It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 11/02/15 #imwayr

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This week’s reading was dedicated to the Coretta Scott King Award:

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.  The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

Here are a few:

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This first book was adapted from a West African Folktale in which the black sheep of the family dreams of becoming a musician and therefore his family has to ban him from their village because music can’t help any of the villagers in a traditional sense. Once Banzar is out on his own he meets an old mentor named Sholo who teaches him that it is their job to tell the history of the African people so that they can have a better future. In the end Banzar returns to his village to show them how successful he has become and the importance of music.

“Yams fill the belly and trade fills the pockets, but music fills the heart.”

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The Great Migration  is a poetic narrative about the courage of those who were suppressed by segregation in the South to make a change and move North. These beautiful stories are accompanied by a collage style artwork in bold colors that really reflects the many families coming together in a journey of bravery to make a better life for themselves.

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This book was true, and by true I mean real. No matter why this boy’s father is absent, whether he chose to leave or he is incarcerated (which is what I believe to be the case) this is a great story to explain any parents dream for their child to succeed, whether they had any dreams for themselves or not.

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Pinkney’s art work in this book is just beautiful and accompanied by Aston’s prose this book will bring tears to your eyes. Mae’s grandfather believes in his granddaughter and her dreams to one day be an astronaut just like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. A great way to bring a little bit of history into children’s reading.

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Two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan praises three favorite spirituals: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The fun illustrations of brilliant colors along with the the songs real make reading this book aloud a lot of fun. 

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11 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 11/02/15 #imwayr

  1. I just read Let it Shine this morning and really enjoyed it! I remember singing these songs when I was very little in Sunday School, it brought back so many memories. The pictures made it so easy and fun to read too!

  2. I need to do a better job of reading more of the Coretta Scott King Award Winners…what a great complement to our diversity assignment this week! The only book that I have read on you list was Knock, Knock…but man, wasn’t it totally wonderful? I especially loved reading the letter to readers at the end, which put the whole story in perspective. What a powerful piece!

    1. I am glad that I too read the letter to the readers -I’m usually really bad about that, but they are always full of information that really emphasize the stories and bring them full circle and “Knock, Knock…” was no exception! It was definitely my favorite from last week!

  3. These books really draw my eye and make me want to read them. How perfect that you picked these on our diversity topic week. They all seem like great stories, or songs in the last ones case.

  4. Professor Ellington recommended I read “The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963”, which was a Coretta Scott King winner. It was amazing and I think you’d enjoy it.
    Did you find the illustrations in your books add to the stories?

    1. Thank you for the recommendation! I definitely think that the illustrations were beautiful and added to the stories, but the prose was so vivid that it could have been read on it’s own too.

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