Archive for May, 2010

Barakat, I. (2007). Tasting the sky: A Palestinian childhood. New York, NY: Melanie Kroupa Books.
This memoir follows the author from young childhood during the Six-Day War and onward.  Not only does she discuss the difficulties, she also shows that there were good things to remember, as well.

My grade: A
The writing in this book is beautifully expressive.  The author also includes a list of resources at the back for anyone wanting to learn more.

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McGill, A. (1999). Molly Bannaky. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Molly Walsh was exiled from England at the age of seventeen and sent to the American colonies for having spilled a pail of milk.  Once in America she served as an indentured servant for seven years before eventually gaining her own land.  She later purchased a slave who she eventually freed and married.  This book tells the story of Benjamin Banneker’s, a scientist and mathematician who was the first black man to write an almanac, grandmother and grandfather.

My grade: A
I had not heard this story before, so I enjoyed learning something new.  The illustrations by Chris K. Soentpiet are absolutely wonderful.

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Ada, A. F. (2002). I love Saturdays y domingos. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
A little girl explains why she loves Saturdays y domingos (and Sundays).  She spends Saturdays with her father’s parents, who are of European heritage, and Sundays with her mother’s parents, who are of Mexican and Native American heritage.  The book mixes English and Spanish throughout which reinforces the storyline.

My grade: A+
Not only does this book have a sweet story, the inclusion of Spanish gives English readers an opportunity to learn a few words.  I think children would enjoy figuring out the meaning of the Spanish words based on the English portions.

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Lowell, J. & Tuchel, T. C. (2005). My best friend Will. Shawnee Mission: Autism Asperger Publishing Co.
Jamie Lowell, the co-author of the book, is a fifth grade student whose best friend, Will, is autistic.  Using simple and accepting language, this book explains what makes Will special.

My grade: A
It’s not often that a fifth grader authors a book and this one may be more approachable because a child was involved in its writing.  The black and white pictures are nice, as well.

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