Tag Archives: Jason Reynolds

This week’s booktalks 4/10-14

14 Apr

MONDAY

I picked up an ARC of Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan at the ALA Midwinter. I was thrilled to finally share it with my class.

aminas-voice-9781481492065_lg

Publisher’s Summary:  A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

TUESDAY

Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky is a nice bit of historical fiction with a strong female lead.

9780545682985_mres

Publisher’s Summary:16-year-old Valya knows what it feels like to fly.

She’s a pilot who’s always felt more at home soaring through the sky than down on earth. But since the Germans surrounded Stalingrad, Valya’s been forced to stay on the ground and watch her city crumble.

When her mother is killed during the siege, Valya is left with one burning desire: to join up with her older sister, a member of the famous and feared Night Witches-a regiment of young female pilots. Using all her wits, Valya manages to get past the German blockade and find the Night Witches’ hidden base … and that’s when the real danger starts. The pilots have been assigned a critical mission, one with the· power to inflict serious damage on the Nazis. Valya will give anything to fight for her country, but when the person she loves most goes missing, she must make a choice between duty and the deepest desires of her heart.

With her signature blend of lyrical writing and heart-racing action, historical fiction master Kathryn Lasky sheds light on the war’s unsung heroes – daredevil girls who took to the skies to take on the Nazis … and won.

WEDNESDAY

My students were excited to know that they could read Jason Reynolds’ Miles Morales before it gets published in August.

614LqjDjMML._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Publisher’s Summary: Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

THURSDAY

I have a few readers who LOVE funny books, so, even though I don;t, I keep an eye out for laugh aloud books they might enjoy. I had a lot of kids laughing out  loud when I read a bit from  Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein.

610-iLDxhHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Publisher’s Summary: David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to seventh grade: “Pottymouth” and “Stoopid” are still stuck with the names–and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true.

So how do they go about changing everyone’s minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs–it shows that the worst bullying doesn’t have to be physical…and that things will get better.

FINALLY, FRIDAY

It has felt like a really long week. Fortunately, I’ve been reading the book I shared today:  The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue. It made me laugh and think deeply about what it means to be a family.

31146957

Publisher’s Summary:Meet the Lotterys: a unique and diverse family featuring four parents, seven kids and five pets – all living happily together in their big old house, Camelottery. Nine-year-old Sumac is the organizer of the family and is looking forward to a long summer of fun.

But when their grumpy and intolerant grandad comes to stay, everything is turned upside down. How will Sumac and her family manage with another person to add to their hectic lives?

The Lotterys Plus One, internationally bestselling author Emma Donoghue’s first novel for children, features black-and-white illustrations throughout, and is funny, charming and full of heart.

This one felt a little young for some of my students but I liked it a lot, so added it to my classroom library.

On the Run

7 Nov

Jason Reynold’s Ghost isn’t about anything scary. At least not in the haunted house sense.

9781481450157_p0_v3_s1200x630

Publisher’s Summary:Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.

Ghost makes some bad decisions and at first, I found him a little hard to like. But, just as Coach took the time to get to know him in the book, I took the time to get to know him and was glad I did. He has a lot of anger bottled up inside and it doesn’t always come out in a good way. Fortunately, he stumbles into track and it might just be the making of him.

At 181 pages it is a quick read. I don’t know when the rest of the books about the team come out, but I will be looking for them.

“The Walter”

22 Jan

Unknown

January 20, 2016 (New York) – The We Need Diverse Books™ Walter Award Judges Committee has confirmed selections for the inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature – Young Adult Category. One winner and two honors have been named.

The Walter Dean Myers Award, also known as “The Walter,” is named for prolific children’s and young adult author Walter Dean Myers (1937 – 2014). Myers was a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature as well as a champion of diversity in children’s and YA books.

images

The winner of the first annual Walter award (2016) is the young adult novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

Unknown-1

The judges also selected two Walter honor books: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle

Enchanted Air

and X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.

Unknown-1

The Judges Panel reviewed titles published during the 2015 calendar year by diverse authors whose work featured a diverse main character or addressed diversity in a meaningful way. In the case of author pairs (or author-illustrator pairs), at least one member of the pair must be from an underrepresented community. The books covered many genres and included both fiction and nonfiction works. The award’s mission is to honor the memory of Walter Dean Myers and his literary heritage, as well as celebrate diversity in teen literature.

Walter Award Judges Panel: Rita Painter, Rafe Pose, Edi Campbell, Mindy Rhiger, Todd Krueger, Adeeba Rana, Maria Gentle, Christine Taylor-Butler, Lessa Pelayo-Lozada, Dhonielle Clayton and Kathie Weinberg.

 

MLK Day thoughts

18 Jan

On Friday, I talked to the kids about an unpopular opinion I hold. As much as I love getting an extra day off school, I think it is a shame that we aren’t in school on MLK Day or Veteran’s Day. Because we aren’t in school, I don’t think kids think about WHY they get the days off. If we were in school, there might be an assembly, an announcement, something I could do in class to make kids mindful of the holiday and why we celebrate it.The President has called to make MLK Day a day of service. It would be a great day to take kids out of the school to serve the community in some way.

Today, I will be doing the second of two Oregon Basset Hound Rescue home visits for new adoption applicants. We haven’t had a lot of dogs or many applicants over the last year. In fact, my last home visit was in January 2015! But , we have a couple of dogs that have generated some interest.

ShermanThis is Sherman. He’s 2 and loves to chew on things he shouldn’t. He also loves to play hard.

1This is Ellie. She’s 7 or 8 and her family is moving and can’t take her with them.

Other than the home visit, the day will be quiet. I started a new knitting project and a new book yesterday. The book is All American Boys  by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

Unknown-1

It seems to be a good book to read on this day, when we should be thinking about how we treat other people.

Publisher’s Summary A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.

In an unforgettable new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth. – See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/All-American-Boys/Jason-Reynolds/9781481463331#sthash.e7o6NgFG.dpuf

 

#alamw16 It’s all over but the reading

13 Jan

In addition to getting to know the members of the Morris committee, I got to know some people on other committees because we all moved in similar conference circles. Although we couldn’t tell each other details about what went on in the rooms where our decisions were made, but we could talk about some things we shared, like what we’d read now that our committee work was over.

At the end of our deliberations, we, like most other committees, talked about two things:

  • what we thought might win an award at the Youth Media Awards
  • what we plan to read, now that our committee service is over.

One person related that two members of her committee were going to spend two months reading nothing but Regency romances!

Another person said she was going to spend the next two months watching TV.

A person I met from the Great Graphics committee was going to take a break from graphic novels.

Most members of my committee expressed a real interest in the 2K16 debut authors that next year’s Morris committee will be reading.

Some people planned to catch up on all the books they missed in 2015, but most are just going to move on and not try to get “caught up”.

A lot of us, regardless of committee membership, planned to read some of the winners of other awards. few of us were able to make many predictions because it was hard to read anything that didn’t fall into our committee’s purview.

I have a two things sitting on my shelf that won awards and they will be among the first things that I read.

Unknown The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is written by Teresa Toten .   It was the Winner of  the Schneider Family Teen award which honors a book for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences

Unknown-1 All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely was Coretta Scott king honor book.

And that’s all I know for now. I also have some personal knitting I want to do, which will involve listening to an audiobook or two, but I am just not sure what yet. I am looking forward to whatever 2016 brings me.

 

 

TGIF

20 Nov

At last, it is Friday. It has felt like it should have been Friday since Tuesday. I can hardly wait to do nothing tomorrow.

By nothing, of course I mean read and knit. I can’t talk about the knitting projects because they are top secret holiday gift items. Let’s just say I discovered a new yarn company, Biscotte Yarns, that I love.

This is the Morris Committees last weekend to discuss nominees and we will make our final pitches for books on Sunday. Next week, we vote to select our five finalists. They will be announced officially on December 1st, I believe. Then, the rereading begins. I need to know those five books inside out so I can articulately debate their merits when we meet in January to choose the winner.

In the meantime, I have a ton of good books on my to read pile, none of which are Morris related. This weekend, I hope to tap into a few of them.

Unknown  Unknown-1  Unknown-2  Unknown-3  Unknown-4  Unknown-5

Have a great weekend. You’ve earned it.

 

#ALAAC15 – Day 2 – Woohoo

27 Jun

I was up early to see how my Dad was doing. He isn’t out of the woods yet, but his blood levels were good and he was awake while my twin sister was in for a visit. Knowing that the news was a bit better, I decided to take a morning stroll to the Embarcadero, after checking in at the conference registration area, to see if I could get some postcards to send to my students. It was a longish walk, but the day was beautiful. I wandered through the Ferry building and discovered a lovely little bookstore called Book Passage that had a n excellent supply of inexpensive postcards. So, I bought 23 and went outside to watch the ferries as I started to write to my students. It was a perfect day for some outdoors writing.

IMG_1943

My first conference event came in the afternoon: a tea sponsored by Bloomsbury books. I was fortunate enough to be at the table with the featured author, Leah Thomas. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and, once inside the room, had a choice of teas, little sandwiches, scones and other treats appropriate for an afternoon tea. I also, finally, met some of my Morris committee colleagues. We’d only met online until today and there are still a few I have yet to meet. Each attendee was also given a bag of books containing 4 middle grade/YA novels.

From there, it took a little quiet time back in Yerba Buena Gardens (which, I discovered this morning, is on the other side of the Moscone Center!) before heading off to event number 2: the Simon & Schuster YA Debut Author Panel & Dinner. This was the most fun event of the day. First, they fed us. Then Jason Reynolds, author of The Boy in the Black Suit  and When I Was the Greatest, hosted a panel with 6 debut authors. And, you guessed it, we each got a bag with signed copies of each author’s book. Here is a haul I came away with today (and I haven’t even made it to the exhibition hall yet).

IMG_1945

Then the real fun began. We “speed dated” each author. All the conference attendees sat at a table and each author came to talk to your table for about 10 minutes. When time was called they moved on to the next table and we got a new author.

That ended around 7:30, just in time for me to hop on over to the Printz Award Presentation & reception. It started off with the presentation of the awards to the 2015 Honor Books. Then, Jandy Nelson, author of the winner,  I’ll Give You the Sun, gave her speech, which was truly wonderful. She is a gifted writer and her speech was as beautiful as her book. This was followed by questions to the panel.

I skipped the reception part. I was pooped.

I did manage to meet up with two of the district librarians from Beaverton, and some old friends from OASL.

Tomorrow promises to be another faction packed day.

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Teaching Thinking

It's what our world needs now.

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

indent

"When you know better, you do better" Maya Angelou

Always Going Home

Writing from a writing teacher

Ancient Arts Yarn

Nature | Inspiration | Glorious Colours!

Writing Workshop Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

Leaping to your bookshelves in 2015!

Sixteen To Read

YA and MG books debuting in 2016

The Sweet Sixteens

2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade Debut Authors

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

What's Your Opinion?

A site to state what YOU think!

Love.Life.Read.

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

%d bloggers like this: