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review 2018-06-25 02:39
Silent Days, Silent Dreams
Silent Days, Silent Dreams - Allen Say

In addition to the well known Caldecott and Newbery Metals, the American Library Association gives a number of other awards, including the Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

 

Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say won the young reader (0-8 years old) category this year. In Silent Days, Silent Dreams, Allen Say provides a capsule biography of folk artist James Castle.  Like most, I had not heard about Jimmy Castle before. Castle is described as deaf, mute, autistic, and probably dyslexic, yet he was a self-taught artist, who left thousands of drawings and other folk-art objects. 

 

All of the art in Silent Days, Silent Dreams was created by Allen Say, either in the style of James Castle or slightly modified copies of drawings Castle did himself.  While I think that Allen Say did a good job, I wish that the book had included Castle’s original art instead of just new drawings and objects created in Castle’s style. 

 

If you want to let James Castle “speak” for himself, some of his art is available at http://jamescastle.com/

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url 2018-06-17 19:29
Incredibles 2 Strobe Effect Warning

Thank you @veron4ica and @exigetspersonal (Tumblr) for getting the word out about the strobe effects in Incredibles 2.

 

The swift response from a major movie production house and major theater chains is  heartening.

 

 

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review 2017-06-20 00:18
Save Me a Seat
Save Me a Seat - Gita Varadarajan,Sarah Weeks

Save Me a Seat is a recent middle grade book co-authored by veteran Sarah Weeks and newcomer Gita Varadarajan.  While not explicitly discussed in the interviews, I believe the two authors met at a Teachers College Writing Workshop directed by Lucy Calkins and that the collaborative project may have been born during the workshop. 

 

The book features alternating chapters of the first week of 5th grade from two viewpoints, Joe (written by Ms. Weeks) and Ravi (written by Ms. Varadarajan).  Joe has lived in the same small town in central NJ all his life.  Ravi has just moved to the US from India.  Taking place over the course of a single week, the boys find common cause and the seed of a friendship as they are both targets of their class bully, an Indian-American kid named Dillon Samreen.

 

There were many moments of humor and realistic tween emotions throughout Save Me a Seat. I also liked the clever way the book used food as a framing.  However, I didn’t fall in love with the story or the characters. While seeing yourself represented in books is important, I thought it was just too convenient that Joe’s defining characteristic is a learning disability.  And there were times that the moral lessons of looking beyond the surface to find potential friends were just a bit too blatant for my adult eyes.  As I read, I kept wondering if this is a book kids would really be attracted to on their own or if it was written to be a parable and the basis of lesson plans and won’t find many readers outside that context.

 

Read for Tomorrowland 34 in Booklikes-opoly

 

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review 2017-02-05 17:09
SHE TOUCHED THE WORLD: LAURA BRIDGMAN, DEAF-BLIND PIONEER by Sally Hobart Alexander and Robert Alexander
She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer - Sally Hobart Alexander,Robert Alexander,Robert Alexander
  Laura Bridgman lost her sight and hearing at the age of 2. She was curious and frustrated lost in herself. Dr. Samuel Howe heard of her and came to see if he could help her. He took her back to the Perkins Institute where he taught her to read and write. He taught her fingerspelling and reading by raised letters. She became the teacher of Anne Sullivan who came to the Perkins Institute before she went on to become Helen Keller's teacher.

I got immersed in this story. I learned a lot. I never knew
Laura Bridgman lost her sight and hearing at the age of 2. She was curious and frustrated lost in herself. Dr. Samuel Howe heard of her and came to see if he could help her. He took her back to the Perkins Institute where he taught her to read and write. He taught her fingerspelling and reading by raised letters. She became the teacher of Anne Sullivan who came to the Perkins Institute before she went on to become Helen Keller's teacher.

The end of the book tells of the advances made from Laura's time in the mid-1800's to today. This is a fascinating read that pulled me in from the first page. It will remain on my keeper shelf.
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review 2016-11-30 04:48
Service Tails: More Stories of Man's Best Hero
Service Tails: More Stories of Man's Best Hero - Ace Collins

More Stories of Man's Best Hero 

By:  Ace Collins

ISBN: 9781501820076

Publisher:  Abingdon Press

Publication Date: 08/16/2016 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

A special thank you to Abingdon and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From the author of Color of Justice (2014), Hollywood Lost (2015) and The Fruitcake Murders comes:

A beautifully written collection of stories, from talented storyteller, Ace Collins—SERVICE TAILS More Stories of Man's Best Hero: a tribute to all service dogs and their remarkable intelligence, courage, love, and loyalty.

In doing their specific jobs and individual roles, each dog stretches the way we see both canine and human potential, leading the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.

More than heroes, servants from a Swiss German shepherd who came to the US in the late 1920s to initiate a movement that would touch and impact millions of lives and change the perception of a nation’s view on disabilities.

A collie that began life as a mobility animal and grew into a woman’s guide, Alzheimer’s disease. A Lab who led a blind woman through college and guided her into marriage. A golden retriever mix that opened the door to life for a child locked in a world of solitude and misunderstanding.

From devotion to duty, unconditional love and acceptance. All the stories are contemporary, except for the initial chapter (very interesting history). From middle school to a woman in her nineties. Unforgettable emotional and moving stories. Miracles and faith. Inspiring!

The author tells of stories of canine’s special abilities, to free these people from disabilities as well as society’s misconceptions. People trusting dogs. How these people relied on a dog to help them gain their independence.

“A spark of greatness exists in all people, but only by touching that spark to adversity’s flame does it blaze into the force that fuels our lives and the world.”

I particularly enjoyed the story of Trevor, of Charlotte, NC (my hometown) blind and a guide dog for his hiking companion, Tennille. A dog teaches a man. She became a better partner than most humans. They became a team. Completing one of the most dangerous treks in the nation. The marriage of a dog and man. Incredible adventures. They protect, lead, and love.

Collins once again delivers an outstanding account of many ways and history of service dogs and how they have been an integral part of helping millions of disabled – saving lives.

Not only will dog lovers adore these stories, the book is insightful and thought-provoking. As an owner of the best golden retriever (love Goldens) in the world for 15 glorious years, (miss my Golden Duke), daily. There is nothing quite like the special love of a dog. These remarkable service dogs should be honored for their years of service and their selfless actions.

As the author mentions, “it takes a village.” It takes a dog.” “Once you read these unique "tails" you will likely agree that a dog can literally take us anywhere.”

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/05/05/Service-Tails
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