Sunday, September 28, 2008

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type

Who would have ever thought that cows can type? In book, Click, Clack, Moo Cows that type, the cows on the farm state, “The barn is very cold at night. We’d like some electric blankets.” Farmer Brown refuses to give them what they want, so they go on strike and bring the hens and ducks along with them. This is a great read-aloud, it will have students mooing and quacking. When read aloud in our Children's Literature class, a mixture of sophomores and juniors, we laughed and enjoyed this story.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

In this book, the main character, ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Watson's of Flint, Michigan, are heading for Birmingham, Alabama. Kenny's older brother, Byron, has gotten into trouble too many times and now the family is taking him down south (to Grandma) to straighten him out. But while they are there the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church occurred, where four black children are killed. The horror of it all is way too much for Kenny. The family, including Byron, come back to Michigan; it is Byron who comes to Kenny's rescue, figuring out in his own way how to "get through to" Kenny and allowing him to accept this tragedy. I really enjoyed this novel, I never expected Bryon to help Kenny out like that. I thought the author did a great job describing the characters and their emotions. One of the best parts in this book was the part about cutting Bryon's hair, the author had be cracking up!

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - Newbery Award Winner

Island of the Blue Dolphins, a Newbery award winner, is story about a Native American girl, Karana,who courageously leaps out of a boat to save her brother, Ramo. Sadly, he dies soon after from an attack by a pack of wild dogs. Ironically, Karana then raises the leader of the pack and names him Rontu because of his yellow eyes. After many years living alone on the island, missionaries came to take Karana and her pets to Santa Barbara. I enjoyed reading this book, Karana show a lot of courage and independence to protect herself while on the island. Not only is this a good read, but it also exemplifies fearlessness and bravery. I think this book would be a great to have students write in a journal; for instance what would you do to survive on this island? Would you do anything differently and why?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleiscman - Newbery Award Winner

This Newbery winning novel is about an orphan named Jemmy. As the "whipping boy," Jemmy must take the beatings for the royal heir, Prince "Brat". Jemmy plans to run away from the castle, but Prince "Brat" beats him to it and makes Jemmy tag along. Jemmy then discovers he is charged with the Prince's abduction. What will happen to Jemmy? I did not really enjoy this book or the purpose and meaning of the book. Prince "Brat" was really spoiled and used to do terrible things around the castle because he wanted Jemmy to whine or cry when he got whipped. Then, once they ran away, they became friends? Yet, I did like that the characters were totally opposite of what they seemed they would be. For instance, Jemmy could read and write, where the prince could not, also the bear in the story was nice, not mean. Weird!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Heat by Mike Lupica - Rebecca Caudill Nominee

I selected this book because it was written about baseball, and being a softball player, I felt that I could relate to the story. The Heat, by Mike Lupia, is a Rebecca Caudill Nominee and is a tremendous novel for every child who has big dreams. Not only does this book discuss big dreams, but it also touches on family, friends, and "young love". As soon as I started this book, I could not put it down, I was just itching to figure out what was going to happen. Would Michael Arroyo be disappointed and not be able to pitch at Yankee Stadium, the dream that he and his father have been thinking about for years? What would end up happening to Michael and his brother, Carlos? I would recommend this book to any individual, not only is it a good read, it is also inspirational.