The Uninhabitable Earth (Adapted for Young Readers): Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

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The Uninhabitable Earth (Adapted for Young Readers): Life After Warming
Author: David Wallace-Wells
Published October 10th, 2023 by Delacorte Press

Summary: An exploration of the devastating effects of global warming—current and future—adapted for young adults from the #1 New York Times bestseller. This is not only an assessment on how the future will look to those living through it, but also a dire overview and an impassioned and hopeful call to action to change the trajectory while there is still time.

The climate crisis that our nation currently faces, from rising temperatures, unfathomable drought, devastating floods, unprecedented fires, just to name a few, are alarming precursors to what awaits us if we continue on our current path. In this adaptation for young adults from the #1 New York Times bestseller, journalist David Wallace-Wells tells it like it is, and it is much worse than anyone might think. Global warming is effecting the world, if left unchecked, it promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and the trajectory of human progress.

In sobering detail, Wallace-Wells lays out the mistakes and inaction of past and current generations that we see negatively affecting all lives today and more importantly how they will inevitably affect the future. But readers will also hear—loud and clear—his impassioned call to action, as he appeals to current and future generations, especially young people. As he “the solutions, when we dare to imagine them . . . are indeed motivating, if there is to be any chance of preserving even the hope for a happier future—relatively livable, relatively fulfilling, relatively prosperous, and perhaps more than only relatively just.”

About the Author: David Wallace-Wells is a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine. He has been a national fellow at the New America Foundation and was previously the deputy editor of The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.

Review: This is an intense book. Like shared in the excerpt below, climate change is a “hyperobject” which makes it seems so intimidating, but David Wallace-Wells does a good job of taking this daunting reality and potential future and breaking it down for the reader though he definitely did not sugar coat anything for the Young Reader edition. It is terrifying and a call to action. But it is also so important, and I am so glad that the author and publisher decided to make it available and accessible for young readers.

I really liked the structure of the books. Wallace-Wells didn’t combine everything and just throw it all at the reader. Each of the four parts are broken up into smaller topics where he focuses on just those aspects. For example, climate changes’ effect on hunger, wild fires, air, plagues, etc. This allows the reader to process each part and not get too overwhelmed.

I also appreciate that he added an afterword which has updates since the original book was published. I think this shows readers that science changes and needs to be updated and make the book more reliable.

I do need to add a warning: The book will not help with eco-anxiety. If anything, it will make it worse. I had to pause the book sometimes to take a breath.

Tools for Navigation: This text could definitely be used in a high school course looking at global warming and climate change since he does a great job of connecting the science to reality. I would love to see this text used in English class as the science is studied in science: a cross-curricular gem of an opportunity.

Most importantly, though, this book needs to get into kids’ hands. It reminds them of the importance of the decisions that our current and future generations need to make about our environment.

Discussion Questions: 

  • What are some actions that we could begin doing to help with the future?
  • Why did the author add to the book when he rewrote it for Young Readers?
  • How has human progression been the downfall for our Earth?
  • Why does climate change seem so daunting to many and thus leads to doing nothing?
  • What do you think is the most important thing that humans need to do now?
  • How will climate change directly impact where you live?

Flagged Passages: Chapter 1: Cascades

The world will be what we make it–perhaps what you make it. The timelines are indeed that short.

Consider the speed of change. The earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a wiping of the fossil record that it functioned as an evolutionary reset, the planet’s phylogenetic tree first expanding, then collapsing, at intervals, like a lung: 86 percent of all species dead 450 million years ago; 70 million years later, 75 percent; 125 million years later, 96 percent; 50 million years later, 80 percent; 135 million years after that, 75 percent again. All but one of these involved climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 250 million years ago; it began when carbon dioxide warmed the planet by five degrees Celsius, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane, another greenhouse gas, and ended with all but a sliver of life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate–by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is one hundred times faster than at any point in human history before the beginning of industrialization. And there is already, right now, fully a third more carbon in the atmosphere than at any point in the last 800,000 years–perhaps in as long as 15 million years. There were no humans then. The oceans were more than a hundred feet higher.

Many perceive global warming as a sort of moral and economic debt, accumulated since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and now come due after several centuries. In fact, more than half the carbon exhaled into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels has been emitted in just the past three decades. The United Nations established its climate change framework in 1992, building a political consensus out of a scientific consensus and advertising it unmistakably to the world; this means we have now done as much damage to the environment knowingly as we ever managed in ignorance. Global warming may seem like a distended morality tale playing out over several centuries and inflicting a kind of Old Testament retribution on the great-great-grandchildren of those responsible, since it was carbon burning in eighteenth-century England that lit the fuse of everything that has followed. But that is a fable about historical villainy that acquits those of us alive today–unfairly. The majority of the burning has come since the 1994 premiere of Friends. A quarter of the damage has been done since Barack Obama was elected president, and Joe Biden vice president, in 2008. Since the end of World War II, the figure is about 90 percent. The story of the industrial world’s kamikaze mission is the story of a single lifetime–the planet brought from seeming stability to the brink of catastrophe in the years between a baptism or bar mitzvah and a funeral.

It is the lifetime of many of the scientists who first raised public alarm about climate change, some of whom, incredibly, remain working–that is how rapidly we have arrived at this promontory, staring down the likelihood of three degrees Celsius of warming by the year 2100. Four degrees is possible as well–perhaps more. According to some estimates, that would mean that whole regions of Africa and Australia and the United States, parts of South America north of Patagonia, and Asia south of Siberia would be rendered brutally uncomfortable by direct heat, desertification, and flooding. Certainly, it would make them inhospitable, and many more regions besides. Which means that, if the planet was brought to the brink of climate catastrophe within the lifetime of a single generation, the responsibility to avoid it belongs with a single generation, too. We all also know that second lifetime. It is ours.

I am not an environmentalist and don’t even think of myself as a nature person. I’ve lived my whole life in cities, enjoying gadgets built by industrial supply chains I hardly think twice about. I’ve never gone camping, not willingly anyway, and while I always thought it was basically a good idea to keep streams clean and air clear, I also always accepted the proposition that there was a trade-off between economic growth and its cost to nature–and figured, well, in most cases I’d probably go for growth. I’m not about to personally slaughter a cow to eat a hamburger, but I’m also not about to go vegan. In these ways–many of them at least–I am like every other American who has spent their life fatally complacent, and willfully deluded, about climate change, which is not just the biggest threat human life on the planet has ever faced but a threat of an entirely different category and scale. That is, the scale of human life itself.

A few years ago, I began collecting stories of climate change, many of them terrifying, gripping, uncanny narratives, with even the most small-scale sagas playing like fables: a group of Arctic scientists trapped when melting ice isolated their research center, on an island populated also by a group of polar bears; a Russian boy killed by anthrax released from a thawing reindeer carcass, which had been trapped in permafrost for many decades. My file of stories grew daily, but very few of the clips, even those drawn from new research published in the most pedigreed scientific journals, seemed to appear in the coverage about climate change the country watched on television and read in its newspapers. In those places, climate change was reported, of course, and even with some tinge of alarm. But the discussion of possible effects was misleadingly narrow, limited almost invariably to the matter of sea-level rise. Just as worrisome, the coverage was sanguine, all things considered. As recently as the 1997 signing of the landmark Kyoto Protocol, two degrees Celsius of global warming was considered the threshold of catastrophe: flooded cities, crippling droughts and heat waves, a planet battered daily by hurricanes and monsoons we used to call “natural disasters” but will soon normalize as simply “bad weather.” More recently, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands offered another name for that level of warming: “genocide.”

This is not a book about the science of warming; it is about what warming means to the way we live on this planet. But what does that science say? It is complicated research, because it is built on two layers of uncertainty: what humans will do, mostly in emitting greenhouse gases, but also in how we adapt to the environment we have transformed and how the climate will respond, both through straightforward heating and a variety of more complicated and sometimes contradictory feedback loops. But even shaded by those uncertainty bars, it is also very clear research, in fact terrifyingly clear. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers the gold-standard assessments of the state of the planet and the likely trajectory for climate change. In its latest report, the IPCC suggested the world was on track for about 3 degrees of warming, bringing the unthinkable collapse of the planet’s ice sheets not just into the realm of the real but into the present.

Because these numbers are so small, we tend to trivialize the differences between them–one, two, four, five. Human experience and memory offer no good analogy for how we should think of those thresholds, but, as with world wars or recurrences of cancer, you don’t want to see even one.

At two degrees of warming, the ice sheets will likely begin their collapse, 400 million more people could suffer from water scarcity, and major cities in the equatorial band of the planet will become lethally hot in summer. There would be thirty-two times more extreme heat waves in India, and each would last five times as long, exposing ninety-three times more people. This is our best-case scenario.

At three degrees, southern Europe would be in permanent drought, and the average drought in Central America would last nineteen months longer and in the Caribbean twenty-one months longer. In northern Africa, the figure is sixty months longer–five years. The areas burned each year by wildfires would double in the Mediterranean and sextuple, or more, in the United States.

At four degrees, damages from river flooding could grow thirtyfold in Bangladesh, twentyfold in India, and as much as sixtyfold in the United Kingdom. In certain places, six climate-driven natural disasters could strike simultaneously. Conflict and warfare could double.

Even if we pull the planet up short of two degrees by 2100, we will be left with an atmosphere that contains 500 parts per million of carbon–perhaps more. The last time this was the case, sixteen million years ago, the planet was not two degrees warmer; it was somewhere between five and eight, giving the planet about 130 feet of sea-level rise, enough to draw a new American coastline as far west as I-95. Some of these processes take thousands of years to unfold, but they are also irreversible and therefore effectively permanent. You might hope to simply reverse climate change; you can’t. It will outrun all of us.

This is part of what makes climate change what the theorist Timothy Morton calls a “hyperobject”–a conceptual fact so large and complex that, like the internet, it can never be properly comprehended. There are many features of climate change–its size, its scope, its brutality–that alone satisfy this definition; together, they might elevate it into a higher and more incomprehensible conceptual category yet. But time is perhaps the most mind-bending feature, the worst outcomes arriving so long from now that we reflexively discount their reality.

Read This If You Love: Nonfiction, specifically about climate change

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Nicole Banholzer PR and the Publisher for providing a copy for review!**

Frankie and Friends: Breaking News by Christine Platt, Illustrated by Alea Marley

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Frankie and Friends: Breaking News
Author: Christine Platt
Illustrator: Alea Marley
Published October 10th, 2023 by Walker Books

Summary: Frankie’s mama is leaving to cover a breaking news story. Frankie, Papa, and Frankie’s teenage sister, Raven, are all proud of Mama, even though they miss her when she’s away. But Frankie has a great idea: she can make her own news show! After all, Mama has told her that news is happening around her all the time. With a little assistance from her friends—including her doll Farrah, Robert the toy robot, and her tabby cat, Nina Simone—Frankie prepares for her first “broadcast.” And when she hears someone crying in the house, she knows that’s the developing story she must cover. With humor, empathy, and imagination, Frankie gets the scoop—and learns that even mature older sisters can miss Mama sometimes. With sweet illustrations throughout, this engaging new series embraces communication and compassion and is a refreshing portrayal of Black women in journalism. Young reporters will learn the terms of the trade, which are clearly presented in the text and reinforced in a glossary at the end of the book.

In a charming new chapter-book series by a social-change advocate, young Frankie emulates her journalist mama by reporting on household news with the help of her sister and an unlikely news crew.

About the Creators: 

Christine Platt is a literacy advocate and historian who believes in using the power of storytelling as a tool for social change. She holds a BA in Africana studies, an MA in African American studies, and a JD in general law. Although her only daughter is now in college, Christine Platt continues to draw on their adventures together as inspiration for her children’s literature. She has written more than thirty books for young readers and currently resides in Washington, DC.

Alea Marley is an award-winning illustrator of many books for children, including Phoebe Dupree Is Coming to Tea! by Linda Ashman. She loves creating whimsical scenes that are filled with patterns, texture, and bursts of color. Alea Marley lives in northern England.

Review: I love when I read a book, and I can immediately see it being loved by readers and how educators can utilize it in the classroom. Breaking News did exactly that–readers are going to love Frankie, her family, her group of stuffed animals, and her go-get-em attitude. They will also connect with Frankie’s emotions and curiosity.  Then, on top of that, educators can easily grab so much from the book to use in the classroom, especially the journalism aspects. And all of this is done in a early chapter book that is age appropriate, full of family dynamics, promotes imagination, and has beautiful full-page color illustrations!

Tools for Navigation: The author does a great job intertwining journalism terminology with the story and also has back matter which delves deeper into the different terms. I would love to see these aspects used to help a class get started on a class newspaper or, like Frankie and her mom, an oral report that is news-based.

Discussion Questions: 

  • How does Frankie’s curiosity help her start the important conversation with her sister?
  • What emotions does Frankie, and her family, go through when her mom needs to leave to cover a news story?
  • How does Frankie’s mom inspire Frankie?
  • What traits does Frankie have that will make her a good journalist?
  • What journalistic terms did you learn from the book?
  • What do you think was the author’s purpose in this book?

Flagged Spreads: 

Read This If You Love: Polly Diamond series by Alice Kupiers, Illustrated by Diana Toledano; Pigeon Private Detectives series by Christee Curran-Bauer; King and Kayla series by Dori Hillestad Butler, Illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Nicole Banholzer PR for providing a copy for review!**

There Was a Party for Langston by Jason Reynolds, Illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey

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There Was a Party for Langston
Author: Jason Reynolds
Illustrators: Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey
Published October 3rd, 2023 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Summary: New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds’s debut picture book is a snappy, joyous ode to Word King, literary genius, and glass-ceiling smasher Langston Hughes and the luminaries he inspired.

Back in the day, there was a heckuva party, a jam, for a word-making man. The King of Letters. Langston Hughes. His ABCs became drums, bumping jumping thumping like a heart the size of the whole country. They sent some people yelling and others, his word-children, to write their own glory.

Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and more came be-bopping to recite poems at their hero’s feet at that heckuva party at the Schomberg Library, dancing boom da boom, stepping and stomping, all in praise and love for Langston, world-mending word man. Oh, yeah, there was hoopla in Harlem, for its Renaissance man. A party for Langston.

Praise:

Melding celebratory text and kinetic, graphical art, the creators underscore the power of the subject’s poetry to move and to inspire. – Publishers Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW*, 8/14/2023

Evocative and celebratory words float around the dancers like strains of music, all the way to a culminating whirl of letters, laughter, and joy. Who knew these esteemed literary lions could cut the rug like that? – Booklist, *STARRED REVIEW*, 08/01/2023

Reynolds and the Pumphrey brothers take readers on a dazzling journey through Langston Hughes’ legacy … A bar set stratospherically high and cleared with room to spare. – Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*, 08/01/2023

This book is an absolute textual and pictorial glory of people, places, word-making, song-singing, storytelling, history-making moments, and images that are unforgettable. A beguiling, bedazzling collaboration that will send children to the shelves to learn more about all the names within, especially Hughes. – School Library Journal, *STARRED REVIEW*, July 2023

About the Creators: 

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a UK Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, an Odyssey Award Winner and two-time honoree, the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award. He was also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the GreatestThe Boy in the Black SuitStampedAs Brave as YouFor Every One; the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu); Look Both WaysStuntboy, in the MeantimeAin’t Burned All the Bright (recipient of the Caldecott Honor) and My Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (both cowritten with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

Jerome Pumphrey is a designer, illustrator, and writer, originally from Houston, Texas. His work includes It’s a Sign!Somewhere in the BayouThe Old Boat, and The Old Truck, which received seven starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and received the Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award Honor—all of which he created with his brother Jarrett. They also illustrated Jason Reynolds’s There Was a Party for Langston. Jerome works as a graphic designer at The Walt Disney Company. He lives near Clearwater, Florida.

Jarrett Pumphrey is an award-winning author-illustrator who makes books for kids with his brother, Jerome. Their books include It’s a Sign!Somewhere in the BayouThe Old Boat, and The Old Truck, which received seven starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and received the Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award Honor. They also illustrated Jason Reynolds’s There Was a Party for Langston. Jarrett lives near Austin, Texas.

Review: This book may just be perfection. All of it–the words, the story, the inspiration, and the art.

First, we have Jason Reynolds’s verse, written with a rhythm that is screaming to be read aloud (I can’t wait for the audiobook). The story is a celebration of Hughes about a celebration of Hughes, so the love is truly emanating off the pages. And the story of Reynolds’s inspiration is just so wholesome and a snapshot into history that deserves this book.

Second, the cherry on top is the pieces of art that illustrate Reynolds’s words. The Pumphrey brothers use handmade stamps to create spreads that complete the book into the complete package that it is. I loved how they included Hughes’s words and Reynolds’s words within the art as well.

I highly recommend reading Betsy Bird’s Goodreads review because she is so much more articulate and detailed than I am about this book in all of its glory.

Tools for Navigation: This text should be combined with Hughes’s work. His words are intertwined within the book which lends directly into picking up Hughes’s work to read alongside it. Readers could also find words within the illustrations and find which of Hughes’s work it comes from and look at why that particular section would be included at that point.

Additionally, other beloved authors were introduced to the readers, not only Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka but James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ashley Bryan, Octavia Butler, Countee Cullen, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Ralph Ellison, Nikki Giovanni, Alex Haley, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Richard Wright. These introductions could lend themselves to be the start of an author study, including asking why Reynolds and the Pumphreys would have chosen to include these specific authors.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Why did Langston Hughes have a party at the library?
  • What are some ways that Reynolds captured the excitement and glory of the evening with his words?
  • How did the illustrators use words in their art? What does it add to the book?
  • How did some of Hughes’s purposes relate to issues we’re still facing in America?
  • What inspired Jason Reynolds to write this book?
  • How is this picture book biography different than others?

Flagged Spreads: 

Read This If You Love: Poetry, Langston Hughes, Jason Reynolds

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing for sharing a copy for review!**

Educators’ Guide for The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra

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The Rumor Game
Author: Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra
Published: March 1st, 2022 by Disney

Summary: All it takes is one spark to start a blaze.

At Foxham Prep, a posh private school for the children of DC’s elite, a single rumor has the power to ruin a life.

Nobody knows that better than Bryn. She used to have it all—the perfect boyfriend, a bright future in politics, and even popularity, thanks to her best friend, cheer captain Cora. Then one mistake sparked a scandal that burned it all to the ground.

Now it’s the start of a new school year and the spotlight has shifted: It’s geeky Georgie, newly hot after a summer makeover, whose name is on everyone’s lips. When a rumor ignites, Georgie rockets up the school’s social hierarchy, pitting her and Cora against each other. It grants her Foxham stardom . . . but it also makes her a target.

As the rumors grow and morph, blazing like wildfire through the school’s social media, all three girls’ lives begin to unravel. But one person close to the drama has the power to stop the gossip in its tracks. The question is—do they even want to?

From Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, authors of the Tiny Pretty Things duology (now a Netflix series), comes the edge-of-your-seat social thriller everyone will be talking about.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation and Discussion Questions: 

Please view and enjoy the educators’ guide I created for Cake Creative Kitchen:

You can also access the educators’ guide here.

You can learn more about The Rumor Game on Cake Creative’s Library page.

Recommended For: 

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Saints of the Household by Ari Tison

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Saints of the Household
Author: Ari Tison
Published: March 28, 2023 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Summary: Saints of the Household is a haunting contemporary YA about an act of violence in a small-town–beautifully told by a debut Indigenous Costa Rican-American writer–that will take your breath away.

Max and Jay have always depended on one another for their survival. Growing up with a physically abusive father, the two Bribri American brothers have learned that the only way to protect themselves and their mother is to stick to a schedule and keep their heads down.

But when they hear a classmate in trouble in the woods, instinct takes over and they intervene, breaking up a fight and beating their high school’s star soccer player to a pulp. This act of violence threatens the brothers’ dreams for the future and their beliefs about who they are. As the true details of that fateful afternoon unfold over the course of the novel, Max and Jay grapple with the weight of their actions, their shifting relationship as brothers, and the realization that they may be more like their father than they thought. They’ll have to reach back to their Bribri roots to find their way forward.

Told in alternating points of view using vignettes and poems, debut author Ari Tison crafts an emotional, slow-burning drama about brotherhood, abuse, recovery, and doing the right thing.

Review: This gorgeous novel alternates two brothers’ perspectives, one in prose (similar to short vignettes) and one in verse. I was captivated by this book and felt really connected to the two characters. The story begins immediately following a violent altercation between the brothers and their cousin’s girlfriend. The boys (Jay and Max) also experience domestic abuse at home. Jay and Max are less than a year apart in age and very close, yet they negotiate the altercations in very different ways. I highly recommend this book and am really glad that I read it and got to know Jay’s and Max’s stories.

Tools for Navigation: This book inspires creative writing. Teachers might ask students to try writing alternating perspectives of two people who are negotiating a conflict in different ways. They might also try writing one voice in prose and one in verse.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Did you find yourself feeling more empathetic toward one of the brothers? If yes, why might this be? If no, do you think audiences might be more empathetic to a brother, and why or why not?
  • How does the domestic abuse impact each of the brothers?
  • How did the different forms enhance your reading of the text?

Flagged Passage: “‘Sadness is not uncommon for our people,’ he tells me. ‘We have been hurt by many. People have been murdered. Our lands taken. But, in turn, when you are so hurt, you cannot let them win again by allowing them to take your mind. We’ve got everything against us, dawö’chke, but we’re still here, aren’t we? Each one of us made it. And we will still make it through all we’re facing'” (p. 186).

Read This If You Love: Angeline Boulley, Amber McBride, Ibi Zoboi

Recommended For: 

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Peaceful Me and Angry Me by Sandra V. Feder, Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

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Peaceful Me       &        Angry Me
Author: Sandra V. Feder
Illustrator: Rahele Jomepour Bell
Published May 2nd, 2023 & May 1st, 2022 by Groundwood Books

Peaceful Me Summary: A young child tells us about the different times when he feels peaceful, as well as how he copes when he needs to find a peaceful state again.

Acclaimed picture-book creators Sandra V. Feder and Rahele Jomepour Bell have teamed up once again to create a thoughtful and beautifully illustrated exploration of peacefulness.

“I like feeling peaceful,” the young narrator tells us, then describes the times when he is filled with this emotion. When he is playing with a friend, he feels “free peaceful”; when he is having family dinner, “yummy peaceful”; when he is outside gazing up at the sky, “fluffy clouds peaceful”. But, of course, he doesn’t always feel peaceful, and we hear about his strategies for coping during those times, such as taking deep breaths, imagining his favorite things, and finding a quiet refuge or a hug.

Peaceful Me is the perfect companion to Angry Me — together, they encourage readers to let anger come and go, while inviting peace to come and stay.

Angry Me Summary: A young child tells us what makes her angry and how she tries to let the anger come and go. An artful starting point for conversations about strong feelings.

“I get angry,” says a little girl, looking fiercely in the mirror. Sometimes she gets angry when someone is mean and tries to take her toy away, when it feels unfair that there’s not enough time to go swimming, when she’s tired and just wants to go home, or when the kids at school leave her out, hurting her feelings.

When she’s angry, she tries to remember to use her words — even though that doesn’t always work. Sometimes she can’t find the right words, or the words don’t come out the way she intends. But sometimes words do help, and when her anger melts away a new feeling can blossom.

Sandra Feder’s cleverly constructed text presents different situations in which a child might feel angry, creating a nuanced look at anger and its many underlying emotions. Rahele Jomepour Bell’s illustrations show a loveable, angry little girl, brimming with personality, who learns how to express herself as she moves through her feelings.

Praise for Angry Me: 

A valuable tool for teaching children the important skill of recognizing and naming feelings.” —Kirkus Reviews

A fresh addition to teeming ‘anger management’ shelves.” —Booklist

Artfully captures the nuances of anger. STARRED REVIEW” —Shelf Awareness

An effective springboard for discussing a topic that may be hard for young children to verbalize.” —School Library Connection

About the Creators: 

SANDRA V. FEDER is the author of three acclaimed picture books: Angry Me, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell; Bitter and Sweet, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, a PJ Library selection; and The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro, which has been translated into multiple languages. She has also written the Daisy series of early chapter books, illustrated by Susan Mitchell. Sandra lives in California.

RAHELE JOMEPOUR BELL’s charming illustrations have appeared in Angry Me by Sandra V. Feder, The Treasure Box by Dave J. Keane and Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali (Kirkus Best Picture Books of the Year), among others. She has also published seven picture books in Iran and has received a number of awards and honors for her work.

Review: These are such important books! Children become better adults when they can learn to name and deal with the actual feelings they are feeling, and these texts start this process. These books would be perfect to use at the beginning of the year to talk about emotional regulation and how conflicts will be resolved in the classroom. I also think that parents will benefit from these texts to discussion emotions, as will therapists and counselors. They are so multifaceted!

What made these books even more special were the way that the text does one purpose and then the illustrations add a whole other element to the book. I would love to see these books used not only with a social emotional learning purpose, but also use the illustrations to tie in narrative and creative writing elements. Students can take what they learn in the illustrations and write a whole other story!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation (from the publisher): 

  • Key Text Features:
    • explanation
    • illustrations
    • vignettes
  • Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Discussion Questions: 

  • When do you feel peaceful? Angry?
  • What is your favorite time you feel peaceful?
  • How do you deal with feeling angry? What can you do to turn from angry to peaceful?
  • Is it better to talk about your feelings or hold them in?
  • How does talking about your feelings help you process?
  • How do the illustrations of Peaceful Me and Angry Me help you with understanding the book better? How do they support the message of the book(s)?
  • What is the main theme of Peaceful MeAngry Me?

Flagged Passages: 

Peaceful Me

Angry Me

Read This If You Love: Jory John’s & Pete Oswald’s Food Group Books; Sunny and Oswaldo by Nicole Melleby, Illustrated by Alexandra Colombo; Invisible Things by Andy J. Pizza, Illustrated by Sophie Miller; I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano & Molly Idle, Illustrated by Juana Martinez Neal; In the Blue by Erin Hourigan; Harold the Iceberg Melts Down by Lisa Wyzlic, Illustrated by Rebecca Syracus

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**Thank you to Nicole Banholzer PR for providing copies for review!**

Educators’ Guide for A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

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A Match Made in Mehendi
Author: Nandini Bajpai
Published: September 10th, 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.”

But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.

But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation and Discussion Questions: 

Please view and enjoy the educators’ guide I created for Cake Creative Kitchen:

You can also access the educators’ guide here.

You can learn more about A Match Made in Mehendi by visiting Cake Creative Kitchen’s Library.

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