The title is not that striking, but my mother loves elephants, so I noticed this title. I have had several positive experiences with stories set in Eastern Asia or similar setting, like the Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This was no exception. This is an adorable story. The Girl Who Stole an Elephant By Nizrana Farook Chaya steals from the rich and helps the poor survive an oppressive king. Her best friend tries to reign her in but she is irrepressible. When a theft of some royal jewels goes awry, she tries to set things right, but makes everything so much worse. She’s not sure if she can make things right again. And… she steals an elephant, of course. Read more...
How do you begin a story? Not in the sense of create, but where do you start? I was always told to start in Media Res. Latin for in the middle of things. There are countless ways to start a story. I'm going to talk about a few ways to start, but this is by all means not exhaustive. When I'm wanting to strengthen a skill, I look to mentor texts. So let us take a look at some excellent stories and see how they begin.
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler This is a good time for reflection. I've done a lot of that lately. I have taught ESL (English as a Second Language) for the last 18 years. Yet, I am … Continue reading 25 Books to Read by Authors of Color
I hope you are all well! This week has been madness! As you know I'm a 6th grade English teacher. My school was on spring break. It got extended this week, but teachers were required to work from home. Wednesday we started to get information. Thursday we began frantically redesigning our lesson to go online … Continue reading Characters Through the Ages (Well, through 70 Years)
First, Mia and her family just moved to live near her grandmother, who owns a cricket farm. Yes, a cricket farm. To make food with them. Barbecue crickets. Maple crickets. and more! Mia and her grandmother are really close, so when she learns that Gram's farm is in danger of closing down due to sabotage and lack of funding, Mia knows she has to do something. Layer one: Who is sabotaging the farm? Mia and two friends go all Nancy Drew to investigate and gather clues.
This is one of the Lone Star Books I’m excited about. This text is told in a unique way: text messages, letters, sticky notes, emails, and more. So it is like Illuminae in that regard. This one is not set in space though.
The Texas Library Association puts out a Lone Star Reading list every year. They just released their 2020 list last week. I try to read as many of them as I can each year and I'm never disappointed! The books are selected by librarians across the state. The books are well written and highly engaging for teens and adults.