The headline led me to believe this was another old-school Chicago scandal but it’s apparently just shameless bribery at work.
Marianthe’s Story: Painted Words / Spoken Memories written and illustrated by Aliki
The story of a young immigrant girl from an unnamed country is told in a pair of back-to-back picture books. The first describes Marianthe’s adjustment to her American school; the second (arrived at by flipping the book over) allows the girl to tell her own story of why she and her mother came to this country. Aliki’s drawings are warm and expansive, giving heart to the somewhat purposive text. Grade level: K–3.
Ramona the Pest written by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by Lois Darling
Eight- or nine-year-olds who can look back upon their kindergarten days will smile knowingly at Ramona’s first encounters with school life. Ramona does not submit to the process of education without a struggle, and the skirmishes, vividly described, will remind the young reader of the child he once was (or wished he had dared to be!). The author has a sure instinct for the thought and expression of five-year-olds. Grade level: K–3.
Although I love to write about books, I am a teacher, not a writer. My favorite writers create worlds out of their imaginations; what I try to create, every August, is a new community of children, one I hope will be strong enough to make it through the school year. Secretly, I have another hope: I hope the children will remember second grade as one of their best years. I hope they will remember me the way I remember my teachers — those from my childhood and those who come alive in the books I love.
Each year, right before school starts, I organize my classroom library, pulling out the chapter books I like to read to the class during the year and finding the picture books I use during the crucial first weeks when my students and I are settling in. What kinds of books am I drawn to? My favorites are books about school. You would think I would be sick of them, especially since some are schlocky and idealistic — impossible to live up to — but you would be wrong. Books about school give me some common ground with my class to talk about my expectations for the year. Though fictional, the teachers in these books inform my teaching every day.
Our September special issue on School is out, and you can view selected articles on our website. Make sure to try the quiz by Monica Edinger and Roxanne Hsu Feldman–it’s harder than it looks. I’m leaving tomorrow for Sedona to marry the other one off; I’ll be sure to steer clear of the legendary cougar […]
We’ve just emailed the latest issue of Notes from the Horn Book, which this month covers new books about school, nature study and space; some good recent chapter books, and five writers’ (and an editor’s) own summer reading choices. Sign up now! And, especially for teachers, this issue provides a link to TeachingBooks.net that gives […]
if not so far as Christmas, Claire Gross has compiled a list of starred school stories for all you kids who need to start getting in the mood now. And on a related note, and for the truly hardcore delayed gratification junkies, I’m pleased to announce the theme of our 2008 special issue: School. Pencils […]
Dear Parents, Reading is a big part of every second grader’s life. But reading can be fraught with anxiety for these new readers. Most seven- and eight-year-olds in my classroom can read, but their reading levels vary widely, and they are not yet very good at finding books for themselves. They often notice what everyone […]
Mention the word bibliotherapy, and children’s librarians and booksellers have similar tales to tell. The stories go something like this: a well-intentioned parent comes in and asks for a book about death. When questioned further, she explains that her child’s grandmother is dying and the child needs some books to help her understand what is […]
“I need a poem to go with a unit on diseases.” “I need a poem about respecting other people’s property.” “I need a poem for a lesson I’m doing on invertebrates.” “Where are your poetry books about personal hygiene?” Upon hearing such requests posed by education students and teachers, a librarian’s first thought might be, […]