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Recommended Poetry: Young Adult

block_how to uncage a girl

Block, Francesca Lia How to (Un)cage a Girl 119 pp. HarperCollins/Cotler 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-135836-4 Library binding ISBN 978-0-06-135837-1 This three-part collection includes forty-five autobiographical poems. Part one details Block’s teenage years; part two follows her as an adult; part three contains “Love Poems for Girls.” Readers will welcome advice from someone who not only understands […]

Recommended Poetry: Picture Books

argueta_salsa

Argueta, Jorge Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem 32 pp. Groundwood 2015. ISBN 978-1-55498-442-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-55498-443-5 Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. This bilingual cooking poem plays on the multiple meanings of salsa for a musical recipe. As a boy and his family prepare salsa roja, his imagination runs wild, with ingredients becoming […]

Recommended Poetry: Intermediate

fogliano_when green becomes tomatoes

Fogliano, Julie When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons 56 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter 2016. ISBN 978-1-59643-852-1 Illustrated by Julie Morstad. The book begins and ends on “march 20″ with a blue bird on a flowering tree branch (and with the same poem). In between are poems for days throughout the year. Morstad’s gouache and […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2016

Folklore and poetry

For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile | Class #5, 2016

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

There are so many stand-alone folktale picture books that it’s hard to choose just one for us to read together. But I’ve used this one for several years because of its humor, voice, and authenticity. Interestingly, it also represents two story types: noodleheads (heroes or heroins who are a bit scatterbrained) and tricksters (a small […]

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal | Class #5, 2016

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

One of the fascinating and mysterious things about folklore is that the same story types appear all over the world. Here’s a single picture book that tells a Cinderella-type story as found in several different cultures. I think children would need to first be familiar with a single, cohesive version of this story in order […]

Poetrees | Class #5, 2016

Poetrees

As you know if you’ve read Susan Lempke’s article, there are lots and lots of books with poems about a particular subject — enough to read one every day of the school year. As she says, some work better than others as poems. What do you think of this one? Florian has several volumes of […]

A Kick In the Head | Class #5, 2016

A Kick in the Head

This is one of those books for kids that tends to be an eye-opener for most adults, too. Who knew there were this many poetry forms out there?! Notice how the book could be enjoyed by just reading the poems. OR, if you want to learn more, you can see what the form is and […]

Nerdy for Life

nerdies_drawing

The Nerdy Book Club existed as a concept long before there was a hashtag or a blog. People who consider themselves devoted, passionate readers have been card-carrying members, albeit metaphorically, for their whole, book-loving lives. As Donalyn wrote in her first Nerdy blog post, titled “Lifelong Member of the Nerdy Book Club”: “Welcome to the […]

Brave new worlds

bruchac_trail of the dead

Along with questions about technological and scientific advances, these recent YA novels — three sci-fi adventures and one science-centric historical fantasy — implicitly explore issues of social justice, inviting readers to think critically about our own world. Having escaped from prisonlike Haven in Killer of Enemies, a battle-hardened Lozen now leads her band of refugees […]