Friday, February 8, 2008

Building Literacy One Book at a Time

I'm not always huge on Award Winning Books with my students, because they can sometimes be too thick or require too much inference for my reluctant readers; BUT, thanks to our gift of snow days this year, I have stumbled across the Schneider Family Book Awards though and am excited! The Schneider Awards which:

". . . honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. . . . . The book must emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience for children and/or adolescent audiences. It must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional." []

Some of the picks I have added to my Need to Read List are:
o (2007 Teen) Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9–Joey Willis is deaf, and her mother won't allow her to learn American Sign Language. Her isolated existence is turned upside down, however, when she meets her elderly neighbor, Dr. Charles Mansell, and his sign-language-using chimpanzee, Sukari. Against her mother's wishes, Joey begins to learn to sign, and Charlie, whose parents were deaf, opens her eyes to a future filled with possibilities. When he dies, Sukari's fate is left in Joey's hands. Rorby has clearly done her research. From the dialogue gaps that allow youngsters to share the frustration even a skilled lip reader feels, to a brutal scene in a chimp-filled research facility, the wealth of details support but, unfortunately, often overwhelm the story. The tale is so dense that many plot threads are abruptly abandoned, and the narrative skips ahead at random intervals. Laden with issues–parent-child relationships, the treatment of research animals, and child abuse (Joey's deafness is the result of a beating by her father)–the book often gets bogged down in its own seriousness. However, the writing shines when Rorby focuses on what is obviously her true passion: Sukari and the fate of chimpanzees like her.–Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD []

o (2006 Middle School) My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir, written by Samantha Abeel and published by Orchard Books, a division of Scholasticis the winner of the teen book. The book was chosen for its honest and sensitive portrayal of the author’s youth as she struggles with dyscalculia, a learning disability in mathematics. The syndrome also affects one’s ability to perform simple tasks, such as telling time or following directions. Abeel’s diagnosis at age 13 helped her and her family make sense of why she excelled in literature but didn’t know what change to expect when buying groceries. She shares her gift of language in this compelling memoir. [ALA]


thepowerguides said...

hi pop into your blog once in a while and enjoy reading , I have a question you may be able to help me with . I am trying to put together a new site and one of the areas is for teaching and education, can you recommend any teachers blogs I should include

The site is still young and not ready for primetime yet but any help would be good


ldtchr said...

Hi Steve,
Thanks for connecting me on your rolls. I love your site so far and will see if I have any blogs to add for you. Are you interested in only blogs or sites in general?