Look Both Ways
a tale told in ten blocks
By Jason Reynolds
This is a unique book that I loved! And honestly, I like it for the classroom, but I think it is a great read for teachers as well. Jason Reynolds tells the story of 10 students and what happens after they leave school. He talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly. He does a great job of capturing the feelings and emotions of kids. He touches on everything from dealing with parental cancer to plotting your route home to avoid the neighborhood dog.
Why I suggest that teachers read this book is because sometimes we forget what it’s like to be a kid. We forget what kids are dealing with at home. I know I struggle with this, and I will admit that I used to tell my students that “school was their job”. Now, I still think school is VERY important, but I try to invest more of my time getting to know my students for who they are, not just their grades.
We’re All Wonders
By RJ Palacio
I love the novel, Wonder, so this was an easy add to my classroom library! This book is a wonderful book about acceptance of others.
“I know I can’t change the way I look. But maybe, just maybe, people can change the way they see.”
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?
The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan By Chris Barton
On this Fourth of July weekend I wanted to share a wonderful book written by Chris Barton, What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. In this book you learn about Barbara Jordan from Texas and you learn about her upbringing and how she used her voice to make a difference. Eventually she decides to run for her state government and it isn’t until her third attempt at running that she earns a spot in the Texas Senate.
After her time in the Texas government she decides that the voice she has, the changes that she wants to make, need to happen on the national level. So Barbara decided to run for US Congress as a representative from Texas and she won! She spent 6 years in Congress and we learn about the changes that she made and how she worked for equality for all people in our country.
What I love about the story of Barbra is that she made changes in our country by being part of our government, but at the end you learn that Barbara went back to Texas to be a teacher. She wanted to educate others on how they can make a difference in the world and I think that is a wonderful legacy that Barbara Jordan has left behind.
The artwork in the book is beautiful and Ekua Homles captures the power and force that Barbara brought to the work she did. This book can be used in many different ways, but I always use it to talk with my students about how they can use their voice to make a difference. How speaking up for others can make an impact on this world.
This is an empowering book that I hope finds a spot in your classroom library.
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