In honor of Martin Luther King, Junior day, I wanted to share my son’s 4th grade Civil Rights Movement project. His teacher created a really great time line that I hope will be helpful as well.
I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
I’m not sure if I would consider Jackie Robinson “ordinary.” He was, after all, the first UCLA student ever to letter in four sports in the same season! His family’s backstory of how they shared extra food with everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of color helps to give insight into how he had the inner strength to withstand the pressure as the first African American major league baseball player. This picture book uses cartoons as well as text to tell his story and skillfully draws the reader into his extraordinary life. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Censorship makes me angry (but many things do) and it tends to make me go on the offensive. Instead of my diatribe, I found some words of wisdom by authors on how to handle censorship.
Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.
Most of the censorship I see is fear-driven. I respect that. The world is a very scary place. It is a terrifying place in which to raise children, and in particular, teenagers. It is human nature to nurture and protect children as they grow into adulthood. But censoring books that deal with difficult, adolescent issues does not protect anyone. Quite the opposite. It leaves kids in darkness and makes them vulnerable.
from author Laurie Halse Anderson in the back notes of Speak
I was confused on the nomenclature of Hispanic American versus Latino American so I looked it up:
Hispanic: a person of Latin American or Iberian ancestry, fluent in Spanish. It is primarily used along the Eastern seaboard, and favored by those of Caribbean and South American ancestry or origin. English or Spanish can be their “native” language.
Latino: a U.S.-born Hispanic who is not fluent in Spanish and is engaged in social empowerment through Identity Politics. “Latino” is principally used west of the Mississippi, where it has displaced “Chicano” and “Mexican American.” English is probably their “native” language. “Empowerment” refers to increasing the political, social, and spiritual strength of an individual or a community, and it is associated with the development of confidence of that individual or community in their own abilities.
A simple way of remembering the difference is this: though every Latino is a Hispanic, not every Hispanic is a Latino. Hispanic is the more inclusive term.
from Hispanic Economics
And now I’m ready to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with some of my favorite books for kids! How about you? What books am I missing? Thanks for sharing!
National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.
Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post.
Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again raised anger and confusion. Are Muslims really committed to hostility toward other religions? Or do most Muslims want to find common ground and live together with non-Muslims, without fear or threats? Read more…
My kids do a country unit on China in second grade where they spent a day celebrating Chinese Culture with Red Envelope Crafts. My kids also studied Mandarin Chinese and my oldest middle school Chinese language teacher also did a Chinese New Year celebration with crafts and food.
Last year was The Year of the Horse, this year Chinese New Year falls on February 19 and is the Year of the Sheep.
Will you celebrate Chinese New Year with books and crafts? Our favorite Chinese New Year books are here and I have 10 more newly published books on China to explore for the year to come!
My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this list!
What are the life skills that you think kids need before leaving the nest? Do you remember struggling with any life skills while in college? Please share! Read more…
I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports!
I started my blog after my oldest had a bad year in first grade. She was a reluctant reader who hated the performance aspect of reading out loud. My second child who is academic preferred less “sitty” past times than reading. She never stops moving so it’s hard to pin her down to read. My son much prefers screens to anything else in life so it’s a challenge to get him to exchange a book for a screen.
Over the years, I have tried EVERYTHING to get my kids to love reading. And that might be the key to eventual success. There is no magic bullet but effort counts. And now, I’m happy to report that my oldest (Grasshopper and Sensei), now in 8th grade, is a voracious reader. By 3rd grade we had turned the corner enough so that she started posting on her favorite chapter books. Read more…
I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie).
Colby Sharp, one of The Nerdy Book Club founders, mentioned that he was teaching third grade this year, a move from years spent teaching fourth grade and I got very excited because I have a son in third grade! Quickly and not surprisingly, we started talking about perfect third grade read aloud books. And the weird thing is that my son’s teacher had read all three perfect third grade books that Colby mentioned! And in that exact order! Great minds think alike?!
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate Read more…
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
image from Wikipedia
To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 20th, I thought I would compile my previous posts on MLK day and the Civil Rights Movement. I hope these lists will be helpful if you are looking for a children’s book to celebrate MLK day or Black History Month in February.
If you need just three books, I’ve chosen my favorite picture book, advanced picture book and chapter book to tell the story of the civil rights from three points of view. The great man himself in his own words. Ruby Bridge’s story as told by her child psychologist Dr. Robert Coles. And through the point of view of a Caucasian girl trying to figure out what was going on when her town pool closed to avoid desegregation.