Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Henkes’

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard's site Teaching Young Writers.

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard’s site Teaching Young Writers.

Link up with Teach Mentor Texts

Link up with Teach Mentor Texts

Today is the last day of June and it’s Monday, so what am I reading? I’m combining two posts today. I am missing my students because Chalk-a-bration was one of their favorite days of the month. I am at the lake with my parents with no access to kids or to a sidewalk (much less a piece of chalk), so I played with my iPad and wrote a quote from one of the books I read this week, how i discovered poetry by Marilyn Nelson.

chalk Marilyn Nelson

What a lovely book! Marilyn Nelson writes a memoir of growing up in the late 50’s with 50 intimate poems. Each poem is both deeply personal as well as universal. Marilyn’s father was in the military, so they moved often. Marilyn captures the feelings of being moved from place to place. I was touched by the poems dealing with having to leave their pets behind. “Daddy pulled a puppy from the pocket/ of his flight jacket, and we imprinted/ like a gosling to a goose. Speida’s my dog,/ though he’s impartially affectionate.”

Marilyn’s mother prided herself on being a First Negro. As they move from base to base, they are often the only black family. “Making History takes more than standing in line/ believing little white lies about pain./ Mama says First Negroes are History…That lady in Montgomery just became a First/ by sqwunching up her eyes and sitting there.”

This little book is an important one with a very personal, first hand account of living in the late 50’s. #WeNeedDiverseBooks: This one is going on my shelf for my students as we study memoir and history.

Billy Miller

The Year of Billy Miller took me back to being in second grade. There is so much to love about this book. Billy is just a fun kid to be with. He wants to be brave and stay up all night but ends up in his sister’s room falling asleep with her. Billy has to write a poem and perform it in front of an audience. I enjoyed watching the development of his poem. Kevin Henkes does not make Billy Miller a brilliant writer but shows us a real boy. He has the typical feelings of a seven year old boy and his family is most important to him. This book makes you smile.

I am currently listening to Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, a great book to listen to on my long car ride home today. What are you reading?

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