|It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at BookJourney|
|Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Anastasia Suen at Booktalking
I read Lions of Little Rock over the course of two days – it was really hard to put this book down! Kristin Levine’s story about inter-racial friendship at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the city where so many important Civil Rights issues were confronted and fought bitterly over, is an amazing experience. I think every middle school library should have this book, and I have already put my order in for five copies so that this can be a historical fiction selection during that genre study next year. The characters, even the secondary ones, are so finely drawn and compelling. And never once does the author get carried away with the “lessons” of the story – she lets the power and realism of the story carry the reader through the narrative. I can’t wait to share this with my kids in the next school year.
Huerta is the kind of real life hero our kids need to read about. As a “teacher, a mother, and a friend” she sees the plight of migrant workers and their families and “wants to know why her students are hungry, and why they don’t have shoes to wear to school.” As a “warrior, an organizer, and a peacemaker,” she decides to stand up for their rights and raise awareness about this injustice. The focus of this picture book is not just on Huerta’s determination to create positive change, but also on the way in which she brings people together so that they can be empowered to affect change.
Here Dolores speaks about what motivated her to begin her work:
For her work, Huerta was awarded the 2011 Medal of Freedom, and she speaks eloquently about her life’s work here:
Finally, I’ve begun all the professional reading I’d set aside for the summer. First, I’m participating in a Google Group discussion of Penny Kittle’s Write Beside Them – a teacher-written guide to high school writing workshop. We’re taking this a few chapters at a time, and I find that this is a wonderful forum for meaningful professional development – it’s great to be able to share ideas and raise questions together.
I’m also reading Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth and Christopher Lehman. This guide to the CCSS is refreshingly clearly laid out, sensible and optimistic. Before I begin looking at my curricular map for next year, I want to really educate myself about the CCSS, and I love the way this book goes about allowing me to do so. I wish I had thought to start a Google Discussion group or something about this title as well….this is a book that needs to be digested slowly and talked over, too! Oh well….