Tag Archives: Gene Luen Yang

My Classroom Library’s Top 10 Graphic Novels

18 Jun

The highest checkout numbers in my classroom library went to graphic novels.  This is certainly due to their popularity. I think it might also be due to the fact that they can be read quickly. That said, I know students who would check one out and read it multiple times.

Here, in ascending order are the most popular graphic novels in my classroom library.

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#10 – El Deafo by Cece Bell

 

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#9 – Brain Camp  by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks

 

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#8 – Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks

 

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#7 – This One Summer  by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

 

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#6 –  Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

 

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#5 –  Level Up by Gene Luen Yang

 

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#4 – Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

 

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#3- Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

 

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#2 – The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley

 

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#1 – Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer reading

20 Jun

The summer solstice falls  at 3:34 today in Portland, OR.

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I hope to be home before then. I have to go into work today to finalize grades and check out. The Math teacher on my team is moving to the high school so we are taking her out for lunch.

When I get home, summer holidays will stretch out before me. It is a glorious thing. Summer reading will also stretch out before me. Here is my current TBR pile.

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Gene Luen Yang, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has a reading platform that is ideal for summer reading.  The Reading Without Walls Challenge encourages kids to read without walls in one of three ways:

1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.

2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.

3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.

When you finish, take a photo of you and the book (or just the book if you’re shy) and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadingWithoutWalls. You’ll inspire others to do the same!

Have a great summer of reading.

On thing leads to another

18 Oct

In 1983, the year I turned 19, the British new wave band The Fixx released an album called Reach the Beach. 

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This album had a chart topping single entitled “One Thing Leads to Another”. This very singable song has been swirling around my mind in connection with 2 books I wrote about yesterday: Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang. Saints connects, in my mind, to another book and to an event.

First, they connect to The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong by L. Tam Holland.

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The Asian connection is obvious. But both books deal with Asian culture bumping up against Western culture and about family history and connections. Holland’s book is funny and poignant. When Vee Crawford-Wong’s history teacher assigns an essay on his family history, Vee knows he’s in trouble. His parents—Chinese-born dad and Texas-bred Mom—are mysteriously and stubbornly close-lipped about his ancestors. So, he makes it all up and turns in the assignment. And then everything falls apart. After a fistfight, getting cut from the basketball team, offending his best friend, and watching his grades plummet, one thing becomes abundantly clear to Vee: No one understands him! If only he knew where he came from… So Vee does what anyone in his situation would do: He forges a letter from his grandparents in China, asking his father to bring their grandson to visit. Astonishingly, Vee’s father agrees. But in the land of his ancestors, Vee learns that the answers he seeks are closer to home then he could have ever imagined. This is a great debut novel.

The other connection is driven by character. Doctor Won in Saints, is an acupuncturist. Today, my 12-1/2-year-old basset, Fiona,

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had her first acupuncture treatment for arthritis. We tried her on Rimadyl for 2 weeks, but her liver numbers went up, so that wasn’t an alternative. Fiona’s vet, Dr. Karen Davies, suggested other medications, but, knowing she was a veterinary acupuncturist, I asked if we could try that instead of more meds.

Fiona did pretty well. She didn’t object to the  needles, and she stayed pretty still until Dr. Davies came to pull them out. We go again in a week, and once a week for 4 weeks. Dr. Davies says that we should see some improvement by then. If we don’t we probably won’t and can think about another treatment.

Fiona is sleeping right now. She always does after a trip to the vet. Maybe I will take a nap, too.

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