Tag Archives: John Hendrix

This week’s book talks 1/14-18

18 Jan

Continuing to introduce new books I added to the classroom library

Monday

Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz
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Tuesday

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart
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Wednesday

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
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Thursday

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
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Friday

The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix
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Cybils Reading, Part 2

3 Jan

Today, I would like to introduce the Senior High Nonfiction titles I’ll be reading over ht next six weeks.

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Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend
by Karen Blumenthal
Viking Books for Young Teaders

Bonnie and Clyde became legends of the outlaw world. Even today their names are known and used–Blumenthal does an excellent job of giving as clear a picture as possible of what is known (or thought to be known) about Clyde and Bonnie and what led them to become outlaws. After reading about the shocking number of people they killed it’s understandable why these two became so famous, but it’s a sad commentary on American society is the fact that these two are still so famous yet their victims have been all but forgotten.

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
by Bryan Stevenson
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Based on his own experiences as a nonprofit lawyer defending people whom others have tossed aside and/or tried to forget about, Stevenson offers readers an in-depth look at our all-too-often dysfunctional and biased justice system. His flowing narrative allows us to get to know the individual clients, which drives home the often life-or-death nature of their various legal battles. This is a powerful, impactful, and enlightening book that has the power to transform the way this country thinks about justice, mercy, and compassion.

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
by John Hendrix
Amulet

A heavily illustrated biography of German theologian and resistance figure Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Hendrix’s almost-graphic novel makes excellent use of color, portraying Bonhoeffer and his allies in blue, and Hitler and the Nazis in red, and the visuals add to the dizzying and terrifying changes in Germany as Hitler’s power grows. A fitting and appealing way to tell the story of a man willing to die for what is right.

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century (Scholastic Focus)
by Neal Bascomb
Arthur A Levine

Neal Bascomb tell the compelling tale of a group of World War I prisoners who plotted and executed an almost unbelievable escape from a German prison camp. The daring individuals who came together to set this escape into motion are briefly described along with their backgrounds, but the focus is on the circumstances that led up to the escape, the escape itself, and the aftermath. The book reads like a thriller, with near misses, plenty of setbacks, and failures detailed along the way. A fabulously told story that proves the adage: truth is stranger than fiction.

Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
by Winifred Conkling
Algonquin Young Readers
Nominated by: Me!

Spanning almost 100 years, this book takes an unflinching and comprehensive look at the fight for (and against) women’s suffrage in the United States. Reading it evokes a wide and ever-changing range of emotions: outrage, shame, shock, awe, empowerment, and, ultimately, hope. Never once, however, does it evoke boredom. The compelling narrative, primary source material, photography, and rich backmatter make this book highly recommended reading for all genders.

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide
by Carol Anderson
Bloomsbury YA

A sobering look at how the US’s laws and court decisions have systematically disenfranchised African-Americans. Bolden’s Young Reader’s Edition of Anderson’s adult title White Rage focuses not just on landmark court cases but also the smaller moments, putting them into the broader American context. It excels at making complicated legal and judicial proceedings clear and easy-to-understand, showing how these issues are still current, and not just stains on our past.

We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists
edited by  Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner
Crown Books for Young Readers

Students in the newspaper and TV broadcasting classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida write about the shooting and the aftermath, from putting out a memorial issue shortly after the tragic events to covering the March for our Lives. Along the way, they deal with their own feelings about the shooting and wrestle with how to cover a story when they’re part of it. A moving and important collection of teen voices.

2019 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalists

13 Dec

As promised, here are the finalists for the 2019 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award. As with the Morris Award nominees, I’ve read all the titles. They, too, will be announced at the Youth Media Awards in Seattle. These authors will also present at the same ceremony as the Morris finalists.

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  • The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor written by Sonia Sotomayor
  • Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam written by Elizabeth Partridge
  • The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler written and illustrated by John Hendrix
  • Hey, Kiddo:  How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addictionwritten and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees written and illustrated by Don Brown

My heart is with Hey Kiddo,  which I wrote about here. I am also excited to see Faithful Spy on the list.

You can read more about all five finalists on the 2019 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award page.

 

This week’s book talks 10/15-19

19 Oct

The Scholastic book fair happened during conferences. I bought two books and students donated two to the classroom library.

Monday

The Grand Escape by Neal Bascomb

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Tuesday

The Plot to Kill Hitler by Patricia McCormick

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Wednesday

The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix…I had an ARC of this one at home and decided to bring it in as a compare/contrast to Tuesday’s book.

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Thursday

Grenade By Alan Gratz

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Friday

The Fever Code by James Dashner…to break the red & black cover cycle.

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Some more on WWI

23 Oct

I am still reading  The War That Ended Peace,  but that is not the only book related to World War I I’ve read recently. Two newish picture books feature different aspects of “the war to end all wars”.

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Harlem Hellfighters tells the story of black Americans from New York who picked up brass instruments—under the leadership of famed bandleader and lieutenant James Reese Europe—to take the musical sound of Harlem into the heart of war. J. Patrick Lewis’ poems are generally short snapshots and are complimented by Gary Kelley’s sepia toned illustrations. Some background knowledge of the war would be helpful, though not necessary. Includes an introduction, bibliography and artist’s notes.

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Shooting at the Stars: the Christmas Truce of 1914, by John Hendrix, is a fictionalized account of the eponymous event. I do so love using the word eponymous. In a letter home to his mother, he describes how, despite fierce fighting earlier from both sides, Allied and German soldiers ceased firing and came together on the battlefield to celebrate the holiday.This is a compassionate book with lovely illustrations. Includes an author’s note, glossary, bibliography and index.

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