Tag Archives: Alan Gratz

Timely & powerful

9 Oct

Thanks to everyone who helped me complete the second grant for books for my Mock Newbery Club. This second grant will help me get titles that were published recently. One of those is Alan Gratz’s Refugee.

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It intertwines the stories of three refugees children.

From the author’s website:

Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world…

Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety and freedom in America…

Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…

All three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers–from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But for each of them, there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, surprising connections will tie their stories together in the end.

This one will give middle grade readers insight into the refugee crisis they see in the news today, and how that connects to refugee crises of the past. We talk a lot about how reading creates empathy. This novel will soften the hearts of anyone interested in reading about global issues.

Chapters alternate between the three stories, and Gratz is a master of knowing just where to stop to keep you reading.

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This week’s booktalks 9/5-9/8

8 Sep

After the summer break, I am back to book talks.

Last year, I ran into a little problem. As the end of the year approached, I couldn’t remember which books I had already book-talked. At the beginning of the year, I wrote them in my planner, but somewhere along the way, less than a month into school, I stopped. This year, I plan on writing the date of the booktalk in the back of the book.  It violates many of my personal rules, but it will be helpful – if I can keep it up.

Wednesday, I introduced our first read aloud: Posted by John David Anderson. This is a great read aloud…I had their attention. Even the kid who was reading his book under the table closed his book to listen!

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Wednesday, I booktalked Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. By their reactions, it is clear that some of my students also consider The One and Only Ivan a heart book.

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Today’s book will be Refugee by Alan Gratz. I haven’t written about this one yet, but will soon.

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