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review 2018-02-23 20:21
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Doreen Rappaport,Bryan Collier

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport is a great rendition of the history of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This book does an excellent job of explaining historical events and facts of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King's influence during that time. This book is appropriate for young readers and uses developmentally appropriate language. The illustrations are exceptional. Without too many words and with just enough detail, readers can learn about the life and death of Dr. King as well as the start and end of the Civil Rights Movement.


This book serves a great educational purpose in the classroom. After a lesson on Dr. King's influence during the Civil Rights Movement, I would read this book to the class and discuss it afterwards. Then I would ask students to read portions of the famous "I Have a Dream Speech" by Dr. King and to find real word examples of how his dream came true. Then, I would ask students to help write a class "We Have a Dream Too" speech where we would write dreams or wishes we have for the world as it is today (and the issues Americans face today).



Guided Reading: S
Lexile: 410L
Accelerated Reader Level: 3.4

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review 2018-01-28 04:44
The Hero Two Doors Down
The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend - Sharon Robinson


I read this book to the students in my Sunshine State Club. It's the story of a boy (Stephen) living two doors down from his hero, Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn in the year 1948. The book was written by Sharon Robinson (Jackie's daughter) and is based on "the true story of a friendship between a boy and a baseball legend."


The kids loved the book and it was fun to discuss what it was like to live in the 1940's. It's hard for them to imagine life without a cell phone, let alone life where you can only hear baseball on the radio, instead of watching on tv. We learned about Jackie Robinson and his courage and integrity. We learned about egg creams, transistor radios, and stoopball. And we learned about what it was like to live in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in 1948. It was also fun to talk to the kids about who their heroes are and what it would feel like to be friends with them.


This book is great for elementary students, especially sports fans.

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review 2018-01-20 20:43
Interesting avenue to explore but not the best writing.
Southern Food and Civil Rights: Feeding ... Southern Food and Civil Rights: Feeding the Revolution (American Palate) - Frederick Douglass Opie

The title made me curious about the role of Southern food in the fight for civil rights and what goes into the very basic necessity of feeding people protesting, marching and working for their rights or the rights of others. It was on display at the local library and so I picked it up on a whim. Author Opie takes us through a journey of the foods, eateries, recipes and more.


Beginning in the 1920's and ending with a look at the Occupy Wall Street movement, Opie takes the reader though what role food played (from what was included and what was not included) in protests, marches, etc. Issues that get covered include how they were prepared, what were some cultural influences, how meals were changed, and the mechanics of what it is like to feed and nourish hundreds, maybe thousands of people who come and go or those who stay for a long haul. 


The concept was interesting but I felt it didn't quite encompass the title. It felt pretty disjointed with not even the food necessarily linking the various movements. It seemed like someone with better knowledge of the histories of various marches, protests, movements, etc. all might have gotten more out of the text. And it definitely seemed odd to end with OWS, although Opie does discuss the issues of perception/media coverage and how few black people the author sees during his observations. Bits like this were really interesting but they tended to be few and far in between and quite frankly it was a slog getting through the author's writing.


Maybe it's me and not  being in the right frame of mind, but this was disappointing in light of some other good books (I thought) about the role of Southern food in greater historical, cultural ans societal context. I'm glad this was available at the library. I'd recommend this as a borrow unless you need it as a reference.

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text 2017-12-24 04:37
Reading progress update: I've read (approx) 20 out of 288 pages.
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right - Arlie Russell Hochschild

I found this in the pubic library's digital collection, which appears to have been expanded recently.


I've read Hochschild before and have at least one of her books in my personal collection, but I've never had any personal contact with her.


The beginning of the book is disturbing to me, and maybe it's meant to be.  The author, a noted liberal/progressive, takes her research skills to Louisiana to try to find out why Tea Partiers feel the way they do, with the strongest possible emphasis on feel.  And then she intends to use that understanding of their feelings to find ways to find common ground with them.


And yes, I know I used the word "find" many times in that paragraph.


The reason the beginning was so disturbing was that Hochschild acknowledges that the divide between right and left has widened over the years because the right has moved further right but the left has not moved further left.

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text 2017-12-21 16:46
Reading progress update: I've read 108 out of 432 pages.
Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, Enlarged Edition - Ellen Fitzpatrick,Eleanor Flexner

I'm finding this to be a highly informative read. I picked it up mainly to learn about the women's suffrage movement, but Flexner demonstrates that campaigners had a much broader agenda than just that.

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