The last of my summer reading included two important new books for my classroom library:
I loved Chelsea Clinton’s anthology of women who had the courage to persist every bit as much as I’d hoped I would. Although these women came from many different backgrounds and chose different career paths, they all encountered the same resistance from the powers that be that women have faced from the beginning of time: they were told that their womanhood was enough to preclude them from their dreams. But, they persisted…and they succeeded. The artwork is stunning, too, and I loved the way Alexandra Boiger concluded each woman’s story with a gorgeously illustrated quote to linger over.
I am always on the lookout for books about writing by authors my students adore, and so I was thrilled to discover this book:
Beloved authors such as R.J. Palacio and Rita Williams-Garcia have dug into their old storage boxes for drawings and stories they created as children, and shared how these early efforts grew into their life long passions, and their careers. These thoughtful snippets of wisdom would be so meaningful to share with the young writers and artists in our classrooms, as they begin to explore the power of storytelling in all its forms. Here, for example, is what the writer and illustrator Eric Rohman has to say:
I have always made pictures. I drew what was around me, what I liked, and what I cared about. Drawing was how I found my way in the world. That’s because drawing requires looking closely, so closely that you begin to see details you’d never see in a glance. You begin to see variations in color and shadow. You begin to see patterns and connections. But as I drew more and more, I discovered something else. Drawing isn’t just about seeing. It’s about feeling. A picture is not just a description, but a doorway into my thoughts and emotions.
I can imagine sharing this with my students and discussing the way writers and artists take notice of the world around them to find those doorways to important stories that need to be told. Our Story Begins is a must have for every writing workshop.