal and political climate of Lowndes County and the nation.

Blood Brother has received two starred reviews so far from Kirkus and Booklist, and a very strong review from School Library Journal:

*”This powerful biography of a little-known figure underscores the fact that civil rights workers in the 1960s South knowingly put their lives on the line for the cause…. The authors deftly convey Daniels’ complex personality, drawing from letters and interviews, including 18 they conducted. Numerous photographs, relatively large print, and an open design invite readers in… An unusually inspiring story skillfully told.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*”Outside of his hometown (Keene, New Hampshire), the name Jonathan Daniels isn’t well known, but it should be… a thoroughly researched, meticulously documented biography, which is interesting from the start, but increasingly absorbing… The many well-chosen photos show up beautifully on the large, glossy pages. The riveting story of one individual among the many working for Civil Rights during the 1960s.”—Booklist, starred review

“In a masterly demonstration of scholarly research and nonfiction writing, the Wallaces have crafted a powerful biographical narrative of civil rights activist Jonathan Daniels…. careful annotations and thorough indexing help readers keep track of the many players and scenes in this true-life drama. The authors have created a biography that brings to light the life and legacy of a lesser-known civil rights activist… this visually stunning and morally significant history is highly recommended…” —School Library Journal

About the Authors: Sandra Neil Wallace had a lengthy career as a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster before writing realistic fiction and nonfiction for young readers. A pioneer in the journalism field, she was the first woman to cover the National Hockey League on network TV. Selected as a promising new voice in children’s literature by The Horn Book, Wallace’s titles have been named to state and national awards lists including Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, and Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books for Youth. Visit sandraneilwallace.com.

author_sandra_neil_wallace_2013

Rich has been writing since he was a little boy, when he wrote and illustrated his own comic books. He has since published more than 25 novels for kids and teenagers. Many of those books have been award winners. Rich has an extensive background as a writer and editor, having served for many years as a senior editor at Highlights for Children magazine. He still writes the monthly “Timbertoes” feature for that venerable publication. Writing about sports and athletes comes naturally to him, as he has competed in athletics his entire life. He was a champion runner in high school and college, and still competes in Masters track and field. He’s also played a lot of basketball and soccer. For several years he was a newspaper sportswriter.

These days, Rich continues to pen a wide range of novels in addition to writing about human nutrition and other health issues for the adult market. Rich and his wife Sandra recently moved to New England with their dog Lucy. He is the father of two sons.

author_rich_wallace

Review: This book is not just an important book for young adults to read, it is an important book PERIOD. The story of Jonathan Daniels and his impact within the Civil Rights Movement shows how rights for equality is a fight for all people, not just those who are being discriminated against. Daniels had the guts to stand up for what he believed in. The connection between Jonathan Daniels’s story and the current racial tension is scary yet hopeful because it shows how differences can be made by those who believe in equity, equality, kindness, and love.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a text that needs to be in social studies and language arts classrooms in middle and high school. It needs to be shared. View the publisher’s Educator’s Guide, Blood Brother Educator’s Guide, to view some suggestions on how to use the text in your classroom.

Discussion Questions: How does the Civil Rights Movement compare to the Black Lives Matter movement?; Jonathan Daniels did what he knew was right even though there were dangers. What does this tell you about Daniels?; What did Daniels sacrifice for the Civil Rights Movement?; How did the structure of the text impact the central idea and theme of the text?

Book Trailer: 

Read This If You Love: Learning about the Civil Rights Movement 

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall closereadinganalysisbuttonsmall litcirclesbuttonsmall

Signature

**Thank you to Kerry at Boyds Mills Press for having me be part of the blog tour!**

Tagged with: