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Pride
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Published: September 18, 2018 by Balzer + Bray

Summary: Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

Teaching Pride

I love retellings of classics, and I would argue that this retelling is far superior to the original. Ibi presented at the NCTE convention, and she is absolutely brilliant. She talked about how she values the inclusion of the pantheon in literature and how she does so in her own texts. She also shared how different poems within Pride are retellings of classic poems. I love her work and will read anything she writes.

Love stories are tricky. They can get sappy quickly. This book is so much more than a love story. It interrogates themes related to economics, race, education, and gender.

Gentrification

“It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood, where it’s a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up. But it’s not just the junky stuff they’ll get rid of. People can be thrown away too, like last night’s trash left out on sidewalks or pushed to the edge of wherever all broken things go. What those rich people don’t always know is that broken and forgotten neighborhoods were first built out of love” (p. 1).

Teaching Idea: As a class, explore the impacts of gentrification and displacement. Using this knowledge develop your own form of political art (https://youtu.be/JMVd5k2a2IM) to make a statement.

Culture

If Madrina’s basement is where the tamboras, los espíritus, and old ancestral memories live, the roof is where the wind chimes, dreams, and possibilities float with the stars, where Janae and I share our secrets and plan to travel all over the world, Haiti and the Dominican Republic being our first stop” (p. 23).

Teaching Idea: Pick a place in your life, and Use Zoboi’s writing as a mentor text to share that place with others (e.g. “If [place] is where_________, [another place] is where__________, where________.”

Equity

“Sometimes love is not enough to keep a community together. There needs to be something more tangible, like fair housing, opportunities, and access to resources” (p. 33).

Teaching Idea: As a class, discuss whether love is enough and whether tangible aspects must exist in order to keep a community together. Generate a concept or brain map that depicts tangible aspects that can impact communities.

Male/Female Gender Roles

I don’t need no knights in shining armor

Ain’t no horses in the hood

I killed chivalry myself with a pocketknife…” (p. 243).

Teaching idea: The teachers finds materials/advertisements that are gender-specific, and students rewrite the materials to remove gender from the text. Students evaluate how the meaning or the impact has changed.

Education

“There is more to learn

about my old, old self, and black and brown girls like me

from hoods all over this country want to

take over the world,

but there’s something missing

in our history books the public schools give us” (p. 147).

Teaching idea: Consider the school curricula. Whose voices are honored? Whose are missing? Rewrite a course to be more inclusive.

Home

“I have always thought of Bushwick as home, but in that moment, I realize that home is where the people I love are, wherever that is” (p. 270).

Teaching idea: Where is home? Create a visual depiction of your own home, and below it, write, “Home is…” How do our interpretations of home differ? What do they have in common?

Read This If You Loved: American Street by Ibi Zoboi, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

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Kellee’s Reflection

I am sure you can tell from our countdown that this is one of our favorite events of the year. It is like a really big book club that only meets once a year mixed with the best professional development you could ask for. 

During NCTE, my presentations went so well! If you are interested, you can view my resources:

But what I want to focus on in this post are the revitalizing sessions I attended. My goal for NCTE18 was to make sure to attend more sessions to fill my educator heart, and I definitely met that goal! Here are some highlights from four favorite sessions/talks:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie opened up NCTE, and I was blown away by her!

  • “Be courageous enough to say I don’t know.”
  • We need “STEM AND the language arts. It’s not an or, it’s an and.”
  • “To be a good teacher is not just about curriculum, it is about things that can’t be quantified.”
  • Narrow view of intelligence = not valuing arts
  • “The world is not full people like you, so diverse literature is not needed just for the diverse.”
  • “When telling stories well, we’re appealing to what it means to be human.”

The session Latinx Experiences in Classrooms and Communities with educators, Dr. Carla España, Dr. Luz Herrera, and R. Joseph Rodriguez, and authors, Daniel José Older, MoNieqa Ramos, Matt de la Peña, Meg Medina, and Lilliam Rivera.

  • Our Latinx students “move through the world as many identities.” (Medina)
  • Bilingual students “have language resources we should use.” No more English Language Learners, they are “emergent bilinguals.” (España)
  • “Kids have more going on than we want to talk about.” (Ramos)
  • “Acceptance feels like a hug. It is that feeling when you are home because you don’t have to translate yourself.” (Older)
  • “Books are tools to help people save themselves.” (de la Peña)

Kylene Beers, Kelly Gallagher, and Penny Kittle are brilliant. I wish I could do a full day PD with them!

  • “You cannot improve confidence without improving confidence.” (Beers)
  • “No models of good conversation in media. Our democracy needs to have better conversations.” (Beers)
  • “Meaningful talk will not happen without meaningful reading.” (Gallagher)
  • “We are making too many decisions for our students. Turn over the control.” (Kittle)

Peter and Paul Reynolds stand for everything I believe in!

  • “Great teachers breath kindness and love.”
  • We “need to remind humans about the best humanity can do.”
  • “Picture books are efficient. They are a big idea in a small book.”
  • “Everyone is an artist. You’re only not identifying as one because someone told you you weren’t, and you believed them.”
  • “Noticing a kid is the most powerful gift we can give.”
  • “Your brain is beautiful! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

And the ALAN workshop was amazing as always. The ALAN workshop is 1.5 days of authors sharing. It is so much book love and author love and teacher love and kindness love and just love in general. If you ever have the chance to get to this workshop, it is a must!

Some of my favorite author talks/panels/conversations were:

  • Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Bill Konigsberg
  • Kierstin White, Ibi Zoboi, Elana K. Arnold
  • Neal Shusterman
  • Tomi Adeyemi
  • Sara Farizan and Mark Oshiro
  • Jarrett Krosozcka
  • Sharon Flake and Renee Watson
  • Gae Polisner and Chris Crutcher

This was just a SMALL sampling of the amazing authors at the workshop. Check out the schedule to see others who spoke!

Ricki’s Reflection

I had a wonderful time at the NCTE convention and ALAN Workshop. I was sad that I wasn’t able to go to many sessions because I signed on to participate in six sessions and introductions. I won’t be doing that again next year!

One of the highlights for me was sitting with Ibi Zoboi during the YA Lit is Complex session. She’s absolutely brilliant, and her voice added so much to the conversation. The participants at my roundtable asked her thoughtful questions. She talked about the many complex elements within her texts—the ways in which she adapts classic poetry, includes cultural pantheon for readers, etc. I am blown away by her brilliance, and she is among my favorite authors today. Quite frankly, she is a living legend.

The YA Lit is Complex session is my favorite each year. Jennifer Buehler and Cathy Fleischer bring in eight YA authors to talk about text complexity. If you missed this session, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I always leave feeling invigorated.

I also loved presenting with my colleague, Pamela K. Coke. We shared three approaches for using Genius Hour in the classroom to promote equity. The crowd for this presentation was amazing, and a few audience members have stayed in touch with us. There might be a potential research project on the horizon for this session!

Some of the most exciting talks that I saw were from:

  • Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Bill Konigsberg
  • Ibi Zoboi
  • Sara Farizan and Mark Oshiro
  • Tomi Adeyemi
  • Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Emily X. R. Pan
  • David Arnold
  • Sharon Draper
  • David Levithan
  • Randy Ribay

Pictures!

 

     

If you attended, how was your conference?
We look forward to next year 🙂

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Kellee

Before NCTE/ALAN: 

  • Dry by Neal Shusterman. Read it. Like now. I’m serious. Because it is so real and scary in that way that doesn’t haunt your dreams but haunts reality.
  • Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard is a look at family and responsibility and anger. It is a very special book!
  • Peter & Ernesto: The Lost Sloths by Graham Annable is just as good as the first one. It expands Peter & Ernesto’s world even more!
  • Junior High Drama by Louise Simonson is a short story collection looking at different situations that middle schoolers, primarily girls, deal with.

After NCTE/ALAN:

NCTE and ALAN is all about celebrating teaching, author, book, and creativity love, but it is so BUSY that reading time is nonexistent. Luckily, when I returned, I had a solid five days of family and reading time!

  • Here We Stay by Sara Farizan is the first ALAN book I picked up, and I am so glad! I hadn’t have known about this book until ALAN which is a travesty because it is a must read and a must share with teens.
  • The Scourge by Jennifer Nielsen is such a messed up book! It is a look at power and what someone in power would do if they fear losing it. Jennifer is coming to my school NEXT TUESDAY, and I am loving reading all of her books.
  • Lu by Jason Reynolds concludes the Track series with Lu which is a perfect finale to the series. Sometimes what you think you need to feel happy isn’t it at all.
  • The Sisters 8 is a series by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Greg Logsted, and their daughter, Jackie. This series debuted 10 years ago, and I look forward to celebrating in a couple of weeks.
  • Ethan Makes His Mark by Michele Weber-Hurwitz is the sequel to Ethan Marcus Stands Up which is the book that inspired my flexible seating this year. I was worried about book two not standing up to book one, but I shouldn’t have worried. It is just as good at the first not only continuing the story but also building up a new one.

Ricki

  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi is incredible. I love retellings of classics, and I would argue that this retelling is far superior to the original. Ibi presented at the NCTE convention, and she is absolutely brilliant. She talked about how she values the inclusion of the pantheon in literature and how she does so in her own texts. She also shared how different poems within Pride are retellings of classic poems. I love her work and will read anything she writes.
  • Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin is a powerful, timely story. If only those in power would read more stories like these.
  • Mapping Sam by Joyce Hesselberth is an adorable story of a cat’s adventures. It includes many maps of places that will be familiar to kids. Children who love cats and/or maps will enjoy this book, and it has a lot of classroom potential (map making!).
  • Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische is beautiful in its presentation and inspirational to kids. The lettering in this book is lovely.
  • If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur by Amy Newbold is AMAZING. The author and illustrator team reimagine what it might look like if famous artists in history decided to paint a dinosaur. This sent me on a tailspin through the internet—researching the famous artists. I am excited to review this book next week!

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Kellee

 

  • The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne: I cannot wait to get back to reading this one with Trent. It was sad to miss a week while I was away.
  • Land of Stories Book 1 expired before I could finish listening to it and has holds, so I moved onto A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen which is excellent! I hope to finish it before her author visit next week.
  • Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble  by Anna Meriano is one I grabbed after meeting the author at NCTE and hearing about the second book in the series.
  • Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen is the first in a trilogy. I am very early in it still, but I will no doubt love it!

Ricki

I am currently listening to Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles. So far, it is a great read (and listen!).

I hope to read Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. I’ve heard good things, and it was in my ALAN box!

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Wednesday: Ricki & Kellee’s NCTE & ALAN 2018 Reflection

Friday: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “Exploring the Potential of Artificial Intelligence” by Angie Smibert, Author of Artificial Intelligence: Thinking Machines and Smart Robots

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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IMWAYR 2015 logo

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Tuesday: Countdown to NCTE/ALAN: Two Books We’re Going to Make Sure to Read Before the New Year

Wednesday: Countdown to NCTE/ALAN: One Day! Our Favorite Thing about NCTE/ALAN….

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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We are currently attending the NCTE and ALAN conventions followed by family time during the school holiday. We’ll see you on the 26th! 🙂

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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Hello, dear friends! We are both away at the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Convention and ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) Workshop! We can’t wait to see many of you there and those who aren’t, we’ll miss you! We will be sure to put up an IMWAYR post next Monday for folks to link up, and then we will return on Monday, November 26! See you then!

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In honor of our favorite conferences—the NCTE Convention and ALAN Workshop, we are doing a countdown over the next two weeks. Each day, we will feature a list that reflects the number of days left until the conference! We can’t wait to see many of you there!

Our Favorite Thing about NCTE/ALAN….

Seeing Our NCTE/ALAN family and friends! We can’t wait to see many of you!

 

 

    

And most importantly: We get to see each other!!!!!!!

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As 2018 comes to a close, we were discussing books that we plan on reading before the year ends (that aren’t on our #mustreadin2018 list).

Kellee

The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Published March 6th, 2018 by HarperTeen

One of the gaps in children and young adult publishing I speak of often are books that reflect my students. Over 60% of my students are from Latin America, primarily from Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, and they do not often find books that reflect them (most books with Latinx characters are from Mexico or Cuba), so when I learn about one that does, I definitely mark it as a book I want to read. Then if I hear that this book is so wonderfully amazing, I move it up to the top of my list and have my teacher book club read it.

Ricki

Dream Country
Author: Shannon Gibney
Published September 11th, 2018 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

I finally snagged my copy back from students, and I am so excited to read it. This book follows the lives of five youth within a family tree from the early 1800s to present day. It tackles issues such as slavery and immigration (from my understanding). I am so thrilled to read it, and I’ve heard it is phenomenal.

What book do you hope to get to before the end of the year? 

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