Book Review: Boycott Blues

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation written by:  Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney published by: Amistad/Greenwillow, 2008 Audience (reading level): 6 to 9 (Flesch-Kincaid 2.0) Come along as Dog Tired, a “feisty hound,” starts singing the blues. Listen as he tells you about Jim Crow, Rosa Parks and her refusal to move to the back of the bus.  Rub your tired feet while he reminds you to keep the faith on day 100 … 200 … 300 of the Montgomery bus boycott. Then cheer as  the Supreme Court tells Jim Crow to fly away on day 382. Wow! I really don’t know where to begin in describing the book. There are so many layers. Boycott Blues … Read more

Book Review: Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing

Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing written by  Guo Yue and Clare Farrow Illustrated by: Helen Cann published by: Barefoot Books, 2008 Audience (reading level): 9 to 12 (Flesch-Kincaid 5.5) Guo Yue (translated Leap Forward) shares roughly a year of his boyhood in this memoir of growing up in Beijing, China.  In this first-person account, Yue describes his life in a musician’s courtyard (five families living together)  in the mid-1960s. Although Yue introduces us to his family and a few schoolmatea, the story is drawn from the connections between Leap Forward, Little-Little (his best friend), and a little yellow bird named Little Cloud. Leap Forward wants to be a musician like his father. In the first chapter, Leap Forward … Read more

Diversity Rocks! Book Challenge

When I started the Reading Tub, I wrote the tag line “Turning a page … opening the world.” I thought it captured the potential and reach of reading. There is so much to explore between the covers of a book. Reading can transport you to new places (of this earth and beyond), introduce you to new people (real and not), and expand your everyday world. That idea is what drew me to Ali’s Diversity Rocks! book challenge. One of the things I like about the challenge (aside from the flexibility) is that it will help me take a more thoughtful approach in selecting books I read. Frankly, I don’t think about ethnicity or race when I look at a book. … Read more