Tuesday, September 11, 2007
There is no doubt that this is a fine book and it will probably win some children's literature awards this year. While it is set in the 1960s, it captures the universal agony and humor of seventh grade as seen through the eyes of Holling Hoodhood. Every Wednesday Holling is stuck spending the afternoon with his teacher Mrs. Baker while all the other kids go to religious classes. Holling is sure that Mrs. Baker hates him, but as the year goes on he gains more and more insight into her life and he learns a lot from her about Shakespeare and running and baseball. This book has many humorous scenes such as Holling wearing yellow tights with feathers on the bottom in a Shakespeare play and the incident when rats fall through the classroom ceiling. It also contains a lot of Shakespeare quotes and wisdom, and numerous current events from 1967-68. Teachers are guaranteed to love this book (especially those who like Shakespeare and grew up in the 60s!). I'm curious how kids will like it.
This beautiful book is a memoir (an autobiography) of a girl who dreamed of being a ballerina. The author, from Puerto Rico, moved to New York City as a girl to attend the School of American Ballet. She spent years there learning, performing, and working incredibly hard. The artwork in this graphic novel shows the freedom and joy of dance as seen through young Siena's eyes. I learned a lot about the life of a dancer from reading this book. Girls who like to dance (or who dream of dancing) will love it!