Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reread in April!

Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts encourage us to reread in April.  Here's what a reread this week:
 Inside Out & Back Again
I listened to the audio version of this novel in verse this time, which I enjoyed very much. Poetry is meant to be read aloud, after all. My students are going to be reading novels in verse this month to celebrate National Poetry Month, and this will be one of their choices. This time I was struck by Ha's anguish at being treated as stupid because of the language barrier even though she is a very bright and educated girl. I couldn't help but wonder if we still treat ESL kids that way. I know it is difficult to identify gifted students who struggle with English, and we miss some of them because of the language barrier. I also thought her comments about how crazy the rules and exceptions are in English when she was trying to learn the language were so funny. Pair it up with Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata to get another point of view of the Vietnam War.  My original Goodreads review when I read it for the first time in June 2011: I thought this was a remarkable and heartbreaking book about a ten-year-old girl in Saigon during the Vietnam War. She is forced to flee with her mother and brothers to America, where her family is sponsored by a "cowboy" in Alabama. There she learns to face racism and the challenges of a new culture and language. Novel in verse is always difficult for me to get into, but I was only a little bit into this novel when I couldn't put it down. It would be a perfect companion to our People in Societies Social Studies unit.
What have YOU reread this week?

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