The Horn Book » Lolly’s Classroom http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:08:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 Pictures (adolescent lit class #5) http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/pictures/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/pictures/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:03:41 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43147 This week’s class (Nov. 24, 2014) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. I offer some questions in the individual posts about the role of these books in the classroom; as always, feel free to respond in other ways with your thoughts on any of this […]

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pictures week 548x5271 Pictures (adolescent lit class #5)

This week’s class (Nov. 24, 2014) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. I offer some questions in the individual posts about the role of these books in the classroom; as always, feel free to respond in other ways with your thoughts on any of this week’s titles.

Here’s what we are reading, with links to the two individual posts where you can comment.

Picture books

  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007)
  • The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003)

Graphic novels

  • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013)
  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010)

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Two picture books http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/two-picture-books/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/two-picture-books/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:02:45 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43158       The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007) The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003) Illustrated books can be easily overlooked for and by adolescents, who may see picture books as the domain of small children only. Sophisticated titles such as Shaun Tan’s The Arrival or elaborate, finely detailed works […]

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arrival Two picture books       sis tree of life Two picture books

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007)
The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003)

Illustrated books can be easily overlooked for and by adolescents, who may see picture books as the domain of small children only. Sophisticated titles such as Shaun Tan’s The Arrival or elaborate, finely detailed works from Peter Sís offer rich rewards for older readers. (Sís’s The Wall elucidated Soviet censorship of art for my 10th graders while reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.)

How might you use these books in the middle or high school classroom? Would those students be amenable/open to illustrated books? What do pictures offer that text alone does not?

 

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Three graphic novels http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/three-graphic-novels/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/three-graphic-novels/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:01:53 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43164           Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013) Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010) Graphic novels are enjoying a surge of interest and critical attention. Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel nominated for […]

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boxers Three graphic novels     saints Three graphic novels     neri yummy 217x300 Three graphic novels

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013)

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010)

Graphic novels are enjoying a surge of interest and critical attention. Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award and was the winner of the 2007 Printz Award. In the two volumes Boxers and Saints, Yang depicts the Boxer Rebellion in China from two very different perspectives. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, written by G. Neri and illustrated by Randy DuBurke, is a fictionalized account of a very young gang member on the run for murder. Graphic novels have been welcomed into high school classrooms (notably Gareth Hinds’s masterful retellings of literary classics, such as Romeo and Juliet and Beowulf), and many teens already devour comics (as Yang calls all such works).

How might students learn from these texts? Should they be paired with more traditional texts to be meaningful, or can a graphic novel study stand alone? Common Core Standards require students to be able to “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually, quantitatively.”* How important is visual literacy for our students?

* From College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading #7

 

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Fantasy and science fiction http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/fantasy-science-fiction/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/fantasy-science-fiction/#respond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:10:58 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43048 This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of imaginary worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely […]

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fantasy2014 Fantasy and science fiction

This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of imaginary worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely metaphor for the various ways that authors peek through, or break open, the barrier between reality and fantasy.

This week we are reading two novels: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal and Feed by M. T. Anderson. Students will also read Kristin Cashore’s piece “Hot Dog, Katsa!” on the pitfall-laden task of world-building. Please do your commenting on the three individual posts.

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Far Far Away http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/far-far-away/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/far-far-away/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:07:49 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43044 Folk and fairy tales have long been fodder for writers, who re-tell, borrow, fracture, and invert the original stories in their own. I would suggest that Tom McNeal bends the relationship between fairy tale and novel in a new way in his suspenseful tale Far Far Away. What do others think about blending of new […]

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far far away Far Far AwayFolk and fairy tales have long been fodder for writers, who re-tell, borrow, fracture, and invert the original stories in their own. I would suggest that Tom McNeal bends the relationship between fairy tale and novel in a new way in his suspenseful tale Far Far Away. What do others think about blending of new and old? What does the novel suggest about the power of story? About the role of folklore in both literature and our psyche?  What else strikes you about this story that is wholly original yet draws deeply on common lore?

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Feed http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/feed-2/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/feed-2/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:06:04 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=43046 At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

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feed FeedAt first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of their lives as a mirror for the foibles in our own — satire at its best. As a high school teacher, I am hard-pressed to find a novel more provocative of rich discussion than Feed—about the dangers of technology, about the evolution (or devolution) of language, about our obligations as global citizens. But as technology catches up with the 2002 publication’s originally far-fetched vision of an internet-chip implanted in our brains, is the novel running out of time? What does it have to say to the techno-saturated generations of today?

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Historical fiction and nonfiction http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/historical-fiction-nonfiction/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/historical-fiction-nonfiction/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:26:05 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42789 Next Monday (November 10), Lauren’s class will be discussing several books. The theme for the day is “The past made present” so they will look at both historical fiction and nonfiction — including one book that’s a hybrid of the two. Everyone will be reading One Crazy Summer; they will choose to read either No […]

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histfic nf 2014 550x384 Historical fiction and nonfiction

Next Monday (November 10), Lauren’s class will be discussing several books. The theme for the day is “The past made present” so they will look at both historical fiction and nonfiction — including one book that’s a hybrid of the two.

Everyone will be reading One Crazy Summer; they will choose to read either No Crystal Stair or Bomb; and they are being asked to explore (but not necessarily read in full) either Claudette Colvin or Marching to Freedom.

We welcome all of you to join the discussion on these posts:

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One Crazy Summer http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/one-crazy-summer/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/one-crazy-summer/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:03:23 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42748 One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia In the “crazy summer” of 1968, three black sisters set out from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to reconnect with their estranged mother, an active member of the Black Panther political movement. How does Williams-Garcia balance historical events with the girls’ personal journeys? How do both these aspects of the […]

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williamsgarcia onecrazysummer 198x300 One Crazy SummerOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the “crazy summer” of 1968, three black sisters set out from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to reconnect with their estranged mother, an active member of the Black Panther political movement. How does Williams-Garcia balance historical events with the girls’ personal journeys? How do both these aspects of the historical novel interact?

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No Crystal Stair http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/crystal-stair/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/crystal-stair/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:02:02 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42751 No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Documents, photos, fictionalized and true accounts of historical figures and events are woven together in this portrait of Nelson’s larger-than-life great uncle Lewis Michaux. What to you make of the […]

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Nelson Crystal Stair 212x300 No Crystal StairNo Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Documents, photos, fictionalized and true accounts of historical figures and events are woven together in this portrait of Nelson’s larger-than-life great uncle Lewis Michaux. What to you make of the blending of elements and genres in this work (which I described as “defying categorization” when presenting the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction in 2012)?

 

Note from Lolly: Here is a link to Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s and R. Gregory Christie’s acceptance speeches when this book won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award:

YouTube video
Print version

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Three nonfiction books http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/three-nonfiction-books/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/11/blogs/lollys-classroom/three-nonfiction-books/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:01:49 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42770         Bomb: the Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge Acclaimed author Jean Fritz, innovator in children’s nonfiction (and biography in particular), has said: “Children don’t need a perfect picture. They need to see what […]

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sheinkin bomb 243x300 Three nonfiction books    hoose claudettecolvin 274x300 Three nonfiction books    marching for freedom Three nonfiction books

Bomb: the Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose

Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge

Acclaimed author Jean Fritz, innovator in children’s nonfiction (and biography in particular), has said: “Children don’t need a perfect picture. They need to see what human nature is, that history is made of the same stuff as our lives.” How do the nonfiction books on our list this week stand up to this charge? How well do they stand up to your expectations for nonfiction?

Additionally, feel free to comment on how the books with a civil-rights focus relate to one another and might work together in a thematic unit.

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