Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday

I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.  Here is the nonfiction I read this week:
 Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation
I think this book will be eye-opening for my students. They've learned a lot about the civil rights movement and the fight for equality and desegregation in the African-American community, but they may not realize Mexican-Americans have fought the same fight. This is the true story of Sylvia Mendez, and her family's determination to give her an equal education in California in the 1940s.  I will share it with my sixth graders when we start our social injustice/global awareness unit soon. Some students will be reading Esperanza Rising, which will be a good pairing. I like the way it starts in the present, flashes back to tell the story, and then returns to the present with a different attitude from Sylvia. I'll be curious what my students think of the illustrations.  They are unusual.
George Ferris, What a Wheel!
George Ferris: What a Wheel by Barbara Lowell, illustrated by Jerry Hoare
This is a Penguin Core Concepts book, and when I picked it up at the library, I was a little disappointed and wanted it to be larger and designed as a real picture book.  I didn't realize it was made for this series. I did like the information about George Ferris, though. His grit and imagination were inspiring. The Ferris Wheel, built for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, was quite an accomplishment. I want Brian Floca to make a real picture book out of the story!
A Home for Mr. Emerson
Mr. Emerson was such a likable fellow! I enjoyed learning about his home, his affinity for friends and neighbors, his free-thinking, and how much he was loved. This book would be a great way to introduce writing workshop and the importance of journaling and thinking. "Build a world of your own." 
What nonfiction did YOU read this week?


  1. I would love a great PB about Ferris, too, Holly. That World's Fair must have be wonderful! I reviewed Separate Is Not Always Equal today too-a gem to add to that time in history, & I loved the book about Emerson-so many good biographies are available today! Thank you!

  2. Just read Separate is Never Equal this week too - agreed that this is an aspect of the Civil Rights fight that is often overlooked. Will have to check out the Emerson book too - I love writing mentor texts!

  3. I enjoyed Mr. Emerson as well... :) Will put Separate is never equal on my tbr list, thank you.

  4. I really want to read the Emerson book. I just put in a ILL for Separate is Never Equal. Thank you Holly.

  5. I am still giggling over your request for Brian Floca to make a book! That would be incredible. Amazing that we have author/illustrators in mind to tell certain stories!

  6. Great titles you have here Holly. I haven't seen them around in our library yet so I truly am looking forward to finding them soon. The Emerson book looks gorgeous.

  7. I like the idea of pairing Separate is Never Equal with Esperanza Rising. Pairing books is huge for kids - the connections they make really stick to them!