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Archive for the ‘Unit I’ Category

Fisher Staples, S. (1989). Shabanu daughter of the wind. New York, NY: Dell Laurel-Leaf.
Set in the Cholistan area of Pakistan, Shabanu deals with themes of obedience, loyalty to family and a young girl’s place in a patriarchal society.  Shabanu has a strong desire for independence, but she must choose between her family’s needs and her desire for freedom.

My review:  A-
I found Suzanne Fisher Staples‘ writing to be incredibly descriptive, but not wordy.  With a minimal amount of words, she can describe something perfectly.  I can’t wait to read more of Shabanu’s story in the sequel, Haveli.

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Goble, P. (1978). The girl who loved wild horses. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Beautifully illustrated by Goble, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses tells the story of a young girl who had a special connection with the horses of her village.  After spending a year in the company of wild horses, she has to choose between returning to her family or staying with the horses.

My review:  B+
I liked how Goble told this story, his words, cadence (very much in the style of an oral storytelling) and the pictures.  However, I just wasn’t taken with the story, which is strange.  I’ve always been a bit horse crazy.

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Van Allsburg, C. (1979). The garden of Abdul Gasazi. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
When Miss Hester goes to visit her cousin, her naughty dog Fritz is left in the care of Alan Mitz and the adventure begins.  Fritz slips away from Alan during their walk and trespasses in the garden of Gasazi the Great.  The reader is left wondering whether what happens next is just illusion or true magic.

My review: A
I enjoyed this book both due to the twist at the end and the illustrations.  Van Allsburg‘s illustrations are really incredible.  If you read this book, make sure you spend some time examining the pictures.  I love the details tucked into them.

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Bunting, E. (1995). Smoky night. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company.
Smoky Night is based on the riots in Los Angeles.  A boy named Daniel and his mother experience the chaos of the riots and the destruction caused by them.  The author reveals the prejudices of Daniel’s mother in a subtle way then uses pet cats to overcome the divide between two cultures.

My review:  A+
I thought this book was amazingly powerful.  The language is simple, but explores a complex issue.  David Diaz’s illustrations complement the story well and are absolutely beautiful.  I loved the pairing of bold painted illustrations (which reminded me of stained glass) with realistic backgrounds that reflect what is being discussed in the story on that page.

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