Tag Archives: jarrett j krosoczka

This Week’s Booktalks 8/28-31

31 Aug

School’s back on and so are the book talks. Here are the books I talked about this week.

Tuesday

She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)  by Ann Hood

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Wednesday

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

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Thursday

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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Friday

My Deal With the Universe  by Deborah Kerbel

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Hey, Reader

6 Aug

I cry over books all the time. In fact, when I give a book talk, I tell the kids f it made me cry. It’s like a thumbs up signal. Very rarely do I cry over the back matter in a book, but I did for Jarrett J.  Krosoczka’s upcoming graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo.

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Publisher’s Summary: In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka’s teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett’s family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett’s life. His father is a mystery — Jarrett doesn’t know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents — two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.
Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what’s going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.
Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.

The book is honest and powerful and made even more so by the images of real drawings and letters from the author and several family members that are integrated effectively into the book. The palette choice is muted earth tones, and the back matter explains the colors were chosen.  Let’s just say I wasn’t the only one with a hanky. And I shouldn’t be the only one who reads – and cries over – the back matter.

There is some strong language and issues around addiction, but I feel very confident about putting this in my classroom library.

The book doesn’t come out until October, but you hear Jarrett tell his story in this TED Talk from a few years ago.

 

 

A little “Recess” break

16 Jul

What do you get when you ask a group of graphic novelists to collaborate?

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Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dav Pilkey, Dan Santat, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Ursula Vernon, Eric Wight and Gene Yang all contribute short pieces on the theme of every kid’s favorite subject: recess. They all come at it from a different able, but they are all really fun to read.

Some stories involve favorite characters like Babymouse and the Lunch Lady. Others are complete originals, but they are all wonderful. These are perfect for the end of July: light, graphic and brief, in case, like me, you feel the need for a nap along the way.

Short book. Short review. Now, enjoy the trailer.

Law & Order, Platypus Style

28 Jul

A really big struggle at my school, as at many, is finding good, age-approriate reading material for  8-11 year old boys. They are a fun, but challenging, demographic. When I find something I think they’ll really enjoy, I can’t help celebrating. And I am celebrating Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

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This is a super fun read. Written like an episode of Dragnet  or  Law & Order,  we meet new detective Rick Zengo. he is parked with the crusty veteran, Corey O’Malley. They are confronted by a series of mysteries, that seem to be connected: a missing professor, illegal fish, a community member who seems to be too good to be true. The book is fast paced and full of black & white illustrations.

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Although they solve the crimes by the end, the book is left open for sequels. This is a nice transition book for kids who are ready for something a little more substantial, but are still too young for a lot at their reading level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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