Tag Archives: Gail Jarrow

My Cybils Nominees

4 Jan

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I was thrilled the first time one of my Cybils nominees made it to the finalists list. This year, I had five nominees make it to the second round of judging.

In the Easy Reader category – one of my favorite books of the year:
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin.

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In the Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels category:
The Cardboard Kingdom  by Chad Sell

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In the Junior High Nonfiction category:
Spooked: How a Radio Broadcast and the War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America  by Gail Jarrow

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In the Senior High Nonfiction category:
Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling

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In the Young Adult Fiction category – one of my favorite YA books of the year:
Darius the Great is Not Okay  by Adib Khorram

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This week’s book talks 9/17-21

21 Sep

Monday

The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm

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Tuesday

Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith

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Wednesday

Estranged  by Ethan M. Aldridge

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Thursday

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

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Friday

Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow

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Spooky!

20 Sep

I think my first exposure to the infamous1938 radio broadcast tof War of the Worlds  was a 1975 made-for-TV movie entitled The Night That Panicked America.

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In this era of “fake news” and fake “fake news” Gail Jarrow’s new work of nonfiction, Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The war of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America Spooked, takes a new look at that event and makes connections to the present.

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Publisher’s Summary: Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow explores in riveting detail the famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast from 1938, in this nonfiction title. Jarrow highlights the artists behind the broadcast, the broadcast itself, the aftermath, and the repercussions which remain relevant today. On the night of October 30, 1938, thousands of Americans panicked when they believed that Martians had invaded Earth. What appeared to be breaking news about an alien invasion was, in fact, a radio drama based on H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds, performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players. Some listeners became angry once they realized they had been tricked, and the reaction to the broadcast sparked a national discussion about fake news, propaganda, and the role of radio. Archival photographs and images, as well as an author’s note, timeline, bibliography, and index round out this stellar nonfiction title.

#alaac18 – Day 2 in New Orleans

24 Jun

After a great night’s sleep. I started my day by listening to Doris Kearns Goodwin talk about her newest book and the leadership qualities of 4 presidents: Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and LBJ.

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Next up: the first of two stints volunteering at the “Stand for the Banned” booth where conference attendees are invited read aloud from a banned book and talk about how that banned book impacted their lives. It was fun watching people find their book, then get filmed talking and reading.

I took a little tour around the exhibit hall before sitting in on an author panel, then watching Man One, the illustrator of the 2018 Sibert Honor  Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix , demonstrate his talents. This was followed by another stint at the “Stand for the Banned” booth.

 

A tea with Boyd’s Mill in the late afternoon gave me the opportunity to talk with our Sibert winner, Larry Dane Brimmer (who recognized me from the video of our phone call to him in February. I also got to meet Gail Jarrow the author of a number of excellent nonfiction books, and tell her how I use Bubonic Panic  as a mentor text when teaching intros and conclusions for nonfiction writing.

I had a long break before my next event, so a friend and I decided to walk around the French Quarter for a few hours. This was my first real chance to experience the city.

My last event of the day was another dessert party, this one sponsored by Simon & Schuster. The highlight of this event was walking up to Andrew Smith and introducing myself as a teacher from Beaverton, Oregon. we had a great chat about the banning of Stick  by our erstwhile Assistant Superintendent.

Tomorrow is a less schedule day, but it will end with the Caldecott-Newbery Banquet. Stay tuned.

 

Plague!

17 Apr

In October 2015, a teenage Oregonian was diagnosed with bubonic plague. Seriously.

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That week, we did some reading about it and the history of the plague in the every-other-day Reading Enrichment class I taught. The kids were fascinated and horrified, just as I’d hoped they’d be.

A few months later, when I was at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, I picked up an arc of Gail Jarrow’s  Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America.

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I shared my arc with my students and added it to my classroom collection. It has been out a lot! The final book was published earlier this month and has already received starred reviews from School Library Journal and  Kirkus Reviews, and is a Junior Library Guild selection.

Chapter one opens with a personification of the disease.

The killer was a master of stealth. It moved undetected, sneaking from victim to victim and always catching its targets by surprise.

Their end usually came after three or four horrific days of suffering. For a few – the ones spared that agony – life drained away in hours.

Jarrow is a superb storyteller and the rest of the book reads like a medical thriller. The book includes disturbingly fascinating photos and  drawings that will have readers of all ages turning pages quickly, then rubbernecking to learn more.

Writer’s workshop these last few months have been about informational writing and we’ve spent a lot of time discussing text features and the layout of modern informational texts. Bubonic Panic incorporates the best of these, without becoming distracting.

There is ample back matter, including  a glossary, timeline, further resources, author’s note, bibliography, source notes, picture credits,and index, all of which will lead to further investigation.

Publisher’s Summary: In March 1900, San Francisco’s health department investigated a strange and horrible death in Chinatown. A man had died of bubonic plague, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. But how could that be possible? Bubonic Panic tells the true story of America’s first plague epidemic—the public health doctors who desperately fought to end it, the political leaders who tried to keep it hidden, and the brave scientists who uncovered the plague’s secrets. Once again, acclaimed author and scientific expert Gail Jarrow brings the history of a medical mystery to life in vivid and exciting detail for young readers.

 

A medical mystery

17 Jul

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Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat by Gail Jarrow

At the turn of the 20th century, a disease was creeping through the impoverished South. Victims developed a patterned red rash, intestinal distress, dementia, and eventually death. It had been a scourge in Europe for hundreds of years, but, suddenly, it arrived in North America. It turns out that this disease had a simple solution, but it took a dedicated physician and epidemiologist, Joseph Goldberger, to realize that pellagra was caused by extreme nutritional deficiencies.

There are many reasons to praise this book. First, it is an excellent narrative. Gail Jarrow peppers her prose with real life stories of people afflicted by the disease. The black & white photos give enough of a hint of the horrors of pellagra, without being too graphic. The story is presented as a medical mystery and Jarrow shows how Goldberger follow the scientific method to solve the mystery. There are twists, turns and rd herrings. even after Goldberger solved the mystery, doctors refused to believe him. Fortunately, over time, people came to realize he was right. In fact, we are still living with the consequences of his discover: foods enriched with vitamins.

Pair this with one or more of these works of fiction

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