February is Black History Month, and I have been meaning to blog about Ruth and the Green Book. It was a Bluebonnet nominee for this year and a very thought provoking story. In the early 50's, Ruth and her family are traveling from Chicago to Alabama to see Ruth's grandmother. Along the way, they encounter some prejudices from various places owned by white people. At an Esso service station, Ruth's father purchases a manual called Negro Motorist Green Book, which was created by a man who lived in New York City and wanted to help his friends as they traveled for business throughout the country. The Green Book listed places that welcome African Americans, including gas stations, restaurants, even places that allowed African Americans to use their restrooms and water fountains.
I had a student ask me if I lived during that time, would I have treated African Americans the way they were treated. I definitely would like to think not! The Statue of Liberty has an inscription from a poet named Emma Lazarus that says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." We are a country that is intended to be accepting of all people, even though it was unfortunate that many weren't during this particular time.
My husband is 1/4 Puerto Rican, as his grandfather was from Puerto Rico. That makes our daughter 1/8 Puerto Rican. My cousins and goddaughters are 1/2 African American. In my 10 years at Story, I have had students from different countries, cultures, religions and families. I love my diverse family and students, and I can't imagine my life without any of them!
If you are interested in reading Ruth and the Green Book, come check it out in the library. You can also look at it, as well as a copy of The Green Book, on www.ruthandthegreenbook.com.
"You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." ~ Dr. Seuss
Next week's rotation is celebrating Dr. Seuss!
No matter how old you are, everyone appreciates Dr. Seuss' books, whether you're learning new words, or appreciating the messages behind Theodor Seuss Geisel's creative stories. His books have not only taught us to read, but to be kind to our each other, respect our planet, take care of animals, and to just have some FUN.
We will do some fun things in the library that involve Dr. Seuss and reading. In one of our library centers, you will have the opportunity to explore the Seuss website: http://www.seussville.com/. SO COOL! You can play games, browse the different wacky characters of Dr. Seuss, and print off activities to do. It's a good time, no matter your age or grade!
Also, Read Across America is coming up in recognition of Dr. Seuss' birthday! Since his birthday is March 2nd, We will recognize it on Monday, February 25th. Come to school dressed as your favorite character from any book. This is also the last week for Six Flags Reading, so you can take this opportunity to read your 600 minutes and earn your FREE Six Flags ticket! Woo Hoo!
Hopefully our ALLen Reads books will be here by the time we get back from Thanksgiving Break. I do have Okay for Now for the 6th graders, but I have yet to receive the other two books: My Dog Thinks I'm a Genius and A Nest for Celeste.
I found two links to Nest and Okay that allow you to preview the beginnings of the books. Very cool! I will read a little during rotation week, but you may also preview, if you'd like to do so! I also linked to the ALLen Reads section of my webpage for more info.
This entry will hopefully be ongoing throughout the year. I like to find different ideas for lessons and activities for kids to do in and out of the library.
~ Here is the FIRST fun website! I found it when looking for lessons to do with a current Bluebonnet nominee called Postcards from Camp. Written by the awesome Simms Taback, it's a GREAT story told through postcards between a reluctant summer camper and his dad. VERY clever and funny! This website allows you to type up your own postcards! Follow the link - Postcard Creator
Hey Parents! Are you already hearing this , and it's only the 2nd week of summer?
Hey Kids! Are you BORED?
Then, help your parents around the house. Or, better yet, read something!
Attached is a list of books that are organized by grade level, from Pre-K through Middle School...something for everyone! These titles are also nominated for various awards, so you know that they're great reads! This also includes Bluebonnet nominees for next year... so, 3rd-6th graders, get a head start! I hope to read this summer as well, if Baby Abbey doesn't have other ideas!
Well readers (hopefully somebody reads these!), not only is this the week before Spring Break, but this is my last week before staying home for 6 weeks with our new baby, Abbey. I am VERY excited and VERY ready to get this show on the road!
Filling in for me while I'm out is Mrs. Hurd. She has subbed a lot for us and worked with special education last year here at Story. Also, she has helped out the librarian at Vaughan, so she is pretty knowledgable about the ins and outs of the library. I know she will do a great job!
Kiddos, I know that you are all going to be welcoming and friendly to Mrs. Hurd, and I know that you will continue to be responsible and trustworthy library patrons while I'm away - not only because you are AWESOME, but you will make it so much easier for me to come back on April 30th.
Also, if you read any books that the library doesn't have, but you think they would be good for our school, then make a note of it and let me know when I get back.
Please keep our family in your thoughts, and I'll see you really soon!
This article was posted last week by USA Today, and I found it interesting.
I liked that Charlotte's Web was ranked as the #1 book. I definitely consider it one of the best children's books. However, I was a bit disappointed to see that some newer books were ranked higher than some books that I consider to be some of the greatest kids' books. Judy Blume's Tales of aFourth Grade Nothing at #85? No way! For me, this book is a classic! I loved it as a kid and still do today.
Do you agree with the rankings? Do you think a book should have been ranked higher or lower than another?
MAN, it's been a busy time! Many of you know that my husband and I are going to have our first kiddo at the end of March. We are VERY excited! However, I'm VERY tired! Some days I can barely make it through dinner time without wanting to go to bed.
However, in my sleepy state, I was able to read The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins, a book that is on our 6th grade shelf. I will say that I couldn't put it down, and it only took me 2 days to read. The best word to describe the story: intriguing. The book takes place in America, many years after a war. The main character, Katniss, spends her days bartering and hunting as a means of survival for her family, which also includes her mother and younger sister. Katniss struggles to understand the situations in her life, both with her family and in District 12, where she lives. Every year, the districts host a competition called "The Hunger Games." A boy and girl from each district are chosen to compete against one another. The winner gets many privileges and brings noteriety to his or her district. The losers don't exist, as the competitors either die from extreme weather conditions in the obstacle courses of the Hunger Games - or are hunted down by the others. How does Katniss fit into this equation? You'll have to read to find out!
I get asked why I have a shelf just for 6th grade. Even though they are in our school, they are technically middle schoolers, and I started building a collection that would be appropriate for them. I hope that I am able to let it grow into a great collection to support their needs. But, don't worry, Kindergarten through 5th graders - I always look for books to add that you would love!
Posted by Melissa Gonzalez at 7/11/2011 5:00:00 PM
I REALLY want to be able to blog more often! Since last year was my first year, I didn't have any time to be in contact as much as I would like to be. HOPEFULLY that will change with the coming year!
What inspired me to blog today was wondering if anyone was reading anything cool over the summer. I'll be honest - I haven't been as diligent with reading as I should have been. There are several Bluebonnets that I need to read. I still haven't read the first Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) yet, and I want to do that as well. It's on our 6th Grade Shelf (6th F COL). MAYBE I'll be done with it by the time a kid wants to read it! ;)
I read a really good book right before we left for summer - So B. It. It was a Bluebonnet nominee in 2006, I think. I can't imagine what won over this book, it was so good! It's by Sarah Weeks, and it's in our fiction section - F WEE. But, you knew that, with your AWESOME Dewey skills! :P
I hope that you are all enjoying your summer! I hope your brains are relaxed, but that you have found something that you love to read. Please come share it with me when you come back to school!