Tag Archives: Vera Brosgol

This week’s book talks 4/8-12

12 Apr

Monday

Be Prepared  by Vera Brosgol

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Tuesday

Wire and Nerves by Marissa Meyer

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Thursday

Legend: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu

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Friday

Birdie  by Eileen Spinelli

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Summer reading 2018 – the first post

7 May

Although I still have six and a half weeks of school to go, my mind is already turning to summer reading. What is more stereotypically summery than summer camp?

I only went to Girl Guide camp once. It was the summer between grades 7 & 8 and about 4 of us went from our small-town troop. We shared the same tent and I have very fond memories (and one really funny one) of the whole thing.

Vera Brosgol’s experience wasn’t as great and she uses her memories of camp to tell a less pleasant experience in Be Prepared.

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Publisher’s Summary: In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

In writing class, my students have been working on theme-based essays, turning the protagonist’s life lesson into a universal. Brosgol does that exceedingly well. Although Vera’s camp is centered around Russian scouting, it speaks to the universal desire we all feel to fit in.

 

Leave Me Alone!

25 Sep

Knitters have lots of mantras. One of my favorites is One more row. Sometimes it is hard to stop. There is a peace, a rhythm, a compulsion to knitting. Living alone, I can find time t knit. Once Lucy is taken care of, time is mine. This is not true of the main character in Vera Brosgol’s  picture book, appropriately entitled  Leave Me Alone. That’s her mantra.

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Publisher’s Summary:An epic tale about one grandmother, a giant sack of yarn, and her ultimate quest to finish her knitting.

One day, a grandmother shouts, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and leaves her tiny home and her very big family to journey to the moon and beyond to find peace and quiet to finish her knitting. Along the way, she encounters ravenous bears, obnoxious goats, and even hordes of aliens! But nothing stops grandma from accomplishing her goal—knitting sweaters for her many grandchildren to keep them warm and toasty for the coming winter.

This slyly clever and unexpectedly funny modern folktale by Vera Brosgol is certain to warm even the coldest of hearts.

First let me say, kudos to Vera Brosgol for getting the knitting right. Elizabeth Bird recently published an article about inaccurate depictions of knitting in children’s books.

I read this on Saturday morning, just before heading off to the Oregon Flock and Fibre Festival, which I will write about later this week. I actually dithered about whether to go or not, but reading the book helped me decide to go. Knitting can be solitary, but we need people to knit for and a community to help us learn and grow. So, thanks Vera, for a great book, that helped this 50+ knitter.

 

Randy Ribay

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