Tag Archives: laurie halse anderson

A great graphic novelization

9 Apr

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Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, based on her personal experience of being raped when she was a teenager, first appeared in 1999.

It won  the 1999 National Book Award and the 2000 Printz Award, among many others. It has also been challenged in a number of schools around the country because of the difficult subject matter.

 

 

download-1Now, almost twenty years later, the original story has been  reproduced as a graphic novel, illustrated by Emily Carroll.

The use of grayscale for the illustrations is the right choice for this book, given Melinda’s state of mind through most of the book. In this age where women are speaking up about their experiences of sexual assault, a new audience will have a chance to encounter this powerful story in a new way and learn the importance of having a voice and speaking up.

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Germ warfare

13 Sep

September means exposure to back-to-school contagions. That’s why most schools now include had sanitizer on their supply lists. That’s why new teachers get sick so often. I taught at my last school for 12 years and for the last few, I didn’t even get a cold. I knew those germs intimately and had developed a good system of defense. Now that I’m at a new school, I’m being extra cautious, taking more precautions that usual to keep myself healthy, although I think the problem is less severe at a middle school that it is in an elementary school. I hope I’m not carrying new germs into my new school community, either. I;d hate to be a Typhoid Mary.

Yes, poor Mary Mallon, who has gone down in history as Typhoid Mary, or Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America  which is how Susan Campbell Bartoletti refers to Mary in her recently published book.

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Publisher’s Summary:This is the story of a cook – a quiet, diligent cook who kept to herself. Her speciality was homemade ice cream topped with fresh peaches, which she served on hot summer days. She worked for some of the wealthiest families in New York, who spoke highly of her skills.

In August 1906, when six members of one household nearly died, the cook mysteriously disappeared – and the hunt for Typhoid Mary began. The resulting story became a tabloid scandal. But the true story of Mary Mallon is far greater than the sensationalized and fear-mongering stories. It’s also a lesser known story of human and civil rights violations. How did this private and obscure domestic cook become one of the most notorious women in American history? What happens to a person whose name and reputation are forever damaged? And who is responsible for the lasting legacy of the woman who became known as Typhoid Mary?

There is not a lot of documentary evidence of Mary Mallon’s life, so the book is as much a narrative of hygiene and social customs at the time Mary lived. Because of this, Bartoletti has to create an idea of what could have happened by using words such as “probably”, “perhaps”, “may have”, etc. In spite of this, I found this a very interesting read, and would be great nonfiction companion to Deborah Hopkinson’s The Great Trouble (about  a cholera plague in London) and  Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever, 1783 ( a Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia).

Flashback to 2008

9 Aug

Today is Fiona’s 5th Gotcha Day.  A Gotcha Day is the day a pet was adopted. Her are pictures of her the week I adopted her in 2008 and on her Gotcha Day last year.

Fiona_Wk1  Fiona_4thGotchaDay

A lot has happened in the last 5 years. Both Fiona & I are a lot grayer. I began as a school librarian in September 2008. That job was eliminated in June 2002. Looking back at books from 2008, here are some I bought for the school library and used frequently or recommended to many kids. If you haven’t looked at any of these you should.

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams ,  written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet,

Garmann’s Summer , written and illustrated by Stian HoleMasterpiece by Elise Broach

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon & Dean Hale

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

What to Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!”  written by Barbara Kerley

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball  by Kadir Nelson

The Underneath  by Appelt, Kathi

Frogs by Nic Bishop

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek by Deborah Hopkinson

Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka

Jone Rush MacCulloch

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